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Venezuela military trafficking food as country goes hungry

PUERTO CABELLO — When hunger drew tens of thousands of Venezuelans to the streets last summer in protest, President Nicolas Maduro turned to the military to.....»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarJan 1st, 2017

Doctors fear rise in organ trafficking as demand spikes

DAVAO CITY --- Trafficking in human organs, especially kidneys, could increase as a result of a spike in the number of people with chronic renal diseases, according to a government hospital official here. "Something must be wrong with our eating habits, the food we eat, the drugs that we take," said Dr. Ma. Teresa Bad-ang, head of human advocate and retrieval effort of Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) at Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) here. Renal diseases, she said, were among the top 10 killers in the country today. At SPMC alone, the number of people with renal diseases had gone up to 32,000 over 10 years from just 6,000 in 2007, Bad-ang said. This made ...Keep on reading: Doctors fear rise in organ trafficking as demand spikes.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 26th, 2017

Myanmar’s great hope fails to live up to expectations – The Guardian

The script called for the lead actor, a Nobel prize winner, to seize control of a country, bring peace where there was conflict and prosperity where there was poverty. A nation emerging from years of military dictatorship was to become a beacon of hope not only for its cowed population but also for much of a fractured and turbulent south-east Asia. But like many political dramas – especially over the past 12 months – the script has not been followed by Myanmar and its de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. Now, a year since one of the world’s most famous prisoners of conscience came to power in the specially created position of state counsellor, the talk is not of progress. Instead, it is of drastically escalating ethnic conflicts that have simmered and sporadically exploded for decades; a new Rohingya Muslim insurgency that has prompted an army crackdown some say may amount to crimes against humanity; a rash of online defamation cases that have fostered a panic over freedom of speech; and a repressive legal framework that allowed the generals to jail so many still being in place. And all the while, Aung San Suu Kyi is accused of remaining mostly silent, doggedly avoiding the media. Many who led the campaign [to free her] were on the liberal side. I think she’s closer to a Margaret Thatcher. Interviews by the Guardian with more than a dozen diplomats, analysts and current and former advisers reveal frustrations with a top-down government struggling to cope with immense challenges. Aung San Suu Kyi’s questionable leadership style, her inability or unwillingness to communicate a vision, and her reluctance to speak out against the persecution of minorities have raised the question of whether the popular narrative is misplaced. And although some defend her, saying it takes time to right the wrongs of decades, others see a fundamental misunderstanding of the woman herself. “Many of the people who led the campaign [to free Aung San Suu Kyi] … were more on the liberal side of the spectrum,” one diplomat put it. “I think she’s closer to a Margaret Thatcher.” It’s a stark contrast to the Aung San Suu Kyi who, during 15 years of house arrest at her lakeside villa on University Avenue in Yangon, stood on rickety tables and delivered speeches about human rights over the gate. “And she was electric,” said David Mathieson, a longtime Myanmar researcher for Human Rights Watch who is now an independent consultant. “She was funny. She was informative. She was principled … And I think it’s lamentable that she’s not doing the equivalent of that now.” Five hours north by car from Yangon, Myanmar’s dystopian capital Naypyidaw stands surrounded by densely forested mountains. It is here, in the so-called Abode of Kings supposedly built to insulate Myanmar’s generals from attack, amid a landscape of deserted 20-lane highways and grandiose hotels, that Aung Sun Suu Kyi lives her life in power. The 71-year-old is a disciplined ruler. Her habit, established during imprisonment, is to wake before dawn and meditate in the house she shares with her pet dog and a small retinue of maids. She has breakfast with an adviser, often Kyaw Tint Swe, a former ambassador who spent decades defending the junta’s actions. An aide, Win Htein, says Aung San Suu Kyi eats very little. “The amount of food she is taking is like a kitten,” he said. “She doesn’t eat carbohydrates. Fruit and vegetables. No pork, or mutton, or beef. Only fish.” Her few indulgences include a vast wardrobe of luxurious silk longyis and evening film viewings, musicals being her favourite. Win Htein recently gave her a copy of La La Land. But mostly she works. And there is a lot of work. As well as state counsellor – a position created to get around the military-drafted constitution that bars her from the presidency – she is foreign minister, minister of the president’s office and chair of numerous committees. Widely described as a micromanager, she pores over documents after hours. A source close to the attorney general’s office says she asks to see a copy of every draft bill before it is submitted to parliament. Ministers routinely pass decisions upwards. “The problem is there are no policymakers in her cabinet,” said Burmese political analyst Myat Ko. People who know her say Aung San Suu Kyi inspires both devotion and fear. She is variously described as charming and charismatic, and sharp and authoritarian. “She feels like a real leader,” one diplomat said. “Intelligent, quick-witted, quite funny.” At the same time, he added: “I would say that she has appeared to be very keen to be the sole decision-maker to have no chance of establishing rival power centres.” Echelons above her subordinates in stature, the state counsellor is often depicted as living in a bubble, surrounded by a cabal of advisers who are too nervous to convey hard truths. A Yangon-based analyst working on the peace process said bad news often does not reach her. “In meetings, she is dismissive, dictatorial – in some cases, belittling,” said a senior aid worker who, like many others interviewed for this story, insisted on anonymity because he works with the administration. The government, he said, has become “so centralised, there is complete fear of her”. This is not the administration many hoped for when the National League for Democracy (NLD) took over the government [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 31st, 2017

