First: Thank you to everyone for wishing me a happy birthday! I had classes, so I wasn't exactly free to do whatever I wanted, but I got a vanilla cake and well-wishes--that's good enough for me. (That sounds too Pollyanna-like--I received presents from my parents and grandmother, too.) It's strange, though, since I feel as though I was ten years old only a few years ago, not a whole decade. Supposedly time only passes more quickly from now on. I believe in Science, and thus disregard that as complete and utter nonsense!
Second, and more disturbing: Today, April 10th, a plane carrying Poland's President, over thirty other governmental and military figures, and several others crashed en route to Smolensk
, killing all 97 passengers. The trip was planned to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Katyn Massacre, in which over 20,000 Polish POWs were killed by the NKVD.
The government should "recover" easily as the Cabinet is still intact, and this is nowhere near as damaging as any natural disaster, but this is still a heavy blow to Poland and its people.
In other news, here are some updates about several ongoing situations of interest:Vignettes about the ongoing rebuilding efforts in Port-au-Prince
.Some more details on international donations to Haiti
. Supposedly, the spending and distribution of aid will be conducted with the Haitian government's full cooperation. What I hope for the most, however, was mentioned only at the very end of the article: a focus on making Haiti agriculturally self-sufficient, so it won't be forced to rely on artificially-cheap American imports.
I unfortunately wasn't able to find many updates on Chile's recovery efforts, but did find this: Henry Kissinger and Operation Condor
, a program of political assassinations conducted by Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina in the 1970s. Make of that what you will. (I have no idea what to make of it myself.)
Finally, the Iranian protest movement against the fraudulent June elections is still alive
, even though the street protests have been largely driven underground.