SOLYMONE BLOG

PHILIPPINES TO STOP STAMPING ON CHINESE NEW PASSPORT

Thursday, November 29, 2012
MANILA - The Philippines is set to follow the initiative of Vietnam in refusing to stamp its visas on the controversial Chinese e-passport, which bears a map inclusive of the area that is supposedly part of the Philippine territory and maritime domain.
In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that its latest decision is part of the effort to underscore the country's protest against the inclusion of the nine-dash line map in the Chinese e-passport. 
"This action is being undertaken to avoid the Philippines being misconstrued as legitimizing the nine-dash line every time a Philippine visa is stamped on such Chinese e-passport," said the DFA.Instead, the DFA said, the Philippine government will stamp its visas on a separate visa application form. 
"We are preparing for an early implementation of the aforementioned action," the agency added.
China's new passports have stirred up existing territorial disputes between China and its Southeast Asian neighbors including India. The map also features disputed areas with the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia.
The Philippines had already sent a note verbale to the Chinese government protesting the inclusion of the Philippine territory in its passport's new design.
According to the DFA, the move to stop visa stamping on the Chinese e-passport only "reinforces" the said protest.
"The Philippines views said expansive nine-dash claim as inconsistent with international law, specifically Unclos (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea)," said the DFA.
Earlier, Vietnam announced its decision not to stamp the travel documents of incoming Chinese nationals bearing the controversial map.

Source: Agency
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BOXER MURDER HIGHLIGHTS PUERTO RICO CRIMES

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - The death of boxing legend Hector "Macho" Camacho didn't just cast a shadow over the sports world.
The shooting that left Camacho on life support for days before passing away on Saturday shined a spotlight once again on Puerto Rico’s out-of-control violence, fueled by a recent surge of drug trafficking. The island territory tallied a record-breaking 1,136 murders in 2011.
Police are investigating last week's double homicide, but have yet to disclose a motive. Armed men shot Camacho and his friend Alberto Mojica Moreno while the two were parked near a liquor store outside the capital of San Juan. Police found nine bags of cocaine on Mojica, and a tenth open bag inside the car, according to Puerto Rican daily El Nuevo Día.

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MALAYSIAN EX-IGP SAYS MINISTERS MEDDLE WITH INVESTIGATIONS?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ex IGP, Musa Hassan and Home Minister,Hishammuddin Hussein
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia ― Tan Sri Musa Hassan today accused Cabinet ministers and politicians of regularly trying to interfere with police investigations and arrests when he was serving as Inspector-General of Police ― a practice that continues even now.
Musa, who retired as IGP in September 2010, named Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein as one of the politicians but suggested at a press conference today that his refusal to indulge them had resulted in the government’s decision not to renew his contract.
He also took aim at his successor, Tan Sri Ismail Omar, suggesting the latter was a yes-man who is bowing to politicians’ influence.
“There are certain misgivings from police officers who said that they received instructions not from (their police superiors) but from the Home Ministry.
“Even the ministry can issue instructions now ... Who is in control now?” Musa asked at a press conference here.
Musa then quoted Section 4(1) of the Police Act, which states that police orders must only come from the IGP, who will be liable for such instructions.

Source: The Malaysian Insider
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ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER BARAK QUITTING POLITICS?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced his resignation Monday, saying he will quit politics in January to spend more time with his family.
His resignation comes at a highly delicate time for Israel, which is observing a fragile cease-fire with the militant Palestinian group Hamas after an eight-day conflict that killed more than 160 people; the overwhelming majority of them Palestinians in Gaza.
  • Barak, who is married and the father of three children, said Monday at a news conference in Tel Aviv that he will continue as defense minister for the next three months, as elections are due in January. He said he won't contest the elections.
  • Barak served as defense minister under former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert between 2007 and 2009, and retained the post under Netanyahu from 2009 until the present. He also held the title of deputy prime minister for both administrations.

He had previously served as prime minister between July 1999 and March 2001, when he was defeated in an election by Ariel Sharon(right photo). From 2001 until his return to politics in 2005, Barak worked in the private sector.

