Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

The Turkish Earthquake

In Uncategorized on October 31, 2011 at 10:02 am

The BBC reported, A 7.2 earthquake had struck north-east of Van in eastern Turkey at 23, Oct, 2011, 13:41 (10:41 GMT) and had
a depth of 20km. The major earthquake was followed by a series of powerful
aftershocks which centered at north of Van, including two of magnitude 5.6 soon
after the quake and one of 6.0 late on Sunday. There were at least 80 buildings
collapsed in the town about 60km north of Van. Some survivors of the earthquake
complained of a lack of heavy machinery which they need to remove cement floors.

According to the Washington post, Turkish workers started to flatten the damaged buildings and clearing the debris of
collapsed on Sunday. Authorities have urged survivors not to enter damaged
buildings. Rain and snow brought more hardship to thousands of homeless people
were still struggling in tent. Britain, Ireland, Iran, Germany, Russia and
Japan were among other contributors. Even Israel, which has a troubled
political relationship with Turkey, sent more emergency housing units and warm
clothing on two planes Saturday night.

The CNN reported, now more than 4,100 people were injured in last Sunday’s 7.2-magnitude quake.  According the latest reports, at least 455
people died in the town of Ercis. Ercis rescue efforts have been under way
throughout the week: 231 people have been found alive in the rubble, Eighty-four
buildings have collapsed in Ercis and six more in the city of Van.

Relief crews have distributed 40,721 tents — including 6,088 from abroad — and 159,360 blankets to
survivors. Turkey’s government plans to have a new law to parliament which
would help the evacuation of settlements in areas at high risk of natural
disaster. Laws governing construction and property management would also be
revised under the Urban Transformation Law. The United States and China are the
latest countries to offer. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered the U.S.
European Command to provide humanitarian relief supplies including blankets,
cots, sleeping bags and hygiene kits. Chinese government sent $1 million to
Turkey and the Red Cross Society of China has donated $50,000.


Fears Will Be Realized Today

In Uncategorized on October 31, 2011 at 5:46 am

Today’s the day. What many people have feared and few embraced is finally happening: the population of world is expected to hit 7 billion today. A majority of the world fears this milestone in the population because they believe that the world will soon if not already have more people than available resources. With a population that makes up one fifth of the worlds’ population (or maybe now- one seventh) among other things, China has drawn the world’s attention; especially since China only holds ten percent of the world’s arable land and already struggles with feeding its gigantic population of 1.34 billion people.

As one Chinese professor pointed out, had China not installed its One-Child Policy then we would have already faced our current fear- five years earlier. The Chinese professor, Zhai Zhenwu, predicts that the population of China sans the One-Child Policy would be 1.7 billion today instead of the significantly smaller, but still impressive number of 1.34 billion.

While supporters of the act such as Professor Zhai Zhenwu applaud the One-Child Policy for its role in putting off the inevitable, the critics of the policy point out that a smaller population is not always a better population. One of the issues is the pressure that the policy is putting on the significantly smaller population. Instead of two or three sibilings supporting their parents and grandparents as they grow older as is the custom in China, now all of the pressure is on that one child to support not only himself/herself, but also his/her own child, spouse, parents, and grandparents. What this means is that the one child will push him/herself in school to the point that they become socially inept. In addition to producing socially inept children, China faces another problem: gender inequality. Right now for every 100 females born in China there are 123 males born which means that ten or fifteen years from now there will be a grand total of 30 million bachelors in China.

Since the population of world is expected to taper off, will China start to remove its One-Child Policy to compensate for its lack of children? Or will China run out of resources before they can rectify this problem? Only time will tell.


FlorCruz, Jaime. “China Copes with Promise and Perils of One-child Policy – Page 2 – CNN.”Featured Articles from CNN. 28      Oct. 2011. Web. 30 Oct. 2011. <http://articles.cnn.com/2011-10-28/asia/world_asia_china-one-child_1_family-                 planning-policy-population-policy-china/2?_s=PM:ASIA>.

