West 2014: What about China Video ( while available + youtube transcript ) Plus Nuke California Claims

EEV:  PLA: War Games Plan to Nuke Seattle ,L.A. San Francisco and San Diego at about 27:30 Possible kill target of 5-12 million Americans


Transcript: A Youtube Transcript – Accuracy is Sketchy

1:08
from her store in the navy with what is now I’m socket Alan waters
1:13
waiters for anyone else’s he rehearses on the tip of the spear

Beijing denounces ‘groundless’ US remarks on South China Sea

– Beijing claims the South China Sea almost in its entirety, even areas a long way from its shoreline, but portions are also claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

Friday, Feb 07, 2014

BEIJING – Beijing on Friday dismissed a US official’s warning against possible Chinese expansion in the skies over the South China Sea, calling the remarks “irresponsible”.

The United States had urged Beijing to clarify or adjust its claims in the South China Sea, calling for a peaceful solution to one of Asia’s growing flashpoints.

“Some US officials make groundless accusations against China,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters at a regular briefing. He added that “right-wing forces in Japan” were responsible for stirring up “rumours” on the issue. Continue reading “Beijing denounces ‘groundless’ US remarks on South China Sea”

US and Chinese warships nearly collide amid tensions over airspace

USS Cowpens was near Liaoning aircraft carrier in South China Sea when another Chinese ship closed in, officials say

Reuters in Washington

theguardian.com,   Friday 13 December 2013 22.30 EST

China's Liaoning aircraft carrier

China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier on an East China Sea exercise in November. Photograph: AP

A US guided missile cruiser operating in international waters in the South China Sea was forced to take evasive action last week to avoid a collision with a Chinese warship, the US Pacific Fleet has revealed.


The USS Cowpens had been operating in the vicinity of China’s only aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, at a time of heightened tensions in the region following Beijing’s declaration of an air defence zone farther north in the East China Sea, a US defence official said.


Another Chinese warship came near the Cowpens in the incident on 5 December. The US ship was forced to take evasive action to avoid a collision, the Pacific Fleet said in its statement.


“Eventually, effective bridge-to-bridge communications occurred between the US and Chinese crews, and both vessels manoeuvred to ensure safe passage,” said a defence official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Cowpens had been in the Philippines helping with disaster relief in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan, which hit the region in November. The US navy said it was in the South China Sea conducting routine “freedom-of-navigation” operations – which are intended to assert the right of passage through a disputed area – when the incident occurred.

Continue reading “US and Chinese warships nearly collide amid tensions over airspace”

China pulls out of UN process over territorial dispute with Philippines

• Move underscores China’s tough geopolitical stance in region • Territorial claims continue to dominate visit by Joe Biden

 

in Washington

theguardian.com,              Friday 6 December 2013 13.25 EST

Joe Biden in China
Fallout over China’s territorial claims has become the dominant issue for Joe Biden. Photograph: HAP/Quirky China News/Rex

China is taking the highly unusual step of refusing to participate in a United Nations arbitration process over a territorial conflict with the Philippines, one of five countries challenging Beijing’s claims of ownership over the oil-rich South China Sea.

The legal dispute underscores the tough geopolitical approach China is adopting in the Pacific region. It has adopted an aggressive approach toward neighbours over a 2,000-mile stretch that also includes the East China Sea, over which it recently declared the air defence identification zone that has inflamed tensions with Japan and South Korea.

Continue reading “China pulls out of UN process over territorial dispute with Philippines”

All Chinese journalists ordered to censor supportive stances toward Japan

Kyodo

  • Oct 20, 2013

BEIJING – China’s Communist Party has begun ordering all Chinese journalists not to take supportive stances toward Japan when writing about territorial and historical issues between the two countries, participants of a mandatory training program revealed Saturday.

Around 250,000 journalists who work for various Chinese media organizations must attend the nationwide training program to learn about such topics as Marxist views on journalism, laws and regulations and norms in news-gathering and editing, in order to get their press accreditation renewed. The unified program started in mid-October and will run through the end of this year.

It is believed to be the first time the ruling Chinese Communist Party, which tightly controls the country’s media industry, has carried out this kind of training program before renewing press credentials.

On Japan, the instructors denounced Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “right-leaning” policies and urged reporters from newspapers, news agencies, broadcasters and online media to refrain from concessionary comments regarding China’s claims over the Japan-held Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, the participants said. China claims the islets as Diaoyu.

