Tuesday, February 28, 2017

BRITISH Student “RESCUE” to Save the Philippines “Needs help”

Help students reach the Philippines as part of search and research course. Wiltshire College students practice water rescue techniques at the Old Mill in Harnham. Photo: salisburyjournal.co.uk
BRITISH Student “RESCUE” to Save the Philippines “Needs help” Help students reach the Philippines as part of search and research course. Wiltshire College students practice water rescue techniques at the Old Mill in Harnham. Photo: salisburyjournal.co.uk

Help students reach the Philippines as part of search and research course


A SEARCH and rescue training course is showcasing what young people can do in Salisbury.

A group of students from Wiltshire College have been working alongside disaster response charity Serve On at Salisbury Fire Station to gain a nationally recognised search and rescue qualification.

They have also been working with Chilmark-based charity Team Rubicon UK.

This is the first time the Search and Rescue Level 1 course, which started last September, has been offered by the college.

Foundation Studies lecturer James Lewis says he has seen the students grow in confidence. He said: “What the students have done here is amazing.”

Help students reach the Philippines as part of search and research course. Wiltshire College students practice water rescue techniques at the Old Mill in Harnham. Photo: salisburyjournal.co.uk
 Help students reach the Philippines as part of search and research course. Wiltshire College students practice water rescue techniques at the Old Mill in Harnham. Photo: salisburyjournal.co.uk

The students have been able to learn about different aspects of search and rescue from safety and equipment checks to practical techniques including water rescue.

Craig Elson, of Serve On, added: “What we are trying to do for these young people is to give them opportunities and experiences that they wouldn't otherwise get. These young people have a massive amount of untapped enthusiasm and potential, our goal at Serve On is to help them come to realise that fact.

“It has been testing at times, but that's what makes it so rewarding. I have seen these guys and girls grow in confidence and demonstrate some of the capabilities that they have. They can all be justly proud of how far they have come.”

Help students reach the Philippines as part of search and research course. Wiltshire College students practice water rescue techniques at the Old Mill in Harnham. Photo: salisburyjournal.co.uk
Help students reach the Philippines as part of search and research course. Wiltshire College students practice water rescue techniques at the Old Mill in Harnham. Photo: salisburyjournal.co.uk

It is hoped that four of the students will be able to travel to the Philippines in May where they will help rebuild a school.

But help is needed as it will cost about £3,500 to get them out there.

Mr Lewis said: “They will work with groups of school students doing English, work on community projects, get experience of that culture and exposure to search and rescue teams. We hope to raise the profile of what young people in Salisbury can do and what they are capable of.”

Serve On, Team Rubicon UK, the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation, Manduae City Government, the Congressman from the Philippines Government and various local surgeons and health workers are also due to be involved.

TO HELP

Anyone who would like to sponsor the students' trip to the Philippines is asked to get in touch with Mr Lewis by emailing james.lewis@wiltshire.ac.uk



Help students reach the Philippines as part of search and research course. Wiltshire College students practice water rescue techniques at the Old Mill in Harnham. Photo: salisburyjournal.co.uk
Help students reach the Philippines as part of search and research course. Wiltshire College students practice water rescue techniques at the Old Mill in Harnham. Photo: salisburyjournal.co.uk

- Newsquest Media - UK

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Shabu Pushers Shows up Again in the streets of Manila "Yelling like Selling Balot" Weeks after TOKHANG Stopped, -VOA

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A drug user inhales "shabu," or methamphetamine, at a drug den in Manila, Philippines, Feb. 13, 2017. Photo: VOA

Philippines Meth Trade Out of the Shadows Again

VOICE OF AMERICA (VOA): MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs had until three weeks ago driven the trade in crystal methamphetamine underground, according to residents and drug users in some of the slum areas of the nation’s capital city.

As thousands of users and dealers were shot dead by police and vigilantes in the first seven months after Duterte came to power last June, open dealing in the drug, known here by its street name shabu, largely stopped. Instead, deals were done on the quiet between people who knew each other, maybe with a text message first.

But since Duterte ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to stand down from the drugs war last month, after declaring the force “rotten to the core,” the drugs trade has come back out of the shadows, more than half a dozen drug users and dealers in some of Manila’s toughest areas said in interviews. Many spoke on condition that only their first names be used in this story.

‘How much are you going to buy?’

Beside one of the less-used railroad tracks in Manila, a grassy area scattered with human excrement only a few miles from the gleaming high-rises of the Makati business district, shabu was easily available last week, costing just a few pesos (cents) per hit.

Residents said that when they traveled on the illegal trolleys that ferry people for a few pesos along the track when there are no trains in sight, a fellow passenger will often offer them a sachet of the drug.

Eusebio, 52, who pushes a wood and bamboo trolley on the track for a living, said dealers sometimes walk alongside calling out: “How much are you going to buy?”

“Now that the operations have been suspended, drugs have become rampant again,” he said. “Those who were hiding have resurfaced.”

Another trolley-pusher, Boyser, 59, told two Reuters journalists: “If you weren’t reporters, they would offer you drugs.”

‘Users are still users’
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A sachet of "shabu," or methamphetamine, is pictured between lamps inside a drug den in Manila, Philippines, Feb. 13, 2017. Photo: VOA

In a dark cinderblock room that serves as a drug den in another part of Manila, there were similar stories from users.

“We have more freedom now,” Jason, a 39-year-old bartender told a visiting reporter as he inhaled shabu smoke. “All the users are still users, except those who have been killed,” he said, adding that he has used shabu for almost two decades.