Imran Khan: The Answer to Pakistan’s Political Corruption?

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Over 100,000 people attend Imran Rhan's anti-US and anti-corruption rally.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Earlier today, over 100,000 thousand Pakistanis gathered in the town of Lahore to rally against the US, lead by politician and former national cricket player, Imran Khan. Khan, founder of the Movement for Justice Party, blamed Pakistan’s allegiance with the United States for the “homegrown Taliban insurgency” (The Huffington Post). With his pin-point target for the corruption in Pakistan coupled with a gigantic theatrical performance, Khan was able to appeal the young elite in the city and get a great turnout, putting him on the political map in Pakistan.

Corruption in Pakistan has been prevalent for the past couple of decades, mostly dealing with the Taliban and Al Qaeda. It is thought that the Pakistani government is secretly funding and protecting these organizations, and Imran Rhan, the people of Pakistan, and the US are working together to break apart the corruption. Not long ago, Osama Bin Laden, former leader of Al-Qaeda who was in hiding for almost 10 years, was discovered in the medium sized city of Abbottabad, Pakistan, “home to a large Pakistani military base and a military academy of the Pakistani Army” (The New York Times). How could have been hiding in the heart of a military base without the government having any knowledge of his presence?

Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of the State, traveled to Pakistan earlier this month to meet with the Prime Minister. The US is pressuring the Pakistani government to take charge and start working towards absolving the issues of terror. However, the Pakistani military’s lack of action against the acts of terror which continue to reoccur within the country can only suggest that they are not only disinterested in the matter, but that they could potentially be harboring terrorists. (The Huffington Post)

But, Rhan’s reasoning for the corruption in the government is centered around the US-Pakistan alliance. Association with US fuels the fire of hatred from organizations like the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, who set out to terrorize Pakistan in vengeance. He runs on a platform of change, “desperately trying to save his country from certain doom” (The Washington Post).

So where does this leave the citizens of Pakistan?

Rhan’s promise of change and correction of government from the inside out gives the people hope. Their days are filled with terror, never knowing when the next suicide bomber will strike. With such a chaotic government, it seems as if the Pakistani people are willing to turn towards anyone who shows promise of leading them out of the mess they are in now.

The War in Afghanistan: Where Do We Stand?

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2011 at 4:53 pm

On October 21st, United States President, Barack Obama, announced that most US troops will be “home for the holidays” from Iraq. He states that the “tide of war is receding,” referring to the two wars the US are currently fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. But what does this mean for the War Against Terrorism in Afghanistan that has just passed its 10th anniversary?

To this day, life in Afghanistan continues to be highly characterized by two independent, yet intertwined, military and political groups: Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Both organizations believe in a government that strictly controls religious and social freedoms — for example, the Taliban forces women to wear burqas in public and Al Qaeda recruits young muslims to overthrow un-Islamic regimes (The Cheers).

The Huffington Post reports a Taliban suicide bombing attack in Kabul, Afghanistan — a car filled with explosives was driven into a NATO bus, killing 17. This attack was one of 12 suicide bombing attacks in Kabul in the last year alone, “an apparent campaign to weaken confidence in the Afghan government as it prepares to take over its own security ahead of a 2014 deadline for the U.S. and other NATO countries to withdraw their troops or move them into support roles” (The Huffington Post). Kamir Amiri, head of Kabul hospitals, reported that this attack took the lives of four Afghans, including two children, while leaving eight other Afghans, also including two children, wounded.

Although troops have been withdrawn from Afghanistan, it is clear from the story above the US has not finished its job there. The Al-Qaeda and the Taliban still remain powerful and omnipresent, therefore the US remains stern on abolishing these terrorist attacks. Hundreds of thousands of citizens in Afghanistan live in the fear that they may fall victim to these heinous acts of terror. 10 years later, significant progress has been made, but the job is still not finished.

To read more about Obama’s announcement of the withdrawal of US troops in Iraq, check out this article!

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