Duterte urged to continue peace talks with rebels

DAVAO CITY – Farmers fighting for genuine land reform have appealed on Sunday to President Rodrigo Duterte to continue the peace talks with communist rebels after he scrapped the negotiations following the spate of deadly attacks by insurgents in southern Philippines. Duterte’s decision to abandon the negotiations with communist leaders came on Saturday barely a day after he terminated the government’s unilateral ceasefire with New People’s Army rebels who also ended earlier its own truce. Since then, at least 4 soldiers had been killed by rebels in separate attacks and three more are being held prisoners in the troubled region. The rebels demanded the release of some 400 political prisoners &'' mostly NPA fighters and their leaders – languishing in jails across the country, but Duterte flatly rejected the demand, saying, a peace accord must be signed first before he could grant amnesty to political prisoners, although he had ordered the release from prison at least 21 senior rebel leaders to join the peace talks. Duterte said he cannot free all political prisoners and claimed that such action may trigger unrest in the police and military. Peace talks and land reform  But Joseph Canlas, chairman of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, one of the biggest farmers’ organizations in the country, said the continuation of peace negotiations is in the best interest of farmers, who are pressing for genuine land reform, land distribution and real change under the Duterte administration. “Farmers want the peace negotiations to continue. We want the peace talks to help address the problem of land monopoly, landlessness of farmers, unemployment and to realize the equitable distribution of social wealth,” Canlas said. “The peace negotiation is a separate and distinct track of struggle to press for significant pro-people reforms. While the New People’s Army and President Duterte announced the termination of the unilateral interim ceasefires, it should not hinder the continuation of the talks that is gaining relevant developments with regard to discussions on the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms, particularly agrarian reform and rural development,” he added. Canlas said based on the reported outcome of third round of the peace talks in Rome recently, the government, in principle, acquiesced to free land distribution to farmers and farm workers and that alone is a milestone with regard to pushing for socio-economic reforms and enough grounds to continue the talks. Pedro Arnado, leader of the farmers’ group in southern Mindanao, also urged Duterte not to abandon the peace talks, saying, the resumption of war with rebels may spark a series of illegal arrest and human rights violations, and even extrajudicial killings of civilians by government soldiers. “We call for the continuation of the peace talks and compliance to the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Law to avoid rights violations of civilians,” said Arnado, who noted that at least 20 farmers and national minorities were killed during the ceasefire period. “For us farmers, a just peace means food for our families, education for our children and recognition of our right to the land we till.” Arnado said while the ultimate goal of the peace talks is to resolve the armed conflict and achieve cessation of hostilities, that wouldn’t be possible at this period when there are conflicting social classes and interests. “Big land estates, haciendas and landholdings remain intact and under the control of a few landlord families. That is in contrast with the situation of millions of tillers,” Arnado said, adding, Duterte should realize that people in the countryside are supporting and even joining the armed revolution because of the systemic and chronic crisis that is worsened by the government’s failure to address the most basic problems in rural areas. “Historically, it is the peasant masses that have made the ultimate sacrifices to achieve peace. Buhay na ang ibinuwis ng mga magsasaka para sa lupa at kapayapaan. The cost of peace is too expensive, farmers have paid it with their lives,” Arnado said. Cancel passport of communist negotiators Duterte also threatened to cancel the passports of the representatives National Democratic Front of the Philippines &'' the political wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA &'' who make up the peace panel negotiating with the government, saying, “they are in the wanted list, so I will alert the International Police to arrest them where they are because they are in wanted list. I'll cancel their passports.” “They can return, all of them. For those released by the government, they should, on their own volition, return here and go back to prison. Or else I will be forced to, I am alerting all the intelligence community to keep track of where they are now,” Duterte said. “Iyon na-release temporarily to talk with us in Oslo, they should come back and submit themselves to the jurisdiction of the government because they are still in prison. Walang pardon, walang amnesty, wala lahat.” Blame Duterte, AFP The NPA blamed Duterte for the breakdown of the talks and accused the military of sabotaging the peace negotiations, saying, security forces encroached and attacked rebel territories in Mindanao, and murdered innocent civilians suspected of supporting the communist group. “To conceal their own ceasefire violation, the spin doctors of the Armed Forces of the Philippines concocted yet another storyline of an anti-criminality operation to assist the Philippine National Police in going after lawless elements such as their botched combat operations in Makilala and Matalam [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsFeb 5th, 2017

