Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Senator Edward Kennedy 1932-2009

Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy succumbed to brain cancer. He was 77. He was the brother of the late President John F. Kennedy, and late Senator Robert Kennedy, both assassinated.

image:ted kennedy

photocredt:washington post

Here is the excerpt of the news news:

Edward M. Kennedy, one of the most powerful and influential senators in American history and one of three brothers whose political triumphs and personal tragedies captivated the nation for decades, died at 77.

Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat, was the last survivor of a privileged and charismatic family that in the 1960s dominated American politics and attracted worldwide attention. As heir through tragedy to his accomplished older brothers -- President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (D-N.Y.), both of whom were assassinated -- Edward Kennedy became the patriarch of his clan and a towering figure in the U.S. Senate to a degree neither of his siblings had been.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Corazon Cojuangco Aquino died of colon cancer

The former President, Corazon Cojuangco Aquino died at age 76 after more than a year of battling colon cancer. She was the widow of the late Senator Benigno Aquino whose death stirred the nation to rally against the dictatorship.

Here is the excerpt of the news:

Former President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino has passed away.

She was 76.

Her son Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III confirmed that she died of cardio-respiratory arrest at exactly 3:18 a.m. Saturday at the Makati Medical Center.

Mrs. Aquino has been diagnosed with colon cancer early in 2008 and has been confined at the Makati Medical Center for more than a month.

Mrs. Aquino, widow of Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., will be remembered as an icon of democracy, having led a military-backed popular revolt in 1986 that ousted a dictator who ruled the country for 20 years.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Ex-President Cory Aquino is fighting another battle-cancer

Corazon Aquino, the former Presidentand first Woman President of the Philippines and Asia is fighting the toughest battle, colon cancer. She is the icon of democracy when she helped topple the government of Ferdinand Marcos in a bloodless revolution. She was diagnosed of colon cancer last year and now she refused to undergo more chemotherapy and medical treatment. The family is with her in the hospital. She is the widow of the late Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr.

This is the news:

MANILA, Philippines—The cancer-stricken Corazon Aquino has been moved from the intensive care unit to a regular room of Makati Medical Center and has refused to undergo another cycle of chemotherapy, her spokesperson Deedee Siytangco said Wednesday night.

In an earlier phone interview at 6:20 p.m., Siytangco said the former President, who is battling colon cancer, had been confined at the hospital for a week and a half because of loss of appetite, but was conscious.

“Her whole family is with her now. She’s in serious condition but we’re hoping for the best,” Siytangco said.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Richard Gordon is joining the GMA party Lakas Kampi if

Richard "Dick" Gordon announced that he is going to join the administration party only if the latter would choose the presidential nominee based on qualifications, integrity and track record. That means he? Ahem.

He is known to have political ambition but his name does not rank in the surveys.

This is the excerpt of the news:

MANILA, Philippines -- Senator Richard Gordon said he was willing to join the administration party Lakas-Kampi CMD so long as its standard bearer for 2010 would be chosen based on qualification, not on performance in opinion surveys.

Gordon, who is reportedly eyeing the presidency, claimed former president Fidel Ramos offered him to join the party.

“If Lakas chooses the most qualified, the one with strong qualifications, with a strong track record, with integrity, one who can do good for the country, I will join, but I will bring Bagumbayan with me,” he said in Filipino.

“If they can make someone win because of his track record, because he can motivate people, has integrity, and that is the basis [for choosing the standard bearer], we can join,” he said.

Gordon said he would turn down the offer to join Lakas-Kampi-CMD if it would be using survey results in choosing its standard bearer.

Gordon's name has not appeared in surveys for possible presidential bets next year.

But if he would advertise on television, the senator said he would top the surveys.

“E kung papasok ka diyan tapos pera-pera ulit, hindi tama yun [If it all boils down to money, that’s not right,” he said.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ex-president Joseph Estrada acquired brand new helicopter

He has not officially declared that he is running for presidential election in 2010, but the former president purchased a new helicopter that he said is going to be delivered next month.

Will he run or not ? If he does not run, will he anoint Jejomar Binay, the mayor of Makati?

This is the excerpt of the news:

MANILA, Philippines -- Soon, Joseph Estrada will be stumping the country on a spanking new $1.6-million helicopter --but like President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, he is keeping the nation guessing on his political plans for 2010.

The ousted leader yesterday said he expected the brand new, European-made chopper, an AS-350 Ecureuil (Squirrel), to be delivered next month.

He said he was buying the helicopter with two friends as a business investment and in preparation for the 2010 elections.

“I’m not the sole owner,” Estrada told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. He did not disclose the names of the two co-owners.

Estrada said he would wait until September to make up his mind on whether to run in next year’s presidential election.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Child Slavery:Imported in the US

I thought it is only in developing countries where child slavery is rampant. It seems it has already reached the US mainland.

