Monday, April 30, 2012

Asma Assad

Asma Assad, the 36-year-old wife of the Syrian president for the past decade offered a veneer of respectability to one of the world's most opaque and ruthless dictatorships. The Syrian government's ferocious crackdown on a year-old uprising has shattered the image of her as a glamorous, reform-minded woman who could help bring progressive values to a country that has been ruled by the Assad family dynasty for more than 40 years.

Halsema Highway

Located on the island of Luzon, the Halsema Highway runs through the Central Cordillera Valley in the Philippines from Baguio to Bontoc and farther on toward Tabuk and Tuguegarao. Landslides and rock falls are common, often stranding motorists for long periods of time. Many portions of the road are still unpaved, although work is supposedly in progress to bring about some improvements, and there are plenty of drop-offs that are steep enough to kill you.

Foggy conditions paired with the lack of much-needed guardrails in certain areas only complicate the Halsema Highway’s already dangerous conditions. Local accounts also indicate that buses traversing this route are less than considerate when it comes to road rules, so watch your step