Indian girl’s finish 4th in Asian Rugby 7s        

by Shrutee K/DNS
Mumbai, August 7: The Indian Girls’ Under-20 rugby team performed creditably well to clinch the fourth position at the Asia Rugby U-20 Girls Sevens Series which was held at the Kings Park Stadium, Hong Kong, China on August 4 & 5, 2017. The team participated under the aegis of the Indian Rugby Football Union (IRFU), the governing body for the sport of Rugby in India and was supported by Societe Generale, the financial partner of Rugby India. The tournament was played on a round-robin league basis.
Playing against heavyweights, the Indian girl’s put up some impressive performances winning three of the six matches and finished among the top 4 from out of the 7 participating countries, namely China, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, India and hosts Hong Kong. The formidable and more experienced Chinese girls were crowned champions.
The Rugby India Girls played well but came up short against some stiff competition on the first day. They lost the opening match against Thailand (0-36) but won the second defeating Malaysia (10-0). The Indian girls suffered two more defeats, losing to China (0-32) and Hong Kong 0-39).
After a tough start to the tournament, the girls turned things around on the second day, registering two successive victories. Both matches went down to the wire but the girls handled the pressure well. First the Indian girls overcame Singapore 10-5 and later beat Uzbekistan 22-15.
We are extremely proud of the team’s performance at this tournament. It just goes to show that the future of women’s rugby in India is in safe hands.
The India team: RuchiShetty – Captain (Maharashtra), GargeeWalekar (Maharashtra), NeelamPatil (Maharashtra), RiaBisht (Delhi), Rajani Sabar (Odisha), BasantiPangi (Odisha), Manjulata Pradhan (Odisha), KabitaKasturi (Odisha), Chanda Oraon (West Bengal), Swapna Oraon (West Bengal), Suman Oraon (West Bengal), Punam Oraon (West Bengal).
The final Rankings: 1. China, 2. Thailand, 3. Hong Kong, 4. India, 5. Singapore, 6. Malaysia, 7. Uzbekistan
Performance of the Indian U20 Girls Rugby Team
Day One –4th August, 2017
Day Two- 5th August, 2017
Team
Score
vs
Score
Team

Score
vs
Score

Rugby India
0
vs
36
Thailand
Rugby India
10
vs
5
Singapore
Rugby India
10
vs
0
Malaysia
Rugby India
22
vs
15
Uzbekistan
Rugby India
0
vs
32
China

Rugby India
0
vs
39
Hong Kong

About Rugby India : Rugby India, founded in 1998, is the sole governing body for the sport of Rugby in India. Recognized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sport, Govt. of India, Rugby India is a full member of World Rugby, Asia Rugby and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). The body is responsible for the growth & development of the sport of Rugby across the country from the grassroots to the high performance level.
IRFU is the sole governing body of all formats of the sport of Rugby in India for all genders and ages. The formats included are as follows: Rugby Union, Fifteen-a-Side Rugby, Seven-a-Side Rugby, 10-a-Side Rugby, 12-a-Side Rugby, Touch Rugby, Non-Contact Rugby - Tag Rugby, Flag Rugby, Beach Rugby, Snow Rugby, Wheelchair Rugby, Underwater Rugby.
Rugby has been included in the School Games Federation of India (SGFI) for all age-groups (U14, U17 & U19 boys & girls) and the National University Games for both Men & Women, under the aegis of the Associationof Indian Universities (AIU), The sport is also a part of the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) and played by the Paramilitary & Police Forces.
Rugby in India has a rich history and heritage and dates back to 1872. However, only over the last decade has the sport seen a major rise in following and Rugby India has been instrumental in garnering this interest across the country. There has been a significant growth and increase in participation numbers and currently, within India, over 120 Rugby Clubs are affiliated to our State and Districts Associations with competitive Rugby, for both Men & Women, being actively played across 24 States in India.


          SENTRA DURIAN NGEMBAL        
Durian Unggulan





DURIAN MONTHONG
Family Bombacaceae
Deskripsi
Durian ini berasal dari Thailand. Tanaman Durian monthong merupakan tanaman genjah. Mampu berproduksi pada umur 4-5 tahun sejak ditanam dengan bibit asal sambung pucuk. Produksi buahnya cukup banyak. Mampu beradaptasi pada berbagai tempat. Sayangnya, tanaman ini tidak mempunyai ketahanan terhadap penyakit Phytophthora .sp. Bentuk buah bervariasi, dari bulat panjang sampai hampir persegi. Durinya besar dan tersusun jarang. Bobot buahnya mampu mencapai 6 kg. Kulitnya tebal dengan warna hij au. juringnya ada 5. Warna daging buah ada yang kuning emas, ada pula yang krem. Dagingnya sangat tebal dengan rasa manis legit dan aroma harum sedang.
Manfaat
Buah durian matang, atau tepatnya arilusnya, yang merupakan bagian yang dapat dimakan, umumnya dikonsumsi dalam keadaan segar. Di pasar, buah durian ini mengiklankan diri melalui baunya yang keras dan khas. Buah durian sangat disukai orang, sehingga panen padi di Indonesia akan terbengkalai jika bertepatan dengan panen buah durian, dan sampai puncak masa panen durian orang-orang masih bernafsu besar untuk memakannya. Buah durian diawetkan dengan cara mengeringkan daging buahnya menjadi kue durian, atau diolah menjadi dodol; dapat pula difermentasi atau dijadikan asinan. Kini arilus durian juga diciutkan dan dibungkus, lalu dibekukan untuk memperpanjang penyediaan durian; dengan cara ini buah durian dapat diterima di pasaran ekspor. Rasa durian lebih disenangi di dalam es krim dan kue-kue. Biji durian yang direbus atau dibakar dimakan sebagai makanan kecil. Pucuk muda dan buahnya yang masih muda dapat dimasak untuk lalap. Kulit buah yang dikeringkan digunakan sebagai bahan bakar, terutama untuk mengasapi ikan. Beberapa bagian pohon durian dimanfaatkan sebagai obat; buah durian dianggap dapat menyembuhkan kesehatan orang atau hewan yang sakit. Menurut kepercayaan yang umum dianut, orang yang memakan durian dibarengi dengan minuman beralkohol dapat menyebabkan sakit atau bahkan mematikan. Kayunya yang kasar dan ringan tidak tahan lama, tetapi dapat digunakan untuk konstruksi dalam rumah clan perkakas rumah yang murahan.
Syarat Tumbuh
Tanaman durian dapat tumbuh di dataran rendah sampai ketinggian 1.000 m di atas permukaan laut. Namun, produksi terbaiknya dicapai jika penanaman dilakukan pada ketinggian 400-600 m di atas permukaan laut. Tanaman ini menyukai daerah yang beriklim basah atau tempat-tempat yang banyak turun hujan. Jenis tanah yang baik untuk pertumbuhannya yaitu tanah yang lembap, subur, gembur, tak bercadas, dan kedalaman air tanahnya tidak lebih dari 1 m.
Pedoman Budidaya
Di Indonesia, sebagian besar durian masih ditumbuhkan dari benih, walaupun beberapa cara perbanyakan klon telah dipraktekkan pula. Di Filipina, perbanyakan dengan benih telah diganti dengan penyambungan sanding (inarching) dan penyambungan celah (cleft grafting). Di Thailand, pembibitan-pembibitan menghasilkan sejumlah besar 1′pohon durian melalui dua cara. Penyusuan secara tradisional mungkin merupakan penyambungan sanding yang cukup sederhana dan sangat tinggi persentase keberhasilannya; caranya ‘ialah batang bawah yang dipelihara dalam kantung dibuntungi dan disisipkan ke cabang kecil pada tanaman induknya. Cara lainnya ialah penyambungan hipokotil, menggunakan semai dalam pot, berumur 5-6 minggu, yang disambung-celah dengan batang atas-mini yang dipotong dari pucuk lateral yang tipis saja. Perlakuan fungisida, terowongan plastik, dan naungan berat sangat diperlukan untuk melindungi jaringan yang masih rapuh. Lima orang pekerja yang berpengalaman dapat mengerjakan 300 sambungan, dikerjakan dari pukul 8 malam sampai tengah malam ; menghindari panasnya siang hari konon merupakan faktor penting alam mencapai tingkat keberhasilan di atas 90176. Benih durian kv. ‘Chanee’ biasa digunakan di Thailand untuk meningkatkan penyediaan batang bawah. Anakan durian dapat ditanam di lapangan seteiah berumur 1 tahun, dengan jarak tanam 8-16 m. Pada tahun pertama diperlukan naungan. Pada jarak tanam yang lebih rapat, mungkin kebun durian itu perlu penjarangan setelah 8-1
Pemeliharaan


Gulma dibabat dan dibiarkan sebagai mulsa, tetapi lahan di bawah kanopi pohon diusahakan bebas dari gulma. Penyedotan hara sampai saat panen berjumlah 2,4 kg N, 0,4 kg P, 4,2 kg K, 0,3 kg Ca, dan 0,5 kg Mg per ton buah, tetapi penyedotan hara total belum pernah diteliti. Praktek di Thailand ialah memberikan pupuk majemuk dekat dengan garis-tetes segera setelah muncul kuncup bunga, ditunjang dengan pemberian pupuk di atas tanah jika telah ada pembentukan buah yang lebat; pemberian pupuk lainnya dilakukan setelah panen. Jika tersedia pupuk kandang, dapat menggantikan pemberian pupuk yang terakhir.
Hama dan Penyakit
Penyakit busuk akar, penyakit busuk pangkal batang, atau kanker-bintik (patch canker), yang disebabkan oleh Phytophthora palmivora, merupakan pembunuh yang ditakuti. Jamur ini hidup di dalam tanah dan memperlemah pohon dengan cara menginfeksi akar. Infeksi bagian di atas permukaan tanah juga terjadi, barangkali terutama disebabkan oleh cipratan partikel-partikel tanah. Pohon durian akan mati jika infeksi pada pangkal batang lama-lama melukai keliling batang pohon itu. Untuk memberantas penyakit ini, pangkal batang diusahakan bebas dari tunas-tunas lateral setinggi 1 m atau lebih, lahan sekitar pohon agar bebas dari gulma, dan pengairan hendaknya tidak membasahi pangkal batang atau tanah yang dekat situ, juga air penyiraman dari satu pohon tidak membasahi pohon lain. Semacam pasta fungisida (sistemik) dicatkan pada pangkal batang durian, dan pohonnya hendaknya seringkali diperiksa, bagian yang terinfeksi agar dipotong dan bekas lukanya dibersihkan. Penyakit-penyakit lain, seperti bintik daun yang disebabkan oleh Colletotrichum spp., Homortegia durionir dan Phyllorticta durionir, dan busuk buah (Rhizopus sp.), tidak begitu berarti. Berbagai hama telah diamati menyerang durian, tetapi kerusakannya tampaknya hanya kadang-kadang. Suatu ulat pengebor buah, Hypoperigea (Plagideicta) lepro.rtricta, memakan biji durian, dan tampaknya lebih sering terjadi. Mamalia, seperti tikus, babi hutan, dan beruang, senang sekali memakan buah durian, dan buahbuah yang berjatuhan harus dikumpulkan setiap pagi agar mengurangi kerugian.
Panen dan Pasca Panen
Panen Pohon durian tumbuh sangat tinggi, dan karena sulit menerka matangnya buah, praktek yang umum dilakukan ialah menunggu sampai buah itu berjatuhan. Pemanenan secara selektif itu perlu, dan pemetik yang berpengalaman menggunakan berbagai kriteria untuk menaksir kematangan buah durian. Diawali dari jumlah hari yang telah dilewati sejak bunga mekar, mereka juga mungkin memperhatikan warna, elastisitas dan letaknya duri, intensitas bau yang keluar dari buah, suara yang terdengar jika jari-jari dijentikkan pada alur-alur di antara duri, perubahan pada tangkai buah, dan uji-apung di air. Penanganan pasca panen Berkat kulitnya yang kuat, pengangkutan buah durian dipermudah, tetapi adanya duri-duri itu menyulitkan penanganannya; buah ini perlu dipegang tangkainya. Buah yang telah pecah sewaktu jatuh ke tanah, cepat sekali rusak, arilusnya menjadi tengik dalam waktu 36 jam saja. Buah yang masih bertangkai, yang dipungut dari bawah pohonnya masih dapat dimakan setelah 2-3 hari, tetapi jika daya tahan buah yang telah dipungut itu dapat diperpanjang sekitar 1 minggu lagi, hal ini akan merupakan keuntungan yang besar. Buah durian harus segera diangkut ke pasar, diwadahi karung, keranjang bambu atau ditumpuk saja dalam bak truk. Ruang pendingin bersuhu 15° C dapat memperpanjang daya tahan, buah durian selama 3 minggu, dan daging buah yang dibekukan secara cepat akan dapat mempertahankan rasanya selama 3 bulan atau lebih
          BUDI DAYA SRIKAYA        



Srikaya Persiapan Lahan Unggulan



Syarat Tumbuh
Srikaya tumbuh di daerah tropik pada ketinggian sampai 1.000 m dpl, dan memiliki reputasi, terutama di India, berkat sifatnya sebagai tanaman yang bandel dan tahan kekeringan. Alasan ini hanya sebagian benar. Walaupun periode istirahat dan luruhnya daun masih memungkinkan pohon sarikaya bertahan terhadap musim kering yang hebat, pohon ini memerlukan kelembapan yang memadai selama pertumbuhannya, dan sangat responsif terhadap penambahan pengairan. Pentingnya kelembapan tampak dari kenyataan bahwa baik di India maupun di Asia Tenggara terbentuknya buah dihambat oleh permulaan adanya hujan, jadi pembungaan juga akan terhambat. Walaupun tanaman ini tumbuh pada tipe-tipe tanah yang kisarannya luas, dari mulai tanah berpasir sampai tanah liat berlempung (clay loam), hasil yang lebih tinggi dan lebih konsisten tampaknya hanya dapat dicapai jika pohon ditanam pada tanah berpasir atau tanah liat berpasir. Selanjutnya pertumbuhan vegetatifnya dapat pula diatur lebih mudah lagi melalui pengairan dan pemupukan. Pada tipe tanah yang lebih berat dan lebih sulit dikeringkan, genangan air merupakan penyebab utama rontoknya bunga dan berkurangnya pembentukan buah. Pada tanah yang dangkal, penimbunan akan memperbaiki kedalaman tanah dan drainase, serta pemberian mulsa dapat memacu perkembangan perakaran yang dapat memperoleh hara dari permukaan tanah.
Pedoman Budidaya
Perbanyakan dan penanaman Buah nona (Annona) biasa disambungkan ke batang bawah sarikaya yang ditanam dari benih Batang bawah sarikaya cenderung menurunkan ukuran pohon. Cara yang paling umum digunakan adalah sambungan pecut (whip grafting), sambungan, pecut dan lidah (whip and tongue grafting), dan sambungan celah (cleft grafting). Persentase keberhasilannya biasanya tinggi, jika penyambungan dilakukan pada awal keluarnya getah setelah peristirahat. Di Filipina dianjurkan ‘patch budding sebelum rontoknya daun, yaitu pada musim sejuk dan kering (bulan November-Februari). Penampilan batang atas di atas batang bawah yang berasal dari semai sangat bervariasi, bergantung kepada kecepatan tumbuh, kerentanan terhadap genangan, gangguan air, dan serangan layu bakteri. Perbanyakan kultivar-kultivar sarikaya tanpa penyambungan atau dengan batang bawah asal-klon akan mengurangi variabilitas tersebut di atas. Walaupun begitu, kini perbanyakan melalui stek, cangkokan, dan kultur jaringan belum berhasil dengan memuaskan. Jarak tanam yang kini digunakan berkisar antara 5 m x 3 m dan 4 m x 3 m untuk sarikaya. Tata laksana Dimulainya belajar berbuah untuk sebatang pohon diperlukan untuk melatih pembuahan yang lebat tanpa rantingnya patah. Untuk pertumbuhan pohon yang subur (terutama kultivarkultivar ‘cherimoya’), bentuk pohon yang paling cocok adalah bentuk piala terbuka (open goblet). Jika pertumbuhan lebih lemah, dikehendaki pohon yang cabang-cabang utamanya berada di tengah. Pemangkasan formatif (formative pruning) hendakjiya dilaksanakan pada masa istirahat. Di Thailand, sarikaya dipermuda setiap tahun agar kualitas buahnya terjamin. Cabang-cabang lateral yang menjadi lemah setelah berbuah hendaknya dipotong dan tunas-tunas pengganti yang lebih subur akan muncul. Pohon dipangkas ketika daundaunnya persis akan luruh, yang akan meningkat ke pertumbuhan awal lagi. Pertumbuhan baru harus ditunjang oleh pengairan sampai tiba awal musim hujan. Dengan cara ini masa panen dapat diajukan. Untuk memperbaiki pembentukan buah mungkin dapat dilakukan pelepasan sejumlah besar kumbang penyerbuk ke pohon pada hari yang kondusif untuk pembentukan buah. Penyerbukan dengan bantuan tangan juga sangat efektif dalam meningkatkan terbentuknya buah dan hasil buah. DI Kalifornia, praktek ini merupakan alat utama dalam mencapai hasil tinggi secara konsisten. Teknik-teknik untuk penyerbukan dengan bantuan tangan pada bunga ‘atemoya’ meliputi pemindahan serbuk sari yang sebelumnya telah dikumpulkan, ke kepala putik dengan menggunakan kuas kecil, atau menggunakan pengepul (piffer.r), atau pistol penyerbuk (pollination guns) untuk meniupkan sezbuk sari ke atas kepala putik. Pistol penyerbuk ‘persimon’ buatan Jepang terbukti sangat efektif di Kalifornia. Dengan kultivar yang tinggi produksinya, seperti ‘African Pride’, mungkin diperlukan sedikit pengurangan jumlah buah untuk mengatur muatan pohon dan agar besarnya buah dapat dipertahankan.
          PROSPEK GAHARU 2012        
GAHARU, AROMATIK TERMAHAL DI DUNIA


Gaharu adalah bahan aromatik termahal di dunia. Harga gaharu kualitas baik di tingkat konsumen di pasar internasional, sekitar US $ 5 sd. 15 per gram, (Rp 45.000,- sd. 135.000,-). Sedemikian tingginya nilai produk gaharu, hingga penjualannya menggunakan bobot gram. Bukan ons atau kg. Gaharu adalah bahan parfum, kosmetik dan obat-obatan (farmasi). Parfum diperoleh dari hasil ekstraksi resin dan kayunya. Gaharu sudah dikenal sebagai komoditas penting, semenjak jaman Mesir Kuno. Mumi mesir, selain diberi rempah-rempah (kayumanis, cengkeh), juga diberi cendana dan gaharu. Dalam injil, disebutkan bahwa kain kafan Yesus (Isa Al Masih), diberi Aloe. Istilah ini bukan mengacu ke Aloe vera (lidah buaya), melainkan kayu gaharu.

Itulah sebabnya kayu gaharu juga disebut sebagai aloeswood (kayu aloe). Nama dagang lainnya adalah agarwood, heartwood, dan eaglewood. Di pasar internasional, gaharu murni diperdagangkan dalam bentuk kayu, serbuk dan minyak (parfum). Kayu gaharu bisa dijadikan bahan kerajinan bernilai sangat tinggi, atau untuk peralatan upacara keagamaan. Serbuk gaharu digunakan untuk dupa/ratus, dan minyaknya merupakan parfum kelas atas. Serbuk gaharu sebagai dupa akan dibakar langsung dalam ritual keagamaan. Baik Hindu, Budha, Konghucu, Thao, Shinto, Islam dan Katolik. Kayu gaharu disebut sebagai kayu para dewa. Aroma gaharu karenanya dipercaya mampu menyucikan altar dan peralatan peribadatan lainnya.

Selain itu dupa gaharu juga dimanfaatkan untuk mengharumkan ruangan, rambut dan pakaian para bangsawan. Aroma gaharu akan digunakan sebagai aromaterapi di spa-spa kelas atas. Selain untuk ritual keagamaan, parfum dan kosmetik, produk gaharu juga sering dikaitkan dengan hal-hal yang berbau mistik. Baik pemanfaatannya, terlebih lagi proses pencariannya dari alam. Pengambilan gaharu dari hutan, memang selalu dilakukan secara tradisional, dengan berbagai ritual dan kebiasaan setempat. Pencarian gaharu di lokasi sulit, harus menggunakan pesawat terbang atau helikopter. Beberapa kali pesawat terbang dan heli pencari gaharu, hilang di hutan belantara di Kalimantan, hingga memperkuat kesan mistis produk gaharu.

# # #

Gaharu adalah getah (resin, gubal) dari pohon genus Aquilaria, yang tumbuh di hutan belantara India, Asia Tenggara (termasuk Indonesia) dan Cina Selatan. Sampai saat ini, Indonesia masih merupakan pemasok produk gaharu terbesar di dunia. Meskipun populasi tumbuhan Aquilaria cukup besar, namun tidak semua pohon menghasilkan gaharu. Sebab resin itu baru akan keluar, kalau tanaman terinfeksi oleh kapang (fungus) Phialophora parasitica. Akibat infeksi, tanaman mengeluarkan getah yang aromanya sangat harum. Getah ini akan menggumpal di dalam batang kayu. Para pencari gaharu menyebut kayu dengan resin ini sebagai gubal. Tanaman Aquilaria yang tidak terinfeksi Phialophora parasitica, tidak akan beraroma harum.

Genus Aquilaria terdiri dari 22 spesies: A. (Aquilaria) agallocha; A. apiculata; A. baillonii; A. banaensis; A. beccariana; A. brachyantha; A. citrinicarpa; A. crassna; A. cumingiana; A. filaria; A.grandiflora; A. hirta; A. malaccensis; A. microcarpa; A. ophispermum; A. parvifolia; A. pentandra; A. rostrata; A. sinensis; A. subintegra; A. urdanetensis; A. yunnanensis. Dari 22 spesies itu, yang bisa terinfeksi kapang Phialophora parasitica hanya ada delapan spesies yakni: A. agallocha; A. crassna; A. grandiflora; A. malaccensis; A. ophispermum; A. pentandra; A. sinensis; dan Aquilaria yunnanensis. Dari delapan spesies itu, yang paling potensial menghasilkan gaharu adalah A. malaccensis dan A. agallocha.

Gaharu yang sekarang beredar di pasaran, semuanya berasal dari perburuan dari hutan. Para pencari gaharu, kadang-kadang tidak membedakan, mana kayu yang ada gubalnya, dan mana yang tidak. Hingga semua pohon Aquilaria yang dijumpai akan ditebang. Akibatnya, populasi kayu Aquilaria terus terkikis dan makin langka. Dalam pertemuan ke 13 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES CoP 13) di Bangkok, Thailand, 2 -14 Oktober 2004, genus Aquilaria telah dimasukkan dalam apendik II. Hingga pengambilan gaharu dari alam, sebenarnya dilarang. Tetapi karena tingginya nilai gaharu, maka pencarian gaharu dari hutan terus berlangsung tanpa bisa dicegah.

