News in Asia

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Hello! This column has been on hiatus while I was on my winter vacation in the Philippines. It’s a beautiful country and I highly recommend going if you ever get the chance. Inevitably, there were many news stories that happened in the interim so I’m going to start fresh since catching up will take too long. So here we go:

As some of you may recall, there was a fire at a garment factory in Bangladesh two months ago, the worst in the country’s history. The fire exposed the horrendous business practices of many multi-national corporations and rallied activists in demanding better working conditions in those factories. Unfortunately, there’s been another fire at a garment factory, this one killing seven people. Though not as many lives were lost in this fire, it serves as a reminder that changes still need to be made as it has been reported that the door to the factory were locked.

Burmese pro-democracy activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi gives a lesson in loving your enemies by telling BBC News that she is “very fond of the Burmese army,” despite the fact they kept her under house arrest for 15 years. She cites that her father founded the army and always thought of it as an extension of him.

North Korea continues the worrisome trend of threatening everyone with nuclear annihilation if they don’t get their way. This time it’s over UN-regulated sanctions. While the government did not specify what form the retaliation might take, there was the  threat of testing long-range nuclear weapons capable of hitting targets in the U.S.

Speaking of missiles, nothing shows patriotism like parading a huge missile through the streets of your city like they did in New Delhi this week.

India’s president has officially spoken out about the rape and murder of a young Indian woman in New Delhi, saying that the country needs to reset its moral compass. Given the endless stories of the assault and harassment that have been brought to light because  of this tragedy, the compass needs to be thrown out altogether.

Singapore’s ruling party faces another setback as the opposition Worker’s Party gains a seat in Parliament after a member was forced to resign because of an extra-marital affair.

This article looks at gun laws in Japan and other nations as compared to the U.S.

Finally, since the country still cannot get enough of their most popular export, Psy is performing during the South Korean presidential inauguration. Park Geun-Hye will be taking office as the first female president in South Korean history.

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Stephens

Florida girl, would-be world traveler and semi-permanent expat. Her main strategy of life is to throw out the nets and hope something useful comes back, but many times it's just an old shoe. She also really, really hates winter and people who are consistently late.
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6 Comments on “News in Asia”

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  1. Avatar of freckle [M]
    freckle [M]

    The suburb (?) Gangnam tries to use the song to become a tourist attraction. The few interviewed didn’t care that the song wasn’t really positive about them ..because money never stinks, right?

    1. Avatar of Stephens
      Stephens

      Exactly. Full disclosure: I’d never heard of the suburb Gangnam before the song came out, but I think I can be forgiven because Seoul has so many freaking suburbs it’s ridiculous.

  2. Avatar of Dormouse
    Dormouse

    1. That was a big-ass missile.
    2. Agreed that the moral compass should be thrown out instead of reset. When I visited India in 2008, the women I spoke with almost unanimously said things along the lines of, “There are no good men in India.” (Full disclosure: the women I spoke with came from abused backgrounds or worked with abused women and children.)
    3. PSY!

      1. Avatar of Dormouse
        Dormouse

        It was really sad to hear. A lot of the girls I talked with were interested in relationships and marriage, but also very not interested because of what they’d already experienced in life. However, there are people–women and men alike–in India who are working at the grassroots level to try to change their society, so there is hope.

        Related: a few of the girls that I spoke with back then who were opposed to marriage wound up with some stellar guys after all. :)

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