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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

Food Security & Nutrition: FAO, legislators launch pilot parliamentary alliance for food security and nutrition in the Philippines

MANILA—The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is further strengthening its partnership with the Government of the Philippines to ensure food security and nutrition in the country with the launch today of the FAO Legislative Advisory Group-Philippines (FLAG-PH)......»»

Category: newsSource:  kagay_anRelated News4 hr. 15 min. ago

Zimbabwe elections in 4 to 5 months – president

HARARE, Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe will hold elections in 4 to 5 months, the country's new president has said, pointing to an earlier date than expected following the ousting of long-time ruler Robert Mugabe. President Emmerson Mnangagwa took office in November after a shock military takeover ended Mugabe's 37-year reign. "Zimbabwe is ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated News11 hr. 49 min. ago

Student journalists condemn attacks on press freedom

"Several campus publications and student journalists across the country have been subjected to various forms of harassment, red-tagging and military surveillance." The post Student journalists condemn attacks on press freedom appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Category: newsSource:  bulatlatRelated NewsJan 17th, 2018

Jordan gets German military vehicles for border control

AMMAN — Germany's defense minister says her country is delivering millions of dollars' worth of equipment to Jordan's military to improve the kingdom's borde.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 14th, 2018

Turkey vows imminent assault on Kurdish enclave in Syria

ISTANBUL — Turkey's president said yesterday the country will launch a military assault on a Kurdish enclave in northern Syria "in the coming days," and urge.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 14th, 2018

Jail rice smugllers --Villar

SENATOR Cynthia Villar urged the Bureau of Customs (BoC) and the National Food Authority (NFA) to immediately investigate and file cases against those involved in rice smuggling in the country. This was the reaction of Villar, Senate committee on agriculture and food chair, after the Philippine Coast Guard operatives seized….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsJan 13th, 2018

BoI eyes declaration of Marawi as less developed area

THE BOARD of Investments (BoI) on Friday proposed to include the city of Marawi and the surrounding towns to be included in the list of the country’s less developed areas (LDA) to speed up its economic recovery after bearing the brunt of a five-month firefight between the Maute group and the military. The Department of […] The post BoI eyes declaration of Marawi as less developed area appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsJan 12th, 2018

WATCH: Jollibee celebrates milestone 40th year with anniversary anthem

Mr. Pure Energy Gary Valenciano and Popstar Royalty Sarah Geronimo join forces for a one-of-a-kind collaboration that capture the joy-filled stories of Filipinos to mark the 40th anniversary of the country's number one fast food chain. Entitled 'Apat na Dekada', the upbeat and heart-warming song encapsulates four decades of joyful moments shared with generations of Filipinos who have made Jollibee a part of their lives. The song was composed by Thyro Alfaro in collaboration with Jollibee's creative agency, McCann World Group Philippines. For the past 40 years, Jollibee has been a home to stars who have served as their brand ambassadors. The stellar list includes Sarah and Gary ...Keep on reading: WATCH: Jollibee celebrates milestone 40th year with anniversary anthem.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 12th, 2018

Award-winning Pakistani journalist escapes kidnap attempt

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – A Pakistani journalist known for criticising the powerful military said he had escaped an abduction attempt after being assaulted by armed men in Islamabad on Wednesday, January 10, in the latest case involving forced disappearances in the turbulent country. Taha Siddiqui, who won France's highest journalism award the ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 10th, 2018