More than 8,000 people have been killed since Duterte was sworn in almost eight months ago, about 2,500 of whom were killed in official police anti-narcotics operations. Human rights groups believe many of the others were extra-judicial executions committed as part of the war on drugs, and in cooperation with the police, a claim the Duterte administration has vehemently denied.

The president’s office did not respond to a list of emailed questions about the drug war and whether dealers were now openly back on the streets.

Duterte has repeatedly said he will hunt down drug lords and other “high value” targets and there have been a handful of large-scale seizures and raids on shabu laboratories.

But most of those killed in the war on drugs have been small-time dealers and users in some of the country’s poorest neighborhoods.

The PNP stopped publishing an official tally of drug war killings from police operations on January 31 when Duterte ordered the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to take over the campaign.

Fewer killings

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Filipino men place their hands over their heads as they are rounded up during a police operation as part of the continuing "War on Drugs" campaign of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila, Philippines. Photo: VOA File

According to reporters and photographers from Reuters and Philippine news organizations working the night shift, “vigilante-style” killings of drug suspects have continued, but at a much slower pace. Police data shows 398 people were killed nationwide in the first 20 days of February.

Details of the killings were not provided and it was unclear how many were drug-related.

Some anti-narcotics experts say they would not be surprised if it turns out that the drug war has been ineffective. They say that ruthless operations against drugs, like Duterte’s, have failed elsewhere in the world.

When an aggressive anti-drugs campaign begins, supplies may be tight for a while, street prices may spike, but ultimately drug usage does not drop, say those who have studied the results.

“We don’t know of any examples from around the world where very hard-line approaches have worked effectively,” said Jeremy Douglas, the regional representative for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. “They can temporarily disrupt street business, but they don’t disrupt demand.”

Lost momentum

Some police officers told Reuters that they had received reports of increased street-level drug activity since they were ordered to stand down.

Manila Police Commander Olivia Sagaysay, who oversees four precincts in the city, said the war on drugs had lost momentum and morale among her officers had suffered since they were ordered to stand down.

“It’s depressing,” she said. “But who are we not to follow the higher-ups?”

She said she expected the trade to increase but maybe not return to its previous levels because “networks were disrupted” and “pushers were killed.”
In a written response to questions from Reuters about the impact of Duterte’s campaign on the street-level shabu trade, the PDEA said that “based on reports gathered, the supply of illegal drugs in some areas are still considerably abundant.”

The PDEA attributed low street prices for shabu — prices overall have risen only minimally since the war on drugs began and in some areas have fallen — to a “lack of customers” or drug traffickers trying to get rid of their supply “in order to avoid arrest.” It said drugs were being hoarded and that it was difficult for users to transact directly with traffickers. The PDEA did not provide evidence for any of its assessments.

PNP spokesman Dionardo Carlos said drugs would return to the streets because it was “a billion peso business” and “money talks.”

In his view, though, the drug war had not failed.

“We hit the target and now it goes back to PDEA. As far as the PNP is concerned we did our part in the past seven months. I hope PDEA will be able to do their part,” he said.

The PDEA has just about 1,800 people compared with the national police force of 160,000. Of the existing PDEA personnel, only about half are field operatives.

PDEA spokesman Derrick Carreon said his agency will add staff and that the president would soon be issuing an executive order to set up an anti-illegal drugs inter-agency council and task force that would also draw from the military, the National Bureau of Investigation and the PNP. The task force will be charged with pursuing the war on drugs.

“There is a temporary vacuum of warm bodies but it won’t be long,” Carreon said, adding that those involved in the drug trade would be wrong to think they were safe.

“If that’s their perception, it won’t last long,” he said. “They will find out in the hardest way that they are terribly wrong.”
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A drug user inhales "shabu," or methamphetamine, at a drug den in Manila, Philippines, Feb. 13, 2017. Photo: VOA

‘Go after cookers’

Still, Jason, the bartender who is a shabu user, said Duterte’s campaign was not successful because he targeted the wrong people.

If authorities had gone after the “cookers,” the people manufacturing the drugs, instead of users and small dealers, people like him would be unable to buy and would move on. As it is, Jason said, shabu is always in plentiful supply, adding he was addicted and the drug eliminated any fear he may have had of being shot by police or vigilantes.

As he spoke, Jason poured white crystals into a long strip of aluminum foil folded into a trough, tilted it slightly and held a flame below. Almost immediately, it produced a thick white smoke, which he sucked up through a narrow aluminum foil straw.

He then began speaking again, more animatedly. “I buy drugs every day!” he said. - Voice of America 

Friday, February 24, 2017

1 BTC - USD Hits 1,120 and Continue Rising for the coming USA SEC ETF Decision March 11

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Bitcoin hit 1,120 USD. Source: Blockchain

Friday, February 24, 2017 11:30 PM UTC +8GMT

BTC/USD hit an all-time high of 1220 level on Friday and is currently trading at 1209 levels at the time of writing (Bitstamp).

Philippine Peso - BTC Exchange rates : ₱60,277.64

Coins.ph exchange rate:  Buy: ₱60,737 PHP | Sell: ₱58,875 PHP

Buybitcoin  rate:  Buy: ₱61,581 PHP | Sell: ₱58,529 PHP

The recent upswing is possibly being driven by the upcoming decision on bitcoin ETF by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Traders seem to be largely bullish on the bitcoin ETF getting the approval, CoinDesk reported. The SEC has until March 11,2017 to approve or disapprove the ETF.

According to Bloomberg, President Trump’s policy uncertainties might be the reason behind the recent rally. It explains that investors are looking to hedge against potential global uncertainty in the wake of President Trump’s policies and are speculating relaxation of digital currency regulations under his leadership.

