Every day America makes news in the foreign press. Here’s what people around the world — from the Philippines to India to Jamaica — have been reading about the U.S. this week:
- An inquiry by the Filipino Senate has concluded that a U.S. Navy contractor, Glenn Defense, illegally dumped toxic waste in a bay outside the city of Olongapo, according to a report in the Inquirer. The company’s CEO, a former vice admiral in the Filipino navy, claimed the waste was properly treated by the U.S. and put to sea outside of Filipino territorial waters. But the U.S. Navy, which is also investigating Glenn Defense, denied the CEO’s claim, saying it has no waste treatment facilities on its ships. The Senate concluded that the dump constituted a breach of environmental law and would harm marine life in the area. “Somebody should be answerable for this,” a senator told Glenn’s CEO.
- An Indian politician has “mocked” the American media for its portrayal of a man executed in India. Ajmal Kasab, the sole surviving Pakistani terrorist of the Mumbai hotel massacre in 2011, was hanged on the morning of Wednesday, November 21. The Times of India reports that Omar Abdullah, chief minister of the province of Jammu and Kashmir, criticized American news organizations for describing Kasab as “gunman,” rather than a “terrorist.” Expressing his dissatisfaction in a tweet, Abdullah wrote: “So Hamas are terrorists but Kasab was a gunman. Well done American media you really call it like it is. *sarcasm.” The Mumbai attack killed 166 people. Reports by the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News and the Associated Press all refered to Kasab as a “gunman” in their headlines about his execution, though all referred to the incident as a “terrorist act” within their stories.
- The American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson plans to visit Jamaica next week to deliver a lecture and sign copies of his book Space Chronicles, according to the Gleaner. The trip is part of a broader effort by the U.S. government to encourage science education in Jamaica. Tyson, the director of the planetarium of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, has become something of a pop icon in the U.S. over the last few years, hosting a television show on PBS and appearing on “The Daily Show,” “Jeopardy” and “Real Time with Bill Maher.” He also helps Superman discover his home planet Krypton in the newest comic book about the Man of Steel. “I am trying to convince people,” Tyson told Stephen Colbert in 2010, “not only the public, but lawmakers and people in power — that investing in the frontier of science, however remote it may seem in its relevance to what you’re doing today, is a way of stockpiling the seed corns of future harvests of this nation.”