But at the same time, they warned participants not to adopt overly belligerent positions vis-a-vis Japan.

In addition to Japan, the instructors said the United States is “trying to undermine our country” and criticized the Philippines and Vietnam, which are mired in territorial disputes with China, the participants said.

They were also told to reject democracy and human rights, as these values, the instructors said, are claimed by “the West as universal (but) are targeting China’s Communist Party.”

One group of instructors praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, as the Chinese government has been trying to promote images of close relations with him, according to the participants.

After taking the program, Chinese journalists are required to pass an exam, seen taking place between January and February, to obtain press cards.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/10/20/national/all-chinese-journalists-ordered-to-censor-supportive-stances-toward-japan/#.UmNE7MHn_Vg

Current Black Market Prices for People and Organs

EEV: This list helps brings the reality of human exploitation a little closer to home. These are generalized estimates, based on few sources.

Click dollar figure to see original post and source information. Last update: October 9, 2013.

  • TRANSPLANT PRICE in U.S. DOLLARS

Click dollar figure to see original post and source information.

  • PRICE per PERSON

http://www.havocscope.com/blackmarket/

Militant Filipino farmers destroy Golden Rice GM crop

 

Genetically modified foods have an image problem all over the world. Field trials of GM wheat were targeted last year in the UK, and now some 400 farmers in the Philippines have stormed a government-owned GM research field.

The protestors destroyed 1000 square metres of Golden Rice – a variety created to reduce vitamin A deficiency.

Golden Rice is engineered to contain beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A which gives the rice its distinctive yellow colour. Vitamin A deficiency kills up to 2 million people and causes blindness in 500,000 children worldwide each year. It was recently shown that replacing half of a child’s rice intake with Golden Rice provides them with 60 per cent of their daily vitamin A requirement.

Not everyone views it positively though. “The Golden Rice is a poison,” Willy Marbella, a farmer and deputy secretary general of the militant farmers’ group KMP, told New Scientist. Marbella, who attended the protest at Pili, Camarines Sur, where the Golden Rice in a trial site was uprooted, says malnutrition is caused by poverty and needs to be addressed by support services, not genetically modified crops.

The research so far indicates that Golden Rice is safe, but it won’t be made available to eat until further testing is completed, says the International Rice Research Institute, a non-profit research body that develops new rice varieties. IRRI  runs the test site, in partnership with the Philippine Department of Agriculture.

Contamination fears

Beau Baconguis, programme manager for Greenpeace Southeast Asia based in the Philippines is concerned, however. “There is not enough safety testing done on any GM crops,” she says.

Baconguis believes the farmers took matters into their own hands because they were concerned about their crops being contaminated. “I think that the farmers know what they want. What they want is a safe environment that they can grow their crops in,” she says.

But Bruce Tolentino, deputy director general at IRRI, says there was almost no risk of contamination. “These are confined field trials,” he says. “They’re fenced. They’re covered by nets. They’re protected from rats and birds. And, we hoped, people.”

He also pointed to research showing that rice is generally self-pollinated and so is unlikely to contaminate other crops. And because the beta-carotene that Golden Rice contains doesn’t give it a competitive advantage over wild rice, it is unlikely to endanger biodiversity.

Tolentino says the destroyed field was part of a study aiming to figure out whether Golden Rice will behave just like ordinary rice, thereby not requiring farmers to change their practices. “We were hoping we would get data from this field but we also have five other locations to get the data from. So it is not a major blow to the research process,” he says. “But it is a major blow to public acceptance of what’s going on.”

Although Golden Rice is not being developed for profit, activists argue that it is being used as a propaganda tool to soften the image of GM crops. Golden Rice is the “poster boy” of the industry, says Baconguis. “This is playing with the lives of people when you are using Golden Rice to promote more GMOs in our food.”

 

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24021-militant-filipino-farmers-destroy-golden-rice-gm-crop.html#.UgWgrsHn_bg

US genetically modified wheat stokes fears, Japan cancels tender

Reuters — May 31

 

A strain of genetically modified wheat found in the United States fuelled concerns over food supplies across Asia on Thursday, with major importer Japan cancelling a tender offer to buy U.S. grain.

 

Other top Asian wheat importers South Korea, China and the Philippines said they were closely monitoring the situation after the U.S. government found genetically engineered wheat sprouting on a farm in the state of Oregon.The strain was never approved for sale or consumption.