On the upside, the pair will now run into resistance at 1245 (127.2% retracement of 1139.89 and 751.34) and a break above would see it testing 1280 (113% extension of 751.34 and 12.20)/1347.

Momentum studies remain bullish. Any dips could be taken as an opportunity to go long. However, caution is advised as RSI and stochs are in the overbought zone.

On the flipside, support is seen at 1200 (psychological) any violation would drag it to 1140 (trend line joining 941.81 and 1074.69)/ 1115 (5-DMA). A break below 5-DMA could see further weakness in the pair.



DO YOU WANT TO START EARNING BITCOIN WITHOUT SPENDING EVEN A CENT? 
   
STEP 1: 


FOR PHILIPPINE CUSTOMERS (INCLUDING OFW ABROAD): 
You must download the Coins.ph App below and register. This app would serve as your wallet to store your collected bitcoins.

FOR OUTSIDE PHILIPPINE CUSTOMERS OR FOR NON-FILIPINO CUSTOMERS
You must have a bitcoin wallet and bitcoin address through blockhain or at  Coinbase.com  You may download the Coinbase.com App below to begin.


STEP 2: 
FOR Coins.ph Follow the steps 1 to 3 to get the Bitcoin address and save this as you need this address.

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In order for you to have a new Bitcoin address using the Coins.ph , You must follow the 3 steps above as shown in the screen captured photo. 3DkAZ2o2pypqs7KgZq5LbtEQEhgovg9iy8 is a sample of a bitcoin address.

Note: Coins.ph would ask you to download aswell the Google Authenticator as the second security verification to make sure that you are the owner logging into the account. Every time that the Coins.ph app would ask for verification, you must open the Google Authenticator as it would display a new code. Such code would change everytime you make a new transaction.

FOR  Coinbase.com if you could not find the button that would provide a new bitcoin address then proceed to  blockhain, register and get your new Bitcoin address.


STEP 3: 

Here you are! It is time to register at BitMiner ! bit miner would give your $5USD bitcoin every 5 days without investing even a single cent as part of their marketing to entice people to use bitcoin. How to start with BitMiner  , Just register with your new bitcoin address provided by the coins.ph or blockchain then visit the site after 5 days and you could claim $5 USD and it would continue to the following weeks until the end of their marketing plan.

Step by step instruction on how to register at BitMiner !

Visit the BitMiner website https://bitminer.io/ as shown below then input your bitcoin address at the space provided (llabe 1) then clikc start mining then leave it. After a week, it is withdraw time and get your FREE $5USD without spending anything. Please note down your exact bitcoin address and save it in a safe place as you need it next time you visit your bitcoin miner to make withdrawal.

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Follow step by step:
1.) Enter your bitcoin address
2.) Click Start Mining

You could withdraw if your collected Bitcoin reach up to the thresholds of  0.005 BTC 

3.) Check your earning rate and profit per day. 
4.) Check your profit per day

Note: You can withdraw your collected bitcoin once it reach the thresholds of  0.005 BTC or $5USD or whatever the rate of 1BTC to USD. Current rate shows 0.005 BTC is equalt to $5.94 USD.  So  0.005 BTC divided by 0.0006 BTC daily profit is 8.33 days (0.005/0.0006 = 8.33)

If you wish to make withdrawal several times a day then you need to upgrade your BitMiner. Look at our upgraded Bit Miner below. 

Upgrading to V1.1 would cost you $10 USD but it would increase you mining speed and daily profit that would help you earn more Bitcoin in 1 day period.

Upgraded Bitminer v1.2
With our upgraded version Bitminerv1.2 it enables us to collect 0.15 BTC everyday or $17.82 USD. Just check from your google "BTC-USD" to get the update of the BTC-USD exchange rate.

Bit Miner Versions available:

Bit Miner V1.0  = 0.0006 BTC Profit every Day
Bit Miner V1.1  = 0.0012 BTC Profit every Day
Bit Miner V1.2  = 0.015   BTC Profit every Day
Bit Miner V1.3  = 0.15     BTC Profit every Day
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Current exchange rate for 1 BTC to USD is $1,1888 or check Google echange rate for updates

Senator Leila de Lima Arrested for Accusation of Orchestrating a Drug-trafficking ring for 5 years During her Term as Justice Minister

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Senator Leila de Lima with her political party supporters inside her office before the arrest  

Senator Leila de Lima Arrested for Accusation of Orchestrating a drug-trafficking ring for 5 years

Senator Leila de Lima a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs has been arrested by law enforcement agents after charges were filed in court alleging that she received money from drug dealers inside the Bilibid, the country's largest prisoner’s compound.

Senator Leila de Lima is accused of orchestrating a drug-trafficking ring when she was justice secretary during the 2010-2015 administration of Benigno Aquino.

"The truth will come out and I will achieve justice. I am innocent," she told reporters shortly before law enforcers escorted her away from her office on Friday.

De Lima, her former driver. lover and bodyguard and a former national prison official were ordered to be arrested by a local court on Thursday after a judge found merit in criminal charges filed by the Department of Justice last week.

De Lima has denied the charges, calling herself a victim of political persecution and saying that she has long prepared herself to be the first "political prisoner" under the Duterte administration.

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Senator Leila de Lima Arrested and heading the Police office with police escort 

"While the issuance of the warrant of arrest is questionable, I do not have any plans to evade it," she said, calling the order premature as the court has yet to hear the response from her lawyers.

She slept in her Senate office overnight then gave herself up to armed officers in flak jackets who put her in a van and drove into morning rush-hour traffic apparently towards police headquarters.

