Hello, friends! I hope your weekends were full of fun or relaxation or doing whatever it is you love to do. Unfortunately, there has been some bad news coming out of Asia, especially the Philippines especially. So, let’s get started.
As I’m sure many of you have heard, the Philippines got slammed by Super Typhoon Yolanda (aka Haiyan) this weekend. The loss of life and total damage is hard to estimate; what is obvious is that the damage is catastrophic. The hardest hit area is Tacloban in the Leyte province. Though the initial estimates are lower, the provincial governor estimates the death toll to be as high as 10,000.
The major concern is getting fresh water and food to the survivors. That is proving to be difficult even as international aid organizations begin to mobilize aid efforts. Here are a list of organizations where you can donate to relief efforts.
And the storm is still raging. At the time of this writing, Vietnam is bracing for Haiyan.
Elsewhere in Asia
Private schools in Pakistan have banned the book by Malala Yousafzai, the education activist shot by Taliban operatives earlier this year. According to reports, many feel the book and Yousafzai herself is a “tool of the West.”
Speaking of the Pakistani Taliban, a new leader has been named, a hardliner from the Swat province who ordered the shooting of Yousafzai: Mullah Fazlullah.
The hacker activist group Anonymous decided to target Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong by hacking his official website after he pledged to hunt down anyone targeting government and municipal networks.
Members of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute accused the Sri Lankan government of denying the group travel visas ahead of a a Commonwealth summit.
In more human rights news, the group Human Rights Watch has urged the US government to investigate the killing of 18 Afghani men by military forces. Not surprisingly, the US has a terrible record of investigating and prosecuting human rights abuses by military personnel.
Engineers in Japan are getting set to remove nuclear fuel rods from the Fukushima power plant.
About a half a dozen coordinated bombs went off in the city of Taiyuan in northern China early Wednesday near the Communist Party headquarters.
That’s all for this week. I promise to try and find more good news for next time.