Asian consumers are keenly sensitive to gene-altered food, with few countries allowing imports of such cereals for human consumption. However, most of the corn and soybean shipped from the U.S. and South America for animal feed is genetically modified.

News source: Reuters

Inflammatory Beijing restaurant sign triggers online fury

World Feb. 28, 2013 – 06:30AM JST

Inflammatory Beijing restaurant sign triggers online fury
A Beijing restaurant sign that reads, “This shop does not receive the Japanese, The Philippines, The Vietnamese and Dog” AFP

HANOI  —

A sign at a Beijing restaurant barring citizens of nations involved in maritime disputes with China—along with dogs—has triggered a wave of online outrage among Vietnamese and Filipinos.

The Beijing Snacks restaurant near the Forbidden City, a popular tourist spot, has posted a sign on its door reading “This shop does not receive the Japanese, the Philippines, the Vietnamese and dog(s).”

Photographs of the controversial sign have gone viral in Vietnamese-language forums and featured heavily in Philippine newspapers and websites on Wednesday.

Vietnam’s state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper ran a story saying the sign had “ignited online fury”. It claimed many Vietnamese feel this is another example of Chinese “extreme nationalism that deserves to be condemned”.

“It’s not patriotism, it’s stupid extremism,” Sy Van wrote in Vietnamese in a comment under the story, published on the paper’s website.

The sign provoked thousands of posts on Vietnamese social networking sites and newspaper comment threads.

“This is teaching hate to the younger generation,” Facebook user Andrea Wanderer wrote in Vietnamese. “The owner of the restaurant has obviously been brainwashed by their government,” added Facebook user Chung Pham.

Filipinos greeted the photo with a mixture of fury and amusement.

“Blatant racism at Beijing Restaurant,” journalist Veronica Pedrosa wrote in one widely-shared tweet, while Facebook user Rey Garcia used a comment thread on a news site to retort: “Who cares, they almost cook everything, even fetus and fingernails.”

Vietnam and the Philippines are locked in a longstanding territorial row with China over islands in the South China Sea. China and Japan have a separate acrimonious dispute over islands in the East China Sea.

Philippine Foreign Department spokesman Raul Hernandez told reporters in Manila Wednesday that the Beijing restaurant sign was simply one “private view” about the maritime dispute.

The photos were originally posted on Facebook.

The sign’s wording is particularly inflammatory as it recalls China’s colonial era, when British-owned establishments barred Chinese from entering.

A sign supposedly reading “No Dogs and Chinese allowed” became part of Communist propaganda after it was said to have hung outside a park in Shanghai when Western powers controlled parts of China.

It has become part of Chinese folklore and featured in the 1972 Bruce Lee film “Fists of Fury”—but many historical experts say no such sign ever existed.

The controversial Beijing sign was still in place Wednesday, according to the restaurant owner who gave only his surname of Wang. “No officials have contacted me about it. This is my own conduct,” Wang told AFP.

© 2013 AFP

– See more at: http://www.japantoday.com/category/world/view/inflammatory-beijing-restaurant-sign-triggers-online-fury#sthash.uo4kzEyP.dpuf

Germany saves money by Deporting the Elderly

Friday, 28 December 2012

German pensioners are being sent to care homes in Eastern Europe and Asia in what has been described as an ‘inhumane deportation’.  Rising numbers of the elderly and sick are moved overseas for long-term care because of sky-high costs at home.

.
Some private healthcare providers are even building homes overseas, while state insurers are also investigating whether they can care for their clients abroad.

.
Experts describe a time bomb’ of increasing numbers unable to afford the growing costs of retirement homes.

.

And they say the situation should be a warning to Britain, where rising numbers of pensioners are forced to sell their homes to pay for care.

.
The Sozialverband Deutschland (VdK), a socio-political advisory group, said the fact that many Germans were unable to afford the costs of a retirement home in their own country was a huge ‘alarm signal’.

.
‘We simply cannot let those people, who built Germany up to be what it is, be deported,’ VdK’s president Ulrike Mascher told The Guardian. ‘It is inhumane.’
Researchers found an estimated 7,146 German pensioners living in retirement homes in Hungary in 2011.