Duterte, 71, won a presidential election last year after promising during the campaign to eradicate drugs in society by killing tens of thousands of people.

Since his inauguration on June 30, an anti-drug drive has seen more than 7,000 people killed over suspected drug links - with about 60 percent of the deaths carried out by unknown assassins.

De Lima has previously called for foreign intervention to put an end to the "state-inspired" extrajudicial murders, which she said have been instigated by Duterte since his election to power.

De Lima also led a series of Senate investigations over allegations that police officers were involved in the killings, and that hired killers were operating under orders from police.

Aries Arugay, associate professor of political science at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, told Al Jazeera that the senator will use her detention to highlight the president's controversial policies.  

"Senator de Lima has been taunting the Duterte administration to arrest her for months. She boldly says she is its fiercest critic … What is happening right now is she is really using this as her platform for her own politics," Aurgay said.

'Shame on you'
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Senator Leila de Lima  taking her mugshot at the police office

Meanwhile, De Lima's detractors were jubilant over the news of her arrest.

Blogger and Movie and Television Review and Classification Board Member Mocha Uson, who is a "diehard" supporter of Duterte, said once the charges are proven, no one will stand with De Lima.

Meanwhile, political analyst and fervent Duterte supporter Sass Sasot, criticized De Lima for her rancorous reaction to the arrest warrant. I miss the time when Gloria was arrested.

"Naka upo lang si madame, enduring everything, dignity in silence. Itong si Leila kulang na lang bumuga ng apoy."

Finally, former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada — who is currently facing plunder charges filed by then-Justice Secretary De Lima in relation to alleged misuse of his "pork barrel" fund — slammed De Lima for not surrendering directly to authorities.


"We surrendered even before the warrant of arrest was served. We went to Crame immediately. Can't you do the same? Shame on you," Estrada said in a Facebook post. - With report from CNN and Aljazeera

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Why Krugman’s “Bitcoin is Antisocial and Impractical” Argument is Flawed

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Paul Krugman, “economist” and University of New York professor, Photo: The Coin Telegraph

Over the past few years, Paul Krugman, “economist” and University of New York professor, continuously criticized Bitcoin and its decentralized nature, describing it as an anti-social network because it does not depend on a state-owned or controlled money supply.

To start with, Bitcoin can be perceived as an abstract financial and technological concept within the traditional frame of Economics and Finance. The Bitcoin network represents the potential of peer-to-peer and open financial networks that eliminate the necessity of the third party institutions or governing entities in order to efficiently facilitate payments between users in a practical ecosystem.

Conventional “economists” such as Krugman have been introduced to state-owned, controlled and manipulated currencies, assets and stores of value for an immense period of time that they often struggle to understand the necessity of digital currencies like Bitcoin.

In his blog he writes:
“At the end of 2013, I wrote a post titled “Bitcoin is evil,” riffing off Charlie Stross’s “Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire.” Charlie and I both keyed in on the obvious ideological agenda: Bitcoin fever was and is intimately tied up with libertarian anti-government fantasies.”

“Bitcoin is antisocial” because “it is not state-owned” - wait, what?

The “Bitcoin is antisocial” argument has been the core of Krugman’s criticisms against the cryptocurrency. Ironically, however, Bitcoin has demonstrated the highest level of user freedom, as it relies on a peer-to-peer protocol as its foundation.

Another ridiculous statement of Krugman that he frequently pushes in mainstream media outlets such as the New York Times, for example, is that “Bitcoin is not state-owned,” which misleads users and investors on the primary purpose of Bitcoin. Basically, he says that Bitcoin was created to weaken the global banking system.

Well, seriously? In 2009, Bitcoin was introduced with the sole purpose of providing financial freedom, sovereignty and independence to users. So far, it has succeeded in offering an unprecedented level of financial freedom to the general population, proving that financial networks can exist without the involvement of governments and the existence of authority.

Governments abuse the power over the cash-based monetary system

Bitcoin serves as evidence that peer-to-peer networks can exist and that users are responsible enough to lead a peer-to-peer protocol in a civilized manner.

The global financial system utilizes cash as its basis. Banking systems and financial services are deployed on top of the monetary framework, offering digitalized methods of transacting cash. The role of the government within a cash-based monetary system is to provide enough supply of physical cash to support the economy.

Governments have abused this power over the cash-based monetary system to print fiat money at their demand. Termed as “quantitative easing,” central banks print a certain amount of cash and distribute that among banks. While governments claim that this new set of printed money ends up at the bottom of the economy, in actuality, billions of dollars created on an annual basis are sprinkled on top of the economy for top-tier organizations and financial institutions.

Bitcoin has proved that a state-owned money supply is redundant and unnecessary. In a social network, a peer-to-peer protocol like Bitcoin, each individual plays a role in maintaining an autonomous financial network.
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Paul Krugman, “economist” and University of New York professor is wrong.  Illustration: The Coin Telegraph

Source: - The Coin Telegraph 


Investment Recommendation: Bitcoin Investments


Zinc7 Offers 7% Interest Growth of your BITCOIN Investment

Grow your $25 USD to $38.50 in 30 days


Where to buy Bitcoins?

For Philippine customers: You could buy Bitcoin Online at Coins.ph
For outside the Philippines customers  may buy Bitcoins online at Coinbase.com


Governments and Banks Push Bitcoin Price to New Levels: Experts

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illustration: rubiztech.com.ng

Besides the global influx of new users, government wars and restrictions against Bitcoin appears to be toughening the resilience and character of the cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin has exhibited a very strong price character so far in 2017 despite a number of setbacks. This is expressed by the manner in which its price has always shown good strength in recovery.