This young man from Leyte danced his way to the Youth America Grand Prix

MANILA, Philippines – Like many young boys his age, Klievert Jon Mendoza once dreamed about joining the military. "I like and would love to serve the country," explained the now 19-year-old. Years later, it's a dream that would be fulfilled, albeit in a different way. Klievert is the first Filipino to compete in ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated News5 hr. 45 min. ago

Philippines as Chinese village? Opposition urges gov t to fight for country s sovereignty

The Philippines should assert and fight for its sovereignty in the South China Sea amid reports on the presence of Chinese military aircraft on one of its artificially-built islands in the disputed waters, members of the opposition said, as concerns over Beijing’s militarization of the waterway continue to mount......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 19th, 2018

Israel marks 70 years as a nation as new and old challenges lurk

JERUSALEM --- Israel celebrated 70 years since the country's foundation on Wednesday, lauding its improbable economic success and military prowess, but facing a range of political and security challenges. The anniversary of the proclamation of the state of Israel by founding father David Ben-Gurion began at sundown on Wednesday under the Hebrew calendar, but falls on May 14 according to the Western calendar. At the traditional Jerusalem torch-lighting ceremony kicking off what Israelis call Independence Day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed what he called "real seeds of peace" he said were beginning to sprout among some of Israel's Arab neighbours. He did not elabo...Keep on reading: Israel marks 70 years as a nation as new and old challenges lurk.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 19th, 2018

US lawmakers jolted by Syria briefing, Pentagon warns of IS resurgence

  The United States military’s hands-off approach on the ground in Syria is ceding influence to Russia and Iran, a top lawmaker warned on Tuesday, as the Pentagon said it has seen the Islamic State (IS) “resurge” in parts of the country.   Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker said Moscow and Tehran have… link: US lawmakers jolted by Syria briefing, Pentagon warns of IS resurgence.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsApr 18th, 2018

Duterte orders increase in NFA buying price for palay

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered an increase in the buying price of the National Food Authority (NFA) for paddy rice (palay) despite opposition from his economic managers. In a post on Facebook on Tuesday, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piol quoted the President as saying during the Cabinet meeting on Monday that the increase could boost the NFA's buffer stock, which was wiped out earlier this month. "He did not like a repeat of what happened recently when the country's rice agency went low on its buffer stocks whichever led to a spike in the price of commercial rice in the market," Piol said. Filipino farmers first "Buy from the Filipino farmers first and if you cou...Keep on reading: Duterte orders increase in NFA buying price for palay.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 18th, 2018

US lawmakers jolted by Syria briefing, Pentagon warns of IS resurgence

  The United States military's hands-off approach on the ground in Syria is ceding influence to Russia and Iran, a top lawmaker warned on Tuesday, as the Pentagon said it has seen the Islamic State (IS) "resurge" in parts of the country.   Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker said Moscow and Tehran have "significant influence" in the war-ravaged Middle Eastern nation due to their years-long commitment, while President Donald Trump signals the US could be headed for the exits there.   When asked whether he wanted a greater US troop presence to shape events in Syria, Corker was somber.   "I think the administration's plans are ...Keep on reading: US lawmakers jolted by Syria briefing, Pentagon warns of IS resurgence.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 18th, 2018

315 dynamites seized from NPA in Agusan Sur

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 17 April) — Army soldiers bumped into a huge cache of dynamites, medical and food supplies believed stashed by the New People’s Army (NPA) in Bunawan town, Agusan del Sur last Sunday, a military official said. Major General Ronald Villanueva, commanding general of the 4th Infantry Division said the […] The post 315 dynamites seized from NPA in Agusan Sur appeared first on MindaNews......»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsApr 17th, 2018

NPA rebels’ arms cache, supplies seized in Agusan del Sur 

    DAVAO CITY -- Soldiers from the 75th Infantry Battalion recovered an arms cache, and medical and food supplies hidden by suspected communist rebels in Barangay Bunawan Brook in Bunawan, Agusan del Suron Sunday, a military official saidMonday. Lieutenant Colonel Jaime Datuin, the 75thIB commander, said among the high-powered firearms recovered were an M14 rifle and an AK47. Datuin said soldiers also recovered assorted types of ammunition, six Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), a rifle grenade, 315 pieces super dyne explosives, six pieces blasting caps, three handheld radio batteries, 450 meters electrical wire, A Yamada generator set, an Acer multi-media projec...Keep on reading: NPA rebels’ arms cache, supplies seized in Agusan del Sur .....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 16th, 2018

Youthspeak: Whos is the terrorist here?

