News in Asia

Last night I was bored and was texting with a Canadian friend. We met while we were both teaching in South Korea and she was telling me how it’s hard being separated from her boyfriend, who’s English. Basically, the best solution that does not involve marrying for a visa is to teach overseas together. They were offered a position at a great school in Beijing, but she was hesitant because the air quality is so poor in the major urban areas in China that it’s extremely hazardous to one’s health. In fact, the air quality is terrible in many cities in Southeast Asia. Singapore is blanketed with smoke from forest fires in outlying jungles (picture slideshow here) and the problem may affect more cities in SE Asia in the coming years due to global warming.

If I ever hear anyone say how cutting programs like WIC and SNAP or any others that help the poor is OK because of wasteful spending, I am going to point them to this story: the U.S. military has destroyed more than 170 million pounds worth of vehicles and other military equipment rather than ship it back to the U.S.

The man most wanted by the U.S. intelligence community has reportedly left Hong Kong and is believed to be in Moscow, possibly en route to Venezuela.

Hundreds of white masked protesters gathered in Bangkok this week. It’s not highly reported in the West, but there are deep political divisions within Thailand.

A young Pashto actress was the victim of an acid attack in northwest Pakistan. It’s believed that the man responsible is a local TV producer who was angry at the young woman for refusing to marry him. It’s believed that acid attacks are on the rise again. In 2012, 150 acid attacks were registered in northwest Pakistan.

The Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility for an attack that killed nine foreigners. The group has issued a statement that it has created a new wing to focus attacks on foreigners in retaliation for U.S. drone strikes.

Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in India on a three day visit. The visit is to strengthen U.S./Indian relations and yada, yada, yada. Of more pressing concerns in the subcontinent are the monsoon floods that have killed more than 600 people.

Speaking of Kerry, the State Department has downgraded both Russia and China in regards to human trafficking.

That’s a lot of really heavy news so here is some less grim fare:

This article looks at how The Apprentice: Asia reveals the differing business styles of various Asian cultures.

And finally, PANDAS! Specifically, BABY PANDAS!

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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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