The death toll in this weekend's major earthquake in South Asia stands at around 20,000 and is expected to go much higher. We will bring you the latest, including a blog report on citizen journalists from the region.
It never ceases to amaze me that people in even the most remote of areas will blog or send camera phone images during a natural disaster. This earthquake is no exception, and the images on the web really personalize the situation--help you put real human faces on the suffering. These websites are, for many of us, an important catalyst to open our hearts and wallets.
That said, Mother Nature has not been kind this year, and many of us, and perhaps even many nations, are probably feeling charity fatigue. As my grandmother always says, "Do what you can do." Every little bit helps.
The situation in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan has also sparked a rather controversial conversation--how will the disaster impact the war on terror? It is no secret that pockets of jihadists dwell in the mountainous Kashmir region. Some have speculated that Osama bin Laden himself may be in that area. The AP has already reported that there is no evidence he was injured or in any way disrupted by the earthquake, but the mere reporting of that fact indicates it is on our minds.
Jihadwatch.org is a great website to gather international headlines on global terror. At the top of the blog today, a story from Pakistan that "jihad activities" are suspended in the Kashmir area so that the mujahideen can focus on relief efforts. Not to be flip about a very serious situation, but "jihad activities are suspended?" Is that like "alternate side parking rules are suspended today?"
And we'll be talking about Harriet Miers, who has found herself at the center of a storm in Washington. While the left seems to be cool and quiet on this nomination, the far right is out swinging--against her. We'll ask two pundits to explain the reasons why.
Finally, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, decisions need to be made about whether or not to reopen the Gulf area casinos, and where. It is a subject generating much debate. We'll take you there.