A November 13 press release issued by the UNODC — the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime — stated that opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan rose 36 percent in 2013, which is a record high. Additionally, opium production amounted to 5,500 tons, up by 49 percent since 2012.
A South Korean newspaper has reported that North Korea executed 80 people in early November, some for such prohibited activities as watching TV and possessing Bibles.
Following negative reactions from the United States over Israel’s November 12 announcement that the Jewish state would add 20,000 housing units in West Bank settlements, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directed Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel to “reconsider” such plans.
As the remnants of Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in Vietnam on November 11, the effects of the deadly storm are still being evaluated and dealt with in the Philippines — where the death toll is feared to be as high as 10,000. The Philippines gives its own names to storms within its territory, and the typhoon was called Yolanda there.
An Obama administration official said that a large explosion on October 30 at a military base near the village of Snawbar, Syria, was the result of an attack by Israeli warplanes. The base reportedly housed Russian-made S-125 surface-to-air missiles.