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Typhoon Aftermath will be Aquino’s Legacy

By Pauline Eadie

On 8 November 2013 super typhoon Yolanda (or Haiyan as it is known outside the Philippines) cut a swathe through the Visayan region. Yolanda was one of the strongest typhoons ever to make landfall and the damage left in her wake was catastrophic. At the time of writing more than 7000 are missing or dead, vast areas of agricultural land has been devastated and whole towns have been destroyed. International media reports have focused on the city of Tacloban, which was virtually demolished by the storm. Yolanda has been a public relations disaster for Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, this short article will examine why.

Democracy is still a conversation worth having: Teaching in Asia

By Michael Connors

In April 2009 the Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan had this to say at the China-based Boao Forum: “I’m gradually beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled…If we are not being controlled, we’ll just do what we want.” He went on to criticise protests in Hong Kong and the generally unruly tone of the place.

That’s why Jackie Chan is one of my favourite political philosophers. In a way that no drone from the school of dialectical materialism could have encapsulated, he explained the pressing need for authoritarian guardianship over the Chinese people (on the mainland and elsewhere).  The dialectic always gets karate-chopped with Jackie.

Why Shakespeare?

vanessa pupavac november 2013

In Huxley’s Brave New World Shakespeare’s works have become banned books. In the words of the Controller of the Brave New World: ‘civilization has absolutely no need of nobility or … Read the rest

Typhoon in Philippines reveals underlying political failings

By Pauline Eadie

On Friday 8 November super typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) traversed the Philippines leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. The Philippines lies in the western Pacific and is the first major landfall above the equator before continental Asia. The Philippines is an archipelago comprising of thousands of islands. It is directly in the path regular typhoons that roll in from the Pacific. The capital Manila often bears the brunt of the typhoon season but this time the weather system struck land further south in the Visayan region. The storm came hot on the heels of a 7.2 earthquake in the same region in October. The earthquake demolished many historic buildings, left over 200 dead and many of the survivors were still living in tents when the typhoon hit.

The Eastern Visayan town of Tacloban has become the poster town for Yolanda in the international media. Over 10,000 are feared dead although there is no immediate prospect of an official death toll given the chaotic situation on the ground across a wide area. Despite the warnings many people in Tacloban were unable to find adequate shelter as the storm hit. People were advised to head for concrete structures. One of those chosen as a refuge, the airport, was completely destroyed by the strength of the storm. The images coming out of Tacloban are reminiscent of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The devastation to the city is near complete. Dead bodies litter the streets and virtually no structures are left standing.  A similar although less extreme picture is emerging from other areas in the region.