.
More than 3,000 were in the Czech Republic and more than 600 in Slovakia. There were also unknown numbers in Spain, Greece and the Ukraine, as well as Thailand and the Philippines.
Some told researchers they were there out of choice as costs were lower, while standards of care were often higher.

.
But many others admitted they moved reluctantly.

.

http://macedoniaonline.eu/content/view/22457/53/

US risks drawing Beijing’s ire with military cruise in disputed waters

USS George Washington enters South China Sea as display of naval strength and support of smaller Asian nations claims

 

  • Associated Press on board the  USS George Washington
  • guardian.co.uk,             Saturday 20 October 2012 10.10 EDT
US carrier strike group cruises in South China Sea

The nuclear-powered USS George Washington aircraft carrier cruising the disputed South China Sea. Photograph: Brian H. Able/EPA

A US aircraft carrier group cruised through the disputed South China Sea on Saturday in a show of American power in waters that are fast becoming a focal point of Washington’s strategic rivalry with Beijing.

Vietnamese security and government officials were flown onto the nuclear-powered USS George Washington ship, underlining the burgeoning military relationship between the former enemies.

A small number of journalists were also invited to witness the display of maritime might in the oil-rich waters, which are home to islands disputed between China and the other smaller Asian nations facing the sea.

The visit will likely reassure Vietnam and the Philippines of American support but could annoy China, whose growing economic and naval strength is leading to a greater assertiveness in pressing its claims there.

The United States is building closer economic and military alliances with Vietnam and other nations in the region as part of a “pivot” away from the Middle East to Asia, a shift in large part meant to counter rising Chinese influence.

The Vietnamese officials took photos of F-16 fighter jets taking off and landing on the ships 1,000-foot-long flight deck, met the captain and toured the hulking ship, which has more than 5,000 sailors on board.

The mission came a day after Beijing staged military exercises near islands in the nearby East China Sea it disputes with US ally Japan. Those tensions have flared in recent days.

China claims nearly all of the South China Sea, where the US says it has a national interest in ensuring freedom of navigation in an area crossed by vital shipping lanes.

Vietnam, the Philippines and several other Asian nations also claim parts of the sea.

The disputes attracted little international interest until the late 1990s, when surveys indicated possible large oil reserves.

American rivalry with China has given the disputes an extra dimension in recent years.

The US navy regularly patrols the Asia-Pacific region, conducting joint exercises with its allies and training in the strategic region.

The trip by the George Washington off the coast of Vietnam is its third in as many years.

A second aircraft carrier, the USS John C Stennis, has also conducting operations in the western Pacific region recently, according to the US Pacific Fleet.

Captain Gregory Fenton said the mission was aimed in part at improving relations with Vietnam and ensuring the US had free passage in the South China Sea.

China’s military buildup, including the launch of its own carrier last year and rapid development of ballistic missiles and cyber warfare capabilities, could potentially crimp the US forces’ freedom to operate in the waters.

The United States doesn’t publicly take sides in the territorial disputes among China and its neighbors.

“It is our goal to see the region’s nations figure out these tensions … on their own, our role of that to date is to conduct freedom of navigation exercises within international waters,” Fenton said in an interview on the bridge.

Although claimant countries have pledged to settle the territorial rifts peacefully, the disputes have erupted in violence in the past, including in 1988 when China and Vietnam clashed in the Spratly Islands in a confrontation that killed 64 Vietnamese soldiers.

Many fear the disputes could become Asia’s next flash point for armed conflict.

Vietnam is pleased to accept help from its one-time foe America as a hedge against its giant neighbor China, with which it also tries to maintain good relations.

Still, the Hanoi government reacted angrily to recent moves by Beijing to establish a garrison on one of the Paracel islands, which Vietnam claims. The United States also criticized the move by Beijing, earning it a rebuke from the government there.

“China will take this (cruise) as another expression by the United States of its desire to maintain regional domination,” said Denny Roy, a senior fellow at the East-West Center in Hawaii.

“The US also wants to send a message to the region that it is here for the long haul … and that it wants to back up international law.”

While most analysts believe military confrontation in the waters is highly unlikely anytime soon, they say tensions are likely to increase as China continues pressing its claims and building its navy.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/20/south-china-sea-disputed-cruise

 

Philippines appeals to hackers to cease attacks

By Agence France-Presse Saturday, October 6, 2012 19:00 EDT

Hackers incensed by the Philippines' controversial cybercrime law have attacked government sites that deliver emergency information during natural disasters file photo via AFP

Hackers incensed by the Philippines’ controversial cybercrime law have attacked government sites that deliver emergency information during natural disasters, an official said Saturday.

