An interesting part of travel is reading news about countries you’ve traveled in and having a new kind of affinity for what is going on there. It also means I tend to seek out news from places we have traveled in a way I wouldn’t have previously. Here are some examples of news that have raised my eyebrows recently:
- In an ongoing (and almost certainly futile) attempt to stop its supermarkets running out of key goods, Venezuela is to start requiring grocery shoppers to submit fingerprints when they buy stuff, so they can catch folks who are hoarding.
- In a mark of the ferocious nationalism that its government has cultivated, a recent poll in China found a majority of Chinese respondents thought their country would go to war with Japan by 2020. I sure hope not.
- TAP Air Portugal is starting nonstop flights from Lisbon to Bogota. You probably don’t care about that, though. You may be more interested that the US has withdrawn its request to extradite a man they thought was money-laundering, but it turns out is a carpenter who can’t use a computer.
- China claims to be phasing out its practice of harvesting kidneys from death penalty victims to use for patients who need them. This strikes me as a difficult ethical issue. If you accept the validity of the death penalty then to me taking organs seems okay.