Alena Vranova, co-founder of SatoshiLabs / TREZOR, says:

“All those setbacks, hurdles and government restrictions are a blessing, making Bitcoin more resilient. The fact that Bitcoin hit $1000 for the second time in its short history also strengthened its position even more and set expectations quite high for this year.”

Two factors supercharging Bitcoin value

Simon Dixon, BnkToTheFuture.com CEO, believes that Bitcoin’s continued strength as a global store of value has been supercharged by two factors in 2017.

Firstly, Dixon notes that banks and financial instructions around the globe waved the Blockchain flag throughout 2016 and many more are starting to realize that Blockchains are pretty useless without Bitcoin’s proof of work.

The result, according to Dixon has been a wave of Blockchain applications that are worse than their existing solutions and a realization that Bitcoin is actually the only interesting thing about Blockchain.

Secondly, Dixon says that governments are essentially subsidizing the growth of Bitcoin, driving people to it by waging war on their national cash supply and adding more and more friction to fiat money in their war on money laundering that is affecting everyday people that are not laundering anything.

“These two factors are driving more and more people to buy some Bitcoin and experience what it is like to own their own money,” concludes Dixon.

Bitcoin is conquering new levels

Michael Vogel, CEO of Netcoins, describes Bitcoin as having a breakout year in terms of new users and continued adoption on a global scale.

Vogel tells Cointelegraph that 2017 is proving to be a very exciting year for Bitcoin, despite having seen major regulatory uncertainties in China with some exchanges halting withdrawals.

Vogel explains:

“Speaking from my viewpoint at Netcoins, a large portion of our customer base continues to be new customers that are discovering Bitcoin for the first time and have made the decision to load up their new Bitcoin wallet. In fact, January was a record month for traffic at our Virtual Bitcoin ATMs.”

Vogel thinks that the overall upward trend in Bitcoin price is as a result of the influx of new users globally. This is because, despite hiccups and negative press, the global Bitcoin trading and transaction volumes continue to grow. This is reflected in the 24-hour volume history of main Bitcoin exchanges over the past year. - The Cointelegraph

Investment Recommendation: Bitcoin Investments


Zinc7 Offers 7% Interest Growth of your BITCOIN Investment

Grow your $25 USD to $38.50 in 30 days


Where to buy Bitcoins?

For Philippine customers: You could buy Bitcoin Online at Coins.ph
For outside the Philippines customers  may buy Bitcoins online at Coinbase.com

Friday, February 17, 2017

Thousands of Child Sexual Abuses by Philippine Catholic Priests - Zero Conviction - Judges Paid: Aljazeera Doc reveals

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Happy boys in the Philippines inside the Shelter Program provides 24-hour care for poor, vulnerable, abused and disadvantaged children in crisis. Their needs cannot be adequately met by their families and relatives or by any other form of alternative family care arrangement. Photo: LittleChildrenPhilippines.org

Philippine Catholic church abusers rarely prosecuted


Al Jazeera investigation reveals the growing problem of sexual misconduct in the Philippines' powerful Catholic church.

Sexual misconduct in the Catholic church is a growing problem in the Philippines, an Al Jazeera investigation has revealed, and priests suspected of abuse are seldom prosecuted.

Oscar Cruz, a retired archbishop overseeing the investigation, told Al Jazeera's 101 East programme that in recent years more cases had come to the church's attention.

"Yes, yes, yes... [there are] more reports on paedophilia and homosexuality," Cruz said. "It is a heinous crime, you know. And a priest at that? Violating a minor? Come on!"
For centuries, the Catholic church has wielded considerable influence in the Philippines, with more than 80 percent of a 100 million-strong population following the faith.

"If clerical abuse victims take on the most powerful institution in the Philippines, it is a David and Goliath battle," 101 East's Drew Ambrose, reporting from the capital Manila, said.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, "Imelda" said she was sexually assaulted by a priest three years ago, when she was 15.

After she filed a police report, two members from her village church paid her $150 to drop the case, she alleged.


 Video: Al Jazeera investigation reveals the growing problem of sexual misconduct in the Philippines' powerful Catholic church

"At first, I didn’t really want to accept the money because I already knew it was from a priest, but they were so insistent that I take the money," she said.

Jaime Achacoso, a lawyer and expert on the Catholic Church's canon law, said priests found guilty of sexual misconduct had not been removed from ministry.
Philippine Catholic church abusers rarely prosecuted
Al Jazeera investigation reveals the growing problem of sexual misconduct in the Philippines' powerful Catholic church.

Sexual misconduct in the Catholic church is a growing problem in the Philippines, an Al Jazeera investigation has revealed, and priests suspected of abuse are seldom prosecuted.

Oscar Cruz, a retired archbishop overseeing the investigation, told Al Jazeera's 101 East programme that in recent years more cases had come to the church's attention.

"Yes, yes, yes... [there are] more reports on paedophilia and homosexuality," Cruz said. "It is a heinous crime, you know. And a priest at that? Violating a minor? Come on!"

For centuries, the Catholic church has wielded considerable influence in the Philippines, with more than 80 percent of a 100 million-strong population following the faith.

"If clerical abuse victims take on the most powerful institution in the Philippines, it is a David and Goliath battle," 101 East's Drew Ambrose, reporting from the capital Manila, said.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, "Imelda" said she was sexually assaulted by a priest three years ago, when she was 15.