Genus Aquilaria adalah pohon dengan tinggi mencapai 20 m dan diameter batang 60 cm, yang tumbuh di hutan hujan tropika basah, mulai dari ketinggian 0 sampai dengan 1.000 m. dpl. Aquilaria bisa hidup pada berbagai jenis tanah. Mulai dari tanah humus, berpasir, lempung, berkapur, sampai berbatu-batu. Gaharu termasuk tanaman yang tahan kekeringan, dan juga tahan hidup di bawah naungan. Tanaman yang masih muda, memang memerlukan banyak air, dan naungan. Biasanya Aquilaria tumbuh di bawah tajuk palem atau pakis-pakisan. Aquilaria berkembangbiak dari biji. Buah Aquilaria berupa polong yang keras, dengan panjang antara 2,5 sd. 3 cm. Biji mudah dikecambahkan di tempat yang lembap dan hangat, tetapi terlindung dari panas matahari.

# # #

Dalam kondisi optimum, pohon Aquilaria akan mampu tumbuh dengan sangat pesat. Yang dimaksud dengan kondisi optimum adalah, suhu udara, kelembapan, sinar matahari, air dan unsur haranya cukup. Meskipun Aquilaria tahan hidup di berbagai macam tanah, tetapi dia akan tumbuh optimal di tanah humus yang subur, dengan topsoil cukup tebal. Tidak semua Aquilaria yang tumbuh di hutan merupakah penghasil gaharu. Produk gaharu, baru akan terjadi, apabila kayu Aquilaria terinfeksi oleh kapang Phialophora parasitica. Tumbuhan Aquilaria yang tidak terinfeksi kapang Phialophora parasitica, hanya akan menjadi kayu biasa yang sama sekali tidak harum. Beda dengan cendana (Sandal Wood, Santalum album), yang kayunya memang sudah harum.

Untuk mempertahankan diri, tumbuhan Aquilaria yang sudah terinfeksi kapang Phialophora parasitica akan menghasilkan getah resin (jawa: blendok). Resin ini akan menggumpal dan membentuk gubal. Proses pembentukan gubal berlangsung sangat lambat. Bisa puluhan bahkan ratusan tahun. Resin dan bagian kayu yang terinfeksi inilah yang akan menghasilkan aroma harum yang tidak ada duanya di dunia. Aroma gaharu ini sedemikian khasnya hingga hampir tidak mungkin disintetis. Pembuatan gaharu sintetis, hasilnya akan lebih mahal dibanding dengan gaharu alam. Proses pembentukan gubal berlangsung sangat lama, juga merupakan salah satu penyebab tingginya produk gaharu.

Kapang genus Phialophora terdiri dari delapan spesies aktif: Phialophora americana, Phialophora bubakii, Phialophora europaea, Phialophora parasitica, Phialophora reptans, Phialophora repens, Phialophora richardsiae, dan Phialophora verrucosa. Dari delapan spesies itu, yang berfungsi menginfeksi kayu Aquilaria hanyalah kapang Phialophora parasitica. Spesies lainnya merupakan kapang patogen, yang bisa menginfeksi manusia dan menimbulkan gangguan penyakit. Malaysia dan Indonesia, sudah bisa mengisolasi kapang Phialophora parasitica, untuk diinokulasikan ke pohon Aquilaria.

Di Indonesia, penelitian gaharu antara lain dilakukan oleh Balitbang Botani/LIPI, Badan Litbang Departemen Kehutanan dan Universitas Mataram di Mataram, Lombok. Universitas Mataram, malahan sudah melakukan ujicoba penanaman gaharu, dan menginfeksinya dengan kapang Phialophora parasitica. Sayangnya, tanaman yang belum membentuk gubal itu sudah dicuri orang. Para pencuri ini beranggapan, bahwa kayu gaharu sama dengan cendana. Padahal cendana pun memerlukan waktu paling sedikit 30 tahun agar meghasilkan kayu dengan tingkat keharuman prima. Gaharu yang sudah terinfeksi ini, masih memerlukan waktu puluhan tahun agar gubalnya bisa dipanen.

# # #

Mengingat tingginya nilai gaharu, dan juga kelangkaannya, maka budidaya gaharu sudah semakin mendesak. Membuat hutan Aquilaria, bisa dilakukan dengan mudah. Sebab tumbuhan genus ini relatif mudah dikembangbiakkan dan toleran dengan lokasi tumbuh yang sangat ekstrim sekalipun. Mengisolasi kapang Phialophora parasitica juga sudah bisa dilakukan di laboratorium Universitas Mataram. Menginfeksi tumbuhan Aquilaria dengan kapang Phialophora parasitica juga sudah berhasil diketemukan metodenya. Yang menjadi masalah, untuk mengembangkannya dalam skala komersial, diperlukan jangka waktu lama. Gaharu kualitas baik, baru akan terbentuk setelah proses selama puluhan bahkan ratusan tahun.

Para pemilik modal, akan berpikir ulang kalau investasinya baru akan kembali pada puluhan bahkan ratusan tahun yang akan datang. Para pejabat di lingkup pemerintah daerah pun, juga akan menolak untuk merancang proyek yang tingkat keberhasilannya baru akan bisa diukur puluhan bahkan ratusan tahun kemudian. Belum lagi gangguan masyarakat yang tidak terlalu tahu tentang gaharu. Mereka menganggap bahwa tanaman Aquilaria yang sudah diinfeksi kapang Phialophora parasitica, akan segera bisa ditebang untuk diambil gaharunya. Ketidaktahuan masyarakat ini, juga disebabkan oleh sedikitnya publikasi tentang gaharu. Para wartawan yang mengenal gaharu, jumlahnya juga masih sangat sedikit.

Dalam situasi seperti ini, pencarian gaharu di hutan menjadi satu-satunya alternatif. Di Papua, pencarian gaharu bahkan dilakukan oleh para pengusaha dengan cara yang sangat tidak bermoral. Para pengusaha tahu bahwa masyarakat Papua, sudah kecanduan minuman keras. Hanya dengan disodori beberapa kaleng bir, mereka sudah bersedia untuk mencari gaharu. Apabila gaharu sudah diperoleh, para pengusaha pun menawarkan perempuan kepada penemu gaharu. Perempuan-perempuan malang ini didatangkan dari Jawa, kebanyakan dengan cara ditipu untuk dicarikan pekerjaan yang layak di Freeport atau perusahaan HPH. Setibanya di Papua, mereka hanya dijadikan umpan memperoleh gaharu.
          Travel: Our accommodation in Phuket (Thailand), BYD Lofts Boutique Hotel & Serviced Apartments        

This is probably my first post related to my overseas vacation. So this will placed under the travel series. This year in June, my family and I decided to go for a 6 days 5 night trip to Phuket. Initially, I said that I did not want to go but since I am not going for any graduation trip , I decided to tag along at the last minute. Plane ticket was a little more pricey because I did not but early. We took Silkair and my ticket cost about S$400++ about a hundred more than what my other family members paid for. That was my first time in Phuket but not my first time in Thailand. I went to Bangkok few years before this trip. And I really enjoyed the trip.

We stayed at BYD Lofts Boutique Hotel & Serviced Apartments. 


The van that ferried us to the hotel
When we first arrived at Phuket International Airport, we were greeted by the driver for the airport transfer. Since there were seven of us, we requested for a bigger vehicle. If not for that I would prefer being chauffeured by complimentary luxury transfers that BYD lofts provides.... Mercedes Benz CLS class

After travelling for about 2 hours, we reached BYD lofts. We were greeted by their staffs as soon as we alighted from the van. The staff actually came out from the lobby to greet us. I thought it was a nice gesture. We were also given welcome drinks and flower garlands at hotel lobby. The lobby was quite small but cosy. 


In front of BYD lofts, where out van stopped

The citrus welcome drinks and hot towels that we received at the lobby...Thought that the drinks tasted really interesting with chewy bits in it
The flower garlands that staff put around our necks



Let's talk about the room itself. BYD Lofts is located at Patong. The room that 4 of us stayed in is called 2 bedroom Penthouse. I think that is best type of room available at BYD Lofts. We were really excited to stay there and the experience did not let us down. Unlike most hotels, the pictures of rooms in their website are really true to what we received. The elevator brings us directly into the room, which was really interesting. We were greeted by a spacious living room once the door of the elevator opens. I remembered my mom was awed when she stepped into the penthouse LOL.

So the penthouse has a large living room, a balcony, a fully furnished kitchen, two bedrooms (master bedroom and a smaller room), 3 toilets (one in the living room, and a toilet in each of the rooms). There are also wifi which is password protected.

The living room equipped with TV and fully furnished. There were complimentary fruits on the tables

The balcony...good news for those who smokes

The kitchen. It has a fridge, dining tables, induction stove, coffee maker and etc. 

The master bedroom. It has a huge toilet, desk, TV, wardrobe and etc. 

One part of the master's bedroom toilet

Another part of the master's bedroom toilet

The second bedroom which fully furnished with a TV, wardrobe, a toilet and etc. 
PROS:
1) Good distance from the main shopping district e.g. Jungceylon, Bangla Road
2) Related to the first point, even though walkable distance to many amenities is not too near. Hence, really quiet.
3) There are a lot of laundry, massage and tailoring services near BYD loft
4) Spacious and lots of toilets!!!
5) Comfortable beds
6) 10 minutes walk to Patong beach
7) For those who needs halal, there are a lot of halal eateries nearby like Kusuma etc. but I did not eat there because of hygiene purposes. I will talk more about the halal restaurants that I ate at during another time

CONS:
1) Weird housekeeping time...which was frustrating at times
2) The lift in our room can be a little troublesome
3) Although the majority of the staffs were friendly, not many are fluent in English

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comment section below.

I will the end the post with a weird incident that happened in Phuket. It was 2 a.m. and everyone else in the Penthouse had already fallen asleep. I was awake charging my phone and using my macbook. Then I heard a bell from the intercom. I ignored it at first but it kept on ringing. Then I check the intercom and saw a person waiting at the first floor. He looked kinda drunk. Since I have no idea who it was, I checked that the lift connected to the room was locked. I got a little scared and went to bed after that...hoping that he doesn't come up banging the door.  


          Thailand Police seizes Assets of Late Alleged Mastermind behind AlphaBay        

Thailand Police officials have seized almost $21 million worth of assets ranging from cryptocurrency to fleet of cars. These assets belonged to the alleged late founder of the dark web marketplace AlphaBay, one of the two largest markets which were taken by the FBI this month. He died by committing suicide on July 24th in ...

The post Thailand Police seizes Assets of Late Alleged Mastermind behind AlphaBay appeared first on Deep Dot Web.


          Ð Ð¾Ð·Ð¿Ñ€Ð¾Ð´Ð°Ð¶ Qatar Airways: Китай 11200₴, Таїланд 12500₴, Гонконг 13100₴ та інш.. Дешеві квитки до Південно-Східної Азії        
Алоха, пірати. Найкраща авіакомпанія світу Qatar Airways влаштувала перший розпродаж для українців: при бронюванні двох або більше квитків можна отримати низькі ціни до Пекіну 11200₴, Пхукету 12500₴, Гонконгу 13100₴ тощо. Вказана ціна для одного пассажира туди-назад. А про Делі за 10600₴ ми вже повідомляли. Напрямки Київ — Пекін 11200₴ Київ — Пхукет 12500₴ Київ — Гонконг 13100₴ Дати Бронювати ...
          Comment on Vernissage: Austrian Painter Karl Winkler by Kintan        
What fantastic art. I love kind of art too and I have a several beautiful art painting that my hubby and I has bought in Bali and Thailand. And yes, I love dance too, I believed that dance is also kind of art that shows beautiful body moves. I really enjoyed this pictures.
          Jadual & Keputusan Bolasepak Sukan SEA 2017        
Jadual & Keputusan Bolasepak Sukan SEA 2017|Bilakah tarikh perlawanan bolasepak dalam Sukan SEA 2017? Adakah edisi kali ini skuad Malaysia B-22 akan menjuarai piala acara bolasepak Sukan SEA KL 2017 ? Nantikan perlawanan bolasepak Malaysia yang diundi dalam Kumpulan A bersama Myanmar, Singapura dan Brunei. Manakala dalam Kumpulan B terdiri daripada pasukan Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Timor Leste dan Filipina. Dijadualkan skuad negara B-22 akan menentang Brunei dalam penampilan pertama pada 14 Ogos 2017 ini.


Untuk makluman anda, jadual rasmi acara bolasepak lelaki bawah 22 tahun bagi temasya Sukan SEA Kuala Lumpur 2017 akan berlangsung mulai 14 hingga 29 Ogos ini. Acara bolasepak lelaki akan diadakan di Stadium Shah Alam, Stadium UiTM, Stadium Majlis Perbandaran Selayang dan Stadium UM Arena.

Jadual & Keputusan Bolasepak Sukan SEA 2017


ISNIN 14 OGOS 2017

(Kumpulan A)
● MYANMAR vs SINGAPURA
● MALAYSIA vs BRUNEI

RABU 16 OGOS 2017

Kumpulan A
● SINGAPURA vs MALAYSIA
Stadium Shah Alam 8.45 malam
● MYANMAR vs LAOS
Stadium UiTM Shah Alam 8.45 malam

JUMAAT 18 OGOS 2017

Kumpulan A
● LAOS vs SINGAPURA
Stadium Majlis Perbandaran Selayang 4 petang
● BRUNEI vs MYANMAR
Stadium UiTM Shah Alam 4 petang

ISNIN 21 OGOS 2017

Kumpulan A
● BRUNEI vs LAOS
Stadium UM Arena, Kuala Lumpur 4.00 petang
● MALAYSIA vs MYANMAR
Stadium Shah Alam 8.45 malam

RABU 23 OGOS 2017

Kumpulan A
● LAOS vs MALAYSIA
Stadium Shah Alam 8.45 malam
● SINGAPURA vs BRUNEI
Stadium Majlis Perbandaran Selayang 8.45 malam

* Jadual ini hanya melibatkan pasukan Malaysia B-22.

SABTU 26 OGOS 2017

Separuh Akhir
● Juara Kumpulan A vs Naib Juara Kumpulan B
● Juara Kumpulan B vs Naib Juara Kumpulan A

SELASA 29 OGOS 2017

● Penentuan Pingat Gangsa 4.30 petang
Kalah Separuh Akhir 1 vs Kalah Separuh Akhir 2

● Final (Penentuan Pingat Emas & Perak) 8.45 malam
Pemenang Separuh Akhir 1 vs Pemenang Separuh Akhir 2

Jadual & Keputusan Bolasepak Sukan SEA 2017
Senarai pasukan dalam peringkat kumpulan 

Mampukah skuad negara menggalas tugas yang dibimbing oleh Datuk Ong Kim Swee untuk menjulang piala edisi Sukan SEA kali ini?

Jadual & Keputusan Bolasepak Sukan SEA 2017
Wajah-wajah pemain Malaysia B22 Sukan SEA 2017

Baca juga :Jadual Penuh Acara Sukan SEA 2017

Ayuh beri sokongan skuad Malaysia Bawah 22 dalam temasya Sukan SEA 2017. Jangan ketinggalan tonton siaran langsung perlawanan bolasepak skuad negara di Media Prima dan Astro. Sila bookmark page ini untuk rujukan. Selamat maju jaya!
          Jadual Pertandingan Acara Sukan SEA 2017 Kuala Lumpur         
Jadual Pertandingan Acara Sukan SEA 2017 |Bila Sukan SEA Kuala Lumpur 2017 ? Sukan SEA ke-29 akan berlangsung bermula 19 hingga 30 Ogos 2017, dimana Kuala Lumpur telah terpilih sebagai tuan rumah edisi kali ini. Jika sebelum ini Kuala Lumpur pernah menjadi tuan rumah pada tahun 2001, lagi sekali Malaysia memikul tanggungjawab sukan terbesar di rantau Asia Tenggara. Sebanyak 405 acara dari 38 sukan dipertandingkan di Sukan SEA Kuala Lumpur 2017 antaranya seperti olahraga, bolasepak, angkat berat, akuatik, badminton dan banyak lagi.

Jadual Pertandingan Acara Sukan SEA 2017

Untuk edisi kali ini, tuan rumah Malaysia memilih Harimau Malaya sebagai maskot Sukan SEA 2017 yang dikenali RIMAU. Manakala logo Sukan SEA Kuala Lumpur 2017 pula dicipta berasaskan Wau Bulan yang merupakan lambang kebanggaan Malaysia. Bagi peminat sukan tanah air, jangan ketinggalan menonton siaran langsung Sukan SEA 2017 di saluran Astro, RTM, Media Prima TV3 dan HyppTV.

Jadual Pertandingan Acara Sukan SEA 2017
Maskot RIMAU Sukan SEA 2017

Jadual Acara Sukan SEA KL 2017


Berikut dikongsikan adalah jadual pertandingan acara-acara sukan terkini yang dipertandingkan di Sukan SEA KL 2017 seperti ;

● Akuatik
- Diving (26-30)
- Swimming (21-26)
- Synchronized Swimming (17-20)
- Open Water (18)
- Water Polo (15-20)
● Memanah (16-22)
● Olahraga (19-26)
● Tenpin Boling (20-25)
● Gimnastik
- Artistic (20-23)
- Rhythmic (26-28)
● Badminton (22-29)
● Tinju (20-24)
● Kriket (17-29)
● Ekuestrian
● Lawan Pedang (21-23)
● Golf (22-26)
● Hoki
- Padang (21-29)
- Dewan (21-26)
● Luncur Ais
- Berbunga (26-27)
- Berganti (29-30)
● Judo (26-27)
● Boling Padang (22-27)
● Petanque (21-28)
● Pelayaran (21-29)
● Menembak (21-26)
● Skuasy (21-19)
● Ping Pong (20-26)
● Billiard & Snooker (22-27)
● Tenis (21-26)
● Futsal (18-27)
● Bolasepak (14-29)
● Sepak Takraw (16-29)
● Berbasikal
- BMX (26)
- Lebuhraya (21-24)
- Track (27-29)
●Triathlon (21)
● Bola Keranjang (20-26)
● Bola Tampar (14-20)
● Ragbi 7 Sebelah (19-20)
● Ski Ais & Waterboard (25-29)
● Angkat Berat (28-30)
● Pencak Silat (24-29)
● Muay (26-29)
● Taekwondo (26-29)
● Karate (22-24)
● Wushu (20-22)

Jadual Pertandingan Acara Sukan SEA 2017

* Kesemua acara sukan SEA Games KL 2017 berlangsung pada bulan Ogos.

Negara Bertanding Sukan SEA 2017


1. Malaysia (Tuan rumah)
2. Indonesia
3. Thailand
4. Vietnam
5. Kemboja
6. Myanmar
7. Timor Leste
8. Filipina
9. Laos
10. Singapura
11. Brunei

Lokasi/ Venue Sukan SEA 2017


Berikut adalah lokasi atau venue acara Sukan SEA 2017 berlangsung di Kuala Lumpur ;

Jadual Pertandingan Acara Sukan SEA 2017

Tiket Sukan SEA Kuala Lumpur 2017


Untuk makluman anda, tiket Sukan SEA 2017 dijual pada harga sekitar RM10 ke RM20. Dikhabarkan acara renang, taekwondo, pencak silat dan bola jaring telah habis dijual. Jika anda ingin dapatkan tiket Sukan SEA KL 2017, boleh buat pembelian secara online di laman web www.kualalumpur2017.com.my.

Bagi anda yang ingin membeli tiket ketika acara sukan berlangsung boleh dapatkan di kiosk tiket di venue pertandingan secara tunai, kad kredit dan kad debit.

Jadual Pertandingan Acara Sukan SEA 2017
Pingat Sukan SEA 2017

Mampukah Malaysia menjuarai keseluruhan pingat emas dalam edisi Sukan SEA kali ini? Jom ayuh beri sokongan padu kepada atlet negara kita yang akan memperjuangkan dalam pentas sukan masing-masing mulai 19 Ogos ini. Bagi peminat bolasepak, boleh rujuk jadual perlawanan bolasepak Sukan SEA 2017 DISINI. Selamat maju jaya!
          Daring Cooks Challenge June 2013 Meatballs         
This month's challenge was MEATBALLS my favourite recipe of all time I have so so so many great recipes here a couple of personal fav's enjoy the colour and flavours.

This month's hosts were  Shelley and Ruth and here their introduction to the challenge

Hi there! We are Shelley from C Mom Cook and Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood. We are twin sisters who share a love of food, but who have very different cooking styles. Ruth keeps a vegetarian home while Shelley is a carnivore through and through.  Despite our differences, we both love all aspects of food – eating it, preparing it, and sharing it with the people we love.

For this month's challenge, we wanted to do something a little bit different.

So many of the challenges this year have helped us learn skills or techniques that are pretty specialized - and that have proven to be very challenging. And while the big challenges absolutely bring big rewards (not to mention yummy results), this month we thought we would go a bit more creative.

There are many foods that appear across a variety of cultures, with only slight differences or variations.  This month we wanted to test out one food across many cultures to see how many variations we can bring to the blogosphere.  So this month we challenge the community to bring us meatballs from around the world.

A meatball, at the most basic level, is some kind of ground meat that has been rolled into a ball and cooked.  But that is where the basics end.  Usually other ingredients are involved – generally breadcrumbs and eggs, to give the ball body and bind it together, and a variety of spices for flavor.  The type or types of meat used, the method of preparing the balls and especially the way the meat is served can vary so greatly that it is sometimes amazing to think that they are all the “same” kind of basic food.

It is these differences that we are looking to celebrate this month – to create more meatball dishes than anyone ever would have thought possible, and to show the world just how versatile the “simple” meatball can be.

Recipe Source:  Basic meatball recipes or based on recipes from cooks.com and Mark Bittman, with additional inspiration recipes provided from various online sources.

Blog-checking lines:  The June Daring Cooks’ challenge sure kept us rolling – meatballs, that is! Shelley from C Mom Cook and Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to try meatballs from around the world and to create our own meatball meal celebrating a culture or cuisine of our own choice.

Here follows my meatball recipes please enjoy them as much as I and my friends and family did!!!


Kangaroo and beetroot meatballs in red wine sauce


I LOVE meatballs and I KNOW how to make them after doing them many 1000s of times and I never get tired of them. This is one of my personal best meatball recipes made with kangaroo steak minced, the ready-made mince is easily available in major supermarkets in Australia (Coles/Woolworths $8.75/kg). I combine it with the other classic Australian taste that is beetroot. It always surprises foreigners how much beetroot is eaten in Australia, in fact it is a standard addition in hamburgers in most takeaways. So how couldn't I combine kangaroo and beetroot into a humble meatball. I use very strongly flavour rye crisp bread combined with robust sun-dried tomato pesto to favour the meatball mixture this combination seems to produce a mellow flavour simmered meatball. This is always a winner at parties and BBQs especially if I have let the meatballs soak in the red wine sauce overnight. The biggest tips for light, moist and fluffy meatballs - use the best ingredients you can afford, freshly minced meat is best, sauté your aromatics, all ingredients must be cold when mixing, freshly made bread crumbs, a gentle touch, make a test meatball check seasoning and simmer the meatballs.
Kangaroo is a very 'soft' meat; especially lean, tender, and soft-textured well suited for children's palate and also it cooks at a very low temperature and very fast which makes it excellent for simmered meatballs.
My standard roo and beetroot recipe (roo is Australian slang for kangaroo) is below, this makes the lightest most tender meatballs. I like making a batch and letting it cool in the red wine sauce overnight and then reheating until just hot super tasty.
It is a very easy recipe.
Kangaroo and beetroot meatballs simmered in red wine sauce
Makes a lot, 4 dozen meatballs
1 kg kangaroo mince, (best if used cold)
2 large beetroot, finely grated
1 carrot, finely grated
2 onions, finely chopped and pan-fried until caramelised
1/2 cup of cottage cheese (fetta cheese works well, reduce salt if using)
3-4 tablespoons olive oil, extra virgin
3 rye crisp-bread soaked in 3 tablespoons of cream or milk
1/2 cup freshly made bread crumbs from wholemeal pita bread
1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato pesto (basil pesto is fine also)
1 large egg
2 small hot chillies, finely chopped
2-3 teaspoons salt (if in Australia use vegemite (1/2-1 tablespoon) instead of salt)
3 teaspoons pepper
1 large tin of cherry tomatoes
1 cup of red wine, good quality (or if using for children cranberry jelly or beef stock)
Instructions
1. In a sauce pan combine the cherry tomatoes (smash them with wooden spoon) and red wine bring to a simmer and let simmer while making the meatballs.
2. In a bowl combine all the other ingredients except meat until well mixed.
3. Place meat in large bowl add the mixture gently combine until almost mixed. Make a very small meatball, add to simmering sauce, cook, taste, adjust seasoning of the meatball mixture. Finish combining the mixture.
3. Using 1-1/2 tablespoons of mixture form meatballs, drop immediately into the simmering red wine sauce. Cook for 10-15 mins.
4. Enjoy!
Kangaroo Mince - easily available in supermarkets in Australia (cheap & super healthy) I usually mince my own meat but the market was out of kangaroo meat so I used pre-packed mince.



