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What's going on: News Round up

Monday’s News:

  • Remember the story about Al Qaeda members who were associated with the USS Cole bombing that were walking around free in Yemeni. Well, a Yemeni judge has picked up Jaber Elbaneh and thrown him in jail. I’m not sure what that means or how long he will stay there, but this is a good first step (seven years too late. )
  • Dick Morris, who regularly appears on Fox “News,” wrote an incoherent piece in the Washington Post yesterday. I’m still trying to deconstruct it. I think he is trying to say that Senator Barack Obama is ahead of Senator John McCain now, but that McCain can close the gap. I think that’s what he means, but I’m just guessing.
  • An American soldier was using the Koran as target practice. Major General Jeffery Hammond held a meeting with Iraqi leaders and officially apologized to a group characterized in the article as Iraqi leaders. Did they mean the religious leaders or the other guys? If it was religious leaders, then it was a meaningful gesture. If not, then it doesn’t mean so much.
  • There was a great series in Washignton Post on childhood obesity. Physical Education, which should be re-named “physical activity” since there isn’t a lot of education going on, needs to be mandatory in our schools. If a student has a physical handicap, then they should do best they can, but everyone needs to exercise. As a country we can save billions if we would all exercise.
  • The Supreme Court was able to agree on something that wasn’t a five to four decision. They upheld a child pornography law with a seven to two vote. I found the dissent by Justices Souter and Ginsberg rather thoughtful.
  • Obama picked up a couple big endorsements by today Senator Robert Byrd and Billionaire Warren Buffett. This comes just ahead of tomorrow’s primary in Oregon and Kentucky.
  • I almost forgot something, which is statement in itself. The suffering in Myanmar is going to get worse before it gets better. More outside relief is being let into the country. And in China, there was a moment of silence for those who died in last week’s earthquake. The whole country stood in silence at 2:28 in the afternoon. The numbers that are slowing coming in are mind-boggling. Since the start of the rescue effort, 158 rescue workers have died in landslides .
By |2008-05-19T21:39:38-04:00May 19th, 2008|Al Qaeda, Domestic Issues, Supreme court|Comments Off on What's going on: News Round up

Burma Cyclone

Cyclone Nargis killed at least 22 thousand people in Burma. There is fear the death toll will reach 50 thousand.

The country is also known as Myanmar.

(The photo is from the Agence French Presse).

A cyclone is the same as a hurricane. Here are many cyclone questions and answers.

The storm did the greatest damage in the Irrawaddy Delta area of Burma. Here is extensive information on that region. It is one of the most highly populated areas of Burma.

The capital, Rangoon, also received extensive damage.

Here is video of the destruction.

The Times of London writes about an added crisis from the storm

The features that made the stricken area vulnerable to this disaster — its low-lying geography and proximity to water — also made it Burma’s rice bowl. The cyclone has undoubtedly wrought terrible damage on the country’s agriculture. World rice prices are at a record high already, provoking food riots in more than 30 countries. Burma is a net exporter of rice, and the destruction of crops in the Irrawaddy delta will only add to upward pressure on international prices. The country may be unable to keep its promise to sell rice to other needy countries such as Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. (more…)

By |2008-05-06T21:46:33-04:00May 6th, 2008|Environment, Foreign Affairs|1 Comment

Burma Protests

I don’t know much about Burma –or Myanmar–except to say that it is a very repressive country. Buddhist monks and others are currently protesting in Burma for political freedoms. These people appear to be quite brave to protest under such a harsh government.

This link to the BBC offers a number of articles on the current protests and some background to the situation

By |2007-09-24T21:54:24-04:00September 24th, 2007|Foreign Affairs|Comments Off on Burma Protests
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