Top of the Morning: Singapore Paralyzed By Record Air Pollution

Top news from DAWNS Digest

Singapore Paralyzed By Record Air Pollution

Schools are closed and relations between countries are strained. “Smog fueled by raging Indonesian blazes has hit Singapore and Malaysia many times, often in the middle of the year, but the severity of this week’s conditions has strained diplomatic ties. Officials in Singapore say Jakarta must do more to halt fires on Sumatra island started by plantation owners and farmers to clear land cheaply. ‘This is now the worst haze that Singapore has ever faced,’ Singapore Environment Minister Vivian Balakrishnan wrote on his Facebook page. ‘No country or corporation has the right to pollute the air at the expense of Singaporeans’ health and wellbeing.’” (AP

Congress Kills US Food Aid Reform Plan

It was a good idea while it lasted. “The US House of Representatives on Wednesday rejected an amendment to the farm bill to promote the use of more locally grown food in poor countries over the controversial practice of shipping US-grown commodities. The Food Aid Reform Act, introduced by Ed Royce, the House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, and Karen Bass, on the House Africa Sub-committee, would have eliminated previous requirements that food aid be grown in the US and transported on US-flagged ships.” (Guardian