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Innocent Catholic boys church goers in the Philippines are prone to sexual abuses by the pedophile catholic priests, with thousands of complaints from the remote islands of the Philippines for sexual abuses to the minors but of zero conviction because the Catholic churches seems to tolerate the wrongdoings by bribing the Judges to junk the complaints to protect them from national embarrassment.

After she filed a police report, two members from her village church paid her $150 to drop the case, she alleged.

"At first, I didn’t really want to accept the money because I already knew it was from a priest, but they were so insistent that I take the money," she said.

Jaime Achacoso, a lawyer and expert on the Catholic Church's canon law, said priests found guilty of sexual misconduct had not been removed from ministry.

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About 80 percent of the 100 million Filipinos are Catholics [Reuters File Photo]

"Oh yes, they weren’t, unfortunately. And the inadequate investigations in the past have festered, so things have not been solved," he told Al Jazeera. "Priests continue to be there."

'Scale of abuse' unknown

Merian Aldea, an outreach worker helping victims of abuse, said some of them had barely started school and were often terrified to speak out.

"The youngest is six. They are afraid they will be cursed or 'God' will curse them if they go against these people."

Observers say that is just one reason why the full scale of abuse by Filipino priests may never be known.

The Vatican and the Archbishops of Manila and Cebu refused to comment on the investigation.

Among the most high-profile accusations of abuse was one from Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has repeatedly said the church hierarchy are "hypocrites".

Duterte said that, during his teenage years, he and other male classmates were molested by an American priest while attending a Jesuit school in his hometown of Davao.

"This religion is not so sacred," he was quoted as saying.

He also said he was too young and frightened to file a complaint against the priest, who was later linked to similar abuse after he returned to the United States. - Aljazeera

Russia - Philippines to Start Sharing Intelligence Database to Fight Anti's

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte attend a meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Lima, Peru, November 19, 2016. Sputnik/Kremlin/Mikhail Klimentyev via REUTERS

Russia to share intelligence with Philippines, train Duterte guards


Russia's top security official on Thursday offered the Philippines access to an intelligence database to help it fight crime and militancy, and training for the elite forces assigned to protect President Rodrigo Duterte.

Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of Russia's Security Council and Vladimir Putin's top security adviser, made the offer during a meeting between Russian and Philippine security officials in Davao, where he was visiting Duterte at his home city.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Russia had invited the Philippines to join a database-sharing system to help combat trans-national crime and terrorism, which he said could help track Islamist militants and their financial transactions.

In an interview with Reuters last week, Lorenzana said there were "very strong" links between Islamic State and militants in the Philippines.

Patrushev's trip underlines Russia's intent to capitalize on a radical recalibration of foreign policy under Duterte, who harbors resentment of the Philippines' deep-rooted ties to the United States.



Duterte has made strong overtures towards China and Russia.

He praised Putin's leadership when he met him at an international summit late last year. He also he talked at length to Putin about what he called U.S. "hypocrisy".

Lorenzana said security officials from both sides also discussed law enforcement cooperation, including anti-piracy and anti-narcotics exercises by coastguard and police.

The two countries were working on a military technical cooperation agreement, he said, and Russia offered to provide enhanced training for troops protecting Duterte.

Duterte will visit Moscow in May.
"We are keen on signing a defense cooperation agreement," Lorenzana said of that trip.

Lorenzana said last week Russia was interested in selling military equipment to the Philippines, like drones, helicopters, rifles and submarines.

(Reporting by Manuel Mogato; Editing by Martin Petty) - REUTERS

China - Philippines Bridging for the 5G Wireless Internet Preparation 2020

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Philippine Telco's are in the preparation for 5G wireless mobile internet for 2020

What is 5G Mobile Internet?


5th generation mobile networks or 5th generation wireless systems, abbreviated 5G, are the proposed next telecommunications standards beyond the current 4G/IMT-Advanced standards.

Rather than faster peak Internet connection speeds, 5G planning aims at higher capacity than current 4G, allowing higher number of mobile broadband users per area unit, and allowing consumption of higher or unlimited data quantities in gigabyte per month and user.

This would make it feasible for a large portion of the population to stream high-definition media many hours per day with their mobile devices, when out of reach of Wi-Fi hotspots.
5G research and development also aims at improved support of Device-to-device communication, aiming at lower cost, lower latency than 4G equipment and lower battery consumption, for better implementation of the Internet of things.
There is currently no standard for 5G deployments.

The Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance defines the following requirements that a 5G standard should fulfill:
  1. Data rates of tens of megabits per second for tens of thousands of users
  2. Data rates of 100 megabits per second for metropolitan areas
  3. 1 Gb per second simultaneously to many workers on the same office floor
  4. Several hundreds of thousands of simultaneous connections for massive wireless sensor network
  5. Spectral efficiency significantly enhanced compared to 4G
  6. Coverage improved
  7. Signaling efficiency enhanced
  8. 1-10 ms latency (limited by speed of light)
  9. Latency reduced significantly compared to LTE

The Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance feels that 5G should be rolled out by 2020 to meet business and consumer demands. In addition to providing simply faster speeds, they predict that 5G networks also will need to meet new use cases, such as the Internet of Things (internet connected devices) as well as broadcast-like services and lifeline communication in times of natural disaster.

Carriers, chipmakers, OEMS and OSATs, such as Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE), have been preparing for this next-generation (5G) wireless standard, as mobile systems and base stations will require new and faster application processors, basebands and RF devices.

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China’s Huawei, Philippine Telco join forces in 5G deal


Chinese electronics giant Huawei is joining forces with the Philippines' largest telco in the hopes of rolling out a 5G wireless network in the Asian archipelago by 2020, the Filipino company said.

Filipinos are among the world's most active Internet users, but the country also has one of the slowest average connection speeds.

