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Pakistan Facing Climate Change Catastrophe They Didn’t Create

Pakistan produces less than 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and this year the climate change ministry budget was cut by ⅓. Now, ⅓ of the country is under water because of climate change, while the country’s 7,200 glaciers are melting. With lack of planning from the government and infrastructural weaknesses, the country is facing a $10B catastrophe. And that’s not including thousands dead and millions displaced, including millions of already displaced Afghan refugees. The country's already struggling economy is at risk of defaulting, and now health officials are warning of major outbreaks of disease.

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Does the US Owe Reparations as Climate Change’s Worst Polluter?

Last week the US Senate passed the largest investment for climate change ever, putting $369B into clean energy initiatives. It’s not as nearly as much as China has already spent, and doesn’t include helping poor countries cope with global warming, an act of reparations some say the US owes as the world’s largest consumer and polluter. The Inflation Reduction Act promises to private from fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, by up to 40 % by 2030. This is good for every single person, especially front-line communities in Asia who bear the brunt of the climate crisis like extreme heat and severe flooding. Is Biden’s latest climate bill going to be enough to reverse the effects of climate change globally?

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300+ Taiwanese Victims Trafficked To Cambodia

If Cambodia does not recognize Taiwan as an independent country, how successful will Cambodian authorities be in identifying over 300 Taiwanese victims trafficked, subjected to illegal labor, torture, and sexual assault? Taiwanese police have arrested 16 suspects who are believed to be involved in international crime rings trafficking Taiwanese people to Cambodia. The government says the victims are trapped in Cambodia, after being lured by scams promising high-paying jobs. Victims also reported being resold to other countries in the region. Last week, 9 victims returned home to Taiwan after being rescued during a layover in Thailand. Cambodian authorities said they’re launching a nationwide campaign to identify victims. But rescue attempts have been difficult since Cambodia does not recognize Taiwan as an independent country and the two governments don’t have diplomatic ties.

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After 10 Years In Hiding, Salman Rushdie Stabbed On Stage

Salman Rushdie, author of ‘The Satanic Verses and ‘Midnight’s Children’’, is fighting life-changing injuries to his heart, liver, and eyes after being repeatedly stabbed on-stage while giving a lecture. While the suspect, 24-year-old Hadi Matar, was just indicted by a grand jury on Thursday August 18, he told the New York Post that his motivation came from Rushdie’sattacks on Islam and its beliefs. Rushdie’s controversial 1988 novel left Muslims feeling outraged and that the book’s author was claiming verses of the Qur’an were “the work of the Devil”. ‘Satanic Verses’ is a phrase unknown to Muslims, and coined by Orientalist Western academics who were specializing in the study of cultures considered Eastern. Rushdie’s title immediately sparked protest because it refers to a legend about Prophet Muhammad that both Sunni and Shiite Muslims believe are fabricated by idolators. Rushdie’s book was also considered offensive because it portrayed weakness in the Prophet Muhammad, and Muslims felt that Rushdie was questioning Muhammad’s credibility as the messenger of God. The book was banned in many parts of the world, including Iran, India and Pakistan, and former Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini even issued a fatwa - or decree - calling for his death. Though the Iranian government has since separated itself from the fatwa, the price on Rushdie’s head recently increased to over $3M. For nearly a decade, the award-winning author went into hiding and lived under police protection, though in recent years became more lax about this, even venturing outside without bodyguard protection at times. Now, the outspoken defender of writers’ freedom of expression is living openly in New York, and once again at the center of free speech debate in literature.

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South Korean Basement Apartments “Banjiha” Banned After Fatal Floods

Devastating floods in South Korea have left 2,000 people displaced and at least 14 people dead. Tragically included are a family of three with a 13-year-old girl, who drowned after being trapped in a ‘banjiha’ or semi-underground apartment, the kind of unit prone to flooding, as highlighted in films like Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite. Last week, the Seoul government announced that banjiha units for residential uses will be banned in the future. Critics say it’s too little too late, and ignores the larger issues of inequality and the housing crisis that disproportionately affects low-income families. The torrential rain in Seoul was the heaviest in 115 years. At least 6 people are missing, and thousands are struggling to find shelter. Even more heavy rain is expected this week, with flood and landslide warnings across South Korea.