Popovich s odd alliance with red state fans

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com SAN ANTONIO -- About 400 people gathered at the Oak Hills Country Club in June 2016 and paid $500 to $250,000 to sip iced tea and nibble hors d’oeuvres next to a golf course designed by noted architect AW Tillinghast, who built many. One is owned by the man who was feted at this political fundraiser, Donald J. Trump. The presidential campaign was in full blast and saltier than the crackers on the cheese plate being passed around. Fresh off the plane, Trump thanked the Republicans for the big ‘ole Texas welcome, witnesses say, before launching a blistering attack on the usual targets: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, illegal immigration. Then, near the end of his 30-minute lunchtime appearance, in an effort to connect with the locals, he pivoted and mentioned perhaps the most famous man in town: Gregg Popovich. Witnesses say Trump called Popovich “a great coach” and said “he does a good job” and then there was some fidgeting in the room when the soon-to-be polarizing leader of the free world said this: “I don’t know if the coach is on my side.” Confirmation came emphatically, right after Trump won a divisive election that November. The coach of the Spurs lit into the President over the next several months with a handful of rants that had the stealth of Kawhi Leonard ambushing a timid ball-handler. In no particular order, here were Pop’s Greatest Hits, all issued through the media and without prompting or provocation: “The disgusting tenure and tone and all the comments … have been xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic. I live in a country where half the people ignored that to elect someone.” And: “He is in charge of our country. That’s disgusting.” And: “The man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks he can only become large by belittling others.” And: “We have a pathological liar in the White House ... You can’t believe anything that comes out of his mouth.” Popovich didn’t stop there with a President whose sensitivity and intelligence he questioned and accused of being guilty of “gratuitous fear-mongering.” When he took Trump to task for criticizing NFL players who knelt during the National Anthem and defended their rights to do so, Popovich also suspected a measure of the public outrage was racially motivated. “Our country is an embarrassment to the world,” he said. A 68-year-old wealthy white man, therefore, became a sports voice with weight in the political and social justice arena, where the NBA league office has greenlighted players and coaches to speak up. Popovich has done so with clarity and insight to gain national applause in certain corners. He wasn’t the first or the last in sports to verbally spank the president or tackle right-leaning sensitivities, yet he’s certainly the most unique in one respect. As a graduate of the Air Force Academy who works in a military town, and a five-time NBA champion coach who might symbolize the city more than The Alamo, Popovich has long been elevated to icon status, perhaps permanently so, in San Antonio, where folks are mad about the Spurs. Still, this is mostly conservative Texas, one of the most Republican of states based on the state legislature and the congressional delegation, a state that voted Republican in 10 straight presidential elections and saw 52.6 percent of voters punch for Trump. While voters in San Antonio-proper lean liberal, the surrounding areas swing solidly the opposite. Julianna Holt, the Spurs CEO and Popovich’s boss since March after assuming the position held for 20 years by her husband Peter, supported various Republican presidential candidates before eventually donating $5,400 to Trump’s campaign and $250,000 to the Trump Victory Fund, according to Federal Election Commission records. Popovich is therefore a blue blood in a red state and the contrast makes for strange if not uncomfortable alliance between a beloved coach and a group of conflicted Spurs worshippers. His views have in fact shattered the sacrilege by generating hostility from a segment of the basketball flock, something no coach with his credentials would ever feel. The constant winning and acts of charity do not insulate him from those who would prefer Popovich stuff a sweat sock in his bullhorn. Party lines not Popovich's focus “While we all believe Gregg Popovich has the right to his opinions, where was Popovich when Hillary called half of us a 'basket of deplorables?’Many were Spurs fans who are now tired of being insulted ... many of us will never pay to see a Spurs game again.” -- Donna Howington  “The money I will save this year not attending Spurs games should buy me a nice set of golf clubs. Thanks Pop!” -- Jake Ingorgia  “I will never watch them again until Popovich is gone. He is just like all the other leftist celebrities.” -- Lee Harbach, Bulverde They arrive on cue, most from the dusty towns that orbit around San Antonio, some from the city itself. Popovich has unloaded three times this year on Trump, once after the election, once at the start of training camp and most recently by cold-calling Dave Zirin, a friend and liberal writer from The Nation, a progressive magazine. And each time, the letters land in the office of Ricardo Pimentel, the editor who coordinates the comments section of the Express-News, San Antonio’s newspaper of record. “It’s a cycle,” says Pimental, with a sigh. “He speaks out. People who disagree with him send us letters to the editor, then people who object to their disagreement write us letters to the editor defending Pop. Then they respond to one another.” The initial reaction, he said, is always stacked against Popovich and many identify themselves as Spurs fans ripping up their tickets or promising to never attend or watch games again. Even if those who made threats actually carried them out, the change in the Spurs’ home attendance is a blip, from 99.2 percent capacity last season to 98.6 so far this season. Popovich, of course, has been big for business since his first full season as coach in 1997-98. Besides the titles, the Spurs have reached the playoffs every season and won 50 games every season (except for the lockout-shortened 50-game 1998-99 campaign, when they won 37). In short, Popovich's Spurs have a track record beyond reproach in the NBA. If the 2017-18 Spurs stay on pace, it’ll be 20 straight winning seasons for Popovich, one more than Phil Jackson for the all-time NBA record. He hasn’t been this politically vocal until lately, due to Trump, yet was always politically aware, say those who know him. Well-versed through his readings and observations, Popovich welcomes discussion with acquaintences about classism, leadership, government and preferably over a bottle of wine. His two-decades exposure to young black men from humble beginnings raised his awareness and sensitivities about race and bias. Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr once played for the Spurs and lately has echoed many of the same thoughts as Popovich. But Kerr coaches in the Bay Area, where folks nod their heads in agreement. Kerr said he can only imagine the flak Popovich catches in Texas. “Here’s this iconic coach who stands for everything that’s right and for honor and integrity, he served in the military, you see him stand at attention for the American flag — man, Pop loves his country,” Kerr said. “And in the middle of Texas for him to be questioning the Republican President, some of the people down there are probably confused. Like, 'I don’t get it, we love this guy but he’s on the other side from us.' “What I love about Pop is that it’s not about party, not about politics. It’s about integrity and character and that’s what people need to pay attention to. It’s not about some policy, not about how much we pay in taxes. If we can just get back to the point where character matters, then we’ll be in better shape. The problem is, it’s clear character has gone down the tubes in many leadership positions in our country. That’s what Pop is calling out.” True enough, Popovich never publicly attached himself to a political party; to suggest he is against Republicans might be as misleading as believing Colin Kaepernick is against the military. When he played for Popovich, Kerr couldn’t recall a time when the coach was this annoyed by the country’s leadership. “The country was in a better place in terms of a relatively peaceful time back then,” Kerr said. “Yes, 9-11 happened and the whole world changed. But we didn’t have quite the same partisan nature, not only in politics but the national conversation. And so people could just admire Pop for who he was and people might not have been aware of his political leanings because they didn’t ask. When we won and went to the White House, Pop and the team went when Bush was in office. We went in ’99 when President Clinton was there. Republican, Democrat, didn’t matter. The times are so different now.” Kerr laughed quickly when asked about the semi-serious groundswell of social media support for a Kerr-Popovich ticket in 2020. Kerr said he hopes to be on his fifth NBA title as a coach then, but turned semi-serious about Popovich. “Our country needs somebody like Pop who can actually lead and unite from a position of authority and credibility,” Kerr said. “This guy served in the military, grew up in a melting pot, understands leadership. More than anything, he’ll cut through all the [expletive].” Since going nuclear on Trump, Popovich declined invites from the national political shows (and wouldn’t comment for this story). That proves what friends have maintained all along: Popovich doesn’t want to be anyone’s political hero or pundit. He’d rather speak when the moment calls for it, then be left alone. That last part is tricky, though. Empathy often marks Popovich's way “Can you imagine being Republican on the Spurs? Would you feel welcome? He’s like Berkeley -- for free speech unless you disagree with him. Shut up and coach, Gregg.” -- Shannon Deason  “When it comes to coaching basketball or drinking wine, Popovich has experience. When it comes to our country, his opinion is no better than anyone else’s." -- Harold Siemens, Seguin  “Open letter to the NBA referee who ejected Pop from the Warriors-Spurs game: Don’t feel bad about what Gregg Popovich called you. He called the POTUS worse and got away with it.” -- Larry Peabody Once the wheels touched down, the pilot jokingly announced over the loudspeaker: “Welcome to Gregg Popovich International Airport,” and one particular passenger noticed that nobody on the plane thought it was strange. Sean Elliott always knew how deeply rooted Popovich is with San Antonio. Aside from the famous Spanish missions and the River Walk, the city is known for the only professional sports team in town. And while George Gervin, David Robinson and Tim Duncan have come and gone, the one lingering reminder is a sometimes gruff and scruffy coach, maybe the NBA’s best ever. “He’s one of the pillars of the community,” said Elliott, twice an All-Star with the Spurs. “He’s looked at with great admiration. He is as respected as anyone who has ever lived in or been part of the city. It’s not just because he’s a basketball coach. Pop has been a big part of the community, huge contributor to charitable functions, good leader.” Elliott was a Spurs rookie in 1989 when their relationship began and he saw the start of Popovich’s reach in the region. Popovich then was an assistant coach under Larry Brown and just planting his feet in the NBA. That summer, Elliott and Popovich piled into a van with the team's "Coyote" mascot and conducted basketball clinics in San Marcos, Corpus Christi, Laredo and similar places. They were signing autographs in malls and running kids through drills in 100 degree heat, never hearing a complaint from the coach. Elliott said folks in those small conservative towns loved him. “If you sit and hear him talk about something, you tend to agree with him,” Elliott said. “He’ll put it in a logical way and he’s very thoughtful, well read and super intelligent, maybe the most intelligent person I’ve ever known.” The owner of the Spurs then was Red McCombs, a homespun