DATU SALIBO, Philippines — The leader of the Islamic State in the Philippines, Isnilon Hapilon, is dead. The city his forces seized, Marawi, on the island of Mindanao, is all but completely back in government hands after months of scorched-earth combat.But the Islamic State’s influence in the Philippines is far from over, and communities on Mindanao are bracing for the next battles.
I work to understand and conserve ecosystems into the future. I have a PhD in Spatial and Quantitative Marine Ecology from the University of Queensland (Supervised by Prof. Peter Mumby). My expertise in marine ecology and conservation developed from the urge to understand drivers of ecosystem change. This urge evolved into a multidisciplinary set of skills, spanning extensive fieldwork, 3D remote sensing and advanced statistical modeling.
Down the street from my home in Bangkok, next to a tailor and a nail salon, sits a peculiar outpost of the North Korean state. Inside the Pyongyang Okryu restaurant, five tall, pale waitresses float among the tables in sparkly dresses and carefully cultivated smiles. “Are they really North Korean?” my wide-eyed young son asked, a bit too loudly, on a recent visit. He’d been reading about the country’s isolation and the fusillade of insults and threats exchanged by President Trump and Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader. A waitress overheard him and nodded, but her blank smile — a rictus of nonrevelation — never wavered.
On Tuesday, with devastation all around him, and without knowing what else to do, Siduri Winery’s Adam Lee walked 2½ miles to his winery in Santa Rosa.Lee walked through the Coffey Lane neighborhood. What he saw stunned him. Where once there had been houses, now lay smoldering piles of rubble and ash, skeletons of cars and charred trees. Nearby, a Hilton Hotel, the historic Round Barn, the Fountaingrove Inn and several shops lay in ruins.
Such hair as I have is cut from time to time by Mrs E, who runs a one-chair salon in my neighbourhood.She has been in business there for 40 years. She knows all about the history of the street and many of her clients have been coming to her for half a lifetime. The salon is shut on Mondays, when she cuts the hair of the elderly and disabled in various local institutions.
I am walking quietly through the forest. As I reach the edge of the trees there is a snort and a staccato of hoofbeats, and four horses materialise only metres in front of me: a foal, two mares and a dark stallion. The stallion, ears pricked, tosses his head and prances forward. As I crouch to pick up a branch, the stallion wheels and gallops off with the group. They hurdle an old stock fence, and almost as soon as their hoofs touch down, another big grey stallion comes towards them over the hill.