Terrorism is now being used to justify foreign-sponsored ‘liberation’ movements in some war-ravaged middle east countries, to rationalize the building of military bases of a powerful country in the territories of its ‘friends’ and ‘allies’, and to vilify political opponents and democratic movements. It helped the spread of Islamophobia across many countries, feed much war-profits into the US military intelligence complex, and assisted the stay of US influence in the Philippines and other resource-rich countries......»»

Category: newsSource:  nordisRelated NewsApr 15th, 2018

Monsanto equips Iloilo community tools to balanced meals

MONSANTO Philippines Inc. strengthened its campaign to food sufficiency and access to balanced meals in the country by recently contributing planting materials, such as seedlings, to over 54 families at Monsanto – Gawad Kalinga (GK) Village in Barangay Aldeguer, Sara, Iloilo. Corporate Affairs Lead Charina Ocampo of Monsanto Philippines, together with Monsanto-GK Village President Hadjie […] The post Monsanto equips Iloilo community tools to balanced meals appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsApr 13th, 2018

Photos of Xi-led large-scale Chinese naval display in South China Sea

President Xi Jinping presided over the Chinese navy's largest-ever military display on Thursday, state media reported, the country's latest show of force in the disputed South China Sea......»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsApr 13th, 2018

Duterte sorry over Myanmar ‘genocide’ comments

President Rodrigo Duterte issued a public apology to Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday, a week after describing the military crackdown on the country’s Rohingya minority as a “genocide.” Suu Kyi, a Nobel laureate, has come in for intense global criticism over her public silence regarding a brutal military crackdown that [...] The post Duterte sorry over Myanmar ‘genocide’ comments appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsApr 13th, 2018

K-pop group GOT7’s BamBam exempted from Thailand military service

  After much anticipation by iGOT7s (or Ahgases, GOT7's fandom name), it was recently announced that GOT7's youngest member, BamBam, will be exempted from military service in Thailand, his home country, K-Pop Herald reports. Much like in South Korea, able-bodied men are required to serve in the country's military. However, in Thailand, the men will be selected via a lottery in each area that takes place every April. Those who will pick out a red card during the lottery will be required to serve for one to two years, while those who will pick out a black card will be exempted. Apart from this, men can also volunteer to serve instead of picking out cards in the lottery. ...Keep on reading: K-pop group GOT7’s BamBam exempted from Thailand military service.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 11th, 2018

China’s Xi to visit Manila in November

Published: 10:29 a.m., April 11, 2018 | Updated: 12:07 a.m., April 12, 2018 HAINAN, China --- Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit the Philippines in November, the first time he will come to the country under the more friendly administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced Xi's decision to come to the Philippines after the Chinese leader's meeting with the Philippine President during which they discussed "joint offshore oil development," the South China Sea dispute, boosting military cooperation, and working together to combat terrorism and illegal drugs. Xi will fly to Manila after attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperat...Keep on reading: China’s Xi to visit Manila in November.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 11th, 2018

NFA is sitting on its job – senator

SENATOR Cynthia Villar lambasted National Food Authority (NFA) administrator Jason Aquino over his pronouncement on the shortage of government rice in the country. “The mandate of NFA is to buy rice from farmers at P17 (per kg) and sell it to the poor at P27 to P32. That’s his mandate, that’s his only job. If […] The post NFA is sitting on its job – senator appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsApr 10th, 2018

Military spies hold conference in undisclosed location in Davao City

DAVAO CITY -- The country's military spies on Saturday held their first quarter command conference for the year here, during which they analyzed various threats, mainly from Islamic State-affiliated groups and the New People's Army (NPA). Sources told the Inquirer that during the command conference, which was held in an undisclosed location, officials of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP), also discussed ways on how to further strengthen intelligence gathering to thwart possible moves by IS-affiliated groups and the NPA to "sow terror." Last year, the ISAFP took some blame because of "lapses" in intelligence gathering that led to the siege of Ma...Keep on reading: Military spies hold conference in undisclosed location in Davao City.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 7th, 2018

Duterte ready to open PH doors to Rohingya refugees

President Duterte's heart goes out to the Rohingya whom he describes as victims of "genocide" in Myanmar and is willing to accept as refugees in the Philippines.   In a speech in Malacaang, Mr. Duterte chided the United Nations for failing to solve the Rohingya crisis.   "That is really genocide, if I may [say] so," he said, adding he would welcome the Rohingya to the country. "Me? We? I'm willing to accept refugees. Rohingyas, yes, I will," he said.   But Europe should accept them as well, he added. Members of the mostly Muslim Rohingya minority are facing persecution and violence from the Myanmar military, and they have been escaping in droves to nearby...Keep on reading: Duterte ready to open PH doors to Rohingya refugees.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 7th, 2018