Texan who made his fortune in car dealerships and media companies. McCombs didn’t give Popovich the coaching job after firing Brown, telling Popovich “you’ve got a chance to be a great coach” if he got more experience, which he did, going to the Warriors to work for Don Nelson. Popovich returned to San Antonio two years later as general manager, then became coach and the rest is history. Now 90, McCombs said: “Popovich has become the distinguished part of the franchise. He wears it well. Can’t say enough about what kind of man he is and what he’s meant to San Antonio. God has blessed us with Gregg Popovich.” McCombs loves to tell how Popovich, by chance, learned that a local family needed a car. The coach wrote a check, gave it to the father and walked away. McCombs said it was “typical Popovich” who has empathy for those with less. McCombs, curiously, has traditionally been one of the biggest Republican bankrollers in the state, who gave to the Trump campaign and is fully aware of what Popovich thinks of his choice for President. And so one of the most powerful men in Central Texas, who leans politically to the color of his nickname, had a strong reaction to that. “He’s earned the right to give his comments about citizenship or Trump or anything else,” said McCombs, voice rising. “Yes, he made some statements that others might disagree with. But I’ll tell you this: Popovich would be elected to anything he wants to in San Antonio.” Remaining silent never an option “Our country is not an embarrassment to the world. I will tell you what an embarrassment is. It is an American citizen who got a free education from the great Air Force Academy ... and then has the audacity to say that the greatest nation in the world is an embarrassment because the President rightly demands that Americans stand for the anthem. Popovich should be ashamed of himself.” -- Nick DeLouis, Fair Oaks Ranch  “Nowhere on God’s green Earth do they have the right to disrespect our flag and the men and women who died to keep us free. I’m appalled that you stooped so low to join in that disrespect. Shame on you!” -- Fred Martin, Fair Oaks Ranch  “Coach Pop has squashed my love and enthusiasm for the team. A national treasure, he is not. Coach Pop has a voice, but not my voice." -- Jo Ivan A few years ago Popovich was in New York with his daughter to catch a Broadway play when the coach had a last minute change in strategy. He learned that John Carlos was giving a lecture at New York University that night. So Popovich told his daughter to take one of her friends instead; said he was going to see “Dr. Carlos” speak. “When he came in I was surprised and delighted,” Carlos said recently. “Quite naturally, everyone knew who he was but he just wanted to sit and listen.” A year later, in 2015, Popovich flew Carlos to San Antonio to address the team and Carlos admitted to being star struck around Tim Duncan and others. Yet Carlos was most curious about Popovich and why the coach took a strong interest in an Olympic sprinter who raised a fist on the victory stand in 1968, which is frozen as an iconic civil rights moment. “Being with the Spurs gave me an opportunity to check his character out,” Carlos said. “I knew he was a whiz at putting players together to bring out their best ability. But through my conversations with him it became apparent that he was a social activist himself at one point in his life. He was teaching his players about activism and to be concerned about their fellow man and what was going on around their lives, not just basketball. “I was impressed. He just wanted them to know they had a larger role than just playing basketball in the society in which they live.” Carlos, therefore, was not surprised to see Popovich defend the rights of kneeling black football players who came under attack from Trump. On the first day of training camp in September, Popovich said: “Obviously race is the elephant in the room and we all understand that. Unless it is talked about constantly it is not going to get better.” What followed was another swirl of exchanges between Popovich critics and supporters in San Antonio, and Popovich acknowledged receiving mail from both sides. The anti-Pop mail, though, was jarring to Carlos, given the coach’s work in town. “When people write and lambast him for taking leaders to task for what they’re doing to society, that’s like water rolling off a duck’s back, man,” Carlos said. “When they write negative things about him, it encourages him to keep doing what he’s doing. Those people are the problem. Go ahead and throw stones and it just motivates him to do his job. “Look, I’m a black man who spoke out. Imagine what they think of him as a white man who speaks just as strong, to try and get people to see things in a better light? They throw stones at him even more, like, 'Hey you’re white, you have a great life. Keep your mouth shut.’ Well, God points people in certain directions. We know who we are. We do what we do.” And what Popovich does is enlist the help of giants in the social justice world and bring them into his world. He did that with Cornel West, the Harvard professor and civil rights activist, last fall. Popovich invited West to San Antonio to speak at an East Side community center with a few hundred mostly black and Latino students and their parents. Done without TV cameras or media invitation, the discussion was about the importance of education, the imperfect world, self respect and how to help communities. This was an audience that, presumably and unanimously, connected with a white man who didn’t live among them, but was with them. They were the people Popovich had in mind when he attacked present leadership. This was not the audience that writes to the Spurs and the Express-News asking him to take a vow of silence, though he is aware of them, too. “Some responses make you wonder what country you live in,” Popovich said, “and other responses make you very hopeful … overall, it renews my feeling that something must be done because there is enough people willing to listen.” Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2018

