Hello, I hope you have all had a great weekend. I’m writing this on Father’s Day and while I think the perception is that it is mainly celebrated in the West, many Asian countries have a day dedicated to fathers. However, it is generally not a public holiday and the dates may differ. Here is a list of dates on which Father’s Day is celebrated around the world.
Congress will vote on an expansion of a visa program aimed at Afghan interpreters who assisted U.S. troops during the war. The interpreters face very real danger from the Taliban and other groups. In 2009, Congress passed the Afghan Allies Protection Act to aid interpreters in obtaining visas, but at last check, only 32 of 5,700 applicants had received visas.
A rally in Kabul took place this past week as hundreds of women gathered to protest the proposed Elimination of Violence Against Women Act, asking the parliament to reject. Saeeda Hafeez, a spokeswoman for the Jamiat-i-Islah party said Islam gives females all rights and there was no need for any other laws.
The Indian government is considering calling a special session to pass a $24 billion welfare program that would provide cheap food for the poor.
A new mental health bill in India would give patients greater autonomy in their treatment, decriminalizes suicide and places a ban on electro-shock treatments without anesthesia.
Myanmar’s ruling party has stated that they will form a coalition government with Aung San Suu Kyi-led National League for Democracy (NLD) after the elections in 2015.
A blast killed 23 people, including 14 female students in Quetta, Pakistan.
North Korea continues to make nice with the rest of the world, proposing high level talks with the U.S.
Finally in science news, Scientific American has an article on the lost cousins of homo sapiens in Asia and the South Pacific.