Archive for September, 2007
As I watched the UAAP Ateno vs. DLSU games on Studio 23 I couldn’t help but think of the comparison of the two deals of ZTE and ‘the Joey’ one both moving down to the wire and both ending in close fights.
While watching UAAP games, Ateneo and DLSU on Studio 23, […]
Cell Phone Stuff i never knew..well sorta didn’t know…
THE CLAIM: The Emergency Number worldwide for Mobile is 112. If you find yourself out of the coverage area of your mobile; network and there is an emergency, dial 112 and the mobile will search any existing network to establish the emergency number for you, and interestingly this number 112 can be dialed even if the keypad is locked.
THE FACTS: Calling 112 on your cell phone will (in some parts of the world, primarily Europe) connect you to local emergency services, even if you are outside your provider’s service area (i.e., even if you are not authorized to relay signals through the cell tower that handles your call), and many cell phones allow the user to place 112 calls even if the phone lacks a SIM card or its keypad is locked. However, the 112 number does not have (as is sometimes claimed) special properties that enable callers to use it in areas where all cellular signals are blocked (or otherwise unavailable).
Have you locked your keys in the car?
THE CLAIM: Does your car have remote keyless entry? This may come in handy someday.
Good reason to own a cell phone: If you lock your keys in the car and the spare keys are at home, call someone at home on their cell phone from your cell phone. Hold your cell phone about a foot from your car door and have the person at your home press the unlock button, holding it near the mobile on their end. Your car will unlock. Saves someone from having to drive your keys to you. Distance is no object. You could be hundreds of miles away, and if you can reach someone who has the other “remote” for your car, you can unlock the doors (or the trunk).
THE FACTS: Cars with remote keyless entry (RKE) systems cannot be unlocked by relaying a key fob transmitter signal via a cellular telephone. RKE systems and cell phones utilize different types of signals and transmit them at different frequencies.
Hidden Battery Power
THE CLAIM: Imagine your cell battery is very low. To activate, press the keys *3370#
Your cell will restart with this reserve and the instrument will show a 50% increase in battery. This reserve will get charged when you charge your cell next time.
THE FACTS: The claim that pressing the sequence *3370# will unleash “hidden battery power” in a cell phone seems to be a misunderstanding of an option available on some brands of cell phone (such as Nokia) for Half Rate Codec, which provides about 30% more talk time on a battery charge at the expense of lower sound quality. However, this option is enabled by pressing the sequence *#4720# — the sequence *3370# actually enables Enhanced Full Rate Codec, which provides better sound quality at the expense of shorter battery life.
The images trickling out of Burma seem to convey an image of wanton terror in the streets at the hands of soldiers. The three photo’s below are graphic evidence of what happens when troops are used to control crowds and the extent some journalists go to cover the atrocities. (more…)
September 27th, 2007 · No Comments
Philippine President Arroyo who is with other world leaders in New York attending the annual general assembly meeting has come out with what is one of the few statements by leaders in ASEAN versus the repression in Myanmar.
Most ASEAN leaders – like in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam are borderline countries on human rights issues. By and large while there are problems too here in the Philippines with active insurgencies and some cases of violations.
Most if not all cases that make it the courts do go through the legal process – and – widespread crackdowns like the current one in Rangoon are rare. However, Burma’s rulers often do as the rulers of any dictatorship do and do not pay heed to their own people let alone really listen intently to other leaders in the region.
Privately Philippine officials in Manila speaking on ‘Conditions of Anonymity’ say “China is the key here – and – China can stop the violence in Burma and should. So far its diplomats have been trying, one wonders how long Beijing will cover for the Yangoon Junta which of late has caused a lot of embarrassment and problems for the leaders Beijing.”
..Philippine President Arroyo: We call on Myanmar to act in its own best interests to avoid its further isolation and to redeem its democracy without any further delay. We have patiently but persistently advised Myanmar within ASEAN that it must make greater and faster progress toward that goal.
Recent events in Myanmar, therefore, are of concern to the Philippines and to the region as a whole. The Philippines asks the Government of Myanmar to act with the utmost restraint and to take immediate steps to preserve what advances have been made in its roadmap to democracy. Specifically, we ask the Government of Myanmar to now allow all interested parties to take full part in the effort to national reconciliation through peaceful and inclusive dialogue.
This means the release of all those who have been detained and who can contribute to the process of national renewal, including Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi. In addition, we ask that the Government of Myanmar invite the UN Special Envoy for Myanmar, Mr. Ibrahim Gambari, to visit the country as soon as possible. …
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Thursday (Sept. 27, New York time) urged the government of Myanmar to release pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and scores of Buddhist monks who have been rounded up for staging protests against the country’s military rulers.
In a statement that she distributed personally to members of the Philippine media at the Waldorf Astoria Towers where she is billeted during her three-day official trip here, the President said freeing Suu Kyi from years of house arrest serves Myanmar’s own best interests and avoid further isolation of the country from the rest of the world’s democracies.
Myanmar is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) along with Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
“Recent events in Myanmar, therefore, are of concern to the Philippines and to the region as a whole,” the President said, and called on Yangon to act with “utmost restraint and to make immediate steps to preserve what advances have been made in its roadmap to democracy.”
She said it was important that all stakeholders engage in a common search for a peaceful resolution of the current unrest in the country and bring about national reconciliations..
“This means,” she added, the “release of all those who have been detained and who can contribute to the process of national renewal, including Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi.”
She also called on Rangoon’s military leaders to invite United Nations (UN) Special Envoy to Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari to visit that country as soon as possible to look into the situation there.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was democratically elected prime minister of Myanmar in 1990 but the military refused to hand over power to her winning National League for Democracy Party. Suu Kyi has been under house address since 1989.
The President will address the UN General Assembly before noon Friday (New York time) as she winds up her official visit to the Big Apple. She is scheduled to head back to Manila Friday afternoon, (New York time).-press release
International SOS Assists Victims of Can Tho Bridge Collapse
HO CHI MINH CITY, 27 September 2007 – Following the collapse of a suspension bridge in Can Tho, south of Ho Chi Minh City on 26 Sep 07, International SOS mobilized its resources in Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore and Bangkok to Can Tho. This was done in order to provide assistance on the ground to members.
An International SOS first response team comprising three doctors and a nurse, an interpreter and operations manager from the International SOS alarm centre and clinic in Ho Chi Minh City was despatched immediately. The team arrived at the accident site hours after the accident has occurred, with medical equipment, supplies and a road ambulance.
The first response team worked with the local authorities and hospitals to obtain preliminary medical reports of the victims. Their immediate task is to assess the medical conditions of at least 60 members and develop a plan of action for them to receive appropriate medical care. This includes the option of evacuating seriously injured patients to Ho Chi Minh City. The team is evaluating various modes of mass evacuation including by bus, boat, road ambulance or helicopter. Medical staff at the International SOS clinic in Ho Chi Minh City have been placed on standby to receive and treat victims of the bridge collapse.
International SOS has been operating in Vietnam since 1989 and currently provides general practice consultations and emergency medical care services via its 24-hour alarm centre in Ho Chi Minh City and three international clinics in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Vung Tau. The International SOS clinics are fully equipped with emergency rooms complete with electronic monitoring and resuscitation equipment. International SOS works with a network of medical service providers and hospitals in 40 provinces throughout Vietnam.
About International SOS
International SOS has global operations in over 60 countries, spanning five continents. The company provides clients with a comprehensive portfolio of medical and security services to ensure that people travelling and working internationally have access to immediate help. International SOS’ services range from 24-hour medical advice, referrals to qualified doctors and hospitals as well as provision of emergency medical and security evacuations when there is a critical illness, accident or civil unrest. Last year, the company handled over 370,000 assistance cases, including more than 10,000 medical evacuations.
Global Corruption Survey Results
Mike Cohen, PNC Correspondent 27.SEP.07
9:39 a.m. Transparency International, the global international anti-corruption ‘watchdog,’ released its latest findings today in Germany. “The 2007 Corruption Perceptions Index looks at perceptions of public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories – the greatest country coverage of any CPI to date – and is a composite index that draws on 14 expert opinion surveys.”
The yearly report, is used as a baseline by business in trade and investments as guide to global corruption, the report, “scores countries on a scale from zero to ten, with zero indicating high levels of perceived corruption and ten indicating low levels of perceived corruption.”
This years survey shows, “A strong correlation between corruption and poverty continues to be evident. Forty percent of those scoring below three, indicating that corruption is perceived as rampant, are classified by the World Bank as low income countries.”
The report goes on to say some countries are falling further behind. “Somalia and Myanmar share the lowest score of 1.4, while Denmark has edged up to share the top score of 9.4 with perennial high-fliers Finland and New Zealand.”
Global corruption scale:
Scores are significantly higher in several African countries in the 2007 CPI. These include Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa and Swaziland. These results reflect the positive progress of anti-corruption efforts in Africa and show that genuine political will and reform can lower perceived levels of corruption.
Other countries with a significant improvement include Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Dominica, Italy, FYR Macedonia, Romania and Suriname. Countries with a significant worsening in perceived levels of corruption in 2007 include Austria, Bahrain, Belize, Bhutan, Jordan, Laos, Macao, Malta, Mauritius, Oman, Papua New Guinea and Thailand.
Eastern Europe improving war zones problematic:
The concentration of gainers in South East and Eastern Europe testifies to the galvanising effect of the European Union accession process on the fight against corruption.
The concentration of gainers in South East and Eastern Europe testifies to the galvanizing effect of the European Union accession process on the fight against corruption.
At the same time, deeply troubled states such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Myanmar, Somalia, and Sudan remain at the very bottom of the index. “Countries torn apart by conflict pay a huge toll in their capacity to govern. With public institutions crippled or non-existent, mercenary individuals help themselves to public resources and corruption thrives,” said Labelle. The divide in perceived levels of corruption in rich and poor countries remains as sharp as ever, according to the 2007 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), released today by Transparency International, the global coalition against corruption. Developed and developing countries must share responsibility for reducing corruption, in tackling both the supply and demand sides.
“Despite some gains, corruption remains an enormous drain on resources sorely needed for education, health and infrastructure,” said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International. “Low scoring countries need to take these results seriously and act now to strengthen accountability in public institutions. But action from top scoring countries is just as important, particularly in cracking down on corrupt activity in the private sector.”
* Developing countries should use aid money to strengthen their governance institutions, guided by national assessments and development strategies, and to incorporate strengthened integrity and corruption prevention as an integral part of poverty reduction programs.
* Judicial independence, integrity and accountability must be enhanced to improve the credibility of justice systems in poorer countries. Not only must judicial proceedings be freed of political influence, judges themselves must be subject to disciplinary rules, limited immunity and a code of judicial conduct to help ensure that justice is served. A clean and capable judiciary is essential if developing countries are to manage requests for assistance in the recovery of stolen assets from abroad.
* Governments must introduce anti-money laundering measures to eradicate safe havens for stolen assets, as prescribed by the UNCAC. Leading banking centers should explore the development of uniform expedited procedures for the identification, freezing and repatriation of the proceeds of corruption. Clear escrow provisions for disputed funds are essential.
* Wealthy countries must regulate their financial centers more strictly. Focusing on the roles of trusts, demanding knowledge of beneficial ownership and strengthening anti-money laundering provisions are just a few of the ways that rich governments can tackle the facilitators of corruption.
* The world’s wealthiest governments must strictly enforce the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, which criminalizes the bribery of foreign public officials. Lack of compliance with the convention’s provisions continues to hinder corruption investigations and prosecutions.
* The boards of multinational companies must not only introduce but implement effective anti-bribery codes, and ensure that they are adhered to by subsidiaries and foreign offices.
Myanmar:Rangoon protests on YOUTUBE
September 26th, 2007 · No Comments
Most media organization have been having trouble getting images out of Rangoon or as the Junta has called it since taking over Government Yangooon,
But risking a lot these people put the videos on YOUTUBE, Google videos, and other sources across the World Wide Web in order to make thier message heard. It isn’t easy and the penalities are stiff if they are caught.
So here’s a look at what is happening. Shame news crews are allowed in to be able to show what else might be happening – or that the perspective is limited. But as often in dictatorships or military rule it is in trickles – reports and images flow out like these.
Google and Youtube for now seem to be the only way the images are at least in trickles coming out.
It reminds me of another time and another place. For those too young to remember it was not so long ago news was spread via xerox copies and information and magazines had to be hidden here from where we now have as some put it.
Too much news all the time: More reactions below:
President Bush Addresses The United Nations General Assembly
At the United Nations today, President Bush expressed the outrage of the American people at the continued oppression of the people of Burma. The people of Burma deserve to enjoy basic liberties such as freedom of speech, assembly, and worship. The United States calls on the Burmese regime to engage in a genuine dialogue with its own people, including the leaders of the pro-democracy movement and ethnic minority groups, on a transition to a civilian, democratic government. The Burmese regime should release those who have been arrested for peacefully expressing their views, including Aung San Suu Kyi, and should also exercise restraint in the face of peaceful protests.
Reports trickle out of Rangoon on the situation and protests spreading throughout the land its military rulers call Myanmar. Here in Manila there are calls for the Military in Yangoon/Rangoon to follow the will of the people and restore democracy. But the rest of ASEAN is silent as always.
 Security forces have launched a crackdown against thousands of protesters in Myanmar’s central Yangon city. Early reports suggest two Buddhist monks were killed and between 80 and 200 people arrested. Police launched tear gas and fired above the crowds as up to 10,000 protestors pushed their way through barricades towards key protests points. The continuous protests against the military regime have been triggered by sharp rises in food and fuel prices. – Panos London 
News agencies and other organizations have a difficult time getting information out. But the death toll is rising and so are reports say the number of people being detained.
My own report on the crisis has mostly a view that the turmoil could lead to a flood of Yaba and other drugs across the borders into Thailand and Bangladesh:
CRISIS IN BURMA: DRUG FLOOD FEARED:
The US State Department released its yearly International Narcotics report for 2008, which has warned that the political problems in Burma are leaving drug production centers unchecked, and, corruption problems in government mean it has become Asia’s central distribution area for meth pills.
Production point for many criminal trafficking groups. “Burma’s military regime has not made the necessary efforts to curb production and has also been very lackluster in the areas of demand reduction,” Christy McCampbell , Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs told reporters at a briefing.
Worse even prior to the crisis, there seemed to be little effort to stem the trade and the US DEA believes this may indicate large scale participation of security forces in protection of production center, “We think are important, interdiction that’s very important and combating corruption. ” McCampbell added.
CRISIS DEEPENING TENSION RISING:
On the streets of what the Military Junta calls, Yangoon, Myanmar there is fear, Thursday night, reports of arrests and a death has surfaced as a crackdown versus over 100,000 people daily filling the streets in protest.
(more on www.pacificnewscenter.com)
‘First Convicted RP President’ Estrada: Resthouse Prison Now Restricted
PNC Staff Reporter 14.SEP.07
6:31 p.m. UPDATE Manila: Convicted former Philippine President Joseph Estrada has had his visitors restricted to immediate family. Police have been ordered to limit visitors to lawyers and doctors as he waits for the 15-day period for the verdict to be final.
This is after criticism from anti-graft civic groups that, “Estrada’s ‘confinement’ was ‘flawed’, and showed leniency to the popular and powerful.”
Over the two decades I’ve been in this field as a journalist I, more often than not, do not react to other writers or bloggers’ opinions on subjects – but as I sometimes look over the reports to see whats there I sometimes get frustrated when I see a report so callous, so uncaring, so insensitive to others that it makes my blood boil.
The hyperlink below is to one such blogger – whose opinions below are syndicated by the ‘blogger news network’. OK, a nice idea, but with pitfalls of profession being that sometimes non-journalist writers often take liberties with facts they don’t or can’t even begin to write about because they just don’t know. In other words, they are ignorant of the realities of what they are writing about and make cute opinions about topics to get away with filling space.
Nancy Reyes describes herself as a retired doctor. Well, what kind of doctor could be so insensitive to human suffering she just blurts out a line like below:
 …”The Korean hostages: Part of missionary life no one mentions
Blogger News Network - Here in the Philippines, the NPA specializes in Chinese businessmen. It’s a game, and the ransom is small, since China doesn’t help them, they only charge “… 
Having covered so many kidnappings I don’t even want to remember. I can’t begin to think if a real journalist or columnist wrote this the ramifications for such a line would be – one, they would be fired, two, they would lose most of the readers or advertisers they have. Lastly, they would probably get a visit from law enforcement since partly – her article ‘gives advice’ on who and who not kidnap.
Am I over reacting? NO – I’ve been to a shallow gravesides when not far from her ‘hometown’ of Gapan, Nueva Ecija, a mother clutched the rotten body of her son – filled with worms – and cried and screamed. Her son had been kidnapped. I was part of news team and police who had somehow gotten the information from aprehended kidnapper where the child was buried.
The child’s only crime was he was mestizo – a Filipino-Chinese. A son a mother loved; a sad fact was that he had ancestors who came from another part of Asia and because of that he was picked up in mall in Quezon City. Then the family begged, borrowed, and sold everything to get the boy back from hoodlums who who were too lazy to find work other than victimizing others. They took money from the family twice – who sold everything they could to get what ever was demanded – they borrowed more the second time.
But still the kidnappers – the vile and criminal men who not only killed the child tortured him – kept him in a septic tank with just enough space for him to stand his head above the filthy water until they decided he was too sick to return so they killed him. Hardly the ‘harmless’ image Dra. Reyes seeks to portray of the men like these – who have killed hundreds and destroyed thousands of families lives. A number of these people from her own town. But perhaps she doesn’t live in Gapan, or in Cabantaun or in the areas she so callously doesn’t seem to care about.
I as part the coverage team that dealt with Abu Sayyaf kidnappings had to talk and be the go-between for families of victims of both the Sipadan and Dos Palmas kidnappings. I talked for hours days and weeks with their families – I knew them and still keep in touch in with them – both the family members and victims themselves.
I’ve gone out with both NBI, PNP, and others search teams – I’ve been there when most of the time these men – grown men – come back weeping seeing the evils that are often done to the victims of these children, women, old men and old women who are taken by those whose only desire is making easy money. 9 times out of 10 are themselves killed – but masterminds often go away free and clear. Other times, they get away with it for a while but as in life what comes around goes around. They more often than not get what they deserve – but often too late for anyone they happen to victimize.
I don’t know why anyone who claims to be a healer can be so hurtful, why a so-called news organization like blogger news network let this get published.
But sadly the fact of the matter is, the topic is written by what in life is often the most dangerous thing – a person with little or no knowledge for the facts who couldn’t care less so long as what they write makes a few dollars for the banner ads on the sidebar.
I defend your right to you opinion with my life as others who really do this work for living – journalism, but tell you flatly – you’re wrong. Kidnapping is never little thing and crime can never be so gently dismissed as to almost laughingly describe events of human suffering without the proper context the events are in. Please learn the facts and please do keep on writing. But for Gods sake, please do not dismiss something so heinous as this type of crime is as just a joke.
Otherwise that is what you become – a bad joke- with nobody laughing.