Ingredients for meatballs (L to R caramelised onion, carrot, beetroot, parsley, in front cream soaked rye crispbread)
 photo 03a_zps758d7357.jpg
The mixture that is added to the kangaroo mince (beetroot, carrot, caramelised onion, parsley, cottage cheese, cream soaked crisp bread, bread crumbs, whole egg, sun-dried tomato pesto) which is great on toast by itself.
 photo 04a_zpsf410d858.jpg
The mixture all ready to made into meatballs
 photo 05a_zps5165f330.jpg
I did a fried test batch just to see how these worked out (not my usual procedure)
 photo 06a_zpse6f340a0.jpg

The interior of the fried meatball, nice, soft and fluffy
 photo 07a_zps566f3b91.jpg
My normal simmered meatballs
 photo 08a_zps7777aa20.jpg

The interior of the meatball
 photo 09a_zps118277c4.jpg
I have to say the fried ones were interesting not has tender as the simmered one but well worth eating. I have road-tested this recipe over many years to get the most tender simmered meatballs (especially made for children and fussy adults) so that is why the fried meatballs were well above average but not as good as the simmered ones.
Lamb, mint and beetroot meatballs
 photo 11a_zpscd11875f.jpg
Isn't the colour gorgeous on these bright pink lamb meatballs. This is one of the reasons I love this recipe and it goes so well with cucumber/mint/yoghurt dip. I like making tiny 2 teaspoon-sized meatballs for the kids just one bite for their tiny mouths. The caramelised beetroot and onion really adds to and intensifies the natural sweetness of lamb. This meatball recipe has been developed by me over a couple of years. As the butcher was explaining to me a long time ago the fat in lamb is "funny" it doesn't take too well being mixed with pork or veal or beef. That is why I like adding gelatine to the lamb mixture which adds a lovely tender moist mouth feel to the cooked meat balls. Also I like how the meatballs when fried have a "black" crust the characteristic brown-black colour of the crust results from the browned beetroot it doesn't taste burnt or bitter. If you bake the meatballs you can control the colour of the balls to suit your visual liking.

A couple of years ago I was researching on the internet about meatball making and discovered a trick professionals use - adding gelatine to the soaking liquid which adds an unctuous mouth feel to the meatball (which is why a lot of meatball recipes add veal which is gelatine-rich). So I tried it in my standard lamb, mint and beetroot meatball recipe. I have to say the gelatine really adds a lot of moistness and a soft tender mouth feel to the interior of the meatballs. I do this gelatine trick to all my recipes now. Several people who had my lamb meatballs before the change commented after I added the gelatine about the tenderness and moistness of them now. (If anything I thought almost too tender and moist the first time I tasted them but that is my opinion.)
 photo 10a_zpsae4a6c1a.jpg

Lamb, mint and beetroot meatballs based on this recipe
500 gm (1 lb) lamb mince, freshly ground, best if used cold
250 gm (1 very large) beetroot, grated and fried until caramelised
2 onions, grated and fried until caramelised (do the onion and beetroot together)
1/2 cup of cottage cheese, drained
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1/2 teaspoon of gelatine bloomed in 1/2 cup of warm wine for 5 mins
3 slices of white bread, torn into small pieces, then soaked in the cooled wine/gelatine liquid for 5 mins then squeezed dry and chopped
1 bunch mint, finely chopped
1 large egg if frying the meatballs, 2 large eggs if simmering
(optional toasted sesame seeds for garnishing the cooked meatballs)

Method
1. Combine all the ingredients into a large bowl except for the meat. Mix until well combined.
2. Add meat and gently mix until almost combined. Make a very small test meatball and cook, taste, adjust seasoning then continue combining mixture until just mixed. Make medium meatballs using 1-1/2 tablespoons of mixture or large meatballs using 3-4 tablespoons of mixture. Let rest in fridge for at least one hour and up to one day. Fry or simmer gently. I find it best to fry them first and then simmer (the frying adds a nice crust to the meatballs).
3. Best served with yoghurt/mint/cucumber dip.
4. Garnish with the optional toasted sesame seeds.

The baked meatballs garnished in black and white toasted sesame seeds
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Spicy Tom Yum Asian Meatballs


This is the recipe I have when I'm trying to impress at dinner parties. They are made with beef/veal (and the gelatine trick) and the same ingredients as TOM YUM soup. The colour for them is so golden and when fried the meatballs form a beautiful tasty crust. These are so beautiful piled high on a party platter. I know I know this soup is meant for prawns (shrimp) but it seems to work excellently for these meatballs, maybe the saffron, coconut cream and fried tomato paste does the trick.



Tom Yum Soup Ingredients
4 lime leaves,finely chopped
2 lemongrass stalks, chopped into tiny pieces
4 slices galangal, finely chopped
2 thumbs of ginger, finely chopped
4-8 bird's eyes chillies, finely sliced
1 tbsp palm sugar
Juice of 1-2 limes
2 tbsp fish sauce (a good Thailand brand)
3 large pinches of saffron infused in the lime juice and fish sauce
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 small tomato de-fleshed seeded and chopped finely
20 gm dried mushroom reconstituted in warm coconut cream with 1 tsp of gelatine
1 tbsp of tomato paste fried until brown
1/2 cup reconstituted glass rice noodles (or bread crumbs) soaked in the mushroom/coconut cream/gelatine liquid
Meatballs
1/2 kg of beef/pork belly (freshly ground)
the above ingredients plus 1 large egg combined. Form 1-1/2 tablespoon-sized meatballs then fry gently.
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Lentil and Spinach balls with blueberry sage glaze


This is an intriguing recipe! It tastes so GOOD yet it is the weirdest combination of ingredients but it's always a winner at parties and surprise pot-lucks and it's easy to cook also (only a couple of mins in a mircowave and if you want an optional light browning in a fry pan.) It always STUNS guests when I tell them what these tasty entrées are made of - lentils, spinach, a couple of eggs and some seasoned bread crumbs served with a sticky blueberry sage glaze. This combination is so delicious and so stimulating to the palate, the different tastes oscillate on your tongue which is exactly what you want an entrée to do to stimulate the appetite for what-is-to-come. The lentil and spinach balls are delicious alone but teamed with the sticky blueberry sage glaze they really seem to switch the taste receptors to the "pleasure" setting. A good recipe to have and their freeze well also.
I always get so many different answers when I ask what they tasted like, but universally they do say they liked them.
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The cooked balls (after microwaving for 2 mins in my very old microwave oven)
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Lentil and Spinach balls with blueberry sage glaze
Lentil and Spinach Balls (adapted from this recipe)
2 cups of cooked green lentils (these lentils hold their shape when cooked)
250 gm packet of frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry and chopped (you can use watercress or collard greens make sure that the greens are squeezed dry and chopped finely)
2 large eggs
1/2 - 3/4 cup heavily seasoned dry breadcrumbs (Italian-seasoned is fine)
2 teaspoons of freshly cracked pepper
Method
1. If you want a very fine texture and even colour in the interior of your vegetarian balls, you can machine-process the spinach and eggs (not the lentils) together to form a bright green purée. (see here for a picture of a puréed lentil/spinach ball)
2. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, form 3 tablespoon-sized balls. Refrigerate for at least one hour up to one day.
3. Microwave on high for 2 mins (check at 1 min). Serve with a simple tomato sauce or the blueberry sage glaze.
4. If you want you can lightly fry the microwaved balls to form a crisp thin eggshell crust the balls will brown slightly if fried.
Blueberry sage glaze (based on this recipe)
500 gm frozen blueberries (can use a mixture of red/purple berries) (cranberries or pomegranate molasses work well also but will need more sugar) (you can use 1/2 cup red wine but reduce the blueberries by half)
1 tablespoons white vinegar (to taste)
2 tablespoons sugar (to taste)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot chilli powder (optional)
1 thumb of ginger, grated (optional)
1 spring (green) onion, finely chopped (optional)
1-2 garlic clove(s), crushed (optional)
4 sage leaves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or butter)
Method
1. Combine all the ingredients in a small sauce pan reduce gently, taste and adjust vinegar or sugar until slightly sweet with a light sour after-taste. Use the optional ingredients if you are serving a meat (or strong tasting) main course.
2. Remove sage leaves before serving.
Blue-Veined Watercress Ricotta Balls








Blue-Veined Watercress Ricotta Balls
These ricotta based balls are simple to make and only contain a few ingredients; ricotta & blue-veined cheese, eggs, watercress (or spinach), and seasoned breadcrumbs (or flour). I included some puréed beetroot in the mixture (I had some left over) that is why this batch is pinkish in colour usually they are white. They fry up nicely but I like them simmered in soups and stews. If you use flour in the recipe you get "gnudi" a dumping, these are much lighter.
Blue-Veined Watercress Ricotta Balls1 cup (250 gm) fresh ricotta cheese, broken up into small pieces (I use low fat)
1 large bunch watercress (or spinach), blanched (1 min), squeezed dried & chopped finely
1 bunch mint (or basil if using spinach), finely chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (or flour if you want gundi), seasoned (may need more)
1/3-1/4 cup blue-veined cheese, finely crumbed (1/2 cup finely grated parmesan if using spinach)
(optional 1/4 cup root veggie purée (beetroot, carrot or pumpkin) best if you are using spinach)

Method
Combine in large bowl all the ingredients mix until almost combined, make small test ball, cook, taste adjust seasoning, finish combining, form small (2 teaspoons), medium (1-1/2 tablespoons) or large (1/4 cup) sized balls, place into simmering soup or stews until cooked (small 3 mins, med 6 mins, large 10 mins)

Hearty Winter Soup with Ricotta balls and Spinach Balls



.
Ballsy Hearty Winter Soup with Ricotta balls and Spinach Balls
I made up a warm filling pearl barley, red and green lentil, split pea, tomato and beetroot winter soup I served it with my spinach/lentil balls and blue-veined watercress ricotta balls, (each 4 tablespoons-sized). (The spinach and lentil balls recipe has already been posted and the blue-veined water ricotta ball recipe is above). Perfect on a cold winter's day especially with buttered sourdoug rye bread.
Ballsy Hearty Winter Soup
1 onion, chopped, fried
1 carrot, grated, fried
optional 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 piece celery, chopped, fried (fry (3 tablespoons olive oil) celery, carrot & onion (& optional garlic) together until onion goes translucent then add tomato paste)
3 tablespoons tomato paste, fried (until brown), then add
2 cups - 4 cups of good vegetable stock
1-3 teaspoon salt & 2 teaspoon pepper, to taste
1 cup pearl barley, soaked and washed
1/2 cup green lentil, soaked and washed
1/4 cup split pea, soaked and washed
2 tablespoon red lentil, soaked and washed
1 cup of finely chopped (or grated) beetroot
Method
Add in a large saucepan the fried ingredients, stock, barley and legumes. Simmer for 1-1/4 hrs adding extra stock as needed. Add the beetroot simmer of extra 1/2 hr. Add plenty of spinach/lentils balls and blue-veined watercress balls in the last 15 mins. Serve the balls covered in the thickened soup or stew.

Super Duper Surf and Turf Meatballs
These are so so so GOOD I scoffed the entire first whole batch down myself there is something about adding umami (the savoury taste sensation) to food especially to meatballs that really intensifies and accents the taste of all the ingredients. These tasted like something from a super fancy restaurant I even impressed myself, since it was an impromptu recipe just using leftovers and a couple of pantry staples, usually you aren't this lucky with "spur-of-the-moment" recipes. Deeply and profoundly satisfying and so exquisitely tasty. I will be making these again and again.


I opened the fridge and this is what I had leftover from the night before:-
1. a half packet (250 gm or 1/4 lb) of good quality hamburger mince (ground beef),
2. a tin of smoked oysters in oil,
3. a 1/4 packet of powdered mushroom, nori sheets and sesame (the blue plastic packet),
4. vegemite,
5. wasabi powder,
6. some fresh bread crumbs (not shown), and
7. 1 large egg (not shown)
 photo 51a_zpsd5515d08.jpg
I noticed immediately that many of the ingredients were rich in umami. After sweet and salty, sour and bitter, there is umami—the fifth taste. Discovered at the beginning of the last century by the Japanese, the word umami translates roughly to mean "deliciousness" or "deliciously savour" — an understatement if ever there was one. Rich, deep and intensely savoury, umami exists in a number of foods and I had a gold mine of them.
So I decided to make a surf and turf meatball (technically an umami-rich wasabi beef meatball stuffed with smoked oysters). The powdered mushrooms, nori, vegemite, smoked oysters and beef are all rich sources of umami (the savoury taste in foods). Also roasting, caramelizing, browning and grilling all boost the umami taste sensation in foods. Which is why this is a FABULOUS little entrée super rich in umami literally drenching in "deliciousness". I would serve with blue-vein cheese (rich in umami) or shaved parmesan cheese (one of the richest sources of umami), black olives (rich in umami) with some fried tomato paste (rich in umami) or fresh ripe tomatoes (rich in umami), tabasco sauce or hot chilli sauce, fish sauce (rich in umami), balsamic vinegar (rich in umami) and freshly minced garlic and a some finely chopped herbs parsley or mint, with a little of the reserved oyster oil. YUM YUM YUM. These tasted so good I'm calling them super duper surf and turf meatballs.
This is the best one so far on my meatball making challenge!. On reflection and making two other batches for my friends who LOVED these, I'm entering these in the college's (that I'm attending) cooking competition next week so tasty and satisfying hummmmmm.
How to make the meatballs
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The finished meatballs waiting to be cooked (all the same size)
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Super Duper Surf and Turf Meatballs
250 gm (1/4 lb) minced beef, best if used cold
100 gm (3-1/2 oz) tin of smoked oysters, drained, reserve oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup of fresh breadcrumbs, heavily seasoned
2 teaspoons of vegemite, mixed into the beaten egg (or 1 tablespoon fish sauce)
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4-1/2 teaspoon of wasabi powder, to taste
1/4 cup of dried mushroom, shredded (or 2 tablespoons of mushroom powder)
1 sheet of nori, finely shredded
1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Method
1. Combine in a large bowl all the ingredients except the oysters until almost combined. Make a very small test ball, cook, taste, adjust seasoning. Place 1 tablespoon of mixture into a semicircular spoon, poke finger into mixture to form a hole stuff with 3 smoked oysters cover the stuffing with the displaced beef mixture to form a complete meatball, repeat until all the mixture and oysters are used up, makes about 16-18 meatballs (See pictures above).
 photo 55a_zps178ad0f1.jpg

Chicken balls

I made two sorts of chicken balls; a sun-dried tomato, olive and ricotta chickenball and a sesame seed coated Thai coconut lime chickenball
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Sun-dried tomato, olive and ricotta chicken-ball
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Sesame seed coated Thai coconut lime chickenball
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Sun-dried tomato, black olive and ricotta chicken-ball
300 gm chicken, mince
300 gm ricotta, finely crumbed
1/4 cup sun-dried tomato, finely chopped
28 black olives, stoned, (use 2 black olives per 1-1/2 tablespoon meatball)
1 large egg
2 tablespoons basil, finely chopped
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4-1/2 cup of fresh bread crumbs, heavily seasoned

Sesame seed coated Thai coconut lime chicken ball
500 gm chicken, mince
3 tablespoons coconut cream
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 packet of Hot and Spicy Thai noodle soup (any spicy Asian style is fine)
2 lime leaves, finely shredded
1/4 cup of fresh bread crumbs, heavily seasoned
1/4 cup of peanuts, pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 red chilli, finely chopped
4 tablespoons sesame seeds, for coating

          A New Investigative Report on Wat Phra Dhammakaya for The Bangkok Post        
Journalist Nattha Thepbamrung has a new investigative report on Thailand’s Wat Dhammakaya, the hugely successful but also controversial Buddhist organization, at the Spectrum section of the Bangkok Post this week. Since it came out with its esoteric teachings on Buddhism in 1970, the secretive Dhammakaya temple and its adherents have been rumoured to be involved in […]
          Restoran Sana Sini Restoran Bertema Unik Dalam Dpulze Shopping Centre Cyberjaya        
Salam sejahtera kepada semua pembaca setia blog makan Mahamahu dan juga rakan-rakan sekalian. Restoran bertema unik itu yang menarik perhatian Maha bila datang ke restoran ni. Firstime nak tahu juga apa yang uniknya kat restoran ni sampai tema dia macam tu sekali. Jom kita terjah dalam tengok apa menu yang unik tu.

 


Nama restoran ni sebenarnya adalah Restoran Sana Sini yang terletak dalam Dpulze Shopping Centre Cyberjaya. Kalau orang sekitar Putrajaya atau Sepang nak datang kat sini tak jauh dan senang nak cari. Shopping complex ni pun banyak parking ada kat basement dan ada kat atas tapi biasalah ada bayaran mengikut jam. Restoran ni terletak kat level LG1 shopping complex ni.



First tengok dari luar restoran ni macam restoran-restoran biasa yang selalu kita pergi. Tapi bila tengok kat satu sudut restoran tu kita akan nampak bagaikan pintu masuk rumah tradisional yang menggunakan kayu. Kemudian satu sudut lagi ada ruang permainan kanak-kanak yang luas. Paling best mereka sediakan aiskrim percuma setiap hari. Boleh ambil berapa banyak yang nak dan makan sepuas-puasnya aiskrim tu.



Tu yang Maha suka kat sini makan aiskrim hehehe. Bila tengok menu kat sini memang unik lah sebab ada macam-macam campuran masakan dari pelbagai negara. Antara yang Maha sempat tengok menu-menu dalam list restoran ni ada masakan Thailand, masakan Korea, masakan Melayu, masakan Barat, masakan Cina dan macam-macam lagi. Ada lebih kurang 100 jenis juga menu masakan yang korang boleh pilih kat restoran ni.

Pineapple Seafood Fried Rice

Fried Kway Teow with Beef and Egg

Stir Fried Glass Noodle with Salted Egg Soft Shell Crab

Tom Yam Fried Rice with Spring Chicken

Pumpkin Fried Rice with Chicken Chop

Apa yang Maha lampirkan kat sini adalah sebahagian menu-menu yang ada. Harap korang tak rambang matalah nak tengok semua menu-menu ni. Nama pun Maha dah tak ingat sebab banyak sangat mana yang ada sempat Maha tulis nama tu ok lah mana yang tak ada tu pandai-pandai korang lah yer hehehe.


 Salted Egg Yolk Chicken Rice

 Salted Egg Yolk Prawn Rice

Hong Kong Oatmeal Fish Rice

Yang ni makanan goreng-goreng yang merangkumi masakan tempatan dan juga dari negara Thailand. Penyediaan makanan kat sini atau presentation juga unik kerana ada yang di serve dalam bekas, ada dalam buah dan macam-macam lagi. Buatkan makanan tu lebih nampak menarik dan sedap untuk dinikmati.

Macau Fried Rice With Shrimp

Korean Chicken Wings

Salted Egg Chicken Wing

Fried Fish Skin With Salted Egg

Popcorn Salted Egg Chicken

Paling best adalah korang kena cuba minuman kat sini. Tapi awas yer jangan ambil banyak sangat minuman kerana ia di sediakan dalam bekas minuman yang bersaiz XXL ok sangat besar. Kalau satau orang minum belum tentu habis silap-silap rasa nak terkencing sahaja.

Red Curry Beef Rice with Omelette


King Prawn Kway Teow with Ginger and Egg

Dragon King Prawn Fried Rice

Maha suka datang sini sebab pilihan makanan yang banyak dan rasa makanan tu tetap ada ia akan disediakan apabila dapat order dari pelanggan. Jadi banyaka makanan kat sini masih panas dan sedap. Kemudian dalam restoran ni pun luas dan selesa nak makan. Tapi paling best adalah aiskrim free tu hehehehe.

Ice 3 Layer Tea, Soya Bean Cincau, Soya Bean, Ice Blue Curacao with Lychee dan Ice Tea Lychee

Waktu operasi restoran ni adalah dari pukul 10.00 pagi hingga 9.30 malam setiap hari. So kalau hari biasa kat sini katanya penuh dengan orang yang bekerja area Cyberjaya. Hari minggu ramai datang bekeluarga atau dengan kekasih sebab nak tengok wayang kat shooping complex ni. Jadi ia sangat sesuai untuk semua peringkat dan situasi. Kalau nak tahu lebih kena datang sendiri cuba baru tahu ok. Selamat mencuba semua.

Pertanyaan hubungi :
Facebook : Restoran Sana Sini

Ranking Mahamahu :-
Kebersihan : 4/5
Kesedapan : 4/5
Harga : 3.5/5







          Welkom in Thailand        
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          My 10 Favorite Things About Living and Teaching in Korea        
I'm two days away from leaving Korea. In two years of living here, I have developed deeply ambivalent feelings about both my experience here and the society itself. A couple days ago, I was re-reading The Prophet, and I was surprised to find a section that echoed my feelings about leaving Korea:

The hero has been in a strange land for twelve years and upon seeing the ship that will return him to his homeland...

"the gates of his heart were flung open, and his joy flew far over the sea. And he closed his eyes and prayed in the silences of his soul.

But as he descended the hill, a sadness came upon him, and he thought in his heart: How shall I go in peace and without sorrow? Nay, not without a wound in the spirit shall I leave this city.

Long were the days of pain I have spent within its walls, and long were the nights of aloneness; and who can depart from his pain and his aloneness without regret?

Too many fragments of the spirit have I scatterd in these streets, and too many are the children of my longing that walk naked among these hills, and I cannot withdraw from them without a bruden and an ache.

It is not a garment I cast off this day, but a skin that I tear with my own hands.

Nor is it a thought I leave behind me, but a heart made sweet with hunger and with thirst.

Yet I cannot tarry longer.

The sea that calls all things unto her calls me, and I must embark.

For to stay, though the hours burn in the night, is to freeze and crystallize and be bound in a mould."

A bit dramatic perhaps, but it really nails how I'm feeling. But, moving along... last week I posted my 10 least favorite things about living and teaching here, and here are my 10 favorite things about living and teaching here, plus a few runners-up.

