• It's The Little Things: When reporting today's story on how Japan's retirees are learning how to help each other, staff writer Amelia Newcomb says that she was struck by the powerful sense among the members of the Nagareyama Friendship Network that it's often the smallest gestures of support that make a huge difference to people feeling isolated or unneeded.
"One man told me that he knew he would be lonelier without the group," Amelia says. "He said that he figured he would have visited his old company twice a week to see people – adding that he'd do that even though he probably wouldn't have been welcome. Others said they knew people who would go to watch movies near their office, just to be in touch with their old life. It was a reminder of how important it is for most people to feel included. Once they do, it often unleashes a great deal of energy that can transform people's outlooks."
• Turkish Cuisine in China: When reporting today's story on how China's connections to the global economy could slow its growth, staff writer Peter Ford noticed that so many foreign traders now come to the city of Yiwu to buy cheap Chinese goods that it has had culinary repercussions on the town.
Peter says he was delighted to discover that a Turkish restaurateur has set up an eatery named "Istanbul" to cater for his compatriots. "The restaurant's name might not be very imaginative," says Peter "but the food brought back fond memories of my time in the Middle East – lots of kebabs, eggplant salad, and freshly baked flatbread with goat cheese dip. The Middle Eastern food in China – at least this part of it – is a great deal better than Chinese food in the Middle East."
– Matthew Clark