Smartphone usage is also steadily growing with about 33 million people owning devices according to researchers.

Philippine Long Distance and Telephone Co (PLDT) and Huawei agreed last month to conduct joint research and development into fifth-generation broadband wireless technology for the Philippines.

"They are one of the companies that are leading in the research and development of 5G technology," PLDT spokesman Ramon Isberto said about the Chinese firm, adding it is already involved in PLDT's landline and mobile phone services.

Chinese telecoms behemoth Huawei is the world's number three smartphone maker, operating in 170 countries.

The company has laid out an ambitious agenda for the US and global markets – hoping to become the top producer of smartphones in the next five years despite controversy over its ties to Beijing.



Ren Zhengfei, a former People's Liberation Army (PLA) engineer, founded the company in 1987 but his PLA service has led to concerns of close links with the Chinese military and government, which Huawei has consistently denied.

The US and Australia have previously barred Huawei from involvement in broadband projects over espionage fears.

Relations between Manila and Beijing have been rocky amid conflicting claims over the South China Sea and China's militarisation of the resource-rich waterway.

But under Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who won May elections in a landslide, there has been a warming of bilateral ties as Duterte steers Manila away from the US – its long-time defence treaty partner.

Isberto said controversy over Huawei's links with the Chinese government was not a concern, stressing that foreign companies only provide technology.

"At the end of the day, we run our networks," he said. — AFP

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Automakers boosting output in the Philippines -Nikkei

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Mitsubishi Motors' new pressing plant under construction in the Philippines. Photo: Nikkei Asian Review 

Automakers boosting output in the Philippines


Mitsubishi Motors, Toyota taking advantage of government incentives
The Philippines' auto manufacturing sector is kicking into higher gear as Japan's Mitsubishi Motors prepares to launch a new production line on Friday. An underdeveloped local supply network, however, still detracts from the country's appeal.

The Mitsubishi example

Located in Laguna Province south of the capital Manila, the Mitsubishi plant currently assembles two vehicle models, one of which is the L300 service van. Daily production is 50 units combined. The additional assembly line will add Mirage subcompacts to its repertoire, with a goal of producing 30,000 units a year.
The Japanese automaker is also spending roughly 10 billion yen ($88.1 million) to construct an on-site pressing plant. The facility is due to start up as early as the end of the year. There, Mitsubishi will fabricate roofs, engine hoods, trunks and other large parts that are currently being imported from Thailand. The main plant will eventually procure 50% of its parts locally.

"The steel sheet [for the Mirage] is significantly thinner than the type used for pre-existing vehicle models, which will require advance technological capabilities," explained Yosuke Nishi, first vice president of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines.

Mitsubishi also recognized about 30 outside parts makers as tier-one suppliers. Several, such as Denso, which has manufacturing operations in the Philippines, are fellow Japanese companies. Roughly 10 are local firms, including Manly Plastics and Valerie Products Manufacturing.

The Mitsubishi operation is even attracting other Japanese parts manufacturers to the Philippines. Shizuoka Prefecture-based Usui has established a new production site at a rented warehouse. There, three technicians will perform final bending work on components shipped from Japan.

Subsidizing growth

Last year, the Philippine auto market expanded 25% to 402,461 vehicles -- or quadruple the sales tally of a decade ago. However, imports made up the bulk of that growth, with the share of domestically made autos declining to 26%. In 2010, six members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, including the Philippines, all but eliminated reciprocal import tariffs. That opened up the Philippines to a flood of finished vehicles from Thailand and other places.

Looking to erase the resulting trade deficit and boost employment, the Philippines last year rolled out a 27 billion peso ($540 million) government incentive scheme aimed at automakers that build plants onshore. Mitsubishi's two Mirage models and Toyota Motor's Vios sedan have made the cut for the program, which requires a specific level of local procurement.


Toyota assembles the Vios and the Innova minivan in the Philippines, and it will begin manufacturing the new Vios model covered by the incentives in mid-2018. The Japanese car manufacturer is also installing large pressing equipment to make auto body parts in-country instead of importing them from Thailand. In addition, the automaker will procure more parts locally, such as center consoles.

Cost handicaps



But unlike in Thailand, where automakers can procure core components like engines, the number of parts that can be made in the Philippines is limited. It costs roughly 1.7 million yen to produce one vehicle here, a nearly 200,000 yen premium over Thailand, according to the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry. Expenses associated with imported components account for 49% of the total. That ratio is only 7% in Thailand.

Currently, it is more affordable to import finished cars, even when considering transport and labor costs. Mitsubishi and Toyota have committed to onshore production because the cost savings from expanding local procurement, and the roughly 100,000 yen per vehicle in government subsidies, will offset the handicap.

"We are starting to have prospects for Philippine production to cost less" than imports, said Satoru Suzuki, president of Toyota Motor Philippines.

A model for the rest?

Vietnam, another latecomer to auto manufacturing, could learn from the Philippines. As a member of the ASEAN Economic Community, Vietnam's tariffs are due to be abolished next year. That would likely open the floodgates for vehicles assembled in Thailand and other places.

But the Philippines could also turn out to be a cautionary tale. Ford Motor shuttered its production plant in the country, for one. In addition, one condition for receiving government incentives is production of 200,000 vehicles within six years. Over 30,000 units of the Vios were sold last year, but reaching the threshold with Mirages will be no easy task considering that the model's sales were only about 20,000 units. Mitsubishi will expand its network of dealerships from 48 to 70 by 2020.

