Good morning. We are talking about the consequences of the earthquake in Afghanistan and the severe flooding in China.
Afghanistan inventories earthquake
Afghan officials said rescue efforts came to an end after an earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale that struck early Wednesday morning and reportedly killed more than 1,000 people.
As hopes of finding survivors faded, Taliban officials sought help from aid organizations. The government said supplies had already arrived from Iran, Qatar and Pakistan. The US, UN and WHO also took steps to help. South Korea pledged $1 million in humanitarian aid.
The difficult terrain, weather and deep poverty in the hard-hit areas of Paktika Province, in the remote south-east, present a particular challenge. The area is also far from many clinics or hospitals that can help the injured. Here are recent updates and photos.
Background: Before the Taliban came to power, foreign aid funded 75 percent of the Afghan government’s budget. The Taliban has struggled to attract foreign funds: Western donors have protested edicts banning girls from attending secondary schools and curtailing women’s rights.
victims: Hawa, a 30-year-old mother, survived with her 1-year-old daughter. Four of her other children died, as did 17 other relatives. “I’ve lost everything, my whole world, my whole family, I have no hope for the future,” Hawa told The Times.
What’s next: The UN warned that a lack of clean drinking water and sanitation could trigger a cholera outbreak.
Zelensky addressed African leaders
After repeated requests to do so, Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, addressed the African Union this week.
Zelensky faced an uphill battle, lobbying leaders close to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. Many African governments are reluctant to condemn Russia and have abstained from UN votes condemning the invasion and characterizing it as a war that does not directly affect the continent.
Understanding the war between Russia and Ukraine better
Zelensky focused on the economic consequences for Africa: high food prices caused by the conflict between two of the world’s largest grain producers, which have exacerbated food insecurity.
“Africa is actually held hostage,” Zelensky said, according to The Associated Press.
Drought in Somalia and increasing food insecurity in the Sahel region have brought into sharp focus the impact of rising food prices, especially wheat. Rising fuel costs have further strained the continent’s burgeoning middle class and urban poor.
“They are trying to use you and the suffering of the people to put pressure on the democracies that have sanctioned Russia,” Zelensky said in a video address.
The response was subdued. Moussa Faki Mahamat, the African Union president, reiterated the call for dialogue in a tweet posted after the meeting.
It was in stark contrast to the enthusiastic audience Putin received earlier this month. Pinned to Faki’s Twitter timeline is a photographer of him and President Macky Sall of Senegal met with Putin in Sochi. Speaking as the rotating political head of the African Union, Sall called for an end to sanctions on Russia, citing Putin as his “best friend Vladimir”.
Extreme weather hits China
Severe floods in southern China have disrupted the lives of nearly half a million people, as cars and houses are flooded. In Shaoguan, a manufacturing center, factories were ordered to stop production with a water level of 50 years, state television reported.
Heat waves in the northern and central provinces pushed air conditioning demand to record highs. In Henan, cement roads gave way last week as surface temperatures along the road soared to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. It resembled the aftermath of an earthquake, local media reported.
The concurrent weather emergencies reflect a global trend of increasingly frequent and prolonged periods of extreme weather due to climate change.
Background: In recent decades, China has transformed farmlands into cities and lifted millions of people out of poverty in rural areas. But it has also become the world’s largest polluter, emitting greenhouse gases greater than all developed countries combined.
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India’s most famous fashion designer, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, has long dominated the country’s bridal industry with haute, maximalist traditionalism.
Now, for his American debut, he wants to establish himself as something of an Indian Ralph Lauren. “He sold the idea of a good American life to middle-class Americans,” Mukherjee said, “and I sold the idea of a good Indian life to middle-class Indians.”
ART AND IDEAS
The lessons of Zen art
My colleague Jason Farago visited ‘Mind Over Matter: Zen in Medieval Japan’, an exhibition in Washington, DC. He called it “a show of delightful absence: a stark and beautiful exhibition where form is immersed in silence and ego dissolves in empty space.”
The show at the Freer Gallery of Art – part of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art – is a good introduction to Japanese painting from the 14th to 17th centuries. Jason, a critic in general, emphasized its contemporary implications.
“Today, Zen has become a Western abbreviation for peace and tranquility, all too reducible as a lifestyle hack,” he writes. But Zen is the most purified and austere tradition in Mahayana Buddhism. Practitioners try to clear the mind through meditation (Zen, in Japanese), until one reaches the highest state of consciousness, known as satori.
“For all their beauty, these idealized and streamlined Zen paintings can best be understood as the efforts of individual monks to express and stimulate the non-thinking that even painting would reveal as just another part of this cycle of life. and death,” writes Jason. † “They don’t teach a lesson, or rather, they offer the original lesson of Zen: the lesson of nothingness.”
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to cook?
That’s it for today’s briefing. Until next time. — Amelia and Lynsey
PS Yonette Joseph moves from Seoul to Mexico City to expand our global editorial coverage.
The latest episode of “The Daily” deals with a Supreme Court case that could doom America’s climate targets.
You can reach Amelia, Lynsey and the team at briefing.†