January 18, 2012 |
It took false reports of mass suicide for Mexicans to rally in great number to the aid of the legendary Tarahumara Indians, who are facing a season of starvation. But publicity about their plight has exposed the chronic marginalization and growing perils, including drug violence, faced by many indigenous communities, activists say. Members of the Tarahumara community "die every year from hunger; it's just that this year, it's worse," said Liliana Flores, a founder of the El Barzon organization, which works with poor campesinos and indigenous peoples.
December 19, 2011 |
The unexpected death of North Korea's cult-like leader has added a new layer of risk in Asia, a region that has generally been a bright spot in a slowing global economy. Underscoring that concern, stock markets in South Korea and elsewhere in Asia sank on the news Monday that Kim Jong Il had died at age 69, ending two decades of rule marked by devastating famine at home and skirmishes with South Korea, the U.S. and other countries over North Korea's nuclear weapons program. Although experts expect Asian stocks to recover fairly quickly, some also warned of more potential financial shocks as North Korea, one of the world's poorest and most repressed countries, embarks on a dicey dynastic transition from "Dear Leader" to his young and inexperienced son, Kim Jong Un. PHOTOS: Kim Jong Il | 1942-2011 "I think we will be entering a period of heightened uncertainty, a possibility of more bad things happening … like another nuclear test, and those could disrupt regional markets," said Marcus Noland, an economist and North Korea expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.
July 7, 2011 |
As humanitarian groups warn of increasing food shortages in North Korea, the authoritarian government faces diminishing prospects for international aid, with allegations from both the United States and South Korea that donations rarely reach the poor and starving. The European Union recently announced a plan to provide $14.5 million in emergency aid to the impoverished nation of 24 million as officials expressed concern at food shortages caused by seasonal flooding and a severe winter.
March 18, 2011 |
Japanese officials are girding the nation for months of hardship, warning about ongoing rolling electricity blackouts and asking quake refugees to move elsewhere in the country, as it became clear that even temporary homes won't be quickly built. About 380,000 people were living in shelters. In Miyagi prefecture, one of the worst-hit, Gov. Yoshihiro Murai asked survivors to relocate, because replacement housing would not be ready for as long as a year, local media said. Photos: In Japan, life amid crisis "Living conditions will improve if they move away.
March 16, 2011 |
A series of grim developments hit a shaken Japan on Wednesday, including reports that high-level radiation may have leaked from a second damaged nuclear reactor and emergency workers being forced to temporarily abandon the crippled complex. The setbacks aggravated public fears that authorities might not be able to contain the expanding nuclear crisis. Japan's chief Cabinet secretary, Yukio Edano, said radioactive steam might have escaped from the containment unit of a second reactor at the Fukushima No.1 (Daiichi)
February 9, 2011 |
Each morning when he opens his eyes, and at odd moments throughout his day, Lee Jae-keun thinks of the boy. Does he have his mother's round face? Does he know who his real father is? Is he happy? Then the guilt invades, his mind replaying the desperate half-century-old gamble taken by a single parent who believed he had run out of options. The year was 1962. His young wife had died of starvation and Lee was scratching to care for his sickly 8-month-old boy. He begged for rice at a Buddhist temple.