Hello, friends. How was your week and weekend? Good, I hope!
The young Pakistani teen who was shot by the Taliban has been a prominent figure in the media this past week. Malala Yousafzai released her new memoir, I Am Malala, and was a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize (the award went to the group disarming chemical weapons in Syria.) Her interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show has been shared and gifed a hundred times and she met with President Obama and asked him to reconsider the US drone program because of the effects on her country and people.
While Yousafzai’s work and efforts have been praised, there have been some criticisms of how she has been portrayed by the Western media and demonstrates the West’s “white savior complex.” There has also been discussions of how Yousafzai is viewed in her hometown and how her concern over the drone strikes in her country are getting much less press than her girl’s education initiatives (and I think confronting President Obama on the issue truly shows her bravery and intelligence.) Yet, as another Huffington Post op-ed pointed out, there are many like her who we never hear about doing much of the same work.
Elsewhere in Pakistan, former President Pervez Musharraf has been arrested for a fourth time over the death of Baloch rebel leader Akbar Bugti.
Chinese journalist, Liu Hu was arrested in August by the Chinese government for his work in exposing corruption and the arrest is just now being made public.
A new, state-of-the-art water park is now open in Kabul and is been widely praised by everyone—except women. That’s because no female over the age of 10 is allowed in the park.
Despite their best efforts, aid organizations have only been able to reach about half of those affected by the massive earthquakes a couple of weeks ago.
Do you remember the movie War Games with a very young Matthew Broderick? Many of you probably don’t since I am creeping up to middle age, but in the movie they talk about global thermonuclear warfare, which I loved to say as a kid (I was maudlin, ok). Anyway, whenever I hear of news out of North Korea, I always think of that movie, especially this week since South Korean officials have said that the North has restarted a nuclear reactor that has been used to obtain plutonium that could be used for bombs.
Bad news out of India: a stampede at a temple in the Madhya Pradesh state has killed 89 people during a Hindu festival.
Also, the cyclone Phailin has left a wide path of destruction and forced one million people to flee.
In news that is awful, but not surprising, China’s sex trade is doing very well on the premises of international hotels.
Ok now some good, or at least hopeful news…
- A Japanese breakdancer wins the Asia-Pacific competition and is headed to the global finals in South Korea.
- Afghan publishers are making their first appearance at the Frankfurt Book Fair (yay books!)
- Finally, the Afghan cricket team got a heroes’ welcome when they returned to Kabul after they qualified for the 2015 World Cup by defeating Kenya (thanks to Karo for the suggestion of focusing on the underdog team when I need good news.)