‘Don’t fear death’: China’s Xi urges blunt call to PLA

SHANGHAI: President Xi Jinping has issued a blunt call for China’s military to be ready for war and unafraid to die defending the country, as geopolitical tensions mount in Asia. Xi’s exhortation to the world’s largest fighting force, parts of which were revealed only late Thursday, came during what state media characterized as a rare [...] The post ‘Don’t fear death’: China’s Xi urges blunt call to PLA appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsJan 5th, 2018

Duterte wants stronger maritime security cooperation with Indonesia vs terrorism

  President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated his desire to strengthen maritime security cooperation with Indonesia to combat terrorism in the region.   Duterte met with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudiat the Presidential Guest House in Davao City on Wednesday.   "While declaring that the rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in Marawi are in full swing, President Duterte said that he wants to intensify maritime security in cooperation with Indonesia as foreign and local terrorists continue to enter and exit the country despite the military efforts to go after these elements," the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) said in a press...Keep on reading: Duterte wants stronger maritime security cooperation with Indonesia vs terrorism.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 4th, 2018

Mine is ‘bigger’, Trump tells Kim re nuclear button

My nuclear button is bigger --- and better --- than your nuclear button. That's the message from President Donald Trump to North Korea's Kim Jong Un. Trump is tweeting in response to Kim's declaration earlier this week that he has a button for nuclear weapons on his table and the entire U.S. mainland is now within strike range. Trump asks if someone from Kim's "depleted and food starved regime" can "please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!" Trump does not actually have a nuclear button on his desk. The nuclear "football" is carried by a rotating group of military officers everywhere ...Keep on reading: Mine is ‘bigger’, Trump tells Kim re nuclear button.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2018

PH aims for $49M in sales at Winter Fancy Food Show ‘18

  SAN FRANCISCO — The Philippines’ export promotion drive in the North American region ramps up as it returns to the 43rd Winter Fancy Food Show (WFFS) here with healthy, natural and organic premium products on January 21-23. The Philippine delegation will showcase the country’s top agriculture commodities and processed food products, including coconut, banana,… link: PH aims for $49M in sales at Winter Fancy Food Show ‘18.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2018

Female cadets dream of taking power

MARDAN, PAKISTAN — At a revolutionary school in Pakistan, Durkhanay Banuri dreams of becoming military chief, once a mission impossible for girls in a patriarchal country where the powerful army has a severe problem with gender equity. Thirteen-year-old Durkhanay, a student at Pakistan’s first ever Girls’ Cadet College, established earlier this year in the deeply […] The post Female cadets dream of taking power appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2018

