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Other Voices, May 9, 2011

The pain is personal

The city of Tuscaloosa has grabbed national headlines and received visits from dignitaries — and the not so dignified — since the storm. The more rural parts of West Alabama that were thrashed by tornadoes also need our help.

We are glad to see they have not been forgotten. Rescue and relief workers, along with volunteers, have been busy ensuring that more lives are not lost and that basic needs are met.

Some of the surrounding counties that were hit by some of the 23 tornadoes that struck statewide are not faring so well. The strongest of the twisters was rated EF5 — the most powerful designation, with 200 mph winds — and killed 26 people on its 132-mile path from Marion County into Tennessee.

Assistance is pouring in from across the nation. Some of that is finding its way across the rural swaths of west Alabama, but we hope that the large agencies and federal officials are looking at the broader picture to make sure resources are distributed where they are needed most.

Likewise, we encourage volunteer groups in Tuscaloosa to reach out to our neighbors.

The scale of destruction in the city of Tuscaloosa and eastward is mind-boggling, and creates challenges of its own. However, for each family that has been affected, the pain is personal.

The opportunity for each of us to help is equally within reach.

The Tuscaloosa, Ala., News   (May 4)

Pakistan’s credibility

The U.S. military operation that killed Osama Bin Laden is a huge embarrassment for Pakistan. A foreign country has carried out a major military operation deep inside its territory. Despite attempts by some Pakistani officials to claim that their military and intelligence services were involved, all the evidence indicates otherwise. The Americans say they acted alone and the Pakistani foreign ministry effectively concurs.

The incident raises compelling questions about Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI.

There are grave questions too about the Pakistani armed forces.

An urgent inquiry and if necessary a thorough overhaul of its intelligence services and its defense capabilities are the minimum required if Pakistan is to re-establish its international credibility.

Arab News, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia  (May 5)

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