The Stream is on the ground at SXSW 2014, investigating tech trends, watching provocative panels, and taking in the Austin vibe. Follow us here on Tumblr for exclusive photos, updates, and behind the scenes notes from the team.
KARACHI, Pakistan — Tahira Yasmeen wraps a shawl around her face as the driver inches our car through mud and over rocks, maneuvering the bouncing white Corolla down a lane in Machar Colony, one of the most dangerous areas in Gadap Town’s Union Council 4 (UC-4). The impoverished accretion of settlements on the edge of Karachi is home to some 300,000 people, mostly Afghan refugees and, since 2008, tribal Pashtuns fleeing war in South Waziristan and other tribal areas. It is here, say United Nations health officials, that the global fight against the resurgent polio virus will be decided. So far, that fight is being lost.
Men peer into the car as they walk to attend Friday prayers in a ramshackle cinder block mosque that sits on the ridge of a small hill. Below, sludge floats along a stream that routinely floods the area with raw sewage. Young children, ubiquitous, some blond and light-eyed, play barefoot outside small homes, many no more than wood planks topped with thatched palm fronds. Over the past three years, the Pakistani Taliban have extended their control in a part of this megacity — long neglected by local and provincial governments — through intimidation and efficient, often brutal, justice.
Demonstrators in #Chicago and #Kiev gathered to honor those killed and injured in #Ukraine protests. Kiev’s health department says 67 people were killed since Tuesday, with at least 39 dead in Thursday’s clashes. http://alj.am/1jT8jcR
Tomorrow Dr. Kevin Fong, author of Extreme Medicine, speaks to us about the medical science of surviving extreme heat, cold, space and deep water. He also goes into detail about escape training when he did a simulation of a helicopter sinking in the ocean. We’ll save that anecdote for tomorrow, but in his discussion about deep water he says:
"Suddenly, you have a new respect for both these things that you’re traveling in over water, the ocean itself, and you realize how hostile that is as an environment. It’s not there to support us. It’s pretty inimical to human life, really. We’re not supposed to be in it, we’re only just about to be on it."