Hello, friends. I hope all you Americans had a wonderful Thanksgiving. This was the first time in two years that I’ve been home for the holiday. Previously, I was gathering with friends on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and sharing a potluck meal in celebration because of course, South Korea does not celebrate Thanksgiving as we Americans and Canadians do. My friends and I were lucky enough to live in a large city where a turkey could be procured as well as ingredients to make most of the side dishes. Otherwise, awesome parents were enlisted to ship items not easily found. However, as good as those meals were, nothing compared to the bliss I felt at tasting my mom’s cornbread dressing after two years. Heaven!
Speaking of expat celebrations, NPR had a feature last week on how Thanksgiving is celebrated when one lives overseas, including stories from Asia.
China continues its showing of military dominance by commencing air patrols over disputed islands, though the U.S., Japan and South Korea flew fighter jets into the disputed air space in a show of solidarity and defiance. The cause of China’s aggression over maritime territory is most likely valuable shipping lanes and natural resources.
A thousand apologies for not bringing attention to this story sooner; it somehow slipped under my radar. There have been massive protests in Thailand, calling for the removal of the prime minister, Ms Yingluck’s Pheu Thai. The protests were kicked off by the passing of a controversial amnesty bill, which could allow the return of former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted by a military coup in 2006.
In more government unrest, there are widespread riots in Bangladesh after the government announced parliamentary elections would take place January 5th of next year. Opposition supporters want the government to step down for impartial elections.
The commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan called President Hamid Karzai to apologize for civilian casualties due to a drone strike. Karzai is threatening to hold up a security agreement with the U.S. over the strike.
Explosions killed six people at the site of anti-nuclear protests near the Kudankulam nuclear plant.
Well, I think it’s safe to say that no one likes telemarketers.
Six aid workers were killed in Pakistan’s northwestern Faryab province on Wednesday.
In better news out of Pakistan, the Christ the King Monument in Karachi has been restored after suffering almost 82 years of wear and tear and reconsecrated on Sunday. The Archbishop of Karachi, the Most Reverend Joseph Coutts, said that the monument “is a reminder of what Karachi was and what Karachi can be. It is more than just a Christian monument.” It’s estimated that 2 percent of Pakistan’s population is Christian.
The Australian Prime Minister is trying to make nice with Indonesia after allegations that Australia has been spying on them.
This is kind of awful. Human Rights Watch is reporting that the Afghan government is contemplating using death by stoning as a punishment for adultery. The practice was used during the Taliban era and women are the most likely to be accused of adultery.
North Korea has released a video of the U.S. veteran held by the government confessing to hostile acts during the Korean War and during his visit to the country in October.
Finally in good news, the U.N. predicts that AIDS could be eradicated in the Asia-Pacific region within the next 15 years.