Monday, April 27, 2015

On A Monday

To start with...

On Sunday, an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter Scale has killed over four thousand people and destroyed national treasures in Nepal:

As the death toll from Nepal's devastating earthquake climbed past 4,000, aid workers and officials in remote, shattered villages near the epicenter pleaded Monday for food, shelter and medicine.

Help poured in after Saturday's magnitude-7.8 quake, with countries large and small sending medical and rescue teams, aircraft and basic supplies. The small airport in the capital of Kathmandu was congested and chaotic, with some flights forced to turn back early in the day.

Buildings in parts of the city were reduced to rubble, and there were shortages of food, fuel, electricity and shelter. As bodies were recovered, relatives cremated the dead along the Bagmati River, and at least a dozen pyres burned late into the night.

Conditions were far worse in the countryside, with rescue workers still struggling to reach mountain villages two days after the earthquake. ...

Nepal's Home Ministry said the country's death toll had risen to 4,010. Another 61 were killed in neighbouring India, and China's official Xinhua News Agency reported 25 dead in Tibet. At least 18 of the dead were killed at Mount Everest as the quake unleashed an avalanche that buried part of the base camp packed with foreign climbers preparing to make their summit attempts.

At least 7,180 people were injured in the quake, police said. Tens of thousands are estimated to be left homeless.

As with any tragedy, there are always morons who seek to capitalise on it.

Case the first:

Emilie-Anne Leroux said that while other countries have pulled out all the stops to get their citizens home, she and other Canadians haven't received so much as a phone call from officials despite having registered as being in Nepal.

Leroux, who is in Nepal working for the International Organization for Migration, says that's left some people feeling neglected and "very panicky."

"I feel like they haven't reached out any type of support or help," she said from the UN House in the capital city of Kathmandu, where a handful of Canadians have been staying and helping to co-ordinate aid efforts.

"It's just frustrating — compared to the Australian Embassy, who have booked hotels, picked up people at their apartments, helped them get their (stuff) out and fly them home if they want to, I think the Canadian government is showing a very poor example of how much it cares for its citizens who choose to work abroad for development."

Nicholson said consular officials are trying to get into the country to help, but they are having difficulty getting in.

"We have an honourary consul I know has been working on this consistently since this tragedy has taken place, (and) we're making every effort to bring in consular officials as well," Nicholson said.
"They have made two attempts to land at the airport in Kathmandu and on both occasions they have been turned away, but we are determined we are going to get them there."

Foreign Affairs said there are 462 Canadians registered as being in Nepal, but cautioned that's only an estimate because registration is voluntary.

Leroux, 28, was trying to get back to Canada to be with her father, who is having heart surgery, when the earthquake hit. The airline could only rebook her on a flight Wednesday and she can't afford an earlier, pricier ticket.

Case the second:

Following the suspicious death of Freddy Gray, angry citizens exhibited their displeasure by smashing things and hurling things at a woman in a wheelchair:

A shocking video of Saturday’s violent riots in Baltimore, Maryland show an individual shielding a handicapped woman caught in the sights of a mob throwing bottles, trash cans, and other objects at random bar patrons.

As Mr. Gray's death apparently comes at the hands of the police and not a random person (the latter not being a matter of concern in the slightest), one wonders if the problem can ever be settled with authorities that allow this:

“It’s a very delicate balancing act, because while we tried to make sure they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we work very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to deescalate, and that’s what you saw,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake.

Yes, the mayor of Baltimore gave a carte blanche for people to smash things and riot.

There is no need to put anyone's trust or tax money into systems that go out of their way to fail the populace.

White House party where Obama thinks he is witty and never faces any real criticism.

Insert own "Nero fiddled while Rome burned" joke here.

All the more reason to commemorate:

Hanoi has issued a stern rebuke to Ottawa after the Canadian senate passed a bill commemorating the arrival of tens of thousands of "boat people" who fled after Saigon fell to the communists 40 years ago.
Vietnam's foreign ministry said it had summoned the Canadian ambassador Friday to lodge a formal complaint about the move, which dubs April 30 "Journey to Freedom Day".