In Africa, children of the poor are commodities, often traded like cows or donkeys by adults who value their labor. This story on child maids is the third in an occasional series on the exploitation of African children. Each story stands on its own.

IRVINE, California - Late at night, the neighbors saw a little girl at the kitchen sink of the house next door.

They watched through their window as the child rinsed plates under the open faucet. She wasn't much taller than the counter and the soapy water swallowed her slender arms. To put the dishes away, she climbed on a chair.

But she was not the daughter of the couple next door doing chores. She was their maid.

Going to America
Shyima cried when she found out she was going to America in 2000. Her father, a bricklayer, had fallen ill a few years earlier, so her mother found a maid recruiter, signed a contract effectively leasing her daughter to the couple for 10 years and told Shyima to be strong.

For a year, Shyima, 9, worked in the Cairo apartment owned by Amal Motelib and Nasser Ibrahim. Every month, Shyima's mother came to pick up her salary.

Tens of thousands of children in Africa, some as young as 3, are recruited every year to work as domestic servants. They are on call 24 hours a day and are often beaten if they make a mistake. Children are in demand because they earn less than adults and are less likely to complain. In just one city — Casablanca — a 2001 survey by the Moroccan government found more than 15,000 girls under 15 working as maids.

The U.S. State Department found that over the past year, children have been trafficked to work as servants in at least 33 of Africa's 53 countries. Children from at least 10 African countries were sent as maids to the U.S. and Europe. But the problem is so well hidden that authorities — including the U.N., Interpol and the State Department — have no idea how many child maids now work in the West.

She arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on Aug. 3, 2000, according to court documents. The family brought her back to their spacious five-bedroom, two-story home, decorated in the style of a Tuscan villa with a fountain of two angels spouting water through a conch. She was told to sleep in the garage.

It had no windows and was neither heated nor air-conditioned. Soon after she arrived, the garage's only light bulb went out. The Ibrahims didn't replace it. From then on, Shyima lived in the dark.

She was told to call them Madame Amal and Hajj Nasser, terms of respect. They called her "shaghala," or servant. Their five children called her "stupid."

While the family slept, she ironed the school outfits of the Ibrahims' 5-year-old twin sons. She woke them, combed their hair, dressed them and made them breakfast. Then she ironed clothes and fixed breakfast for the three girls, including Heba, who at 10 was the same age as the family's servant.

Neither Ibrahim nor his wife worked, and they slept late. When they awoke, they yelled for her to make tea.

While they ate breakfast watching TV, she cleaned the palatial house. She vacuumed each bedroom, made the beds, dusted the shelves, wiped the windows, washed the dishes and did the laundry.

Her employers were not satisfied, she said. "Nothing was ever clean enough for her. She would come in and say, 'This is dirty,' or 'You didn't do this right,' or 'You ruined the food,"' said Shyima.

In 2006, a U.S. district court in Michigan sentenced a Cameroonian man to 17 years in prison for bringing a 14-year-old girl from his country to work as his unpaid maid. That same year, a Moroccan couple was sentenced to home confinement for forcing their 12-year-old Moroccan niece to work grueling hours caring for their baby.

Taken with parents' permission?
In Germantown, Md., a Nigerian couple used their daughter's passport to bring in a 14-year-old Nigerian girl as their maid. She worked for them for five years before escaping in 2001. In Germany, France, the Netherlands and England, African immigrants have been arrested for forcing children from their home countries to work as their servants.

Shyima was adopted last year by Chuck and Jenny Hall of Beaumont, Calif. The family lives near Disneyland, where they have taken her a half-dozen times. She graduated from high school this summer after retaking her exit exam and hopes to become a police officer.

Shyima, now 19, has a list of assigned chores. She wears purple eyeshadow, has a boyfriend and frequently updates her profile on MySpace. Her hands are neatly manicured.

But in her closet, she keeps a box of pictures of her parents and her brothers and sisters. "I don't look at them because it makes me cry," she said. "How could they? They're my parents."

When her father died last year, her family had no way of reaching her.

And now?
On a recent afternoon in Cairo, Madame Amal walked into the lobby of her apartment complex wearing designer sunglasses and a chic scarf.

After nearly two years in a U.S. prison cell, she's living once more in the spacious apartment where Shyima first worked as her maid. The apartment is adorned in the style of a Louis XIV palace, with ornately carved settees, gold-leaf vases and life-sized portraits of her and her husband.

She did not agree to be interviewed for this story.

Before the door closed behind her, a little girl slipped in carrying grocery bags. She wore a shabby T-shirt. Her small feet slapped the floor in loose flip-flops. Her eyes were trained on the ground.

She looked to be around 9 years old.