Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Monday, December 30, 2013
Friday, December 27, 2013
CNN has the story and video here,
The story again reinforces the danger to many American technical workers taking assignments in unstable parts of the world, particularly those with religious conflict. How good you get volunteers to ever go?
Thursday, December 26, 2013
Ensaf Haidir has apparently originally told reporters that her husband had been sentenced to death already.
Basawi had started the "Free Saudi Liberals" website in 2008.
I do wonder if a tourist with visible blogs could be at risk if he entered Saudi Arabia, for example, for work.
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Countries are bad for different reasons. Consider North Korea, Syria, Iran, Somalia, and then Uganda, which, despite the horrific law just passed there, sounds relatively more civilized.
No question, any country like this makes a haven for terrorists who could show up here.
The thinking seems to be, "it's my way, or no way."
Saturday, December 21, 2013
I have reviews of two films on the Uganda situation on Sept. 15 and Oct. 25, 2013 on the Movies blog. Uganda is said to have the worst legal environment, but other countries, like Nigeria, have oppressive laws. At one time Nigeria actually had active branches of Metropolitan Community Church. South Africa seems to be the only major country that has turned around.
In India, the country's supreme court has overturned a ruling invalidating its sodomy laws, and said that this matter belongs to its parliament.
CNN re-aired its "Wine to Water" Heroes project tonight, a water project set in South Sudan and Uganda. The Nile River starts in Uganda. It would be impossible for an LGBT person to be sent to work on a water engineering project or volunteer in a country like this. Think about the implications if you put "2 and together"/
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Friday, December 6, 2013
On Sunday, Dec. 8, Bill Keller has a similar column on o, 8 of the Review Section, "Nelson Mandela, Communist", link here.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
In some interior areas in China, the government does not allow home or personal Internet access at all
The writer describes a journey by bus in Sichuan Province in China, far inland, where people apparently cannot get Internet at all for home use, either wirelessly on cell phones or from cable. These regions tend to be near Tibet, where the government fears more unrest. Even so, real estate and corporate development goes on, without any expectation that citizens need to be able to go online. It's like the 80s here.
This would be a bigger problem when corporations transfer people to work here, especially from western countries.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
NBC News has a detailed story by Pete Williams here.
In the US and western countries, payloads of radioactive materials are supposed to be moved under tight security and controls. That isn't possible in Mexico.
Apparently the payload as medical. There is no direct evidence that it was stolen to bring it into the US, and the thieves may not know what they have. It would be intercepted at the US border.
Authorities said that it would difficult to make this into a dirty bomb, but perhaps barely conceivable.
The IAEA has a paper on the importance of sealing radioactive sources, here.
CNN has a story by Rafael Romo and others, with some discussion of past incidents, here.
The incident occurred early Monday AM, which could mean that there could have been enough time for the vehicle to be driven to the US by now. It's not clear when border authorities were told.
The scenario reminds me of the 1975 film "Sorcerer" which I saw in NYC.
Update: Later this evening
Multiple media sources report recovery of the truck, and of the canister with radioactive materials in an unpopulated area near the site of the theft. It is not completely clear whether all of the radioactive material has been recovered.
Sources claim that smaller thefts trucks carrying hazardous materials do in Mexico, and none have looked for the materials. But Charles Krauthammer wrote on Fox News that it is conceivable Hezbollah could try a theft like this, and there is some indication a theft was planned. Why was material like this carried without GPS and in an unsecured manner?
The US Department of Homeland Security (and Customs) is assisting Mexico with the police investigation.
Monday, December 2, 2013
Because of lack of development, most of the power is hydroelectric, which ironically sounds like a good thing for the environment and sustainability. But not for the economy there now.
Michael Gerson has an op-ed on the CAR in the Washington Post on Friday Dec. 13, "The Central African Republic needs our help", link here. It could become the next haven for international terrorists.
Update: January 9. 2014
NBC News has a video on the Central African Republic.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Population debate from right wing in the west leads to calls for "the right babies", fearing Islamic fertility
Natalie Angier has a couple of bug articles about families and demographics in the US in the New York Tiimes Tuesday Nov 26, link here. A sidebar article on p. D3, "Wanting marriage and pursuit of happiness" notes that single men used to be driven out of town in the 19th century unless they boarded with respectable families, and were regarded with suspicion as late as the 50s (really alter). Marital fatherhood was viewed as a moral requirement as much as fidelity.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Iran deal generally accepted; young adults often skeptical of working overseas in developing countries
Monday, November 18, 2013
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Monday, November 11, 2013
The media does list many relief organizations. Can churches organize on-the-ground relief trips? Only the largest organizations have been able to do this for Haiti, and this is likely to be true of this disaster. Right now, this is a job for military humanitarian missions, starting with Navy hospital ships. But a catastrophe can be a great equalizer. The Philippines did have problems with the presence of Al Qaeda after 9/11.
I must say that during some portions of my own adult life, people have sometimes talked about immigrants from this country with some degree of flippancy.
The film "La Source" about relief in Haiti (Movies blog Oct. 26, 2013) seems relevant.
I'm told by business contacts that the areas well south of the path of the eye of the typhoon are functioning and have power and services, despite some damage.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Friday, November 8, 2013
European Court rules on asylum for LGBT people from African countries with harsh anti-gay laws that are enforced
Update: Nov 12
The International Business Times reports that the UK has become overzealous in asking immigrants seeking political asylum for being gay to prove they are gay with graphic materials, in this story by Palash Ghosh, "Do Ask, Do Tell: UK Authorities asking 'gay' asylum seekers to prove sexual orientation, link here.
Sunday, November 3, 2013
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Don't forget pandemics. The biggest threats are probably natural. Why aren't we more aggressive in making vaccines for avian influenza and SARS-like infections?
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Journalist in Morocco arrested for "indirect" hyperlink (with degrees of separation) to supposed terror site
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Friday, October 11, 2013
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Monday, October 7, 2013
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Friday, September 27, 2013
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Save the Children offers sponsorships of individual children overseas; is this tantamount to parenthood?
The appeal had an expiration date of Oct. 15, 2013. Real kids don't have expiration dates.
Talking on a child would mean a career change. I would have to learn what it is like to "sell things" to support a family, in a society of people who pretend to be self-sufficient and not need anything, not want to be bothered in pursuing their own agendas. Salesmanship, it seems, used to be part of "real life".