One evening several years ago when a quarrel broke out between drivers during a traffic jam in Yangon, Myanmar, a trishaw driver quickly parked his light three-wheeled cycle beside the road and began directing traffic. This was U Shwe Htay, who has now made regulating traffic a part of his daily routine. Apart from his responsibilities at home, he regularly collects and disposes of litter along his street and other areas, fits in his work as a trishaw driver, and then supervises traffic at a busy intersection. Instead of taking more passengers and more fares for himself, he makes sure traffic can keep moving, for the benefit of all. “As a poor man, I can’t visit far-flung areas to help people in need, so I help and care for people around me,” he explains. “I am content with what I have. This is a Buddha philosophy I live by: if you do good deeds, good things will return to you.”

When Bhutan’s modernization began in the 1970s, His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo began to make public pronouncements about happiness, contentment, and wellbeing. By 1979, His Majesty began speaking about Gross National Happiness, not only to Bhutanese but journalists as well. While His Majesty spoke briefly about GNH to a few journalists, it is with John Elliot, a former Financial Times of London journalist, to whom His Majesty spoke at length on the subject in 1987. On the first day of the international GNH conference taking place in Paro, yesterday, the former journalist revealed that he had found the notebook used for the interview. He shared his notes with the audience. 

The first giraffe calf in 28 years has been born at the Singapore Zoo, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) announced on Thursday (Nov 12). Born on Aug 31 and measuring 1.9 metres tall at birth, the WRS touted him as the tallest SG50 baby. He now stands at 2.3 metres. The calf is also the first offspring of both mom Roni and dad Growie, both of which arrived in Singapore in 2005, from Israel and the Netherlands, respectively. 

Bhutan has come up with a new way to pave its roads: waste plastic. As part of efforts to curb the use of fossil fuels and deal with growing amounts of plastic waste, the country plans to mix used plastic bottles and other waste plastic with bitumen to blacktop its roads. The Green Road public-private project is expected to reduce the amount of bitumen imported from India by 40 percent, and cut the amount of plastic waste going into landfills by 30-40 percent, said plastic road entrepreneur Rikesh Gurung. 

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