Runners-up

Ice cream bars -- This didn't make the top ten because it has been absolutely disastrous for my fitness. At every convenience store, and they're everywhere, there is a freezer full of delicious ice cream on a stick in every flavor you could imagine and more (one of my favorites is a chocolate bar on a stick, surrounded with "nano-silver vanilla", coated with chocolate and peanuts, another is melon, another still is watermelon flavored and shaped ice cream with hazelnut seeds). A full price bar is 700 won ($.55), and most places sell them at half price. I don't know how that can be profitable (and I probably don't want to), but it sure does make for a delicious, fattening summer.

Elders' robustness -- Before the monsoon came with its endless days of rain, I was playing tennis every morning with a 64 year old man that was in nearly as good of shape as I am. I never saw him eat an ice cream bar. On my way to school, I routinely see 80-something year old men and women hunched over working in the fields, digging up potatoes or planting chili pepper plants. I've never seen them eating ice cream bars either.

Lack of zoning -- Where I come from, an area is either commercial or residential, so people end up driving a lot. Here, everything is mixed together, so people walk. On one level, it's nice to have a convenience store (with ice cream bars) in the same building as my apartment. On another level, it gets people out in the streets and creates a mixing of people and a sense of community involvement that I think we could use more of at home.

Free time -- I am ambivalent about this. Every single day here, I've had hours of free time. I play guitar, watch TV, read, watch movies, cook, paint, play online games, meditate, etc. I have learned a lot from the reading I've done, I'm a better guitarist and singer and cook, and I'm a champion of Settlers of Catan (my online game of choice), but I'm also bored a lot and frequently feel like I'm wasting my life away. It is that feeling that compelled me to take the plunge into grad school at the end of my contract here.

Now, to the top ten....

10. Gardens everywhere --
This province, Gangwon-do, is notorious in Korea for being difficult to grow food. The people respond by growing food absolutely everywhere. Any land that is less than a 15% incline and is not paved over is growing food, without exception. That's true whether it's someone's front yard, a triangle of dirt between a bridge and road, or way up in the valleys that surround the towns. They're not farms, much more like what we think of as gardens. They grow chili peppers, corn, soy beans, onions, garlic, potatoes, greens, grapes and on the occasional flat section of land, rice. This is this old couple's yard. It's worth noting that it's September and they're planting, probably the third crop of the year. I'm certain they would think we are insane for the money, effort, fertilizer and pesticides we put into grass.

9. Jjimjilbang -- These are combination health club, sauna and recreation center. Admission is about $5 and for that you soak in hot tubs infused with jade or eucalyptus or whatever, sweat in the saunas and steam rooms, and get a sports massage or a scrub down from an old Korean man wearing nothing more than briefs. There are restaurants, but for reasons that escape me Koreans seem to prefer to pig out on hard boiled eggs at these places. There are barbers and televisions and computers and massage chairs and cold and hot rooms and salt rooms and charcoal rooms and oxygen rooms. A great place to hang out and warm up in the winter or sweat out in the summer.

8. Outdoorsiness -- Koreans love the outdoors, whether eating squid jerky and drinking rice wine behind an apartment building, or hiking through valleys (which they have done an excellent job of protecting by concentrating in the cities the population of 50 million people in a country the size of Indiana). I love the tendency toward the outdoors, especially in summer, when restaurants pull out their plastic tables and the dining room floors spill out into the streets. The images of dozens of Koreans eating, drinking and laughing in a courtyard on a warm summer night will stay with me for a long time.

7. The sweet kids --
Not all of them were, but the ones that were sweet were the cutest, kindest, funnest kids I've ever known.















6. The restaurants & the food -- A lot of foreigners here complain about the cuisine, and while I admit the flavors can get a bit monotonous (sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic and chilies), I love the food, even though much of it is off limits to me as a vegetarian. Restaurants typically specialize in just a few dishes, are usually owned and run by an old lady who might work with one other old lady to prepare the food, serve the food, clean the place and everything. My favorite restaurant in town is a place where a 4' 6" 60 year old lady serves grilled fish lettuce wraps (I'm a quasi-vegetarian here) and seems to rotate through being amused, confused, appreciative and fed-up with the foreigners that frequent her place. The prices, and there's no tax or tipping, so what you see on the menu on the wall is what you actually pay, for a typically quick meal might be $3, and unless it's a very special dish (or foreign food or drink), meals rarely exceed $10 per person.

Every meal comes with bancheon, side dishes, that always include kimchi and usually other fermented vegetables. In a cheap place, you might just get three little kimchis, in a nicer place, it's not uncommon to get over ten bancheon, and they might include fried fish or raw octopus or other treats that can be even better than the central meal itself. In most cases, everything is shared with everyone at the table. In fact, when eating with Koreans, even glasses are shared -- it's a neat little social device... if you see that someone is bored or if you want to chat with someone that you're not sitting near, you take them your empty glass and a bottle of soju (chemically fermented rice wine) and pour them a shot, and in that manner, over a meal that might last a few hours, people move around (everyone sits on the floor) and everyone talks with everyone, everyone shares germs and everyone gets drunk.

5. Community focus -- This is the highest ranking item that is really about Korean society, as the next four each have to do with my position here. On the whole, I'm not a big fan of Confucianism, at least as it operates in modern Korea. However, the focus on social harmony is really nice, and something that I think we North Americans could learn a lot from. Where I is the dominant pronoun in the US, we is here. Studies have shown that the different mindsets actually affect visual perception, such that Asians are more inclined to view ambiguous situations from a removed, more holistic perspective, whereas Westerners are more inclined to view the same situation from inside it, from a first person perspective. Unfortunately, because of the xenophobia here, foreigners are not always considered part of the community in the same way Koreans are, which I think makes being a foreigner here harder than it would be in a more individualistic society like the US. But, while I'm sure my Korean friends still think I'm terribly obstuse and inconsiderate, this mindset has implanted itself in my head, and I'm glad for it. I hope it stays with me through the years.

4. Income:expenses ratio -- The salary foreigners earn teaching in Korea isn't anything special, except that foreign teachers' apartments are paid for by employers, as are airfare here and home and immigration costs. Food is cheap, entertainment (at least out here in the boonies) is scarce, and buying stuff doesn't usually make sense when you know you have to fit everything you own into two suitcases at the end of the year. Health care is nationalized and very inexpensive and the tax structure is very progressive so even those who aren't exempt pay less than 4% income tax. I have been saving almost 80% of my salary, and on top of that I'll receive about two months' bonus pay at the end of my contract. No one has gotten rich doing it, but especially for folks right out of college or when the job market at home is what it is right now, it can be a very solid financial move.

3. Vacation time & neighboring destinations -- While I've been here, I've spent time in China, Vietnam, Laos, Japan, Thailand, and Thailand again. Spending almost the entire month of February in Thailand is about as good as it gets. And it was a relatively quick flight on a lovely Asian airline to get there.

2. Novelty in everything -- Living here is a bit like being a child. You never really know what's going on, you don't have responsibilities the same way you would at home, you're easily surprised, and routine events are novel and exciting. It's incredibly frustrating, but also really enjoyable.

1. Anonymity & outsiderness -- There is something comforting about knowing that no one knows you, and that no one can. If people are going to stare at me as I walk down the street, I might as well wear shorts and flip-flops and sing as I walk. If my students are going to think I'm a weird foreigner anyway, it's much easier to engage them with silly foolishness that I might hold back at home. At home, as soon as you see someone, you thin-slice their age, sex, body language, clothing, and a thousand other things and make a judgement about who they are and how they relate to you in society. In a culture as foreign as this, that's impossible. Advertising doesn't affect you, because it is designed to take advantage of the human mind's inability to stop thin slicing. And not understanding what that 16 year old girl on the bus won't stop talking about can be really nice.

I couldn't have named this at the time, but this is what brought me back to Korea for a second year. When you remove a person from their native culture, you force them to examine themselves in way that is otherwise impossible. We define ourselves by our relations: to our jobs, our achievements, our friends and family, our hobbies, and the culture we consume (and, less often it seems, create). Take away all those things and one has to look internally for a sense of identity. That transformation started for me in my first year here, but it didn't have time to run to completion. When I got home, I didn't identify in society as I had previously, but I was still looking to things like my friends and my job to define my position in society, my social identity, especially since it had been upended since I had left. I ended up feeling lost and floundering around for quite a while before returning to Korea. I don't know if that transition ever really reaches completion, but I know that I am going home with a much stronger internal compass than I had before I came to Korea, in addition to a much broader perspective on culture, politics and the world.

          Teaching English in Korea Interview        
I was recently asked to provide an interview about my experience teaching in Korea, my decision to move to Korea, stereotypes of English teachers in Asia, culture shock and cultural assimilation, EPIK, and some other general stuff about my experience teaching English in Korea. I thought I would go ahead and provide the interview here. I hope you find it helpful. There may be a follow up interview in the future, if so I'll post that as well.


----- Why did you first decide to move to Korea? Had you had previous
experience? Did you know others who had traveled to Korea before
deciding to relocate there? Please describe your decision making
process.

My decision to come here was very circumstantial. I was working as a research scientist in the US and was dating a Canadian when my grant got canceled and I was out of work. We didn't have a good way to be together in either of our countries, and she had friends who had paid off significant portions of their student loans teaching in Korea, so we started looking into it. We considered Taiwan most seriously as an alternative, but in the end the ease of the offers in Korea -- airfare paid, apartment ready when you get here -- and the excellent pay (at that time, in 2005, the exchange rate was about 40% better than it is now) lured us here. I had one friend that had taught in Japan with JET and had a decent experience but left before the end of the year. I read a lot about teaching in Korea before I came, espeically on forums.eslcafe.com/korea, which presents a particularly negative side of teaching here, but we decided to come anyway.


----- Was the process of moving different than what you expected? What
everyday difficulties, if any, do you encounter living in a foreign
country?

The process of moving was very easy and more-or-less what I expected. The shock of landing in a very foreign country was intense. I had never been outside of N. America before, and Korea is very different than home. Jet lag was severe, and I remember on our second night there we went out to eat, at an Italian restaurant of all places, and after being out for an hour or two, my energy just plummeted. I didn't know how I was going to make it back to the apartment. I think our minds have a filtering system that keeps us sane by blocking most of the massive amount of information that constantly surrounds us. It filters that which is the same, usual, because we don't need to be aware of that. But suddenly in a Korean city, nothing is usual, so the mind is very easily overloaded. You ask about culture shock later, but let me say here, I think there are two seperate events that are labeled as culture shock, and they are very different. There is the experience I just described, which was very intense for just a few hours on the first few nights, mostly just lasted a few days and fades away entirely with a week or two. Then there is another experience that sets in around 3 or 4 or 6 months into living in a foreign culture, when the novelty has worn off, and things get really hard. I talk about this at length in a blog post, here.


----- I know there has been a stereotype of inexperienced Americans and
Canadians going to foreign countries and working very briefly, using
the job as a means to pay for a vacation. Do you think this is still
the case? There also has been a history of foreigners being lured to
countries like Korea (or Thailand) with promises of great jobs and
money only to be met with disappointing living and working conditions.
Has this practice changed? What opinions do you have regarding
both sides of this complicated relationship between teachers and
recruiters? Do you think EPIK has changed this in Korea?

I don't know how qualified I am to speak generally about this, especially since I haven't lived in Seoul, and that's where the vast majority of foreigners are (that was even more true before the government's recent push to put native english speakers in every public school in the country). But here are some thoughts.

Yes, people use it as a way to get away from home, as an escape. The reality is that living and working here comes with a huge load of challenges. I don't want to say it's harder, that would depend on specific circumstances at home and here, but it's definitely hard. I don't know a single foreigner here that would disagree with that. And while I think Korea rightly has a reputation for being particularly difficult, I've heard similar complaints about Thailand, Japan, China, etc.. So if this job has a reputation for being an easy way to take a vacation, I think that's undeserved. I think we earn every won we make.

I had read a lot about people showing up and being given moldy, rat-filled apartments. I think that has always been a tiny, if highly vocal, minority, and even more so now as the arrangement has become more widespread and communication between foreigners living here and thinking about coming here has increased. That said, people definitely do get screwed from time to time. Hagwons, the private, after-school tutoring centers that outside of EPIK employ almost all of the foreign English teachers, are intensely for-profit, and every won saved on a foreigner is a won of profit for the owner. I worried a lot about what would happen at the end of my hagwon contract, because at the end of a contract foreigners generally receive a month's pay, a bonus month's pay called severance, approximately a month's pay from contributions the boss should have been making each month to the national pension fund that can be withdrawn as a lump sum by foreigners leaving the country, and return airfare home. That adds up to about 7 million won for most foreigners. In the end, I did get nearly everything I was owed, with a hundred thousand or two won, but I felt like if the boss had thought he could have pushed me around, he probably would have.

Recruiters are driven by profit motivation too, and they understand how few recourses a foreigner has once they have moved here. So I think it's terribly important for foreigners to get references for their recruiter and their hagwon before they sign a contract. With EPIK this is much less true because the contract is standardized and there isn't the same profit motivation present in public schools. EPIK is far from perfect, and there are plenty of complaints among my friends and I about the program, but it is much more secure than a hagwon gig.


----- Have you experienced significant "culture shock" as a foreigner in Korea?

Yes, see answer 2.

----- To what degree do you think it's important to assimilate to the
culture you are living in?

Again, I'm not sure how qualified I am, because I haven't ever assimilated into a foreign culture. Note that the vast, vast majority of foreigners living here don't assimilate to any noticeable degree. I suspect those that have would say that it's both difficult and important. I think it's particularly difficult in Korea, because Korea has a history of fending off foreign invasions (surrounded as have been, historically, by empires: Japanese, Mongolian, Chinese, etc.) and that has informed their culture around the treatment of foreigners. For a more thorough treatment of this, see Korea Unmasked, which is written by a Korean. I think xenophobia is common here, as is fetishization of foreigners. Racism is, I think, less common, but prevalent as well.

On a lighter note, learning some simple aspects of the language: the "alphabet," food, numbers, taxi directions, etc. is hugely helpful, and new arrivals should learn that stuff ASAP.


----- I know EPIK views their native English speakers as assistants to
the regular English teachers, do you think using native English
speakers is beneficial when teaching English?

It's true that we are titled Assistant Teachers. What this means in practice varies widely from province to province, county to county, school to school, and especially from elementary to middle to high schools. My understanding is that in elementary schools foreigners are often treated more like assistants, with Korean teachers planning the lessons and incorporating foreigners to degrees ranging from not at all (I had one coteacher, who I taught 4 hours a week with last semester, with whom I would literally sit in a student's chair, in front of the class, facing the class, which he taught, and often not say a word. I eventually started bringing books into class and sat there reading.) to true coteaching, where the teaching role is passed back and forth. There are also situations in elementary schools where the Korean teacher feels embarrassed about their English in front of a foreigner, or is just lazy, and has the foreigner do all of the lesson planning and teaching. This can be good for everyone, if the Korean stays engaged with the class to keep Korean norms around discipline and respect in order. If, as many do, the Korean sits silently in the back of the class or even walks out, it can be very frustrating. It is extremely difficult to teach beginners of a language without a common language, especially children, with their constantly ambling attention. This alone is sufficient for me to recommend EPIK over hagwons to incoming teachers -- in EPIK you have a coteacher, in hagwons you don't.

I think it could be valuable to use native teachers, and in many cases I think it is. But the systems to make it properly and be of real benefit to the students haven't been put in place yet. This initiative to have native English speakers in every school is very young, and they are still learning how it should be done. So, as with the example I mentioned above, it often ends up being worthless for the students, and I think very frequently is of marginal value. I think a native speaker is most valuable as a teacher to advanced language learners, and those aren't primary and secondary students in Korea. With the right sort of co-teaching, I think it can be valuable. It brings a new pedagogy to language learning in Korea, which I think is sorely needed. I think it may be most valuable in diminishing xenophobia. There are now foreigners in every town in the country, and every student will grow up knowing at least 12 different foreigners. It's an extremely expensive cultural reform, but I foresee it opening up Korea quite a bit, and Korea has been a rather closed culture. When I left Korea last time, I took a ferry over to China, and the first Chinese person that I spent any time with told me that he thought culturally, "Korea is more [traditional] Chinese than China."

----- What are some of the benefits of teaching overseas as opposed to
teaching in your home country? What are the negative aspects?

This is a huge question. I think most of the benefits come from living abroad, and after that working abroad, the actually teaching abroad, in my opinion, has marginal benefits.

For teaching, that it is easier to get into comes to mind. Anyone with a bachelors degree can get a job in Korea. It is also an easier job for most people, but this is balanced by it being harder to live and work here. The negative aspects of working here are primarily that you might not have much control over your curriculum if you teach in a public school, and you might not have much control over (or ability to communicate with) your students if you teach in a hagwon.

A lot is made about the potential to save money here, and I think it is misunderstood. A typical job here, and this includes probably 95%+ of the jobs here pays between 2.0 - 2.3 million won per month. In addition, your airfare to and from Korea is taken care of and apartment (minus utilities) is furnished and paid for. Income tax is much more progressively structured in Korea than in the US, so at these income levels, the tax rate is 3.3%, and in public schools there is a two-year exemption from even that. Health care is socialized and costs about 50,000 won/month for coverage and makes visits to the doctor/dentist/pharmacy extremely cheap. Add to that the fact that, outside of Seoul, there isn't a lot for foreigners to spend money on. Restaurants are cheap, public transportation is excellent, and most of us don't want to accumulate much stuff, because we have to get rid of it or find a way to get it home in a year or two, and desirable entertainment options are scarce. So, 2.2 million won isn't that much money (about $1600 right now) for a month's work, but some expenses are covered by employer, some are minimized by the policies of the Korean Government, and others just aren't present here.

The benefits of living and working abroad are significant, and I think under appreciated and misunderstood. Much has been made of President Obama having lived in many different cultures and his penchant for surrounding himself with advisors that have also lived in other cultures. People that have left their home for an extend period of time develop a different way of looking at the world. I think this comes from having the beliefs that are operant in your home society (which we don't notice because they are omnipresent) challenged. That leads people to have more nuanced perspectives that are less based on the beliefs that are instilled by our culture's stories. Leaving the culture you were raised in, even temporarily, is -- must be -- an eye opening experience. A friend asked me recently what made me come back to Korea when I had many grievances about my first year here. I told him that I felt like a transformation had started in my first year that I needed to continue and couldn't at home -- that by removing myself from the shared beliefs, common assumptions and homogeny of the society I grew up in, I was forced to look more closely at the people and events around me and deliver my own conclusions, because I couldn't rest on the beliefs I had picked up by osmosis at home. I also had to redefine myself, because those around me didn't see me through the same cultural lens I had always been seen. Those processes are extremely trying, and I think they are generates the culture shock that emerges after a few months of living in a foreign culture. Really living in a foreign culture is probably the only way to experience it. When one travels, one is not immersed in a culture the same way one is when they are, for example, working in a foreign culture. So that's a benefit and a negative aspect. I believe it is hugely important, and it's why I am here now in spite of the intense frustration and frequent loneliness. Well, that and student loans. And the food. And the proximity to Southeast Asia.

One last thing I'll mention is a certain sense of freedom that comes with living here. I think it is related to the redefinition I just wrote about at length, in that it comes from a lack of understanding between you and those around you, which comes from a lack of shared cultural stories/assumptions. But knowing that no one really gets you, and no one can, is frighteningly liberating. And not understanding what that 15 year old is talking about on her cellphone can be pretty nice too.
          Teaching in Korea FAQ        
In my ongoing efforts to help people decide if teaching English in Korea is right for them, I thought I would post my responses to some questions I got from a friend of a friend who is thinking about making the move to Korea. I hope this helps. If there are any questions you think should be added to the list, let me know.


1. How did you apply for the position?

Through a recruiter. It is possible to apply to public school jobs directly, but there isn't any advantage to doing it that way, and it's more difficult and you have one less person in your corner should any issues come up. You could also come here to look for work... I think that makes the most sense for those with experience who are trying to land a highly competitive position, such as a university gig. One of the greatest benefits to starting in Korea is that everything is taken care of for you.... the recruiter will find you positions (for free, they're paid by the school), help you get everything in order for your visa and such, and then you'll be set up with a ticket (or airfare) and when you get here you'll have an apartment waiting for you. I can't imagine landing in Taiwan or Vietnam and trying to find a place to live at the same time as all the other new-arrival stuff.

2. Are you TESL/TEFLO certified?

No, and there's no need to be in Korea. For those who think Korea is a good fit, I would suggest starting here without it, and if after a year or two hear, you decide you want to stick with TEFL and possibly move somewhere where the certification is more important (particularly in the Middle East and a few particular Asian countries), then look into that.

3. How long did it take you from the begginning of your application process till ending up in Korea?

I started in May-ish, knowing that I wanted to come at the begining of the semester Sept. 1. One guy in my town did the whole thing in a couple weeks, but that's definitely on the fast end. The new school year just started last week.... there are always positions available, in public and private schools, but the big hiring pushes are for 3/1 and 9/1... I'd suggest starting several months before you want to come.


4. Is it easy to transfer teachig positions throughout Korea/Asia/World

I'm not sure what you mean by transfer. Korea runs almost 100% on 1-year contracts. One downside to Korea is that visas are non-transferable, so if you don't finish your contract, you have to get a release from your employer and go through the whole visa process again with your new employer. My understanding is that in Japan, for example, the visa is transferable. If you mean at the end of the contract, it's certainly easy to transfer within Korea... a year of experience here is a big plus because employers know you know what you're in for and that you can handle it. I imagine that's true with employers in other countries too. Two years experience and/or TEFL seems to be a commonly listed necessary experience for some of the more desireable jobs I've seen.

5. How hard is it to adapt socially (i.e. nightlife, dating,)

This is a huge question, and there are a lot of variables, most importantly you. I would suggest reading blogs of English teachers here... that's a nice window. Mine is at viewfromgangwon.blogspot.com... I'll probably refer you to a couple specific posts at some point.

In sum, Korea is not an easy place to adapt to. It is probably one of the lesser foreigner-friendly places on the planet. I have friends that have married into Korean families and are happy and plan to spend the rest of their lives here. But I know a lot more people that have come, foudn it very difficult, and are anxious to get out at the end of their contract. I think much of that is culture shock... the experience of living and working in a foreign culture after the novelty has worn off, and I do hear similar complaints from teachers in Japan and Thailand, but I'm not sure they are as ubiquitous or as strong as they are here.

If nightlife and dating are real concerns for you, I would suggest Seoul, or possibly Busan. Seoul is one of the biggest cities in the world, and you can find just about anything there, though I have never heard it refered to as cosmopolitan. Busan is a city of something like 3 million... I lived there for a year and quite liked it... it's on the beach and has a more moderate climate and a less hectic feel than Seoul, but also many many less foreigners and services for foreigners. Now I'm in a tiny town on the east coast, far from everything and very isolated. I took the job largely for the 5 week vacation, but it makes the other 47 weeks pretty tough, and I'm someone who likes a lot of time to himself for reading, guitar, exercise, etc.. Again, search for blogs of folks teaching in Seoul, Busan and other random places... the differences will be obvious.

6. What happens if i get sick/injured?

Korea has wonderful socialized medicine. About 50,000 won (~$30) of your monthly paycheck gets you medical care at prices you won't believe ($2 for a dentist visit, $.85 for a perscription fill, $300 for a crown treatment). Many doctors are trained at US medical schools. The bigger the city, the better in terms of quality of care and availability of ENglish speakers.

7. Have you been able to save money fairly easy?

Yes. This is the other advantage to living in the sticks... there's nothing to spend money on! Unfortunately, over the last six months, the exchange rate has moved massively against those of us saving won to convert to dollars (~40%). It hasn't affected prices here much, but it sucks when you transfer money home. Still, I will bank 5-figures this year, and that's with a 3-week trip to Thailand, buying the nicest food I can find and taking regular trips around the country. I don't, however, drink or smoke or eat meat, so I save money on all of those. The maxim is that you should be able to save half of your salary without trying. I save around 70%. When thinking about savings, don't forget that at the end of your contract you effectively get 2 months extra pay - one called severence and one from a pension.

8. How much stuff did you bring to Korea?

I brought the two largest suitcases I could get my hands on, and packed things like Clif bars, books, and a tennis racket. My parents send me a package every few months with my favorite foods and toiletries, which helps a lot.

9. have you picked up much of the language since your inception?

No, and most people don't, but that's stupid. Korean is one of the hardest languages for an English speaker to learn, but it can be done. Especially in Seoul, if you really wanted to commit to it, there are hagwons (a hagwon is like a tutoring center, they offer after school classes to students, especially in English, and employ most of the foreigners here) that teach Korean to foreigners.... If there were one here, I would do it. I have enough of the language to get around, but embarrassingly little for having lived 18 months here. I bought some books before coming and while here, but just haven't dug into it. I've heard people talk about acquiring languages like Hindi and Italian in less than a year because they loved the culture and always wanted to be immersed in it. I think the converse explains why most of us don't make much of an effort at Korean.



So there are some thoughts. Here are a few blog entries that might be valuable to consider:

several videos, if you want to get an idea of what life looks like in Korea.

differences between hagwon and public school teaching

general thoughts about being and teaching here. be sure to check out the comments section, as there are lots of valuable insights from readers there.


I hope all that helps. If it brings up any more questions, feel free to ask. If you decide you want to come, my recruiter was great before we got here, and in helping us when we needed to move. I'd be happy to set you up with them (I get a little kick-back if you end up signing on.)
          Teaching and Living in Korea, Gangwon-do Public School and Busan Hagwon        
After a year of teaching EFL in a Hagwon and a semester of teaching English in a public school in Gangwon-do, here are my thoughts on teaching English in Korea in general, and about the differences between the public school gig and the hagwon gig. I hope it will be helpful to those that are thinking about coming to Korea to teach English.

Before I get into it, I want to preface this by saying that real culture shock, in my experience and the experience of my friends that have lived in Korea and other foreign cultures, sets in around the three to four month mark. It is characterized by disdain for the local culture, frustration with other aspects of one's life, and a strong desire to escape the “shocking” culture. For more on culture shock, check out this post from about a month ago. I have been here about four and a half months, and I feel like I'm on the tail end of what has been a fairly severe culture shock. Just wanted to throw that in for completeness, for those readers contemplating coming to Korea, or to Gangwon-do to teach for EPIK in a public school.

Living in Korea

Korea is not particularly hospitable to foreigners. There is a lot of kindness in the Korean people as a whole, but there is more xenophobia (fear of foreigners). There is a historical reason for this: the Korean people have, throughout their history, had to fight off invading forces – Japanese, Mongol, Chinese, etc. The result is a people that are very insular and distrusting if not downright disrespectful toward foreigners. Of course there are exceptions – I've had friends (male and female) marry into Korean families and be, to varying degrees, accepted by the culture. There are also some teachers that come here for a year and enjoy the time they spend with Korean people. But the vast majority of foreigners I've talked to and emailed with feel isolated and disliked by Koreans and look forward to the day they get to go home or to another culture.

What is the difference between those who have a great time here and those who can't wait to leave? I've thought about this a lot, and I think I have some insight into the personalities that fit best and worst here.

Those that have the hardest time here are typically:

- Female – sorry ladies, but this is a culture of and for men. I've known a lot of strong women who have had a very hard time here. The disrespect I experience is multiplied several times over for women. I suspect beautiful women have it easier than others, with blond hair and thinness being primary qualities of beauty here. Also women that are okay with being less involved in conversations, decision making and the like will do better.

Those who have the best time here are typically:

- Drinkers/Smokers/Red Meat Eaters – I am none of these things, and that has proved hard. Had I come here just out of college, I would have been going to the bars and cook-your-own-meat-at-the-table restaurants with other teachers from my school three times a week, getting drunk and smoking cigarettes with them and building social bonds through that. This seems to be the primary social opportunity here. Of the people I've met that are happy in Korea and plan to stay, nearly 100% have enjoyed regularly consuming at least 2 of these 3 things.

The other big difference I see between those who are happy here and those who are not is sensitivity. Korea is not a place for sensitive westerners. Expressions of appreciation are few and far between and ostricization – most often expressed non-verbally – is constant. On the streets, smells of sewage hit you like a truck every couple of minutes. Buildings are aesthetically devoid and covered in advertisements, and loud noises are constant. Those who set their own emotional state, or who are relatively constant in their feelings, regardless of their surroundings, can do very well here, but this is not the place for those who are sensitive to their environment and the way they are received by the people they work with.

Teaching English in Korea

Public Schools

In public schools, foreigners are hired as assistant teachers, and we are more assistant than teacher. For the fall semester, which we've just finished, I had three co-teachers that I worked with at my primary school. With one of them, I taught eight hours a week (actually eight, forty minute classes) of sixth grade, for which I prepared one, forty minute lesson and usually got to deliver it to both sixth grade classes. Sometimes my lesson plans ended up in the trash because something took precedence – a special event or falling behind schedule or the children misbehaving and the teacher needing to take thirty minutes to yell at them (no kidding, that happened several times). With my two fifth grade teachers, with each of whom I taught four hours a week, I simply sat next to the desk while they taught. Sometimes I would be asked to speak words or phrases for the students to mimic the correct pronunciation; sometimes I would sit silently and do nothing for the entire class. Of the three teachers, one would consistently offer me his comfy teacher's chair; for the other two, I would sit in a fifth-grade-student-sized wooden chair.

That was the bulk of the semester. For winter vacation the students and most of the teachers get six weeks off. We get three (I'm leaving for Thailand tomorrow!), and run “winter camps” for the other three. Winter camps were hard, but rewarding. For one week, we had a budget, two Korean teachers who actually helped us and seven hours a day to do whatever we wanted with the kids. That was great, but very demanding. For the other two weeks, we had three hours a day with the kids, with no budget and no Korean teacher to translate or help us control the students. That was more difficult, but we got to go home at 12:30 everyday, which is nice. Summer vacation will probably be similar, except that it's a bit longer, and our vacation is shorter (two weeks), so there will probably be more camp and special education activities.

Our situation here isn't exceptional, but it isn't universal either. Some teachers have much better rapport with their schools. I think this is mostly just a crap shoot. One couple hasn't had to go into school at all over vacation and is teaching a winter camp after the spring semester starts. Lucky them. Where we are (in Samcheok County), situations like ours seem more common, but I think this county might be particularly tough on its foreign teachers.

Hagwons

In 2005 – 2006, I taught in a hagwon (a private after-school academy) in Busan. That teaching was very different than what I'm doing now. Much has been written on the internet about the hagwon-teaching experience, so I'll be brief. It was extremely tiring to teach without a Korean to translate for me, but on the other hand, I got to design my lessons and could teach anything I wanted. I taught six, fifty-minute classes a day, as opposed to four, forty-minute classes a day in my public school. Every day I would step outside between classes and think, “I can't do this any more, I've got to get out of here.” But I did do it, and so do lots of other people. I was always scared that my boss was going to cheat me out of money, but in the end he ended up paying me all I was owed, within a couple hundred dollars anyway. I suspect if he had sensed he could have pushed me around more, he would have. There were two big upsides to the hagwon gig: the hours – 3:30 to 10:30pm with an hour to go home for dinner beats the pants off 9-5 with lunch in the school cafeteria in my book. The other biggie is that you know exactly where you're going before you get on that plane. With the public schools, you typically know only the province you're going to before you leave home. We got massively unlucky in this regard, as we came to Gangwon-do, the mountainous, rural province the northeast corner of South Korea and ended up in one of the last remaining coal mining towns in the country. With a hagwon, not only do you know where you're going, but you can find out the details of who you'll be working with, how far your apartment is from your school (in my hagwon, I was a three minute walk away, in our public school we were initially placed a $3, forty-minute bus ride away), and even what your apartment looks like. Here as everywhere, the devil is in the details, and before you sign up with a hagwon, you can know a lot more of the details than with the public schools.

Conclusions

I would recommend teaching English in Korea primarily to guys strait out of college. If you want to do something interesting for a year or two, save a ton of money and put an interesting item on your resume, this can be a very good gig. If you want to go to the bars most nights, and would enjoy cooking beef at your table, you might even fit in with some of the people you work with. And of course there's travel – most people experience major personal growth while living here, and the opportunities for travel (either on vacations if you go with Gangwon-do public schools, or afterward if you don't have as much vacation) are second to none.

If I were doing it again, I would go with the public school over the hagwon – it's a ton less stress, but I would try to come at an off time (not 3/1 or 9/1), and I would want to know exactly where I was going to be placed before I signed anything. I would also make a huge effort to build report with the teachers and administrators in my school in the first weeks.

If you're interested in teaching in the public schools, we came with a recruiter, Jen, who did an excellent job of answering our questions before we came, and of representing us through our battle with the authorities to move closer to our school. If you'd like to get in tough with her, send me an email – mlevy79 (at) gmail (dot) com, and I'll put you in touch with her.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck, and if you do come to Korea, let me know how it goes.



***Edit***

Be sure to check out the comments below -- there is a lot of insight there from other westerners that are teaching here.
          Cheap Tickets to Thailand!        
We just booked tickets to Thailand for Jan. - Feb. for 580,000 won (US$460), and we should get some (about 80k) back based on taxes going down in the new year (see edit below). Amy at Shoestring travel hooked us up: emlee(at)shoestring.co.kr or 82-(0)2-333-4151. With the political instability in Thailand, we've been waiting for prices like these for a while. Glad they finally manifested.

Now I just have to keep telling myself: It will be 80 degrees and I'll be on the beach with delicious food in two weeks.

***edit***
The final price of our tickets were 483,800 won ($369) each. That's awesome.
          Sor Rungvisai knows from experience the challenge awaiting new boxer McGregor against Mayweather        

As Conor McGregor attempts to convert from a mixed martial arts champion to a boxer capable of defeating the unbeaten former five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., one man in Thailand offers some unsolicited perspective.

“It’s going to be difficult for McGregor. It’s two different sports,...


          It's Raining Free Nights at Lamai Wanta Beach Resort Koh Samui in Thailand        
Budget-conscious travelers are up for a treat as Lamai Wanta Beach Resort Koh Samui in Surat Thani, Thailand gives away free nights with its 2 newest promos. Booking period runs until June 15, 2015.
          Wishlust 5        
Wishlust is where I will post a few books that are on my infinitely long wishlist. By infinitely long, I mean almost 600 books! Hopefully, you will find a book or two that seem interesting. =)

Peak - Roland Smith
After Peak Marcello is arrested for scaling a New York City skyscraper, he’s left with two choices: wither away in Juvenile Detention or to go live with his long-lost father, who runs a climbing company in Thailand. But Peak quickly learns that his father’s renewed interest in him has strings attached. Big strings. He wants Peak to be the youngest person to reach the Everest summit—and his motives are selfish at best. Even so, for a climbing addict like Peak, tackling Everest is the challenge of a lifetime. But it’s also one that could cost him his life.

Geek Magnet - Kieran Scott
Everybody loves KJ. Especially the geeks. See, KJ Miller is super nice, smart, pretty, the stage manager of her high school’s spring musical . . . and a total geek magnet. She’s like the geek pied piper of Washington High, drawing every socially clueless guy in a five-mile radius. If only Cameron, the hottest guy in school, would follow her around and worship her the way her entourage of dorks do. Enter Tama Gold, queen of the popular crowd, and solution to all of KJ’s problems. KJ is too nice, and the nice girl never gets the guy. Tama’s ready to help KJ get cruel, ditch the dorks, and win Cameron’s heart. But is KJ?

Band Geek Love - Josie Bloss
All band, all the time. That's how trumpet goddess Ellie Snow has made it to senior year. No drama, no dating. Just keeping lock-step within the safe precision of the Winslow Marching Band. She's a fierce section leader now, and so over the heart-crushing social disaster of her freshman year. No boy is going to ruin Ellie's shining moment-her senior solo performance at the homecoming game.

And then Connor Higgins shows up. Not even Ellie can resist the trumpet player who could be a model for Abercrombie & Fitch. It's a hook-up made in band-geek heaven! But Ellie's not ready to publicize their romance, not even to her best friends. After all, Connor's just a sophomore. What would everyone say? Breaking formation and revealing her true self would be like . . . marching on the field completely naked!

Then Ellie discovers the flipside of secrets and how it feels to be shut out by the ones she loves.
          U.S.-Thailand Relations Warm … But Thailand Stays the Same        
Although General Prayuth Chan-ocha’s meeting with President Trump, which was supposed to take pla

          Why Dubai is the best (biggest, tallest, and coolest) candidate for Expo 2020        
In 1968 when then ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed al Maktoum (father of the current ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid) and the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, agreed to form a federation of what were then then The Trucial States, a British protectorate, hardly anyone could have envisioned what the United Arab Emirates would have become today, nearly 45 years after that historic meeting [eventually seven of the nine 'sheikhdoms' joined the union]. For all intents and purposes, at inception in 1971, the United Arab Emirates could be described as a desolate backwater, despite a strong history of local traditions, and legacy as a trading post. Today, Dubai and the UAE bring forth images of economic strength and progress in an increasingly volatile and definitively confused region. Dubai's development, specifically, is a once-in-a-generation global phenomenon, and the city is unique like no other. As the bid committee for Expo 2020 look to decide on the host city for the world event seven years from now, there really is no other choice but Dubai - and let me tell you why.

1. The other candidate cities are Izmir, Sao Paulo, Yekaterinburg, and Ayutthaya...

There is nothing wrong with Izmir, Sao Paulo, Yekaterinburg, and Ayutthaya but do they really measure up to Dubai? Now before anyone gets in a tizzy or their 'socks' in a twist, they are all great cities! Izmir is Turkey's third-largest city and home to a great literary tradition.  Sao Paulo is one of the five largest metropolitan areas on the planet. Yekaterinburg (in Russia), well it's Yekaterinburg and they have a monument to Michael Jackson. And Ayutthaya was the historical capital of the Kingdom of Siam. Let's just say the final three are likely Izmir, Sao Paulo and Dubai. Izmir is certainly a great city but does not have the global resonance of Dubai. And Sao Paulo...well Brazil has both the Olympics (2016) and the World Cup (2014); are you telling me that they really need the pesky Expo 2020 as well!?

2. The Expo needs a city of significance to make the event significant

Do you remember where the last Expo was held (or even that there is an Expo!)? You could be forgiven for not recalling that it was Yeosu, South Korea. Where was the one in 2010? That's right Shanghai. The Expo 2010 attracted a staggering 73 million visitors and was the most visited exhibition of its kind and brought together 189 different expositions from around the world. While in 2015 the Expo will be held in Milan and in 2017 in Astana (Kazakhstan) it is likely that it would take the Expo 2020 in Dubai to bring the event back to the international spotlight (the governing body regards the Expos held every 5 years to be 'World' Expos). In fact, it normally requires an emerging or new city of a transformative nature to inspire the type of attention that Shanghai in 2010 did (or Osaka in 1970 etc).

3. The entire ethos of Dubai is synonymous with what Expo 2020 would be about

Dubai is a global city by its very nature. It is home to over 2 million residents - and growing - from all over the world and from every socio-economic background, representing over 200 nationalities. The city is at once a home to and meeting-ground for people from the the Middle East, Subcontinent, Central Asia, Africa (especially East Africa) and Europe, North America, and Australia. There are even an estimated 180,000 Chinese residents in Dubai.  With the tourist profile of the city, Dubai has in fact become the 8th most visited city in the world (in 2012). It's cultural diversity is on constant display with a burgeoning arts scene (that is driven at the grassroots level), international film festivals, culinary celebrations, and so much more that you might as well just visit Timeout magazine.

4. Dubai inspires the imagination as the Expo event is meant to do

The landmark World Expo (or Great Exhibition) was organized under the auspices of Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, all the way back in 1851, in Hyde Park. It was an inspiring event that showcased the burgeoning city of London - the world's city at the time - and the promise of a future driven by technology and industrialization.  In a region too full of dark pessimism and cynicism, Dubai represents optimism and opportunity. And it will represent that even more so in 2020, as the city, albeit far along the way, is only at the beginning of its journey in my view of what it will become. Think about it. Who would have said twenty years ago that the world's tallest building would be built in the (Arabian) Gulf? Who would have said only several years ago after the 9/11 attacks that the world's leading airline would be from an Arab country? Who would have thought that the 3rd largest ports operator in the world, handling over 33 million containers annually, would be from Dubai? Today, when you look at the volatile, unstable, and stagnant Middle East, there is one destination for entrepreneurs and innovators to go to - and that is Dubai.

5. Expo 2020 would drive Dubai and the UAE to improve

Before I even write this sentence, I'm sure several of London's finest are in a huff-and-puff that I have not yet mentioned jailed Islamists or tourists having sex in a taxi Better yet, given the refusal-of-entry for a scholar from LSE this past week, shouldn't I be talking about the closure of the academic environment (I mean I masquerade as an intellectual from time to time as well)? Whether or not I believe in liberal democracy (I do - shock!), is it really a matter of discussion for Expo 2020? Well, in that case, we should reject Izmir's candidacy because of Turkey's campaign against Kurdish militants, Ayutthaya's candidacy because of Thailand's campaign in Malay Pattani, Yekaterinburg's candidacy because of Russia's crackdown on political opposition, and Sao Paulo's candidacy because of Brazil's anti-slum raids. Such nullification would leave no one left to host the event! Now beyond the two issues I mentioned above there are a number of continuing issues of concern in the UAE, allow me to list some of them: labor rights (even though this is improving); integration of stateless residents (i.e. bidoons); and increased confusion around cyber surveillance. Hosting the Expo 2020 would not exacerbate but more than likely shed more light on and ameliorate these challenges. In fact, the event would serve as a target-date for when Dubai and the UAE will be (even more so) on the world stage, and that attention would drive improvements on areas of concern.

There are more reasons than the five I've listed here on why Dubai should be the host for Expo 2020, but I like the number 5 (it's the former consultant in me - I almost went with three). Whether you live here or plan to visit, I look forward to seeing you in Dubai in 2020! Until then:

Dophins Into The Future from Records: Experimental Sydney on Vimeo.


Tequilla Rambo homie Lieven Martins brought his Dolphins into the Future enterprise to NYC for the first time in a few years. The result was a cosmo-coral submergence, not unlike the time I went diving in Thailand and this Dutch dude named Remi put a sea urchin in my hand and it stung me and I had to squeeze purple poison out of my hand for, like, 10 minutes while breathing underwater. This video from Sydney is sublte, and awesome.
          Raw food on a budget        
In my household, there are low fat raw vegans and low fat cooked vegans. Considering that I do the grocery shopping, I've gotten pretty good at sniffing out cheap deals on food. Comparatively, a raw vegan diet is generally more expensive than a whole-foods cooked vegan diet per calorie (unless you're lucky enough to grow all of your own food), but overall our household's food costs have reduced dramatically over the years. Here are five tips for reducing your food budget:
1. Eliminate animal foods. If you're finding cheap meat, eggs, and dairy, it's probably riddled with hormones and antibiotics. Not to mention fillers and random animal parts (chicken nuggets are a prime example). In addition, the animals were likely factory farmed, and treated in all manner of hideous ways.

I don't subscribe to the idea of "happy meat" for ethical reasons, but if we're thinking purely of health then it is probably a better choice than cheap and nasty factory farmed meat. And, happy meat is EXPENSIVE. Organic, grass fed, free range, yada yada yada costs money. For the cost of a single meal, you could buy enough plant based food to last a week.

2. Eat a whole foods plant based diet. Get rid of the mock meats, cashew ice cream, soy cheese, rice milk, faux burgers and hot dogs. The cost of processing these foods is passed down to the consumer. Minimal processing is cheapest and healthiest. Rice is better than rice noodles. Whole grains better than bread or pasta. Fresh fruit better than canned. Centre your diet around whole fruits and vegetables, and if you eat cooked food, around starchy vegetables, grains (preferably gluten free grains), and beans and lentils.

3. Eat seasonally. It is cheaper but also healthier and tastier to eat the fruits and vegetables that are in season. It's just heading into autumn in Australia now, and I can buy several kilograms of grapes or watermelon for less than a dollar. As much as I like to hold onto summer, the stone fruit and mangoes are getting expensive as the season draws to a close, and, frankly, they just don't taste that great anymore.

4. Buy in bulk. This goes for all fruits and vegetables that you eat frequently, like bananas. Ripe fruits and vegetables just don't store well so if you're not going to eat it all, have a plan for freezing your produce or split your purchase with a friend. Beans, lentils, and grains are easily and cheaply bought in bulk, and can be stored for long periods. And an added bonus is that these foods are incredible versatile and can be used to create thousands of different recipes. Who said that healthy food had to be boring?

5. Hit the markets. The closer you get to the source of your food, the less handling/shipping costs and the cheaper it will be. Farmers markets are a great resource for produce, and even for other items like nuts. The food is fresher and will last longer (and taste better) than grocery store produce. And, markets generally have a closing time when produce is marked down. Usually this is the produce that is too ripe to be stored, so it's win-win. If you visit the market in the last hour or two of trading, you can expect to pay less for your food than earlier in the day. This week I managed to snag a box of ripe organic bananas for $25 and about 7 kilograms of grapes for a dollar. Also I was lucky enough to score five red dragonfruit for $2 each - a rarity in Melbourne.

In the past I've bought whole boxes of kiwi fruit, apricots, mandarins, figs, persimmons, and mangoes for $1-2 each. Usually the fruit is perfectly ripe albeit with a few blemishes or mouldy spots (which can be easily removed).

Following these tips over the last few years, I have really learned to enjoy the seasonality of different fruits. This way, rather than trying to score a mango in the middle of winter, I can gorge myself silly in summer (and stock up the freezer if I choose) and really look forward to the next mango season.

As a bonus, the money saved can go towards a holiday somewhere in the tropics (like Thailand) where the fruit is always cheap!!