S. Korea offers to talk with North on Olympic cooperation

HYUNG-JIN KIM, Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea on Tuesday offered high-level talks with rival North Korea to find ways to cooperate on next month's Winter Olympics in the South. Seoul's quick proposal following a rare rapprochement overture from the North a day earlier offers the possibility of better ties after a year that saw a nuclear standoff increase fear of war on the Korean Peninsula. In a closely watched New Year's address, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Monday that he was willing to send a delegation to the Olympics, though he also repeated fiery nuclear threats against the United States. Analysts say Kim may be trying to drive a wedge between Seoul and its ally Washington in a bid to reduce international isolation and sanctions against North Korea. Kim's overture was welcome news for a South Korean government led by liberal President Moon Jae-in, who favors dialogue to ease the North's nuclear threats and wants to use the Olympics as a chance to improve inter-Korean ties. Moon's unification minister, Cho Myoung-gyon, proposed in a nationally televised news conference that the two Koreas meet Jan. 9 at the shared border village of Panmunjom to discuss Olympic cooperation and how to improve overall ties. Earlier Tuesday, Moon spoke of what he described as Kim's positive response to his earlier dialogue overtures and ordered officials to study how to restore talks with North Korea and get the North to participate in the Olympics. North Korea did not immediately react. But if there are talks, they would be the first formal dialogue between the Koreas since December 2015. Relations between the Koreas have plunged as North Korea has expanded its weapons programs amid a hard-line stance by Moon's conservative predecessors. Last year, North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test and test-launched three intercontinental ballistic missiles as part of its push to possess a nuclear missile capable of reaching anywhere in the United States. The North was subsequently hit with toughened U.N. sanctions, and Kim and President Donald Trump exchanged warlike rhetoric and crude personal insults against each other. Kim said in his speech Monday that North Korea last year achieved the historic feat of "completing" its nuclear forces. Outside experts say that it's only a matter of time before the North acquires the ability to hurl nuclear weapons at the mainland U.S., but that the country still has a few technologies to master, such as a warhead's ability to survive atmospheric re-entry. Talks could provide a temporary thaw in strained inter-Korean ties, but conservative critics worry that they may only earn the North time to perfect its nuclear weapons. After the Olympics, inter-Korean ties could become frosty again because the North has made it clear it has no intention of accepting international calls for nuclear disarmament and instead wants to bolster its weapons arsenal in the face of what it considers increasing U.S. threats. "Kim Jong Un's strategy remains the same. He's developing nukes while trying to weaken international pressure and the South Korea-U.S. military alliance and get international sanctions lifted," said Shin Beomchul of the Seoul-based Korea National Diplomatic Academy. He said the North might also be using its potential Olympic participation as a chance to show its nuclear program is not intended to pose a threat to regional peace. In his address Monday, Kim said the United States should be aware that his country's nuclear forces are now a reality, not a threat. He said he has a "nuclear button" on his office desk, warning that "the whole territory of the U.S. is within the range of our nuclear strike." He called for improved ties and a relaxation of military tensions with South Korea, saying the Winter Olympics could showcase the status of the Korean nation. But Kim also repeated that South Korea must stop annual military exercises with the United States, which he calls an invasion rehearsal against the North. About 28,500 American troops are stationed in South Korea to help deter potential aggression from the North, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2018

North Korea leader says nuclear button always on his desk

  North Korean leader Kim Jong-un warned Monday that his country's nuclear arsenal was complete and the launch button was always on his desk, even as he expressed a willingness to send a delegation to the upcoming PyeongChang Olympics. While showing defiance to the US, Kim struck a conciliatory note toward Seoul, saying he was open to resuming bilateral talks to discuss the North's participation in the Olympics if South Korea is ready to halt joint military exercises. The young leader's mixed message -- nuclear threats toward Washington and a conciliatory tone toward Seoul -- is part of the North's "peaceful offensive" strategy aimed at improving inter-Korean ties as a ...Keep on reading: North Korea leader says nuclear button always on his desk.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 1st, 2018