Furthermore, the government plans to raise taxes on new vehicle starting in 2018, a potential headwind for sales. - JUN ENDO, Nikkei staff writer +Nikkei Asian Review 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Japanese Billionaire Plans to Transform Philippines into “The Next Hawaii”

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Kazuo Okada. Photo: Japan Daily Press

Okada to transform the Philippines into ‘the next Hawaii’

Billionaire Kazuo Okada, whose net worth stands at $2.4 billion currently, intends to transform the Philippines (EPHE) (PIE) into “the next Hawaii.” The country’s appealing beaches and its plan to become a major leisure and entertainment (BJK) (PEJ) hub in competition with the likes of Macau and Singapore stand in support of Okada’s intentions. The Japanese tycoon believes that the country can become a money-spinning tourist destination as more and more Chinese citizens visit its shores.

The $2.4 billion Okada Manila Resort, Philippines

Okada, Chairman of the Tokyo exchange traded Universal Entertainment Corp. (TYO: 6425), who recently opened a casino resort in Manila, believes that Philippine gaming market could ultimately surpass Singapore. “Our initial target is to have 30% of the guests from the international segment, but we would eventually like to bring that up to 50%,” said Okada. “We are looking at China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan — if you think about it from proximity, a lot of our guests will initially be coming from China and Taiwan.”

The Okada Manila resort was granted permission to commence gambling operations by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). The costs for the completion of the massive project are estimated to be $2.4 billion. The casino resort was developed by the Philippine-based Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc., which is a subsidiary of Universal Entertainment, headed by Okada. Much of the project was financed via debt and a private placement that was concluded in October 2016.

Sales expanding on daily basis

After a three-day preview event on December 21, 2016, Okada’s Manila casino resort has been open to gaming and catering. The resorts’ hotel and restaurants should open with Okada Manila’s official opening which is scheduled for the first quarter of 2017.

According to a recent filing with the JASDAQ Securities Exchange by Universal Entertainment Corp (TYO: 6425), sales at the Okada Manila casino resort “are currently expanding on a daily basis.”

The Philippines: the next best leisure destination?

In August 2016, the Sino-America Gaming Investment Group LLC and the Macau Resources Group Ltd. (MRGLF) had also been seeking approvals from the Philippine Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority, or TIEZA, for the start of their Mactan Leisure City project in the country.

Kazuo Okada, too, plans on building three more casino venues in Entertainment City. It may not be long before we see the likes of Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN), MGM Resorts International (MGM) and Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS), looking to expand their business at the Philippine shores. - FRONTERA NEWS

Baguio Philippines' Temperature Dropped Down 8 Degree Celsius, Winter-like uptown

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Baguio Philippines' Coldest Temperature Dropped Down 8 Degree Celsius 5:00 AM 15th February 2017. Photo: Inquirer 

Cold, cold Valentine’s Day as mercury dips in Baguio


BAGUIO CITY—Residents woke up on Valentine’s Day looking forward to a day of warmth, only to be greeted by the coldest morning yet this year as the mercury dropped to 8 degrees Celsius at 5 a.m. on Tuesday.

School children and office workers were in thick jackets, woolen sweaters and scarves as they streamed out of their homes between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. due to the bitter cold.
“My children refused to take a bath. It was too cold,” said a mother in San Luis village here. “It was so cold I could not even wash the dishes.”

Tuesday was the coldest day so far in 2017, following the 9.2-degree temperature on Sunday and the 9.4 degrees on Monday, said Aljon Tamondong, Baguio weather observer of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) station here.
Tuesday’s cold weather exceeded the 8.1-degrees-Celsius temperature reading on Jan. 18, 2014, Tamondong said.

The cold spell was not over and the temperature dropped further due to the cold front, he said.
He said the Jan. 15, 2009, temperature, when this mountain resort city experienced 7.5 degrees Celsius, might be broken if the trend continued.

The coldest day on record in Baguio was still Jan. 18, 1961, when the summer capital experienced 6.3-degree weather. People who remembered that day described it as their closest approximation of winter.

The chill thrilled businessmen and flower vendors.

“Yearly, without fail, when news reports dramatize temperature drops to those levels, tourists flock to Baguio to experience that weather. This is always a boost for tourism of Baguio,” said Frederico Alquiros, cochair of the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Inc., which is staging the Panagbenga grand parades next week.

“Panagbenga being in February, capitalizes on this weather,” he said.
Temperatures in upland towns like Atok and Buguias in Benguet province are usually colder than Baguio.

Atok residents described the weather condition in the town as if they were “freezing,” although there were no signs of moisture frosting up the leaves of vegetables grown in gardens, said Atok Mayor Peter Alos.

Pagasa monitored on Tuesday the lowest temperatures in the country since the northeast monsoon season—locally known as “amihan”—began in November.

The Pagasa said that aside from Baguio, the lowest temperatures were observed from 4 to 6 a.m. on Tuesday in the following areas: Tanay, Rizal, at 14.3 degrees; Malaybalay, Bukidnon, at 15.8 degrees; Itbayat, Batanes, at 16.5 degrees, and Basco, Batanes, Tuguegarao, Cagayan, and Ambolong, Batangas at 17 degrees.

Metro Manila also experienced one of its coldest days at 19.2 degrees, although a 19-degree temperature was already monitored in January.

“This is the lowest recorded temperatures since the northeast monsoon started in November. We’re seeing a surge in the monsoon; that’s also why we have gale warnings hoisted over some parts of the country,” Pagasa assistant weather services chief Renito Paciente told the Inquirer.—REPORTS FROM GOBLETH MOULIC, KIMBERLIE QUITASOL, VINCENT CABREZA AND JAYMEE T. GAMIL

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