          Kekuatan TNI Urutan 18 Dunia        

Tentara Nasional Indonesia masuk dalam peringkat ke-18 kekuatan militer dunia versi Global Firepower yang menggunakan 45 variabel perhitungan. Urutan 10 besar kekuatan militer dunia, menurut lembaga Global Firepower, ditempati Amerika Serikat, Rusia, China, India, Inggris, Turki, Korea Selatan, Perancis, Jepang, dan Israel.
Di tingkat ASEAN, TNI menempati posisi teratas, diikuti Thailand (ke-19), Filipina (ke-23), Malaysia (ke-27), dan Singapura (ke-41). Italia menempati urutan ke-17, Taiwan berada pada urutan ke-14, dan Australia pada urutan ke-24.
Pengamat militer Andi Widjayanto yang dihubungi di Jakarta, mengatakan, penilaian tersebut lebih banyak didasarkan pada gelar statis dari kuantitas alat yang dimiliki. Namun, belum tentu semua siap atau dapat digunakan sewaktu-waktu.
"Kalau memperhitungkan gelar dinamis, yakni kesiapan tempur efektif saat ini, tentu angkanya tidak setinggi itu. Gelar dinamis adalah kekuatan nyata yang dapat langsung digelar untuk penindakan," ujar Andi.
Direktur Institute for Defense Security and Peace Studies Mufti Makarim, yang dihubungi terpisah, mengatakan, penilaian tersebut dilakukan dengan menghimpun semua komposisi matra darat, laut, dan udara.
"Tetapi, jika dilihat dari luas wilayah dengan dua pertiga adalah lautan, komposisi kemampuan teknis TNI seharusnya setara dengan militer Australia. Kebutuhan ke depan adalah penyesuaian pengembangan postur dan kebutuhan strategis pertahanan yang dilakukan secara sistematis bertahap sesuai dengan anggaran dan prioritas," paparnya.
Dia mengingatkan TNI agar fokus dalam mengembangkan postur kekuatan dan penyesuaian mindset tentara di dalam negara demokratis murni untuk kebutuhan pertahanan.
Terkait dengan pengembangan kekuatan maritim, Andi mengatakan, pada tahap pembangunan jangka panjang pertama hingga 2024, TNI belum mengembangkan kekuatan tempur samudra.
sumber

          World: FPMA Bulletin #7, 10 August 2017        
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Country: Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Brazil, Burundi, Cambodia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Mexico, Moldova, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, World, Zambia

Key messages

  • International prices of wheat rose further in July on quality concerns, particularly for higher protein wheat, although upward pressure was limited by prospects of ample global supplies. Export prices of maize remained generally unchanged, while a slowdown in demand capped gains in rice quotations.
  • In East Africa, prices of cereals in most countries declined signi cantly for the second consecutive month in July with the new harvests, but remained generally higher than a year earlier. However, in Ethiopia, prices of maize surged further and reached record levels, underpinned by uncertain prospects for the 2017 crops.
  • In the CIS, prices of staple potatoes declined sharply from the record or near-record highs of June in most countries of the subregion with the beginning of the new harvest. Prices, however, remained higher than in July last year after the sharp increases of the past months.

          #951 FDC from Malaysia        
An FDC from Malaysia, sent by Khor Kok Keong. The FDC commemorates the Third Tri-Nation Stamp Exhibition between Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. On the cover, Khor affixed one triangle stamp from the issue. The special postmark date is 23 August 2013 while the ordinary postmark date is 26 August 2013. The location in both postmark […]
          SMM 2011 Schedule        




Akhir pekan ini adalah puncak dari DotA untuk tahun 2011, dan tim terbaik dari seluruh dunia akan terbang ke Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, tepatnya Jumat ini untuk memulai tiga hari yang menakjubkan bersama SMM.





Seperti dapat dilihat, acara online tahun ini akan berlangsung tiga hari penuh mulai pukul 03:00 CET(Waktu Eropa Bagian Tengah) setiap pagi. Dengan seluruh acara disiarkan secara langsung oleh joinDOTA yaitu TobiWanKenobi sendiri, dan semua berharap akan terjadinya pertarungan kualitas tinggi yang dimulai Jumat ini.


Terakhir, daftar tim yang berpartisipasi juga baru saja diumumkan pada DotATalk, dan mereka adalah sebagai berikut:



List negara yang bertanding :
1. China
2. Indonesia
3. Burma
4. Singapur
5. Thailand
6. Philipina
7. Malaysia
8. Brunei
9. Uni Eropa

Akankah wakil dari Indonesia menang?? Ataukah kembali DK khususnya China kembali yang merajai turnament ini?? We'll see !!
          DotA v6.72f AI 1.0 "NIGHTMARE"        
 

Setelah sekian lama beredar rumor akan datangnya Map DotA AI terbaru, sekaranglah kenyataanya. Berbahagialah pemain DotA AI karena Map DotA v6.72f AI sudah keluar. Dengan beberapa perbaikan dari versi yang sebelumnya walaupun masih ada beberapa bugs yang ada tetapi itu tidak mengurangi dahsyatnya permainan DotA-Mu! Langsung saja silahkan dowload Map DotA v6.72f AI ini dengan kode nama 'NIGHTMARE'.



DotA 6.72f AI 1.0 "Nightmare" Map Download:
- Download DotA v6.72f AI via Mediafire
- Download DotA v6.72f AI via Filesonic




10 Negara Download Map AI terbanyak :

1. Philippines
2. Malaysia
3. Thailand
4. Brazil
5. Indonesia
6. Vietnam
7. Russian Federation
8. United States
9. Turkey
10. Australia





DotA v6.72f AI Changelogs/Key Features:

- Ported to the latest DotA 6.72f
- Captains Mode support for AI
- Skilled AI oppononets
- Rewritten AI system
- Complete AI for all heroes
- Multilayer support (no disconnections)
- New "mode-pack":
-beginnermode (-bm) = -neng
-advancedmode (-am) = -nengdedg
-xtrememode (-xm) = -hehgdedg

          NYC Street Art - SoHo Edition        
I ❤ to walk around.
moi - getting caught taking pictures
Vandal Expressionism, Dee Dee
unknown
Fumeroism, WhIsBe, Vandal Expressionism, Adam Dare
unknown

We're headed off to the A for a couple of days... And then to Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore for our month-long family adventure! Farewell, NYC Summer... I'll miss you, but we'll be back soon!

☆ all pictures taken from my Instagram account: http://instagram.com/oh_lyeah 

          MLB        
Alex Woo's MLB Collection
For the past month and a half I have been working and designing like crazy with my boss to make sure this MLB collection launches on time... I have to say I'm super happy and proud with the results. I hope everyone else loves it as much as I do!
party time!
Me (left) and Leah (right) on the step and repeat
The hard work has paid off and now I can relax and take some time for myself. Leah, my dad, and I are finally doing something my mom (I love, miss, and think about you everyday!!) wanted to do... going overseas to Vietnam - with a couple of detours to Singapore and Thailand... 
Mara Hoffman bikinis - done packing!
... Ready for you.

          India, Thailand are air traffic hubs for dengue spread: Study         

          Developments in Digital Publishing in ASEAN        
By Peter Duke
The rapid growth in popularity of electronic books (e-books) has led many traditional publishers in the West to venture into this market. In Asia, the market is still comparatively wide open with many large publishers, such as Gramedia in Indonesia, still focusing on the on-line sale of print books and magazines. Amazon's Kindle e-books and e-readers are good value for money but are unfortunately not available legally in some domains in Asia. Although I-pads and I-phones are freely available they are expensive.

Possibly the biggest digital publisher in the region is I Love Books (ilovebooks.com) which is owned by MediaCorp, Singapore’s most diverse multimedia company with interests in TV, newspapers, radio, magazines and new media. A visit to the site reveals a vast array of e-books from a wide range of categories. Their banner headline states that I love Books allows book lovers to buy their favourite e-books and read them anywhere at anytime on their devices.

A new, but currently much smaller e-book store is owned by MPH Digital (mphdigital.my). MPH is a local Malaysian publisher with its own network of retail outlets in both Malaysia and Singapore. From the way the web site is constructed it is only a matter of time before MPH Digital will rival I Love Books for the size and rang of content. In addition, and in line with the practice of their established retail network, MPH Digital will help new authors publish their books.

A number of interesting local providers have entered the market and although these are relatively small publishers when compared to international on-line publishers such as Amazon, they each offer special features.


  • Flipside (www.flipsidecontent.com) - their stated goal is to enrich the global electronic reading experience by publishing select Asian e-books while helping other international publishers convert their content to the local language. Their products include: academic and scholarly works; fiction and non-fiction children, teens and adults content and a wide range of local and international comics and e-books from around Asia and the Philippines. They also offer international publications discounted to match the purchasing power of the local market.
  • Papataka (www.papataka.com,) founded by three young entrepreneurs was Indonesia's first web based digital content retailer with a mission to provide a better way to enjoy knowledge by bringing to market e-books and audio books in various languages. They also provide a platform for independent authors to publish their writing through papataka.com. Their collection of books and their network are both growing rapidly and they have a Showroom and Gallery at one of the leading Plazas in Jakarta. They also specialise in producing digital publications with Indonesian content.
  • E Books in Thailand (www.eBooks in Thailand) occupies a special niche in the Thai market by offering a low-cost outlet for e-books with interesting perspectives on aspects of living, working and retiring in Thailand. In addition, the company offers a vehicle for authors to publish their works while they retain full rights.
  • E-Central (www.e-sentral.com) of Malaysia is obviously building its range of content as many of the book categories have only very few books at present. Most of the content is in Malay but there is a small range of books in English. As with the other smaller publishers, above, E-Sentral offers to assist self publishers design, price and upload their e-books.
  • Two other non-publishers have recently entered the market – skoob in Singapore owned by Singtel and ebuuk in Malaysia owned by Maxis, the largest mobile and internet provider in Malaysia. The companies have similar business models offering a range of web-based products that their post paid customers can purchase and pay for at the end of the month through their telephone bill.

    Both companies are well known for their technical excellence and innovative range of services and sales of high end tablets and smart phones. Because of their dominance in the market they have an excellent chance of maximizing the value of their network in introducing this new range of products and services. However one has to question whether the internal culture and processes of these two companies can be adapted to market and distribute consumer products.

    The marketing skills in creating a following in the market for e-books are very different from those required to package and sell mobile and internet based services. The other dedicated digital publishers we investigated demonstrate many of the following marketing approaches:

    • there is a match between their products and the company mission,
    • their internal culture is aligned with their business model,
    • they are quick to market with new ideas,
    • they create hooks – price, discounts and competitions,
    • they extensively use social networks,
    • they use print and TV advertising, and
    • they create deals and partnerships

    It is too early to say how successful Maxis and Singtel will be but anecdotal evidence suggests that Maxis has not yet fully realised the potential of its business model as ebuuk is not advertised on Maxis monthly bills and Maxis has not yet aggressively advertised ebuuk on TV or in newspapers.

    As the availability of cheap tablets grows in Asia and the price of e-books falls, we can expect almost explosive growth in the availability and sale of e-books in Asia in the near future.

    Finally in this short article we have probably missed other interesting digital publishers in the region and we invite our readers to tell us about them. [source: Asian Publishing Network)

              Video from South Korean launch of new iPad        

    Today Apple launched the new iPad in an additional 12 countries around the world. While eleven of the countries -- Brunei, Croatia, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Malaysia, Panama, St Maarten, Uruguay and Venezuela -- are relatively small markets, the new iPad also went on sale in South Korea, one of the most technologically advanced countries on the planet and one of the major tech markets in Asia. Check out the video below, first posted by Apple 2.0, to see South Korean Apple fans lining up for the new tablet at a local Apple reseller.

    Apple's new iPad international rollout isn't done for the month either. One week from today on Friday, April 27, Apple will begin selling the new iPad in an additional nine countries: Colombia, Estonia, India, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, South Africa and Thailand. The new iPad will then be available in 56 countries around the world.


              New iPad launching in 21 additional countries this month        

    Apple today issued a press release announcing the new third-generation iPad will go on sale in another twleve countries starting on Friday, April 20. Notably, one of the twelve is the important South Korean market. The other eleven countries include Brunei, Croatia, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Malaysia, Panama, St Maarten, Uruguay and Venezuela.

    Then one week later on Friday, April 27, Apple will begin selling the new iPad in an additional nine countries: Colombia, Estonia, India, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, South Africa and Thailand. Both the Wi-Fi and 4G models will be on sale and available through Apple's online store and at select Apple Authorized Resellers.

    The new iPad will be available in 56 countries around the world as of April 27th.


              Everyone Burns (Time, Blood and Karma, #1)        
    Everyone Burns (Time, Blood and Karma, #1)
    author: John Dolan
    name: Jinx
    average rating: 3.94
    book published: 2012
    rating: 5
    read at:
    date added: 2013/07/26
    shelves:
    review:
    Thai noir!

    David Braddock, in his own words, is: "Hiding out, if you will, on a small island in the Gulf of Thailand. Living off the proceeds of earlier capitalist days and inherited money." Pursued by his own demons, he also runs an unlikely dual agency for which he is neither legally or professionally qualified, offering the locals psychological counseling, and visiting men his investigative services: spying on lovelies from girly bars that the suckers have met on vacation, then agreed to support from afar. It is when the latter client-types start getting offed that he is reluctantly drawn into the murder investigation.

    This novel of the dark underbelly of Thai culture is well written, with great self-deprecating humor and heart-wrenching angst. There is an explicit sex scene, which to me seemed unnecessary, but didn't affect my overall opinion that this is a great read.



              Pelakon tak tahu malu..pelakon di ibarat sampah..        


    hye ramai nak jadi seorang pelakon..pelakon nie tak tahu malu..pelakon ini juga di ibarat sampah...ramai ingat mudah dan nak cepat popular dan tak lepas juga ada yang buat kontreversi untuk mendaki dengan mudah menjadi seorang pelakon yang di kenali ramai..sejujurnya bukan mudah untuk menjadi seorang pelakon..bukan mudah untuk menjadi orang yang di perhatikan dan lebih senang di ibaratkan seorang manusia sedang berbogel di khalayak ramai.Bukan semua pelakon malaysia punyai ciri2 kualiti sebagai seorang pelakon yang terbaik.

    sejujurnya industri lakonan malaysia tak seperti industri lakonan di hollywood.di bollywood..sini banyak politik dan kualiti tak di jaga....ada seorang pelakon melakonkan watak yang sama dalam setiap drama...ada yang di minta berlakon atas sebab pemintaan setesen tv..ada juga kerana peminat yang ramai..sebab tue industri lakonan malaysia tidak setanding thailand,korea dan indonesia....tak tahu apa jadi kalau tiada perubahan dan kawalan tertentu untuk pihak2 yang bertangung jawab..



    ramai gelakkan sinetron malaysia tak best....tapi semua pelakonnya yang berlakon di malaysia di bayar dalam USD dolar...pelakon malaysia di anak tirikan di bumi sendiri...kalau tiada nama asal boleh RM150 sehari dari pagi sampai malam...macam2 persatuan wujud..macam kata2 janji di lafazkan...last2 satu apa pun tak jalan...Korea bukan sekadar rupa tapi lakonan mereka mantap dalam melakonkan watak2 yang di berikan walaupun kebanyakkan pelakon korea tak banyak mengunakan method yang dalam tapi mereka mempunyai method mereka sendiri....sebab tue kita tengok semua artis baik yang menyanyi dan berlakon pasti akan meletop...bakat dan rupa setanding bukan rupa melebihi bakat..

    penulisan ini bukan kerana menangih simpati tapi pengalaman mengajar dan menceritakan segalanya....bermula dari bawah nampak semua permainan industri seni tanah air..tak hairan lah nama top yang pernah main peringkat Hollywood kecewa dengan industri malaysia dan merajuk..sebab ini telah berlaku dari dulu..

    Artis2 singapore indonesia dia agungkan..di bayar mengalahkan artis malaysia...kepada mereka yang berhajat nak jadi seorang pelakon lupakan hasrat nak bermain dalan industri ini..kalau nak terus hidup pastikan anda semua cukup bekalan...kebanyakan pelakon yang bermasalah tak tahu konsep...."nak berlakon jangan pemalu tapi pelakon kena ada sifat malu" sebab tue kita dapat lihat gambar2 yang kurang enak di naikan di media sosial dan akhir sekali banyak berkata "semuanya saya serahkan pada tuhan"...sebelum buat sesuatu tak pernah fikir mana buruk dan baiknya..

    Selagi nama tidak terukir di atas sana anda pasti akan di layan sebagai sampah...ramai pelakon yang telah lama dalam bidang ini pun ada di layan macam sampah tapi bila pelakon luar datang ramai tatang ibarat minyak yang tengah penuh...siap promote sana sini...lambakan realiti Tv yg tumbuh macam cendawan selepas hujan pun menyebabkan ketidak seimbangan dalam industri seni malaysia...kebanyakkan mereka mempunyai attitude out ada rasa diri DIVa sebab stesen Tv sayang...dan hal ini meyusahkan orang2 yang berkerja dalam industri..

    Harap pihak2 tertentu dapat mainkan peranan sebelum industi seni dan lakonan malaysia ibarat pusat pembuangan sampah...banyak job tapi hanya orang kenali sekadar setahun dua...biar kita lahirkan yang kualiti seperti Allahyarham Tansri P Ramli....huhhhhh cukup sampai disini..banyak lagi nak tulis tapi sekarang dah pagi nak tidur...terima kasih kerana membaca.





              The Cheap Cosplay Guy        
    Lowcost Cosplay is the project of three friends from Thailand. Anucha Sangchat models the costumes while Satjapong Thongchiasri and Purint Huangsamut moderate the project's Facebook page.


              Conversation with Christopher Titmuss        

    Christopher Titmuss, a former Buddhist monk in Thailand and India, teaches Awakening and Insight Meditation (Vipassana) around the world. He is the founder and director of the Dharma Facilitators Programme and Mindfulness Training Course, an online mentor programme.. He gives retreats, leads pilgrimages (yatras) and Dharma gatherings, as well as establishing a network of Dharma teachers around the world. Christopher has been teaching annual retreats in India since 1975

    A senior Dharma teacher in the West, he is the author of 14 books includingLight on Enlightenment, Transforming Our Terror and Mindfulness for Everyday Living. More than 2000 of his Dharma talks have been recorded. A campaigner for peace and other global issues, Christopher acts in an advisory capacity to various networks and organisations working to resolve suffering including Australia, Asia (Israel, Palestine, India) and Europe. Christopher has not spent more than two months in one place since 1975, when he resided for five months teaching in the foothills of the Himalayas.

    Poet and writer, he lives in Totnes, Devon, England. His work takes him to three continents every year.

    www.christophertitmuss.org

    www.insightmeditation.org

    www.dharmafacilitators.org

    www.mindfulnesstrainingcourse.org


              Trailer For ‘The Railway Man’ Starring Colin Firth & Nicole Kidman        
    Lionsgate has released the first international trailer for director Jonathan Teplitzky’s upcoming drama The Railway Man. Based on Eric Lomax’s best selling memoir, the film centers on a British soldier in World War II who endured gruelling conditions as a forced labourer on the Thailand Death Railway after being captured by Japanese troops. Jeremy Irvine, […]
              When It Comes to Flu Shots, the More Influenza Strains, the Better        
    Researchers conducted a test of the new four-strain influenza vaccine, available for the first time this year, to determine how well it protected against the flu in young children. The four strain vaccine, which protects against four types of influenza–two viruses from the A class and two from the B class–does as good a job of protecting against flu than the three-strain shot, but is better at preventing moderate to severe disease than the traditional immunization. The international group of researchers, who described their findings in a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, attributed the four-strain, or quadrivalent vaccine’s effectiveness to the fact that it contained both circulating B types of influenza. In previous years, in which only one of the B strains was included, the immunization had a 50-50 chance of being mismatched to the circulating virus, making it less effective. The scientists tested the quadrivalent flu vaccine in 2,379 children ages three to eight in Bangladesh, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Lebanon, Panama, the Philippines, Thailand and Turkey and compared their rates of flu infection to a control group of 2398 children who received a hepatitis A vaccine. The study was sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline, which donated both vaccines for the trial. Compared to the control group, the four strain vaccine was 55% effective in protecting against flu. That’s similar to the efficacy of the three strain shots, but, the research team found, the quadrivalent shot was 70% effective in preventing more serious cases of the flu; most of the children who did get sick after getting vaccinated only had mild symptoms. The four-strain shot also resulted in 69% fewer medical visits, 75% fewer hospitalizations, 77% fewer absences from school, and 61% fewer parent absences from work. That’s an important benefit, since flu can result in lost school days for children and lower productivity for adults. “The efficacy of the vaccine was higher against moderate-to-severe disease–a potentially important end point associated with the highest clinical, social, and economic burden–than against illness of any severity,” the authors conclude.
              The China-US Maritime “Spying” Debate        

    →  

    Photo Credit: Defense Industry Daily

    BY MARK J. VALENCIA

    The China-US Maritime “Spying” Debate

    Aug. 04, 2017  |     | 

     

      http://www.ippreview.com/index.php/Blog/single/id/522.html

    The Australian Department of Defence confirmed that last week a Chinese Dongdiao-class Auxiliary General Intelligence (AGI) vessel monitored the US-Australia Talisman Sabre joint military exercises from within Australia’s 200 nm Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). This “first-ever” Chinese incursion of its type in Australia’s EEZ has sparked both alarm and an international debate. Many say China is hypocritical because it is undertaking intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions in other countries’ 200 nm EEZs while opposing those of the US in its own EEZ. But there are significant differences in scale, technological capability, methods, and objectives between what China and the US are doing.

    China’s first “public” attempt at maritime spying in the US EEZ was when an uninvited People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) AGI vessel operated in Hawaii’s EEZ to observe RIMPAC 2014, a multinational naval exercise. Also in 2014, a Chinese AGI vessel was observed off Guam during a US military exercise. According to then-Commander of the US Pacific Command (PACOM) Admiral Samuel Locklear: “The good news about this is that it’s a recognition, I think, or an acceptance by the Chinese of what we’ve been saying to them for some time, [which] is that military operations and survey operations in another country’s EEZs, where you have national—your own national security interest, are within international law and are acceptable.” But such simplistic comparisons are deceptive and potentially dangerous. They can lead to the false hope that China will eventually “see the light” and quietly assent to activities it considers threatening because “it is undertaking similar activities.”

    But the scale is very different. Ironically, the “different scale” argument was first used against China by China critics to demonize its occupations and “militarization” of features in the South China Sea. Although these critics grudgingly acknowledged that China was not doing anything other claimants had not done, nevertheless China’s behavior was singled out as unacceptable because of the much greater scale and “aggressiveness” of its activities.

    It seems that the tables are now turned. Although the critics argue that China is doing “the same thing” as the US, the scale of US ISR missions against China is probably an order of magnitude greater than that of China against the US. For example, as of 2017, PLAN had only three AGI vessels. Of course, China also has ISR planes, drones, and satellites but their number and capabilities pale in comparison to those of US assets.

    Indeed, the US has a huge array of ISR planes, surface vessels, submarines, and drones — many of which, like the subhunter Impeccable, have specialized functions. The US has by far the world’s largest and most capable force of signals intelligence (SIGINT) aircraft. Moreover, most of the US Navy’s top-of-the-line combatants like the Ticonderoga-class cruisers and the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers as well as its submarines are equipped to carry out SIGINT missions. Further, no other country matches the US’ number and array of robotic aircraft and seacraft (drones), particularly in terms of their range and advanced weapons and sensors, coupled with the necessary satellite and telecommunications support systems. US satellite IRS capacity greatly exceeds that of China. In terms of deployment, the US flies hundreds of manned ISR missions every year along China’s coast. There have been no public reports of similar Chinese aerial ISR missions off the US mainland coast.

    Technological capabilities, techniques and objectives are other major differences. Yes, China does insert ISR platforms into other countries’ EEZs — like that of Japan. But it is likely that Chinese technological capabilities and activities in terms of intrusive methods used and information obtained are so substantially inferior to and different from those of the US as to be in a separate, much lower category, e.g., passive listening versus active probing or electronic interference with, and even manipulation of, communications.

    But this is unconfirmed because the US is not being “transparent” when it comes to ISR capabilities. Again ironically, Locklear said of China’s military modernization: “What we should be concerned about though is what we perceive as a lack of transparency on their part in why they are building the type of systems they are building. Quite frankly, it makes their neighbours nervous and it gives us some cause for concern here at PACOM about the type of military they are building and the type of equipment they are buying.”

    A confidential US Navy-National Security Agency (NSA) report revealed by Edward Snowden shows that China’s concerns regarding America’s ISR missions off its coasts are justified.