Source: CNN

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PETS ASHES BANG INTO THE SKIES AT AUSTRALIA’S FIREWORKS FUNERAL

Monday, November 26, 2012

 
SYDNEY, Australia Warren Blackwell held onto the ashes of his beloved canine companion Gypsy for eight years, never able to find the right place or occasion to celebrate her life.
"I've never been able to part with them, I've never been able to come up with anything that was suitable to do with them that would make me happy," he said. 
The smart, loyal Staffordshire bull terrier was hit by a car when she was just four years old, shortly after Blackwell moved to the city from the countryside, a horrifying moment he said compounded his need to give her a proper farewell.
"I was giving her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and I tried to get her to the hospital, to the vet, but she didn't make it," he said.
"I didn't want something that was all about her death. I wanted it to be about her life." 
So Blackwell didn't think twice when friend Craig Hull, a trained circus performer and pyrotechnician asked whether he'd like to send Gypsy off in style, as the first customer of his fireworks funeral firm, Ashes to Ashes.
"When Craig suggested this I said 'mate I want to be first cab off the rank'," he told AFP, watching the sun set over the glittering waters of Sydney Harbour -- soon to be Gypsy's final resting place.
"I've seen the shell, and I've seen her go into the tube over there, she's over there waiting. I know she's going to make a loud bang, that much I'm sure of."
The Ashes to Ashes story began almost three years ago when Hull's two beloved dogs, German shepherd-Akita cross Zeus and Gyprock, a white labrador-cattle dog cross, died, leaving a "big hole" in the performer's life.
He'd already scattered the ashes of a friend during an aerial routine at an opening ceremony for one of the Olympics -- he won't say which -- and felt his dogs deserved something even more spectacular.
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POLICE BARRICADES MALAYSIAN’S GREEN WALKS PROTESTERS

Sunday, November 25, 2012
Thirteen days after departing Kuantan, members of the Himpunan Hijau (Green Walk) movement protesting the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant in Kuantan have reached the capital and are now at police barricades on roads leading to Dataran Merdeka which is cordoned off.
Suhakam commissioner James Nayagam (right photo) has told them that police would not take any action as long as the barricade was not breached.
Meanwhile, volunteers have also formed a human chain to keep marchers from going any further. 
Himpunan hijau chairman Wong Tack (photo below) climbed on to a parked car and urged the country's "responsible" leaders to hear their woes.
He said they would stay there until Monday morniing but would not march to parliament.

NGO members and some Pakatan (opposition party) leaders joined the main group at Maju Junction Mall.
According to organisers, the group gathered at the Sentul market at about 1pm on Sunday before starting the last leg of their 300km march.
Organisers had originally planned to camp at Dataran Merdeka on Sunday night before heading to Parliament the next day to submit a memorandum against the commencement of the Lynas plant. 
The People's Green Coalition representative Dr Khim Pa said on Thursday they decided to change the route and invited MPs to listen to their woes and receive their memorandum at Dataran Merdeka.
The Kuantan High Court had on Nov 8 lifted the suspension of Lynas' temporary operating licence (TOL), paving the way for the plant to start operations. Justice Datuk Mariana Yahya fixed Nov 30 to set the date for judicial review for an interim injunction application on the TOL filed by three Kuantan residents.

Source: The Star 
 
In the mean time, the Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL) group today said it was appalled by the cloud of secrecy surrounding the arrival of rare earth ore at the Kuantan Port yesterday.
In a statement, SMSL’s spokesman Steve Hang said that the shipment runs against Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd and the Malaysian government’s promise to be transparent on the matter.
Yesterday, about 100 containers of rare earth ore arrived at Kuantan Port and is scheduled to be sent for processing at the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) located in Gebeng, Pahang.
The shipment, which arrived at midnight, was guarded by heavy police escort.
Lynas confirmed that it would start its operations in the “coming days” despite an on-going legal battle in the court.

Source:  Free Malaysia Today
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PAKISTAN ID CARDS REMOVE GHOST VOTERS

Sunday, November 25, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Elderly men wait patiently, carefully combing their hennaed beards, while a guitar-playing student entertains the long queue of Pakistanis lined-up to be photographed, fingerprinted and questioned inside a crowded office in the capital Islamabad. 
This is the unlikely setting for possibly one of Pakistan's few success stories - a massive increase in citizens signing up for government identity cards.Such things rarely top the agenda of a deeply unpopular government, crippled by daily power cuts, a Taliban insurgency and massive corruption. 
But bureaucrats say the successful ID registration has dramatically cut the number of ghost voters and is assisting in the distribution of cash payments for the poor and displaced. 
"The database has brought a lot of transparency. We signed up so many people," said Tariq Malik, the 44-year-old chairman of the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA). 
During elections five years ago, less than half of Pakistani adults had a government-issued ID. Now 91 percent have the plastic green cards, said Malik, who previously worked as a county technology officer in Michigan in the United States. 
It is hard to verify such a high rate of registration as Pakistan's census data is many years out of date. 
Malik said registration spiked after the cards were required for poor Pakistanis to qualify for cash payments from the government. 
However, some families, while grateful for the cash, say the flow of aid is sporadic.