President Benigno Aquino’s spokeswoman Abigail Valte appealed for a stop to the attacks, on the websites and social media accounts of the weather service, the earthquake and tsunami monitoring service and the social welfare agency.

Valte did not disclose the extent of the damage, if any. All the sites she mentioned appeared to be up and working on Saturday afternoon.

“Many people are being affected by this,” she said.

“We are aware of the opposition to the National Cybercrime Prevention Act. There are other ways to express opposition to it,” she said in an appeal broadcast on government radio.

The Philippines sits on the “ring of fire” of tectonic activity that generates earthquakes around the Pacific, and is also regularly hit by typhoons, with the agencies’ online arms providing citizens with disaster data and advice.

Valte reported the attacks a day after Aquino set out a broad defence of the cybercrime law, which seeks to stamp out offences such as fraud, identity theft, spamming and child pornography.

But it has sparked a storm of protests from critics who say it will severely curb Internet freedoms and intimidate netizens into self-censorship.

One of its most controversial elements mandates much longer jail sentences for people who post defamatory comments online than those who commit libel in traditional media.

It also allows the government to monitor online activities, such as e-mail, video chats and instant messaging, without a warrant, and to close down websites it deems to be involved in criminal activities.

The Supreme Court is hearing petitions to have the law declared illegal.

Aquino, whose mother led the “people power” revolution that toppled the military-backed Ferdinand Marcos regime in 1986, said he remained committed to freedom of speech.

But he said those freedoms were not unlimited.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/10/06/philippines-appeals-to-hackers-to-cease-attacks/

Images Provide Clues to China’s Naval Might

Sep. 29, 2012 – 01:52PM   |
By WENDELL MINNICK
China's first aircraft carrier berthed at Dalian port is seen Sept. 5.

China’s first aircraft carrier berthed at Dalian port is seen Sept. 5.   (AFP)
  • TAIPEI — As China celebrated the launch of its first aircraft carrier last week, images and video posted on the Internet raise new questions as to how far along the country has come in the development of its carrier capability.

Soon after the carrier, named Liaoning, was commissioned Sept. 25 at Dalian Naval Base, Western analysts began dissecting photos and videos posted by the country’s state-controlled media. Some believe the images raise the possibility that Liaoning might be closer to fielding a carrier-based fighter jet capability than previously thought, while others are unconvinced.

In the past, photos of what appeared to be the Shenyang J-15 Sea Shark fighter, a variant of the Russian Sukhoi Su-33, on the deck of the carrier were dismissed by analysts as mock-ups. No photos or videos have been seen of a fighter landing on or taking off from the carrier, but images and video from the induction ceremony show skid marks on the flight deck. A video also shows what appear to be the tail wings of two J-15s in the hangar deck.

Chinese media have consistently reported that the new carrier would be used primarily as a training platform and “to practice how to integrate with a combined task force,” said Gary Li, an analyst at U.K.-based Executive Analysis. Whether real aircraft or mock-ups, the presence of the planes on the ship indicates the Chinese are likely already — at the very minimum — practicing plane-handling techniques on the first-of-its-kind carrier.

According to Chinese state-controlled media, Liaoning is outfitted with state-of-the-art weapons, including a 150-kilometer-range active phased array radar capable of tracking 200 air targets; a 250-kilometer-range Sea Eagle surface-search radar; a 10-kilometer-range Red Flag 10 (FL-3000N) anti-missile system; and a two-kilometer-range 30mm 1030 automatic cannon for anti-ship missiles.

Besides the J-15, other aircraft could include the Zhi-8 transport helicopter and Kamov Ka-28 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter.

Some analysts said the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) might use the carrier initially as a helicopter carrier, akin to Japan’s Hyuga-class helicopter destroyers or the U.S. Navy’s Wasp-class amphibious assault ships.

“It is clear from certain pictures taken by the Chinese press in and around the carrier during the induction ceremony that there has been testing of the J-15 on the Liaoning,” Li said. “Tire marks on the runway suggest taking off and landing during sea trials, and one cameraman even managed to capture a J-15 test plane in the below deck hangar.”

But not everyone is convinced.