    But in the case of ISR, it is the extent of capabilities that is not publicly known. To convince sceptics that there is anything near parity between Chinese and US ISR capabilities, those making the “China does the same thing” argument — especially those in the US Navy, need to reveal exactly what it is that the US is doing in China’s near seas so that all can evaluate it for themselves. Otherwise their arguments will fall on deaf ears, and independent and neutral analysts can only speculate based on what little is known.

    In general, it is known that US ISR assets collect communications between the target country’s command-and-control centres and radar and weapons systems, including surface-to-air missiles, anti-aircraft artillery, and fighter aircraft. Other US ISR probes collect “actionable” intelligence for expeditionary and irregular warfare.

    Incidents involving ISR aircraft like the EP-3 and the Poseidon 8A, as well as the US Navy ships Bowditch, Impeccable, and Cowpens, may have collectively included active “tickling” of China’s coastal defences to provoke and observe responses, interference with shore-to-ship and submarine communications, violation or abuse of the consent regime for marine scientific research, damage to the environment, and tracking China’s new nuclear submarines for potential targeting.

    If so, these are not passive intelligence collection activities commonly undertaken and usually tolerated by many states, including China. Rather they are intrusive, provocative, and controversial practices that may be considered a threat to use force or violations of both China’s marine scientific consent and its environmental protection regimes. This could occur when and if the Poseiden 8 drops sonobuoys (which are part of its repertoire) or the Impeccable and Bowditch deploy “scientific instruments” in China’s EEZ. Indeed, China’s EEZ environment may be degraded if US sonar systems or live fire exercises adversely affect fish and mammals like whales and dolphins.

    But much of this is unconfirmed. What do we — the public — know?

    A confidential US Navy-National Security Agency (NSA) report revealed by Edward Snowden shows that China’s concerns regarding America’s ISR missions off its coasts are justified. The 2001 report reveals that in the EP-3 incident, the crew was unable to destroy all the secret data and systems on board, and details the scope of secrets exposed to China.

    The exposed information contained the fact that the US has “the ability to locate and collect transmissions to or from Chinese submarines and to correlate them to specific vessels.” The plane also carried data that clarified “how much the US knew about China’s submarine-launched ballistic missiles program.” Also, according to the report, as speculated, the missions spur targeted militaries to react, thus creating communications that can be intercepted.

    So, it does appear that the US has a huge advantage over China when it comes to ISR. But unlike Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, China does not oppose all foreign military activities in its EEZ without its permission. Nevertheless, China certainly does object by word and deed to what it perceives as US abuse of the right of freedom of navigation and a threat to use force.

    In sum, China apparently believes that these activities violate the peaceful purpose and uses provisions of UNCLOS, as well as its UNCLOS EEZ resource rights and environmental obligations. China also thinks that the US is “preparing the battle field” and that this constitutes a violation of the UN Charter as well as UNCLOS. In particular, China alleges that the US is not abiding by its obligation to pay “due regard” to its rights and duties as a coastal state. Such due regard in the EEZ is required by UNCLOS for both the coastal state and the user state, but is undefined.

    Whether these concerns are valid or not, China is probably not violating these UNCLOS provisions with its AGI vessel activities and the US may well be doing so — on a grand scale. The US may want to reconsider and modify its superficial and misleading argument that both are doing the same thing


              Thailand, long used to China’s carrots, now gets the stick        

    http://m.todayonline.com/commentary/thailand-long-used-chinas-carrots-now-gets-stick


    Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha praised China’s Belt and Road Initiative for its potential to enhance the Thai-Chinese strategic partnership. Photo: Reuters

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    BY

    PONGPHISOOT BUSBARAT

    PUBLISHED: 4:00 AM, AUGUST 3, 2017

    China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is its new grand strategy. Chinese leaders have emphasised that the initiative is a win-win solution whose economic benefits will be shared across continents.

    South-east Asia has become a major focus of this strategy because it constitutes a significant sea lane for China’s maritime trade.

    Therefore, it is not a surprise that China first declared its nascent idea of reviving the maritime Silk Road in Indonesia during Premier Li Keqiang’s visit in October 2013.

    Mainland South-east Asia also offers China alternative routes to seaports for its landlocked provinces. The sub-region is hence included in Beijing’s plan to develop transport links and industrial parks.

    Thailand has realised that situating itself in China’s blueprint is economically beneficial.

    Thai leaders have expressed their support for the BRI since it was launched. Thai Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha, for example, has lauded this initiative for its potential to enhance the Thai-Chinese strategic partnership.

    However, General Prayuth was not among the heads of government attending the inaugural Belt and Road Initiative Summit on May 14 and 15 this year in Beijing; five Thai ministers attended instead. How can we interpret this event?

    How are we to understand the current stage of Sino-Thai relations and South-east Asia’s general relations with China?

    The Sino-Thai relationship has been cordial, marked by no major conflicts. Beijing’s endorsement of the 2014 military coup in Bangkok has even deepened ties, as the Thai military has since favoured China’s policy in many aspects.

    Therefore, the recent lack of an invitation for Thailand’s premier to the BRI summit raised eyebrows.

    The Thai Foreign Ministry explained that China did not extend an invitation to Gen Prayuth because Beijing had already invited him to another important event — the Ninth Brics Summit scheduled to be held in Xiamen next month.

    In the broader context, in fact, the Thai Prime Minister was not alone; leaders from Brunei and Singapore were also excluded from the summit.

    However, Thailand is an active player in continental South-east Asia and a long-term friend of China.

    It is also within the Indochina Corridor — one of six major economic corridors in the BRI blueprint that links south-western China to Singapore.

    It appears that the unresolved deal on the Sino-Thai high-speed railway project had become an irritation for Beijing and was the main reason for China not inviting the Thai leader to the summit.

    This was confirmed to me by a Thai government official on May 25, who added: “There are a number of issues still unsettled, such as the bringing in of Chinese workers and others that contravene domestic laws and regulations.”

    Why is the railway project in Thailand so important to China? In fact, Thailand and China had shared the idea of expanding the transport network between China and mainland South-east Asia since the early 1990s.

    In 1993, the two countries developed a sub-regional framework called Quadrangle Economic Cooperation, which focused on this issue. However, the Asian Development Bank subsumed it under its broader Greater Mekong Sub-region framework because of Thailand’s economic difficulties in 1997.

    The tangible outcome was the completion of the Western Sub-corridor route in 2010, linking Kunming to northern Thailand via Laos and Myanmar.

    With that continuing idea, China’s focus has shifted from roads to railways. There is also a strong sentiment in Thailand in favour of upgrading the country’s outmoded infrastructure, and the expansion of the rail network has emerged as an option.

    Therefore, BRI is not totally new but rather a more expansive and ambitious version of an older plan.

    OPENING A PANDORA’S BOX IN SINO-THAI RELATIONS

    Thailand and China have discussed the construction of a high-speed rail since 2010, when the Abhisit Vejjajiva government was in power.

    The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to set up a joint venture company in which Thailand would hold a 51 per cent share.

    Thailand agreed to allow China to utilise the land along the existing railway for 50 years. However, the agreement was aborted when Parliament was dissolved in 2011. The second attempt took place during the Yingluck Shinawatra government in 2012, which proposed four lines for the high-speed trains, stretching from Bangkok to the north, the north-east, the east, and the south.

    Thailand invited China to invest in the north-eastern line, as it would connect to the China-Laos high-speed railway running from Kunming to Vientiane, opposite the Thai border.

    The two countries signed MOUs in 2012 and 2013 for feasibility studies and the training of Thai personnel.

    However, the project drew public criticism, especially from anti-government groups concerned with its cost and potential for corruption.

    The Constitutional Court finally vetoed the project in early 2014, and the Yingluck government was ousted by a military coup later that year.

    After the coup, the Prayuth government reviewed the project and sought to start construction in May last year to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Sino-Thai diplomatic relations.

    Both signed another MOU in late December 2014 that would let China build a railroad from Nongkhai province to Bangkok and to Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard, covering a total distance of 867km, but running at speeds of only 180kmh.

    Thailand agreed to take a Chinese loan, to be repaid in cash and in kind — in the latter case with agricultural products, especially rice and rubber.

    However, the long process of negotiations opened a Pandora’s box for the Thai government. The initial problems were related to the shareholding structure and to the interest rate on the Chinese loan.

    Thailand proposed that China hold a 70 per cent share in the project, but China insisted on a 60 per cent share unless it received the same benefits as in the case of the Chinese-Laos railway project.

    In that case, China had received the rights to develop the land along the railway and adjacent to stations for 50 years. Also, Thailand proposed that China lower the interest from 2.5 per cent to 2 per cent.

    Early last year, China finally agreed to offer a 2 per cent interest rate if the project was scaled down from a dual-track to a single track in the face of rising costs.

    At the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Summit from March 22 to 24 last year in Hainan province, the Thai and Chinese premiers surprisingly announced that Thailand would finance the entire project through domestic loans and that the speed would be 250kmh. China would only invest a 60 per cent share in work on the rail system and train operations, including the construction of bridges and tunnel excavation.

    To put the exclusion of Gen Prayuth from the BRI Summit in May in the context of the long process of negotiation, one may be able to infer how China has been asserting pressure on the Thai government.

    It was reported that the 17th meeting of the Sino-Thai joint committee on rail collaboration held on April 9 and 10 this year met with difficulties in coding construction materials from the Chinese coding system into the Thai system.

    The Thai Transport Ministry accepted that it might take a long time to do so. Without that, the committee cannot set the medium price in the project’s terms of reference and check whether the materials needed are available in Thailand.

    According to Thai law, such a joint venture cannot use foreign materials. However, the sentiment of the subsequent 18th meeting on May 24, nine days after the BRI Summit, turned positive.

    The two parties nearly reached an agreement on outstanding issues. The Thai Transport Ministry will now submit the detailed project to the Thai Cabinet for approval and aims to start construction by this month.

    Although details of the negotiations were not revealed, there was already a tendency for Thailand to accommodate China’s requests. In early June, a Thai deputy prime minister consulted the Councils of Engineers and Architects to resolve the technical issues and the use of Chinese personnel in Thailand. He proposed that the Prime Minister exercise his executive power under Section 44 in the interim Constitution.

    On June 8, Gen Prayuth showed his irritation with the progress of the project during an address to the National Legislative Assembly: “I have lost my face so many times and we (Thailand)couldn’t conclude the deal. I will exercise my prerogative on this railway project. It must be started within this year.”

    On June 15, the junta issued Decree No 30/2017 in the Royal Gazette to clear existing legal issues and allow the project to start.

    The decree exempts Chinese engineers and architects from taking Thai professional licence exams and allows the use of up to 25 per cent Chinese materials.

    The recent 19th meeting early last month concluded that the construction will start in October this year.

    ‘SHAME OFFENSIVE’: A NEW DIPLOMACY?

    The hurdles in the Thai-Chinese railway project offer several lessons.

    Chinese discontent suggests that Thailand is important to Beijing’s strategic planning in the BRI initiative. Certainly, the ultimate plan to link China with continental Southeast Asia would be impossible without progress in Thailand. Therefore, Thai policy makers may be able to utilise this advantage wisely to attract foreign investment to upgrade the country’s economy.

    Second, Thai policy makers cannot take China for granted and need to update their understanding of China. A history of cordial ties matters, but so does distance in time and generations.

    The new blood in Chinese leadership may not value the historical ties as much as its predecessors did. Hence, Beijing is less likely to compromise its national interest for the sake of maintaining a warm relationship with Bangkok.

    Third, China’s diplomacy has been a charm offensive focused on carrots, but now it is more willing to use the stick. Beijing is not reluctant to adopt shaming and intimidation when its national interests are affected. It is apparent that the absence of the Thai leader from the BRI summit was directly linked to the delay of the high-speed railway project. It looks like minor diplomatic intimidation, but it allowed Beijing to send a message about its unhappiness with the current situation.

    Furthermore, Beijing’s more assertive approach may also develop into a situation in which regional states need to choose sides. In the case of Southeast Asia, Beijing is now pressuring the region to favour China’s regional leadership. In Thailand’s case, the likelihood of Thai-American appeasement may also play a role besides the railway issue.

    Before the BRI summit, United States President Donald Trump made a phone call to three South-east Asian leaders — those of the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand — with invitations to Washington.

    While Philippine President Duterte was non-committal, the Thai government accepted the invitation and has enthusiastically arranged an official visit. Beijing is perhaps sending a signal that it is unsatisfied being treated only as a political cushion and secondary power on which Bangkok can fall back whenever its relations with Washington grow rough.

    South-east Asia may need to realise that its attempt to engage with Beijing is not a one-way process. China is not only learning to cooperate through regional engagement. It also expects smaller neighbours to accommodate its rise and leadership.

    China’s use of diplomatic pressure indicates that South-east Asia may face more difficulties in dealing with Beijing in the future.

    While China’s power is growing, it may see the region’s old tactics such as silence, delays, indecisiveness, or enmeshing of multiple external powers as obstacles to its growing influence and interests in its own backyard.

    Beijing putting more pressure on South-east Asia to choose policies that at least do not obstruct Chinese interests is a likely future scenario. However, this situation benefits neither China nor South-east Asia. China’s punitive approach, if sustained, will only leave a negative image of Beijing and deepen suspicion of its intentions in the region.

    The mantra of peaceful rise and win-win cooperation may sound less and less convincing, and that could lead to repercussions that escalate tensions between China and Southeast Asia. However, the question is how South-east Asia can communicate this concern to Beijing and whether the latter will listen and re-evaluate its policy approach.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Pongphisoot (Paul) Busbarat is Visiting Fellow at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute. This is adapted from a longer piece that first appeared in ISEAS Perspective.

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              12/7/06 - "Oh, nostalgia."        
    There is a name from my past that I cannot remember for the life of me, and in an effort to find it I went back to the very beginning of my livejournal. It's not there, though I know it is in my paper journal from that time, so when I get home I'll have to scare that up. Anyway, looking for the name started me on reading all these old entries, including the first one ever (which was about TaTu, and girls kissing... I'm retarded), and then the entries about when I first started dating Anthony, and the drama over whether to accept Cory's offer to fly me to Maine, and Nick the intern who I had a crush on, and all these things that were my life at the time, but that I had since practically forgotten. That was three-and-a-half years ago. It feels like a decade. It feels like it wasn't really me, it was just some movie I watched. There was a play-by-play of a week spent with Anthony and others after he returned from Thailand the first time, and when I was writing it up the detail seemed like overkill, but now, being able to read it and remember from it, I'm glad that I included the detail that I did. I wish I had done that more often. Many of my paper journal entries skim over the details, because I thought the event was so major, I would always remember; my feelings at the time were more important than the circumstances that led to them. But now I wish I had the details - out of the context of the details, which I don't remember, I can't place myself back in the moment and understand why I was feeling what I did. Why I would need to do that I'm not sure, but it seems like I should be able to.

    Something else in my lj history that I wasn't expecting to find: the details of my last meeting with a classmate that has since died. When I found out about his death, I recalled running into him, but little else. In the lj entry, I actually mention things about our last conversation. It was his 20th birthday that day. By 22 he was dead, from cancer, and left a baby behind. I'm still writing journal entries about boys and work and inanity, and he's dead. It doesn't really seem fair; though I would be lying if I said I'd rather our places were switched.

    This morning began with a myspace message from someone I briefly dated over a year ago, and with whom I haven't spoken in nearly a year. He apologized for running away (we had stopped dating but agreed to be friends, and a while after that made dinner plans - he flaked and then never returned my calls) and said he found a cd of mine that he wanted to return to me. A couple of days ago, while sending out myspace invites for the party, I came across him on my friends list, thought "oh wow, I wonder what he's up to," and checked out his page. That was all - I didn't send him an invite. It's weird how, so much later, we could both think of each other at about the same time. I've been looking for that cd, too. We weren't dating or anything when he disappeared, and I knew that he had done similar things before, so I wasn't particularly surprised or hurt. He's not someone I think of often - there are a few songs that remind me of him, and a few sexual experiences I look back upon fondly, and that's really the only time he comes up. But getting that message from him this morning made me feel really good. At the time, I was peeved for a day and then probably found something else to pay attention to - it wasn't a major moment in my life. This wasn't an apology I needed in any way, yet it still felt pretty nice to hear.

    That prompted me to wonder - should I be making my own apologies for the past? This isn't my first contact from someone I used to be affiliated with, apologizing or wanting to say hello or whatever, after a long enough time that I wouldn't have expected to hear from them again. I commented to Johnny this morning that apparently I am "easy to leave, but hard to forget." If those that feel they've slighted me in some way still remember me, what about those I may have slighted? They're not going to look me up to ask for an apology, obviously, but would it improve their day if I looked them up and offered one?

    I looked up one of them. He wasn't hard to find. This is from years ago, around the time I graduated high school... and I really acted immaturely and without any regard for him at all. I was so into Cory, I didn't care that this boy had been missing me while I was gone - I made fun of him, and complained about what an inconvenience his feelings were for me. The last time we spoke was probably August of 2002 - I was supposed to call that September when I got home from Maine, but doubt that I did. This is a prime example of me earning some of that bad relationship karma I mentioned before. And I don't recall feeling very bad about it. I chocked it up to "being young" and filed it under "learning experiences." I sincerely doubt this guy is holding a grudge - it's been over four years, and he's not insane (not to my knowledge, anyway), but maybe it would feel nice if I threw a little "Sorry I was a child, how have you been?" his way? Or has it been too long? Is there a statute of limitations on these things? I'm not sure. Maybe no sorry, just a how are you? Sorry might imply I've been regretting this the whole time, and I haven't been. It wasn't really on my radar at all. But when I thought of who I may want to make reparations to, he was the first person that came to mind. Perhaps my subconscious was a little more sorry than I thought?
              untuk menangkal situs porno        

    Untuk menangkal situs porno tidaklah sukar. Secara umum ada dua (2) teknik menangkal situs porno, yaitu:
    • Memasang filter di PC pengguna.
    • Memasang filter di server yang tersambung ke Internet.

    Teknik yang pertama, memasang filter pada PC pengguna, biasanya dilakukan oleh para orang tua di PC di rumah agar anak-anak tidak melakukan surfing ke situs yang tidak di inginkan. Daftar lengkap filter maupun browser yang cocok untuk anak untuk aplikasi rumah tersebut dapat dilihat pada
    http://www.yahooligans.com ? parent’s guide ? browser’s for kids.
    http://www.yahooligans.com ? parent’s guide ? blocking and filtering.

    Beberapa filter yang cukup terkenal seperti
    Net Nanny, http://www.netnanny.com/
    I Way Patrol, http://www.iwaypatrol.com/
    Dll…

    Tentunya teknik memfilter seperti ini hanya dapat dilakukan bagi orang tua di rumah kepada anak-nya yang belum begitu tahu Internet.Bagi sekolah yang terdapat fasilitas internet, tentunya teknik-teknik di atas sulit di terapkan. Cara paling effisien untuk menangkal situs porno adalah dengan memasang filter pada server proxy yang digunakan di WARNET / di kantor yang digunakan mengakses Internet secara bersama-sama dari sebuah Local Area Network (LAN).Teknik ke dua (2), memasang filter situs porno tidaklah sukar. Beberapa software komersial untuk melakukan filter konten, antara lain adalah:

    http://www.cyberpatrol.com
    http://www.websense.com
    http://www.languard.com
    http://www.n2h2.com
    http://www.rulespace.com
    http://www.surfcontrol.com
    http://www.xdetect.com

    Mungkin yang justru paling sukar adalah memperoleh daftar lengkap situs-situs yang perlu di blokir. Daftar tersebut diperlukan agar filter tahu situs mana saja yang perlu di blokir. Daftar ratusan ribu situs yang perlu di blokir dapat di ambil secara gratis, antara lain di:

    http://www.squidguard.org/blacklist/
    ftp://ftp.univ-tlse1.fr/pub/reseau/cache/squidguard_contrib/adult.tar.gz
    ftp://ftp.univ-tlse1.fr/pub/reseau/cache/squidguard_contrib/publicite.tar.gz

    bagi sekolah atu perkantoran, alternatif open source (Linux) mungkin menjadi menarik karena tidak membajak software. Pada Linux, salah satu software proxy yang paling populer adalah squid (http://www.squid-cache.org) yang biasanya dapat di install sekaligus bersamaan dengan instalasi Linux (baik Mandrake maupun RedHat).

    Untuk melakukan proses filtering pada squid tidaklah sukar, kita cukup menambahkan beberapa kalimat pada file /etc/squid/squid.conf. Misalnya

    acl sex url_regex "/etc/squid/sex"
    acl notsex url_regex "/etc/squid/notsex"
    http_access allow notsex
    http_access deny sex

    buatlah file /etc/squid/sex
    /etc/squid/notsex

    contoh isi /etc/squid/notsex:
    .*.msexchange.*
    .*.msexcel.*
    .*freetown.*
    .*geek-girls.*
    .*scsext.*

    contoh isi /etc/squid/sex:
    .*.(praline|eroticworld|orion).de
    .*.(theorgy|penthousemag|playboy|1stsex|lolita|sexpix|sexshop).*

    www.indonona.com
    www.exoticazza.com
    www.dewasex.com
    www.extrajos.com
    www.bopekindo.com
    www.sanggrahan.org
    www.vicidi.com
    www.17tahun.com
    www.ceritaseru.org
    www.ceritapanas.com

    untuk memasukan daftar blacklist yang di peroleh dari squidguard dll, dapat dimasukan dengan mudah ke daftar di atas tampak di bawah ini adalah daftar Access Control List (ACL) di /etc/squid/squid.conf yang telah saya buat di server saya di rumah, yaitu:

    acl sex url_regex "
    /etc/squid/sex"
    acl notsex url_regex "
    /etc/squid/notsex"
    acl aggressive url_regex "
    /etc/squid/blacklists/aggressive/urls"
    acl drugs url_regex "
    /etc/squid/blacklists/drugs/urls"
    acl porn url_regex "
    /etc/squid/blacklists/porn/urls"
    acl ads url_regex "
    /etc/squid/blacklists/ads/urls"
    acl audio-video url_regex "
    /etc/squid/blacklists/audio-video/urls"
    acl gambling url_regex "
    /etc/squid/blacklists/gambling/urls"
    acl warez url_regex "
    /etc/squid/blacklists/warez/urls"
    acl adult url_regex "
    /etc/squid/adult/urls"
    acl dom_adult dstdomain "
    /etc/squid/adult/domains"
    acl dom_aggressive dstdomain "
    /etc/squid/blacklists/aggressive/domains"
    acl dom_drugs dstdomain "
    /etc/squid/blacklists/drugs/domains"
    acl dom_porn dstdomain "
    /etc/squid/blacklists/porn/domains"
    acl dom_violence dstdomain "
    /etc/squid/blacklists/violence/domains"
    acl dom_ads dstdomain "
    ;/etc/squid/blacklists/ads/domains"
    acl dom_audio-video dstdomain "
    /etc/squid/blacklists/audio-video/domains"
    acl dom_gambling dstdomain "
    /etc/squid/blacklists/gambling/domains"
    acl dom_proxy dstdomain "
    /etc/squid/blacklists/proxy/domains"
    acl dom_warez dstdomain "
    /etc/squid/blacklists/warez/domains"

    http_access deny sex
    http_access deny adult
    http_access deny aggressive
    http_access deny drugs
    http_access deny porn
    http_access deny ads
    http_access deny audio-video
    http_access deny gambling
    http_access deny warezhttp_access deny dom_adult
    http_access deny dom_aggressive
    http_access deny dom_drugs
    http_access deny dom_porn
    http_access deny dom_violence
    http_access deny dom_ads
    http_access deny dom_audio-video
    http_access deny dom_gambling
    http_access deny dom_proxy
    http_access deny dom_warez

    Dengan cara di atas, saya tidak hanya memblokir situs porno tapi juga situs yang berkaitan dengan drug, kekerasan, perjudian dll. Semua data ada pada file blacklist dari www.squidguard.org.

    http://oke.or.id/2006/12/teknik-menangkal-situs-porno-dengan-squid-proxy/

    Block Situs di Mikrotik Lewat Winbox


    1.Buka winbox yang berada pada desktop.