Communist forces captured Saigon, then the capital of the US-backed South Vietnam regime, on April 30, 1975, marking the end of decades of conflict and triggering a mass exodus of refugees.

Hundreds of thousands of people linked to the South Vietnamese regime fled the country in rickety boats, many drowning along the way.

Western countries including the US, France, Australia and Canada collectively accepted some one million South Vietnamese refugees.

In communist Vietnam, April 30 is celebrated as "reunification day" and the country is preparing for an elaborate event this Thursday to mark four decades since the end of the war.

The Canadian senate's move was "completely wrong" said foreign ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh according to a statement posted on its official website.

The bill "distorts the history of national liberation and unification of the Vietnamese people", he said in a statement, adding that Vietnam "resolutely opposes" the move.

"This is a backward step in the relationship between the two countries, adversely affecting the growing ties between Vietnam and Canada and hurting the feelings of Vietnamese people as well as a great part of the Vietnamese community in Canada," Binh said.

The Canadian bill was proposed by a senator of Vietnamese descent. The senate is controlled by Canada's ruling Conservatives.

I don't remember anyone judging Vietnam for being a Third-World communist hellhole where people are arrested.

Why celebrate that?


A National Capital Commission advisory committee had specific and continuing concerns about the location and design of the controversial Memorial to the Victims of Communism, documents obtained by the Citizen show. ...

Finally, the language for the commemoration “should be more inclusive, evoking oppression instead of communism, which would be more relevant over time,” the committee said.

Yes, we wouldn't want to cloud the issue by mentioning communist mass murders or anything.

This image of starving North Korean children is too specific and too visible. Let's make it more vague and completely out of view.

Israel launches an airstrike on the Syrian border:

Israel's military said Sunday it launched an airstrike on its border with Syria after spotting militants carrying a bomb in the Israeli-held Golan Heights.

The military said it carried out the strike after troops saw "a group of armed terrorists" approach the border with an explosive intended to target Israeli troops. It said that Israeli aircraft "targeted the squad, preventing the attack."

None of this going to seem funny when you have a bomb strapped to your chest:

One of the three East London schoolgirls who left the UK to become 'jihadi brides' in Syria has confirmed that she is now living in the Islamic State - by tweeting a picture of chicken and chips.

Amira Abase, 15, left Bethnal Green with Shamima Begum 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, in February, and is believed to be living in the Syrian city of Raqqa.

Now, nearly two months after her departure, Amira has shared a snippet of life in the Islamic State - posting an online photo of her enjoying a takeaway dinner with another teenage 'jihadi bride'

Russian bikers must be appalled that they can't sweep into Poland with great ease:

Polish border guards on Monday blocked 10 nationalistic Russian bikers loyal to President Vladimir Putin from entering Poland as part of a ride to commemorate the Red Army's victory over Nazi Germany 70 years ago.

The bikers — who have stirred controversy with their support for Russia's annexation of Crimea — approached the Polish border from Belarus on Monday morning and spent about three hours being questioned and searched by the Polish border guards before they were turned back.

"These people will not cross into Poland," Dariusz Sienicki, a spokesman for the regional border guards said.

And now, the value of friendship:

Each day, 18-year-old Xie Xu, standing at just 1.73 metres tall and weighing 75 kilos, helps bring his 19-year-old friend Zhang Chi from their dorms to school nearby. Xie also helps carry his friend from class to class and often helps with tasks such as washing his clothes. 
The pair struck up their incredible friendship when they became students at Daxu High School, situated in the northern province of Jiangsu. 
The vice headmaster at the school says Xie Xu's dedication has helped inspire other students around him: 
"The story of the two students is so inspiring and touching. They aren't family, but [Xie] has been doing this for three years. He's the most beautiful student", he said to a local media outlet.
"With their assistance, Zhang has never missed out on one single class" 

Zhang Chi suffers from muscular dystrophy, a genetic condition that causes the body's muscles to weaken and causes life long disability. Despite the difficulties the two face, they are both top students at the school. 

No comments: