environment


Vietnamese Father & Son Chose to Live in the Forest Since 1972

Father and Son Who Survived the Viet War 40 yrs ago

Father and son who fled during the Vietnamese war 40 years ago have been coaxed from their hut deep in the forest. In the photo, Ho Van Lang, now 42, is wearing loincloth made from tree barks. The father, 82 years old Ho Van Thanh, then a communist soldier is already frail and has to be carried in a hammock. Thanh ran and took his then 2 years old boy after an American bombing transpired in central Quang Ngai province back in 1972, where he also witnessed the death of his mother and two other children.

In 2004, Thanh’s younger son already taken the pair back to the village but they cannot adapt and choose to fled back to their forest home. There, they would forage and plant corn. The younger son will then visit annually to bring their necessities. But locals started spotting the pair up and reported them back to the authorities.

Local official Hoang Anh Ngoc told the media that “The son is afraid of the crowds. He will not talk to strangers… but he talks inside their family.” The official also assured that the government is also to spend $2,300 to build the men home and facilitate Thanh’s medical condition.

Typhoon Labuyo

Storm Utor or Labuyo

As of 11:00 am today, Typhoon ‘Labuyo’ continues to intensify as it nears Northern Philippines specifically the Luzon area. It now has an expected 150 kilometers per hour (kph) maximum winds—up from 140—and last spotted 160 kilometers northeast of Virac, Catanduanes or 270 kilometers east northeast of Daet, Camarines Norte. With this huge change, PAG-ASA raised storm signal number 3 in Catanduanes along with the Camarines provinces, the Northern Quezon Province, Polilio Island, Aurora and Isabela.

labuyo typhoon

labuyo typhoon


Signal number 2 is also up in:

Albay
Sorsogon
Rizal
Rest of Quezon
Laguna
Bulacan
Nueva Ecija
Quirino
Nueva Viscaya
Benguet
Ifugao
Mt. Province
Kalinga
Cagayan

While signal number 1 is up in:

Metro Manila
Babuyan Group of Islands
Ilocos Norte
Ilocos Sur
Apayao
Abra
La Union
Pangasinan
Tarlac
Zambales
Pampanga
Bataan
Cavite
Batangas
Marinduque
Burias and Ticao Islands
Northern Samar

Take the First Steps for a Hurricane Plan
If you are under a hurricane watch or warning, here are some basic steps to take to prepare for the storm:
 Learn about your community’s emergency plans, warning signals, evacuation routes, and locations of emergency shelters.
 Identify potential home hazards and know how to secure or protect them before the hurricane strikes. Be prepared to turn off electrical power when there is standing water, fallen power lines, or before you evacuate. Turn off gas and water supplies before you evacuate. Secure structurally unstable building materials.
 Buy a fire extinguisher and make sure your family knows where to find it and how to use it.
 Locate and secure your important papers, such as insurance policies, wills, licenses, stocks, etc.
 Post emergency phone numbers at every phone.
 Inform local authorities about any special needs, i.e., elderly or bedridden people, or anyone with a disability.
 Make plans to ensure your pets’ safety
Emergency Supplies You Will Need
You should stock your home with supplies that may be needed during the emergency period. At a minimum, these supplies should include:
 Several clean containers for water, large enough for a 3-5 day supply of water (about five gallons for each person).
 A 3-5 day supply of non-perishable food.
 A first aid kit and manual.
 A battery-powered radio, flashlights, and extra batteries.
 Sleeping bags or extra blankets.
HURRICANE READINESS
Nurse Des
Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention
 Water-purifying supplies, such as chlorine or iodine tablets or unscented, ordinary household chlorine bleach.
 Prescription medicines and special medical needs.
 Baby food and/or prepared formula, diapers, and other baby supplies.
 Disposable cleaning cloths, such as “baby wipes” for the whole family to use in case bathing facilities are not available.
 Personal hygiene supplies, such as soap, toothpaste, sanitary napkins, etc.
 An emergency kit for your car with food, flares, booster cables, maps, tools, a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, sleeping bags, etc.
Preparing to Evacuate
Expect the need to evacuate and prepare for it. The PAG-ASA will issue a hurricane watch when there is a threat to coastal areas of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours.
A. When a hurricane watch is issued, you should:
 Fill your automobile’s gas tank.
 If no vehicle is available, make arrangements with friends or family for transportation.
 Fill your clean water containers.
 Review your emergency plans and supplies, checking to see if any items are missing.
 Tune in the radio or television for weather updates.
 Prepare an emergency kit for your car with food, flares, booster cables, maps, tools, a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, sleeping bags, etc.
 Secure any items outside which may damage property in a storm, such as bicycles, grills etc.
 Cover windows and doors with plywood or boards or place large strips of masking tape or adhesive tape on the windows to reduce the risk of breakage and flying glass.
 Put livestock and family pets in a safe area. Due to food and sanitation requirements, emergency shelters cannot accept animals.
 Place vehicles under cover, if at all possible.
 Fill sinks and bathtubs with water as an extra supply for washing.
 Adjust the thermostat on refrigerators and freezers to the coolest possible temperature.
Nurse Des
Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention
B. If you are ordered to Evacuate
Because of the destructive power of a hurricane, you should never ignore an evacuation order. Authorities will be most likely to direct you to leave if you are in a low-lying area, or within the greatest potential path of the storm. Be aware that most shelters and some hotels do not accept pets. If a hurricane warning is issued for your area or you are directed by authorities to evacuate the area:
 Take only essential items with you.
 If you have time, turn off the gas, electricity, and water.
 Disconnect appliances to reduce the likelihood of electrical shock when power is restored.
 Make sure your automobile’s emergency kit is ready.
 Follow the designated evacuation routes. Others may be blocked and expect heavy traffic.
C. If You Are Ordered NOT to Evacuate
The great majority of injuries during a hurricane are cuts caused by flying glass or other debris. Other injuries include puncture wounds resulting from exposed nails, metal, or glass, and bone fractures.
To get through the storm in the safest possible manner:
 Monitor the radio or television for weather conditions, if possible.
 Stay indoors until the authorities declare the storm is over.
 Do not go outside, even if the weather appears to have calmed the calm “eye” of the storm can pass quickly, leaving you outside when strong winds resume.
 Stay away from all windows and exterior doors, seeking shelter in a bathroom or basement. Bathtubs can provide some shelter if you cover yourself with plywood or other materials.
 Prepare to evacuate to a shelter or to a neighbor’s home if your home is damaged, or if you are instructed to do so by emergency personnel
Complete Your Family Disaster Plan  Contact your local Red Cross and ask what types of disasters are most likely to happen.  Meet with your family and discuss why you need to prepare for disaster.  Complete the disaster plan checklist.  Practice your plan

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 4 fully loaded ships.

 

In 2010, there were 36 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 263 posts. There were 147 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 7mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was August 13th with 400 views. The most popular post that day was Perseid Meteor Shower Tonight!.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were en.wordpress.com, facebook.com, images.yandex.ru, comeyoumastersofwar.wordpress.com, and search.aol.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for 2012 end of the world, stage design, eid al fitr, concert stage design, and perseid meteor shower.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Perseid Meteor Shower Tonight! August 2009

2

7 reasons the world will end in 2012- is this true?? August 2008

3

Behind the Scene Heroes June 2009

4

Eid Al Fitr is National Non-working Holiday September 2009

5

TWO MOONS on 27th August August 2008
1 comment

Found this interesting post for January 4, 2011 in the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines – Home.

 

MANILA, Philippines—Sophisticated transnational drug-trafficking syndicates—including a West African group using overseas Filipino workers as couriers—remain the biggest challenge to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and other agencies involved in the campaign against illegal drugs, according to a report from the US State Department.

From only three in 2008, the number of foreign-based drug organizations operating in the Philippines has increased to nine, according to the department’s 2010 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report.

“The West African drugs syndicate continues to infiltrate the Philippines with their operations. There is an increase in the recruitment of OFWs to smuggle cocaine and heroin in and out of the country,” said the report which was posted on the website of the US embassy in Manila.

These drug couriers “smuggle and transport illegal drugs to China, Malaysia and Vietnam. Several Filipinos, mostly women, are jailed abroad for drug trafficking and face severe prison sentences, including the death penalty in countries such as China,” it also said.

Billion-dollar industry

The report noted that although the Philippines is not a regional financial center, the illegal drug trade in the country has evolved into a billion-dollar industry, valued at over $8.4 billion (about P368.2 billion) a year.

It said the illegal drug industry here is fueled by foreign-organized criminal activities from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan; insurgency groups that partially fund their activities through local crime and the trafficking of narcotics and arms, engaging in money laundering through ties to organized crime; and the proceeds of official or bureaucratic corruption which are also a source of laundered funds.

“Wholesale quantities of crystal methamphetamine (commonly known as shabu) are smuggled into the Philippines and continues to be manufactured clandestinely in the country,” the State Department said.

“Precursor chemicals are smuggled into the country from China, India and Taiwan through international airports, seaports, the mails, as well as via large unpatrolled expanses of the Philippine coastline,” it said.

PH transshipment point

Traffickers take advantage of the Philippines’ long and porous maritime borders to use the country as a transit point for high-grade cocaine and heroin shipments, primarily originating from India and Pakistan, the report said.

Chinese and Taiwanese remain the most influential foreign drug-trafficking groups in the Philippines and control domestic methamphetamine production, the State Department said.

Their chemists continue to establish clandestine laboratories in the Philippines for the manufacture of methamphetamine, it said.

