World News Brief, Friday May 1

Nepalis protest slow delivery of aid; North Korea's nuclear reactor may be operational again; Japanese PM appeals to US to back TPP, citing 'deep regret' over World War II; French soldiers accused of sexually abusing refugee children from Central African Republic; another US presidential candidate announces run for White House; and more


Frustration Mounts Over Slow Aid Delivery in Nepal

Nepalis protested (Al Jazeera) against the slow delivery of humanitarian aid on Wednesday, blocking traffic and confronting police, as fears over food, water, and tent shortages surface in the wake of Saturday's earthquake. Assistance efforts have been hampered (AP) by poor weather, fuel shortages, and road and airport congestion. The UN has appealed (UN News) for $415 million in emergency assistance, as the quake's death toll rose above 5,500 on Thursday. Meanwhile, a rescue team in Kathmandu recovered (Reuters) a teenage boy who had been trapped beneath rubble for five days. Officials said the odds of finding more survivors were fading.


"With the rains and floods, in the absence of appropriate waste treatment and sewer systems, will come the ancient scourge of Nepal, Vibrio cholerae, the bacteria that cause diarrhea, fever, and dehydration. If safe water systems cannot quickly be erected the impact will surely be dreadful," writes CFR's Laurie Garrett.

"Once things settle down, however, it is imperative to shift from the direct delivery of goods to efforts that help families get back on their feet. Too often after disasters, families are marooned in shelters, where helplessness and hopelessness take over. Reopening small businesses and rebuilding homes cannot happen fast enough," says U.S. Institute of Peace President Nancy Lindborg in a CFR Interview.

"As for Nepal’s own government, it faces huge challenges. Rescue and immediate relief operations are now making way for more sustained help for the survivors. Distributing materials for proper shelter and ensuring good sanitation are urgent priorities before the monsoon rains arrive in a couple of months. The sowing season also starts soon, so distributing seeds and farm supplies is pressing," writes the Economist


North Korean Reactor May Be Operational Again

Satellite images taken between January and April show that a North Korean nuclear reactor capable of yielding material for atomic weapons may be operating (Reuters) again, according to U.S.-based experts. Imagery from last year had indicated it may have been shut down. Meanwhile, Russian officials said on Thursday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un cancelled (VOA) a planned visit to Moscow for Russia's Victory Day next month; the visit would have been Kim's first oversees trip since coming to power in 2011.

JAPAN: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appealed (WSJ) to U.S. lawmakers to back the Trans-Pacific Partnership and offered "deep repentance" over Japan's role in World War II in his address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday. Meanwhile, an aide to South Korean President Park Geun-hye said Seoul seeks to mend ties (Yonhap) with Tokyo, emphasizing the need to improve regional security ties.

Tokyo and Washington should also encourage reconciliation and peace in the Asia-Pacific region, writes CFR's Sheila A. Smith in this blog post.


French soildiers accused of sexually abusing refugee children

Vermont man Bernie Sanders to run for US president

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