Source: Reuters...More...
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CHINA HOME AMID HIGHWAY AS A SYMBOL OF RESISTANCE

Saturday, November 24, 2012

BEIJING, China - In the middle of an eastern Chinese city's new main road, rising incongruously from a huge circle in the freshly laid pavement, is a five-story row house with ragged edges. This is the home of the duck farmer who said "no."
Luo Baogen and his wife are the lone holdouts from a neighborhood that was demolished to make way for the main thoroughfare heading to a newly built railway station on the outskirts of the city of Wenling in Zhejiang province.
Dramatic images of Luo's home have circulated widely online in China this week, becoming the latest symbol of resistance in the frequent standoffs between Chinese homeowners and local officials accused of offering too little compensation to vacate neighborhoods for major redevelopment projects.
There's even a name for the buildings that remain standing as their owners resist development. They are called "nail houses" because the homeowners refuse to be hammered down.
Nail house families occasionally have resorted to violence. Some homeowners have even set themselves on fire in protests. Often, they keep 24-hour vigils because developers will shy away from bulldozing homes when people are inside.

Source: UT San Diego...More...


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COFFIN PROTEST SEEKS SPEEDY JUSTICE FOR MASSACRE VICTIMS IN PHILIPPINE

Friday, November 23, 2012
MANILA, Philippines - More than a hundred coffins were carried from suburban Quezon City to Manila by rights, media and lawyer groups in protest over delayed trials in the 2009 election-related massacre of 58 people, including 32 journalists.
The coffins, made of paper mache, represented other victims of political killings in the Philippines since the start of President Benigno Aquino’s term in 2010. 
The 58 people were massacred and buried in shallow mass graves by relatives and members of private armies of Andal Ampatuan Sr, former governor of Maguindanao, in his hometown in the south on November 23, 2009, rights lawyer Harry Roque said.
Members of the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) also led protesters in the lighting of 58 candles at the commemorative marker for the victims of the Maguindanao massacre, which was erected at Manila’s National Press Club, in time for the event’s third year.
Protesters went to Mendiola, near Malacanang, the presidential palace, where they burned a towering 11-foot effigy named ‘Impunity Master’. 
“The effigy symbolises Filipinos’ dream to put an end to the culture of impunity that is exacerbated by the powerful and the mighty,” said Crisanto de Leon, head of Artists Collective, a group of visual artists that was behind the effigy’s creation.

Source: Herald...More...
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MODERATE, MILD EARTHQUAKES ENCROACH MALAYSIA

Friday, November 23, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR: Even though Malaysia doesn't lies within the alignment of ring of fire, yet it is susceptible to earthquakes, with Sabah at risk of moderate quakes and peninsular Malaysia, mild quakes, the Parliament was told Thursday.
Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Fadillah Yusof said this was learned following a study on the risks and hazards of earthquakes and tsunami in Malaysia completed in 2009 by the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM).
He said based on data compiled between September and November this year, tremors of less than magnitude four were felt in Beluran, Kota Marudu, Kudat and Tambunan in Sabah.
"This indicates that Malaysia is susceptible to earthquakes, but moderate and mild ones," he said when replying to a question from Hamim Samuri (BN-Ledang) who had wanted to know of the latest studies pertaining to the risk of earthquakes in Malaysia.
The Study on the Risks and Hazards of Earthquakes and Tsunamis in Malaysia was funded with an allocation of RM3.378 million and involved the Meteorological Department, the Minerals and Geoscience Department, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).
Fadillah said on the initiative of the Meteorological Department, 25 strong motion sensors, 10 of them in the Klang Valley, and 17 weak motion sensors were installed throughout Malaysia to monitor tremors.

Source: BERNAMA
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