“I’m having trouble believing they’ve actually landed J-15s on this thing,” said Roger Cliff, a China military specialist at the Project 2049 Institute. Skid marks on the deck could be “touch-and-go” landings.

“The skid marks are well forward of where the arresting gear is,” he said. There is the possibility that they are also practicing takeoffs at sea.

“They could put J-15 prototypes, or even J-11s [Su-27], on the ship with a crane, take the ship out to sea, and practice taking off, landing back on dry land,” he said.

China would need a fighter that can handle a 3-degree angle of drop and a pilot would need to make several land-based arrested landings before trials can begin at sea, where the deck is pitching, Cliff said.

“When practicing on land, the consequence of touching down a foot behind where the deck starts is a poor landing score. If you do that on a carrier, you’re looking at a new aircraft, a new pilot, and repairs to the stern of the carrier,” he said.

Li said the J-15 is just one piece of the puzzle China needs to figure out.

“The lack of an early warning aircraft like the E-2 Hawkeye, even though a prototype has been spotted recently, and not enough dedicated ASW assets to go around in the form of Ka-28s [ASW helicopters], will mean that the Liaoning is not going to be conducting carrier operations in the true sense of the word for some time,” Li said.

Regional Jitters

The carrier could have a future combat role. Though analysts disagree about its capabilities, especially against the U.S. or Japanese navies, neighbors with territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea, such as the Philippines and Vietnam, are taking the threat seriously.

“China operating a large carrier is no doubt raising concern among the other Asian nations,” said Bernard “Bud” Cole, author of “The Great Wall at Sea.” The addition of a carrier provides the PLAN “for the first time with a classic means of effectively projecting naval power at significant distances.”

“My sense is that the Chinese carrier has already served China well as a powerful information warfare tool, despite having not operated as a carrier yet,” said Bob Nugent, vice president of naval advisory services at AMI International, based in Seattle. From a strategic point of view, he said, the ship “sends the same message that much of the rest of its naval development over the past 20 years has — China will be a global naval power.”

What specific mission Liaoning and its successors will carry out remains to be seen, Nugent said, but the “inherent flexibility of the carrier flight deck, perhaps the ultimate ‘reconfigurable mission module,’ means that whatever the mission — from defensive sea denial to offensive power projection — the ship and its follow-ons can be quickly adjusted and moved to be ready.

“While she is clearly a test platform first, it is worth keeping in mind that other navies have pressed their test carriers into wartime service when needed,” Nugent said.

In a broader sense, the Chinese carrier program could spark an arms race in the region.

“The carrier will provide additional motivation for the other Asian nations to continue and perhaps accelerate their ongoing naval modernization programs,” Cole said.

Cole points to Japan’s acquisition of small carriers and new submarines; Australia’s plan to acquire a new class of submarines and its efforts to modernize its Navy in general; acquisition of submarines by Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore; and a stated desire to acquire submarines by Thailand and the Philippines.

“Further, the Indian Navy has very ambitious modernization plans, to include nuclear-powered submarines and three aircraft carriers: Those plans will likely receive a significant boost the first time a Chinese carrier steams west of [the Strait of] Malacca,” Cole said.

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20120929/DEFREG03/309290001/Images-Provide-Clues-China-8217-s-Naval-Might?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

New Philippines law bans ‘cybersex’

By Stephen C. Webster Wednesday, September 19, 2012 13:01 EDT

Two senior citizens are shocked at what they find on the Internet. Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.

The president of the Philippines signed a cyber crime bill into law on Tuesday that, much to the chagrin of Internet freedom activists, outlaws “cybersex,” bans “unsolicited commercial communications” online and imposes criminal penalties on people convicted of libel.

Activists with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), an Internet policy group in the U.S., said they are “gravely concerned” that the law infringes upon free expression by even criminalizing consensual sex acts that are recorded by a computer

The law defines “cybersex” as: “The willful engagement, maintenance, control, or operation, directly or indirectly, of any lascivious exhibition of sexual organs or sexual activity, with the aid of a computer system, for favor or consideration.”

The Philippines is a well known haven for human trafficking by prostitution rings that force women and girls to perform sex acts for audiences over the Internet. The law’s prohibition of “cybersex” appears to be a legislative attempt to either stamp that industry out entirely or drive it further underground.

With regards to “unsolicited commercial communications,” the law requires that all online advertisements let users clearly see who sent it and opt-out if they wish. It also prohibits “misleading information” in ads that “induce the recipients to read the message.”

