Russia's latest aviation disaster, although tragic, has had the positive effect of spurring officials to demand improvements in air safety, a reader comments. Other letters today: chaos in Mali, feeding feral cats, cheaters in Hungary and Sri Lanka's ghosts.
An aviation overhaul
Timbuktu seized as rebellion advances (April 3) is a well framed news story, though the circumstances framing it are heart-breaking.
It is troubling that the military took control of the presidential palace of this landlocked country in West Africa on March 22 and terminated the country's constitution. Even more troubling is that Tuareg rebels defeated the military in the north and pushed them to the south.
It must be unpleasant for the residents of Timbuktu and elsewhere, not knowing who controls their cities and who is doing what as governmental officials dither, and rebels rise up. If highly conservative Islamist rebels force their brand of Islam on residents and do not restore democracy, then Mali will face further isolation.
Dilara Akay, Turkey
Russia's planes need watchful eye
I refer to your news story 31 killed as plane crashes after take-off in Siberia (April 3). As a former flight attendant for Air France, I am deeply aware of the interest people take in aviation safety. Russia's poor safety record adds to this interest.
Sometimes it is a technical failure, other times pilot error. The black boxes will obviously reveal the truth and shed light on what happened during this doomed flight.
But it is heartening to read that Russian officials have vowed to investigate this incident, and shut down unreliable airlines if needed. Russia's air safety record should be improved accordingly.
Ayse Arzu Caglayan, Turkey
Vulnerable cats need protection
People in the UAE of all nationalities and religions have big hearts, but Dubai's ban on feeding strays threatens this tradition (A starvation policy for stray cats and a fine for compassion, March 22).
I would like to lend my voice to those encouraging the authorities to find another solution. Perhaps they could look to other countries for successful models.
When my family lived in Singapore, the municipality would pick up strays, neuter them and mark their ears as neutered, and then return them to the place where they were found.
I found this to be a good solution - it kept the cat population in check and healthy, it allowed people to continue to interact with the cats, and it allowed the cats to help keep the rat population down (an issue which has grown here with the culling of the street cats; I'm sure everyone has noticed the increased number of rat traps).
Sean Korney, Dubai
Winehouse should get more respect
This is a terrible article, saying Amy has been eclipsed (Adele, Lana Del Rey, and the return of the torch song, April 1). I hated articles like this when Amy was alive, and they anger me so much more now that she is dead.
It is wrong to pit Amy Winehouse, Lana Del Rey and Adele together because they are women. Other than that very broad similarity the three have nothing in common with one another.
I find it disrespectful to say Amy has been eclipsed by Adele; it is wrong and disrespectful to her.
Peter Smith, UK
It's all academic in Hungary's politics
Hungary's president has stepped down in a plagiarism scandal. It is hard to understand how a doctoral candidate and politician would have no respect for other people's academic studies.
People in Hungary are, and excuse the word choice, hungry for a more straightforward and trustworthy president.
Ali Sedat Budak, Abu Dhabi
Sri Lanka only looks like paradise
Your article Travelling with kids: Sri Lanka worth throwing caution to the wind fails to capture the tragedies that country still suffers.
Sri Lanka is paying foreign journalists to write for them to promote tourism but prevents even willing aid agencies from helping the war-ravaged people recover.
All the while victims of years of fighting are still forced to languish in camps and other uninhabitable places.
Davidson Panabokke, UK
Many in Sri Lanka live on less than $1 a day, and last year Tourism Concern, a UK charity, ran a campaign calling on the government to stop displacing communities in the name of tourism.
It's not all seafood and sunsets.
Puni Selvaratnam, UK