TOP STORIES Your Friday Briefing: After the Earthquake

Your Friday Briefing: After the Earthquake


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Good morning. We cover the aftermath of the earthquake in Afghanistan and the floods in China.

Afghan officials said rescue efforts were being phased out following a 5.9 magnitude earthquake that hit early Wednesday morning and is believed to have killed more than 1,000 people.

With hope of finding survivors fading, Taliban officials turned to relief agencies for help. The government said some supplies had already arrived from Iran, Qatar and Pakistan. The US, UN and WHO have also taken steps to help. South Korea promised $1 million for humanitarian aid.

Rough terrain, weather and deep poverty in the hard-hit areas of Paktika province in the far southeast pose a particular challenge. The area is also far from many clinics or hospitals that could help the wounded. Here are the latest updates and photos.

Background: Before the Taliban came to power, foreign aid funded 75 percent of the Afghan government’s budget. The Taliban have struggled to attract foreign funding: Western donors have resisted decrees banning girls from high schools and restricting women’s rights.

Victims: Khava, a 30-year-old mother, survived with her one-year-old daughter. Four of her other children died, as did 17 other relatives. “I lost everything, my whole world, my whole family, I have no hope for the future,” Khava told The Times.

What’s next: The UN has warned that a lack of clean drinking water and sanitation could lead to a cholera outbreak.

After repeated requests to do so, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky turned to the African Union this week.

Zelenskiy has faced an uphill battle lobbying leaders with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Many African governments have shied away from condemning Russia by abstaining from UN votes condemning the invasion as a war that does not directly affect the continent.

Zelenskiy focused on the economic implications for Africa: high food prices caused by the conflict between the world’s two largest grain producers, which have exacerbated food insecurity.

“Africa is actually taken hostage,” Zelensky said. according to the Associated Press.

The drought in Somalia and the growing food shortage in the Sahel region have drawn attention to the impact of rising food prices, especially on wheat. Rising fuel costs have further hit the continent’s emerging 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 imposed sanctions against Russia,” Zelensky said in a video message.

The response was muted. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chair of the African Union, repeated the call for dialogue in a tweet issued after the meeting.

This was in stark contrast to the enthusiastic audience Putin received earlier this month. Pinned to Faki’s timeline on Twitter photo him and Senegalese President Macky Sall at a meeting with Putin in Sochi. As the African Union’s rotating political head, Sall called for an end to sanctions against Russia, calling Putin his “dear friend Vladimir.”

Torrential flooding in southern China has disrupted the lives of nearly half a million people as rising water flooded cars and homes. In Shaoguang, a manufacturing hub, factories have been ordered to halt production as water levels reached a 50-year high, state television reported.

In the northern and central provinces, heatwaves have caused air-conditioning demand to hit a record high. Last week in Henan province, cement roads buckled as roadside temperatures reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit. According to local media, it was like the aftermath of an earthquake.

Simultaneous extreme weather events reflect a global trend towards more frequent and longer episodes of extreme weather events driven by climate change.

Background: In recent decades, China has transformed farmlands into cities, lifting millions of rural people out of poverty. But it has also become the world’s largest polluter, with greenhouse gas emissions exceeding those of all developed countries combined.

India’s most famous fashion designer, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, has long dominated the country’s bridal industry with a high degree of maximalist traditionalism.

Now, with his American debut, he wants to establish himself as India’s Ralph Lauren. “He sold the idea of ​​the good American life to middle-class Americans,” Mukherjee said, “and I sold the idea of ​​the good Indian life to middle-class Indians.”

My colleague Jason Farago visited the Mind Over Matter: Zen in Medieval Japan exhibition in Washington DC. space.”

The exhibition at the Freer Art Gallery, an affiliate of the Smithsonian 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 acronym for peace and tranquility, and it can all too easily be reduced to a lifestyle,” he writes. But Zen is the purest and most ascetic tradition of Mahayana Buddhism. Practitioners seek to clear the mind through meditation (Zen, in Japanese) until they reach a higher state of consciousness known as satori.

“For all their beauty, these idealized and streamlined Zen paintings are best understood as the efforts of individual monks to express and stimulate non-thought that would show even painting as another part of this cycle of life and death,” writes Jason. . “They don’t give any lesson, or rather, they offer the original lesson of Zen: the lesson of nothingness.”

That’s all for today’s briefing. See you next time. — Amelia and Lynsey

PS Yonette Joseph is moving from Seoul to Mexico City to expand our global editing reach.

The latest issue of The Daily focuses on a Supreme Court case that could jeopardize US climate goals.

You can contact Amelia, Linsey and the team at

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