“These traffickers typically produce methamphetamine in relatively small-scale clandestine meth labs commonly referred to as ‘kitchen-type’ labs, which more easily avoid detection by law enforcement authorities,” it said.

Shabu “ranks first in availability and remains the primary drug of choice in the Philippines,” where approximately 95 percent of arrested drug users are addicted to the illegal drug.

According to the 2009 United Nations World Drug Report, the Philippines “ranks fifth in the world in terms of methamphetamine hydrochloride seizures in the last 10 years and has remained a significant source of high-potency crystalline methamphetamine used both domestically and exported to locations in East and Southeast Asia and Oceania.”

The Philippines is also a primary source of shabu for Hawaii and Guam, said the US State Department.

But it noted that “intensified nationwide counter-narcotics operations by Philippine law enforcement agencies have apparently contributed to a reduction in drug supply, inasmuch as drug prices have been erratic in areas of increased enforcement.”

Law enforcement efforts

The Philippine government was cited for making anti-narcotics law enforcement one of its top priorities, with law enforcement agencies such as PDEA, Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, and Bureau of Customs actively pursuing counter-narcotics enforcement operations.

But though each agency is diligent in its efforts to carry out its mission, “their efforts are hampered by a lack of inter-agency cooperation at higher levels. Severe budgetary constraints also restrict operations and training,” it said.

PDEA, for instance, “remains too small to address the entire nation’s problems with the trafficking and sale of illicit drugs. It currently relies on other agencies for personnel assistance.”

“However, PDEA has established stronger regulatory guidelines and practices, and if provided necessary resources, should continue to develop into an effective drug enforcement agency,” it said.

The PNP’s Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force “has been an effective drug law enforcement unit and scored several successes in 2009,” according to the State Department.

NBI’s small role

Compared with the PDEA and PNP, the NBI “has played a smaller role in drug enforcement due to its very limited manpower and multi-mission focus. However, its investigative and technical expertise is vital to the overall Philippine counter-narcotics efforts, especially in more complex investigations,” the US agency said.

The State Department said Washington plans to continue working with the Philippine government in the “training of anti-narcotics personnel, intelligence-gathering and infrastructure development.”

“Strengthening bilateral counter-narcotics relationship serves the national interests of both the US and the Philippines,” it added. –Jerry E. Esplanada, Philippine Daily Inquirer

1. Die Hard 2- John McClane (Bruce Willis) is at odds with terrible mercenaries who take over an airport’s communication system, who threatens to make the planes crash if they don’t get what they want
2. Lost, Season 1- Show begins with a plane crash and a bunch of people trying to survive on a deserted island.
3. Snakes on a Plane- 2 reasons: 1- killer reptiles on the flight, 2- bad movie
4. Turbulence- a stewardess needs to fly a plane overrun by criminals, ward off a serial killer, and touch down in LA just in time for the Christmas holidays
5. Fearless- this 1993 film features every graphic and traumatizing plane crash scene which max Klein (Jeff Bridges) survives. It eventually changes him into someone who feels indestructible.

The Hong Thai bus standoff yesterday was a mirror of how the Philippines can handle a very bad hostage situation. The hostage drama was on for 10 hours, the negotiator was not at all persuasive, and the worst, the police seemed not ready. ABS-CBN media men were even caught live laughing and swearing when a round of shooting happened.

The Negotiator

In any hostage drama, the negotiator has to be very sincere and persuading with an eye for the smallest detail. In this case, Chief-negotiator Orlando Yerba Jr should have been the man for the job but what went wrong? The negotiator basically failed to give former Police Superintendent Ronaldo Mendoza the hope he needs. He also failed to establish an ocular inspection on-site. In fact, he forgot to instruct the police that the bus has a television where the aggressor might be able to see what’s happening around him. He might have even seen how his brother was forcefully arrested, provoking his temper.

Too Long a Drama

The Hong Thai bus full of Hong Kong nationals and 4 Filipinos were supposed to visit the Manila Ocean Park around 10 in the morning before former Police Superintendent Ronaldo Mendoza alight and took over. Negotiations started and ended with no promise of hope for the aggressor, who set a 3 p.m. dead lock. The deadline extended again and again, but it was at 8:30 in the evening when the police decided to seize the bus.

Puhh—leeezzzzz

It was a hostage drama turning into a comedy when the police started to move around before it ends up into a blood bath. Some questions are in my mind: 1) why did the police waited for nighttime to operate when they know, if former Police Superintendent Ronaldo Mendoza was serious and dangerous, will be to their disadvantage? 2) Why are they not in battle gears? 3) Did they learn to tie a rope in the training? 4) Why do they cluster around and not taking the situation seriously? 5) Was there a commanding officer in the site? Where’s that guy?

Freedom, oh freedom

You want to be free as a bird? Two things: be a Filipino and become a media man

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