It also imposed severe penalties for the commission of more traditional cyber crimes like hacking secured computer systems and obtaining private or otherwise secret information.

The EFF also warned that the new law threatens criminal sanctions against people accused of libel, which was previously a civil crime. Similarly, “cybersquatting” is also illegal under the law, especially in cases where the owner of a web domain has acquired it “in bad faith to profit, mislead, destroy reputation, and deprive others from registering the same.”

The law prescribes prison time or “a fine of at least two hundred thousand pesos” (about $4,806 U.S. dollars) for listed offenses. Individuals working full time in the Philippines averaged about 29,460 pesos (about $707 U.S. dollars) per year in 2003, according to Philippine government census figures.

The penalties are “at least double” if a corporation is found to be liable of crimes covered by the law, with a maximum fine of 10 million pesos (about $240,298 U.S. dollars).

Raw Story (http://s.tt/1nNZL)

Understanding the links between inflammation and chronic disease (NC)

Early exposure to microbes reduces inflammation related to chronic disease later

EVANSTON, Ill. — American parents may want to think again about how much they want to protect their children from everyday germs.

A new Northwestern University study done in lowland Ecuador remarkably finds no evidence of chronic low-grade inflammation — associated with diseases of aging like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and dementia.

In contrast, about one-third of adults in the United States have chronically elevated C-reactive protein (CRP). Acute elevations in CRP – a protein in the blood whose levels rise as part of the inflammatory response – are important for protecting us against infectious disease. But when CRP is chronically produced, it is associated with chronic diseases.

“In other words, CRP goes up when you need it, but it is almost undetectable when you don’t, after the infection resolves,” said Thomas W. McDade, professor of anthropology at Northwestern and faculty fellow at the university’s Institute for Policy Research. “This is a pretty remarkable finding, and very different from prior research in the U.S., where lots of people tend to have chronically elevated CRP, probably putting them at higher risk for chronic disease.”

McDade said the findings build on his previous research in the Philippines, which found that higher levels of microbial exposure in infancy were associated with lower CRP as an adult. Similar exposures during infancy in lowland Ecuador, where rates of infectious disease continue to be high, may have a lasting effect on the pattern of inflammation in adulthood.

“In my mind the study underscores the value of an ecological approach to research on the immune system, and it may have significant implications for our understanding of the links between inflammation and chronic disease,” McDade said. “This may be particularly important since nearly three-quarters of all deaths due to cardiovascular disease globally now occur in low- and middle-income nations like the Philippines and Ecuador.”

The new research, which was conducted as part of the Shuar Health and Life History Project (http://www.bonesandbehavior.org/shuar/), suggests that higher levels of exposure to infectious microbes early in life may change how we regulate inflammation as adults in ways that prevent chronic inflammation from emerging. Infectious microbes have been part of the human ecology for millennia, and it is only recently that more hygienic environments in affluent industrialized settings have substantially reduced the level and diversity of exposure.

A growing body of research has shown that higher levels of chronic inflammation are associated with diseases of aging like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and dementia. But current research is based almost exclusively on people living in affluent industrialized countries like the United States.

“We simply do not know what chronic inflammation looks like in places like the Ecuadorian Amazon and other parts of the world where infectious diseases are more common,” McDade said.

As a result, McDade, director of the Lab for Human Biology Research and director of Cells to Society (C2S): The Center on Social Disparities and Health, and collaborators at the University of Oregon set out to investigate what factors in the environment and during development influence how people regulate inflammation as adults. The study was conducted in lowland Ecuador – in a group of 52 adults between the ages of 18 and 49.

Based on current clinical criteria, McDade and colleagues did not find a single case of chronic low-grade inflammation among adults living in the Ecuadorian Amazon. McDade said people in these places are still dying of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, but probably not through processes that involve inflammation.

In terms of population health, McDade said these findings suggest that the association between inflammation and cardiovascular disease frequently reported in the United States may only apply in ecological settings characterized by low levels of exposure to infectious disease.

“It builds on research on chronic inflammation and cardiovascular disease in the U.S. and other affluent, industrialized settings and suggests that patterns seen here may not apply globally,” McDade said. “It also suggests that the levels of chronic inflammation we see in the U.S. are not universal, and may be a product of epidemiological transitions that have lowered our level of exposure to infectious microbe