    2. Klik tando ( … ) atau isi alamat Mikrotik pada kolom Connect To:

    3. Maka akan muncul gambar seperti di bawah ini, kemudian pilih salah satu.

    4. Setelah itu isi Username dan Passwort Mikrotik

    5. Kemudian klik tanda connect.

    6. Dan akan terbuka jendela Mikrotik seoerti gambar di bawah ini.

    7. Untuk block situs klik menu IP pilih Web Proxy

    8. Kemudian Setting Web Proxy dengan mengeklik tombol Setting.

    9. Maka akan muncul jendela seperti gambar di bawah ini.
    Setting Web Proxy sepeti gambar di bawah ini, kemudian di klik tombol OK.

    10. Sekarang kita mulai buat settingan website yang akan di block.Klik tanda ( + )
    Maka akan muncul jendela, dan kemudia setting seperti gambar di bawah ini.

    11. Kemudian klik OK, maka akan muncul catatan pada jendela Web Proxy.

    12. Coba cek settingan tersebut dengan mengetikan kata “porno” pada google.

    13. Dan kemudian enter, jika muncul tampilan seperti gambar di bawah ini maka settingan block situs Kamu berhasil.

    http://www.tentang-komputer.co.cc/2010/01/blok-situs-porno-menggunakan-web-proxy.html
    Diposkan oleh Diandra Ariesalva Blogs di 10:39 0 komentar
    Reaksi: 

    Kejahatan dunia maya (Inggris: cybercrime) adalah istilah yang mengacu kepada aktivitas kejahatan dengan komputer atau jaringan komputer menjadi alat, sasaran atau tempat terjadinya kejahatan. Termasuk ke dalam kejahatan dunia maya antara lain adalah penipuan lelang secara online, pemalsuan cek, penipuan kartu kredit/carding, confidence fraud, penipuan identitas, pornografi anak, dll.

    Walaupun kejahatan dunia maya atau cybercrime umumnya mengacu kepada aktivitas kejahatan dengan komputer atau jaringan komputer sebagai unsur utamanya, istilah ini juga digunakan untuk kegiatan kejahatan tradisional di mana komputer atau jaringan komputer digunakan untuk mempermudah atau memungkinkan kejahatan itu terjadi.

    Contoh kejahatan dunia maya di mana komputer sebagai alat adalah spamming dan kejahatan terhadap hak cipta dan kekayaan intelektual. Contoh kejahatan dunia maya di mana komputer sebagai sasarannya adalah akses ilegal (mengelabui kontrol akses), malware dan serangan DoS. Contoh kejahatan dunia maya di mana komputer sebagai tempatnya adalah penipuan identitas. Sedangkan contoh kejahatan tradisional dengan komputer sebagai alatnya adalah pornografi anak dan judi online.

    http://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kejahatan_dunia_maya



    Pada pemilu 2004 lalu, ada sebuah kasus yang cukup mengegerkan dan memukul telak KPU sebagai institusi penyelenggara Pemilu. Tepatnya pada 17 April 2004 situs KPU diacak-acak oleh seseorang dimana nama-nama partai peserta pemilu diganti menjadi lucu-lucu namun data perolehan suara tidak dirubah. Pelaku pembobolan situs KPU ini dilakukan oleh seorang pemuda berumur 25 tahun bernama Dani Firmansyah, seorang mahasiswa Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta jurusan Hubungan Internasional.

    Pihak Kepolisian pada awalnya kesulitan untuk melacak keberadaan pelaku terlebih kasus seperti ini adalah barang baru bagi Kepolisian. Pada awal penyelidikan Polisi sempat terkecoh karena pelaku membelokan alamat internet atau internet protocol (IP address) ke Thailand namun dengan usaha yang gigih, polisi berhasil meringkus tersangka ini setelah bekerjasama dengan beberapa pihak seperti Asosiasi Penyelenggara jasa Internet Indonesia (APJII) dan pihak penyedia jasa koneksi internet (ISP/Internet Service Provider).

    Belakangan diketahui motif tersangka adalah untuk menunjukkan bahwa kinerja KPU sangat buruk terutama di bidang Teknologi Informasi, namun itu tidak bisa dibenarkan dan pelaku tetap diproses sesuai hukum yang berlaku.

              Contoh Makalah Mata Pelajaran Sejarah        
    KATA PENGANTAR

    Puji  syukur  kami  panjatkan  kehadirat  Allah  swt., karena  atas  limpahan  rahmat  dan  karunia – Nya lah  sehingga  kami  dapat  menyelesaikan  Makalah Sejarah  ini  sesuai  waktunya.
              Kami  mencoba  berusaha  menyusun  makalah  ini  sedemikian  rupa  dengan  harapan  dapat  membantu  pembaca  dalam  memahami  pelajaran  Sejarah yang  merupakan  judul  dari  Makalah  kami, yaitu  “ASEAN (Association  of  South  East  Asian  Nation)”. Disamping  itu, kami  berharap  bahwa   Makalah Sejarah  ini  dapat  dijadikan  bekal  pengetahuan  untuk  melangkah  ke  jenjang  pendidikan  yang  lebih  tinggi  lagi.

              Kami  menyadari  bahwa  didalam  pembuatan  Makalah Sejarah  ini  masih  ada  kekurangan  sehingga  kami  berharap  saran  dan  kritik  dari  pembaca  sekalian  khususnya  dari  guru  mata  pelajaran  PKn  agar  dapat  meningkatkan  mutu  dalam  penyajian  berikutnya.
              Akhir  kata  kami  ucapkan  terima  kasih.

                                                                                                                                    Sukabumi, 05 oktober 2013

                                                                                                                                    Penyusun












    DAFTAR ISI 
    HALAMAN  JUDUL
    KATA  PENGANTAR…………………………………………………………………………………             i
    DAFTAR  ISI………………………………………………………………………………………………          ii
    BAB  I              PENDAHULUAN
    1. 1.      Latar  Belakang………………………………………………………………………..   
    2. 2.      Tujuan  Penulisan…………………………………………………………………….   
    3. 3.      Masalah…………………………………………………………………………………… 
    BAB  II             PEMBAHASAN
    1. 1.      Latar  Belakang  Terbentuknya  ASEAN…………………………………..   
    2. 2.      Negara-Negara  Anggota  ASEAN……………………………………………..
    3. 3.      Lambang  ASEAN……………………………………………………………………
    4. 4.      Tujuan  Dibentuknya  ASEAN………………………………………………….  
    5. 5.      Struktur  Organsisasi  ASEAN…………………………………………………. 
    6. 6.      Kerja  Sama  ASEAN……………………………………………………………….
    7. 7.      Keuntungan  Indonesia  dengan  Bergabung  Dalam  ASEAN…….   
    BAB  III           PENUTUP
    1. 1.      Kesimpulan……………………………………………………………………………
    2. 2.      Saran……………………………………………………………………………………
    DAFTAR  PUSTAKA ………………………………………………………………………………


     BAB I
    PENDAHULUAN
    1. 1.             Latar  Belakang
               Adakalanya  tingkah  laku  binatang  menjadi  inspirasi  bagi  manusia. Bahkan, binatang  yang  kecil  sekalipun, seperti  semut. Suatu  waktu  kamu  pasti  pernah  melihat  sekelompok  semut  mampu  mengangkut  benda  yang  besar. Jika  hanya  seekor  semut  yang  mengangkut  benda  itu, pasti  tidak  kuat. Kejadian  itu  menjadi  contoh  bagi  orang, masyarakat, bahkan  negara. Inti  kejadian  tersebut  adalah  kegotongroyongan, kebersamaan, atau  menjalin  kerja  sama. Sebuah  negara  kecil  dapat  menjadi  kuat  bila  saling  bekerja  sama  dengan  negara-negara  kecil  lainnya. Contoh  yang  lebih  nyata  adalah  negara-negara  Asia  Tenggara.
               Karena  adanya  masalah  yang  terjadi  di  Asia  Tenggara, sehingga  negara-negara  yang  merupakan  anggota  Asia  Tenggara  bersatu  dan  membentuk  organisasi  yang  dinamakan  ASEAN  (Association  of  South  East  Asian  nation). ASEAN  merupakan  perhimpunan  bangsa-bangsa  di  Asia  Tenggara  yang  didirikan  pada  tanggal  8  Agustus  1967  di  Bangkok, Thailand, melalui  penandatanganan  Deklarasi  Bangkok  oleh  Menteri  Luar  Negeri  Filipina, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, dan  Singapura.
    1. 2.             Tujuan
              Tujuan  pembuatan  makalah  ini  adalah  untuk  memperluas  wawasan  kita  tentang  hal-hal  yang  dikaji  dalam  makalah  ini. Di  mana  dalam  makalah  ini telah  dikaji  tentang  salah  satu  organisasi  yang  beperan  dalam  meningkatkan  hubungan  internasional, yaitu  ASEAN  (Association  Of  South  East  Asian  Nation).

    1. 3             Masalah
              Adapun  masalah  yang  akan  dibahas  dalam  makalah  ini, yaitu :
    1. Bagaimana  latar  belakang  terbentuknya  ASEAN ?
    2. Negara-negara  manakah  yang  merupakan  anggota  ASEAN ?
    3. Jelaskan  tentang  Lambang  ASEAN !
    4. Jelaskan  tujuan  dibentuknya  ASEAN !
    5. Sebutkan  struktur  organisasi  ASEAN !
    6. Bagaimana  kerja  sama  ASEAN ?
    7. Apa  keuntungan  Indonesia  dengan  bergabung  dalam  ASEAN ?


          BAB II
    PEMBAHASAN

    1.      Latar  Belakang  Terbentuknya  ASEAN
            Negara-negara  yang  termasuk  dalam  wilayah  Asia  Tenggara  adalah  Indonesia, Malaysia, Filiphina, Myanmar, Singapura, Brunei  Darussalam, Thailand, Vietnam, Kampuchea, dan  Laos.
           Letak  Asia  Tenggara  sangat  strategis. Kekayaan  alamnya  sangat  melimpah. Ini  membuat  bangsa  lain  menjadi  iri  dan  ingin  menguasainya. Buktinya, sejak  abad  ke-15  bangsa  Eropa  sudah  mengacak-acak  Asia  Tenggara. Spanyol, Portugis, Inggris, Prancis, Amerika  Serikat, dan  Belanda  ke  Asia  Tenggara  tidak  hanya  ingin  berdagang. Penjajahan  bangsa  Inggris  atas  Malaysia, Singapura, Myanmar, dan  Indonesia; Penjajahan  bangsa  Spanyol  dan  Amerika  Serikat  atas  Filipina; penjajahan  bangsa  Belanda  atas  indonesia; penjajahan  bangsa  Prancis  atas  laos, Kampuchea, dan  Vietnam; serta  penjajahan  bangsa  Portugis  atau  Timor-Timur  adalah  contoh  nyata  betapa  besar  keinginan  bangsa  Eropa  dan  Amerika  menguasai  Asia  Tenggara.
           Negara-negara  yang  dijajah  tersebut  akhirnya  dapat  melepaskan  diri  dari  penjajahan. Mereka  merasa  senasib  dan  memiliki  banyak  persamaan. Persamaan-persamaan  tersebut  menimbulkan  perasaan  setia kawan. Akhirnya, ada  lima  negara  di  wilayah  Asia  Tenggara  sepakat  untuk  membentuk  sebuah  organisasi. Kelima  negara  tersebut  adalah  Indonesia, malaysia, Thailand, Singapura, dan  Filipina.
           Pada  tanggal  5-8  Agustus  1967  kelima  negara  tersebut  mengadakan  pertemuan  di  tepi  Pantai  Bangsaem, bangkok, Thailand. Pertemuan  tersebut  dihadiri  oleh  lima  orang  yang  merupakan  wakil  dari  lima  negara. Kelima  orang  tersebut  sebagai  berikut.
    1. Adam  Malik; Menteri  Presidium  Urusan  Politik/Menteri  Luar  Negeri  indonesia.
    2. Tun  Abdul  Razak; Wakil  Perdana  Menteri  Pembangunan  Malaysia.
    3. Thanat  khoman; Menteri  Luar  Negeri  Thailand.
    4. S. Rajaratnam; Menteri  Luar  Negeri  Singapura.
    5. Narciso  Ramos, Menteri  Luar  Negeri  Filipina.
           Pada  tanggal  8  Agustus  1967  di  Bangkok, Thailand  dan  melalui  penandatanganan  Deklarasi  Bangkok oleh  Menteri  Luar  Negeri  Filiphina, Indonesia,Thailand, Malaysia, dan  Singapura, maka  dibentuklah  sebuah  organisasi, yaitu  ASEAN  (Association  of  South  East  Asian  Nation).
    2        Negara-Negara  Anggota  ASEAN
            Mula-mula  anggota  ASEAN  hanya  lima  negara, yaitu  Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapura  dan  Filiphina. Pada  tanggal  7  Januari  1984, negara  Brunei  Darussalam  menjadi  anggota  keenam  ASEAN. Selanjutnya, pada  tanggal  28  Juli  1995, negara  Vietnam  menjadi  anggota  ketujuh  ASEAN. Negara  Laos  dan  Myanmar  menjadi  anggota  kedelapan  dan  kesembilan  ASEAN  pada  tanggal  23  Juli  1997. Kampuchea  tidak  mau  ketinggalan. Negara  ini  bergabung  menjadi  anggota  kesepuluh  ASEAN  pada  tanggal  16  Desember  1998.  Pada  saat  ini, kesepuluh  negara  di  Asia  Tenggara  itulah  yang  menjadi  anggota  ASEAN
    3.        Lambang  ASEAN
            Seperti  halnya  orgaisasi  lainnya, ASEAN  juga  mempunyai  lambang. Adapun  lambang  ASEAN  yang  dilukiskan  atau  digambarkan  sebagai  berikut.
       
    Penjelasan  mengenai  simbol  tersebut,  adalah :
    1. Lingkaran, mengandung  arti  kesatuan  ASEAN. Dalam  logo  ASEAN  terdapat  dua  buah  lingaran, yaitu  lingkaran  luar  dan  lingkaran  dalam. Lingkaran  luar  berwarna  biru  melambangkan  perdamaian  dan  stabilitas. Lingkaran  dalam  berwarna  putih  melambangkan  kesucian  dan  ketulusan.
    2. Batang  padi  berjumlah  sepuluh, melambangkan  jumlah  anggota  ASEAN. Warna  kuning  padi  tersebut  melambangkan  kemakmuran.
    3. Tulisan  ASEAN  dan  lingkaran  lambang  berwarna  biru, melambangkan  persahabatan.
    4. Warna  dasar  merah, melambangkan  keteguhan  dan  kedinamisan.
     Secara  keseluruhan lambang  ASEAN  menggambarkan  hal-hal  berikut.
    1. Solidaritas  dan  kesepakatan  ASEAN
    2. Keterikatan  dalam  kerja  sama  demi  kemakmuran  rakyat  negara-negara  ASEAN.
    3. Setia  pada  perdamaian  dan  stabilitas  kawasan  ASEAN  dan  dunia  umumnya.
     4.       tujuan  Dibentuknya  ASEAN
               Tujuan  pembentukan  ASEAN  tertuang  dalam  Piagam  ASEAN  yang  memuat  hal-hal  sebagai  berikut.
    1)      Memelihara  dan  meningkatkan  perdamaian, keamanan, dan  stabilitas  serta  lebih    memperkuat  nilai-nilai  yang  berorientasi  pada  perdamaian  di  kawasan;
    2)      Meningkatkan  ketahanan  kawasan  dengan  memajukan  kerja  sama  politik, keamanan, ekonomi, dan  sosial  budaya  yang  lebih  luas;
    3)      Mempertahankan  Asia  Tenggara  sebagai  Kawasan  Bebas  Senjata  Nuklir  dan  bebas  dari  semua  jenis  senjata  pemusnah  massal  lainnya;
    4)      Menjamin  bahwa  rakyat  dan Negara-Negara  Anggota  ASEAN  hidup  damai  dengan  dunia  secara  keseluruhan  di  lingkungan  yang  adil, demokratis, dan  harmonis;
    5)      Menciptakan  pasar  tunggal  dan  basis  produksi  yang  stabil, makmur, sangat  kompetitif, dan  terintegrasi  secara  ekonomis  melalui  fasilitasi  yang  efektif  untuk  perdagangan  dan  investasi, yang  di  dalamnya  terdapat  arus  lalu  lintas  barang, jasa-jasa  dan  investasi  yang  bebas; terfasilitasinya  pergerakan  pelaku  usaha, pekerja  profesional, pekerja  berbakat  dan  buruh; arus  modal  yang  lebih bebas;
    6)      Mengurangi  kemiskinan  dan  mempersempit  kesenjangan  pembangunan  di  ASEAN  melalui  bantuan  dan  kerja  sama  timbal  balik;
    7)      Memperkuat  demokrasi, meningkatkan  tata  kepemerintahan  yang  baik  dan  aturan  hukum, dan  memajukan  serta  melindungi  hak  asasi  manusia  dan  kebebasan-kebebasan  fundamental, dengan  memperhatikan  hak-hak  dan  kewajiban-kewajiban  dari  Negara-Negara  Anggota  ASEAN;
    8)      Menanggapi  secara  efektif, sesuai  dengan  prinsip  keamanan  menyeluruh, segala  bentuk  ancaman, kejahatan  lintas-negara  dan  tantangan  lintas  batas;
    9)      Memajukan  pembangunan  berkelanjutan  untuk  menjamin  perlindungan  lingkungan  hidup  di  kawasan, sumber  daya  alam  yang  berkelanjutan, pelestarian  warisan  budaya, dan  kehidupan  rakyat  yang  berkualitas  tinggi;
    10)      Mengembangkan  sumber  daya  manusia  melalui  kerja  sama  yang  lebih  erat  di  bidang  pendidikan  dan  pembelajaran  dan  sepanjang  hayat, serta  di  bidang  ilmu  pengetahuan  dan  teknologi, untuk  pemberdayaan  rakyat  ASEAN  dan  penguatan  Komunitas  ASEAN;
    11)      Meningkatkan  kesejahteraan  dan  penghidupan  yang  layak  bagi  rakyat ASEAN  melalui  penyediaan  akses  yang  setara  terhadap  peluang  pembangunan  sumber  daya  manusia, kesejahteraan  sosial, dan  keadilan;
    12)      Memperkuat  erja  sama  dalam  membangun  lingkungan  yang  aman  dan terjamin  bebas  dari   narkotika  dan  obat-obat  terlarang  bagi  rakyat  ASEAN;
    13)      Memajukan  ASEAN  yang  berorientasi  kepada rakyat  yang  di  dalamnya  seluruh  lapisan  masyarakat  didorong  untuk  berpartisipasi  dalam, dan  memperoleh  manfaat  dari, proses  integrasi  dan  pembangunan  komunitas  ASEAN;
    14)      Memajukan  identitas  ASEAN  dengan  meningkatkan  kesadaran  yang  lebih  tinggi  akan  keanekaragaman  budaya  dan  warisan  kawasan; dan
    15)      Mempertahankan  sentralitas  dan  peran  proaktif  ASEAN  sebagai  kekuatan  penggerak  utama  dalam  hubungan  dan  kerja  samanya  dengan para  mitra  eksternal  dalam  arsitektur  kawasan  yang  terbuka, transparan, dan  inklusif.
    Tujuan  ASEAN  tercantum  dalam  Deklarasi  bangkok, yaitu :
    1. Mempercepat  pertumbuhan  ekonomi, kemajuan  sosial, dan  perkembangan  kebudayaan  di  kawasan  Asia  Tenggara;
    2. Meningkatkan  perdamaian  dan  stabilitas  regional;
    3. Meningkatkan  kerja  sama  di  bidang  ekonomi, sosial, teknik, ilmu  pengetahuan, dan  administrasi;
    4. Meningkatkan  kerja  sama  di  bidang  pertanian, industri, perluasan  perdagangan, perbaikan  sarana  pengangkutan  dan  komunikasi, serta  peningkatan  taraf  hidup  rakyat;
    5. Memelihara  kerja  sama dengan  organisasi-organisasi  internasional  dan  regional  agar  semakin  mempererat  anggota  ASEAN;
               Secara  singkat  dapat  disebutkan  bahwa  maksud  dan  tujuan  didirikannya  ASEAN  adalah  untuk  meningkatkan  kerja  sama  di  bidang  ekonomi, sosial, budaya, dan  politik, serta  mewujudkan  ketertiban  dan  perdamaian  di  kawasan  Asia  Tenggara.
      5.     Struktur  Organsisasi  ASEAN
             Struktur  lembaga  dan  mekanisme  di  ASEAN, antara  lain  sebagai  berikut.
    1)      Konferensi  Tingkat  Tinggi  (KTT)  ASEAN  sebagai  pengambil  keputusan  utama  yang  akan  memberikan  arah  kebijakan. KTT  diselenggarakan  minimal  2  kali  setahun. KTT  merupakan  pertemuan  tertinggi  dalam  ASEAN  yang  dihadiri  oleh  kepala  negara  ASEAN;
     2)       Dewan  Koordinasi  ASEAN  (ASEAN  Coordinating  Council)  yang  terdiri  dari  para  Menteri Luar  Negeri  ASEAN  dengan  tugas  mengkoordinasi  Dewan  Komunitas  ASEAN  (ASEAN  Community  Councils);
    3)       Dewan  Komunitas  ASEAN  (ASEAN  Communiti  Councils)  dengan  ketiga  pilar  komunitas  ASEAN   yakni  Dewan  Komunitas  Politik-Keamanan  ASEAN  (ASEAN  Political-Security  Community  Council/APSCC), Dewan  Komunitas  Ekonomi  ASEAN  (ASEAN  Economic  Community  Council/AECC), dan  Dewan  Komunitas  Sosial-Budaya  (ASEAN  Socio-Cultural  Community  Council/ASCC);
    4)       Badan-badan  Sektoral  Tingkat  Menteri  (ASEAN  Sectoral  Ministerial  Bodies).
    5)      Komite  Wakil  Tetap  (Committee  of  Permanent  Representatives)  yang  terdiri  dari  wakil  tetap  negara  ASEAN, pada  tingkat  duta  besar  dan  berkedudukan  di  Jakarta.
    6)        Sekretaris  Jenderal  ASEAN  yang  dibantu  oleh  4(empat)  orang  wakil  sekretaris  jenderal dan  sekretariat  ASEAN.
    7)          Sekretariat  Nasional  ASEAN  yang  dipi
              Latar Belakang Berdirinya ASEAN        


    SEJARAH BERDIRINYA ASEAN

    ASEAN adalah kepanjangan dari Association of South East Asia Nations. ASEAN disebut juga sebagai Perbara yang merupakan singkatan dari Perhimpunan Bangsa-Bangsa Asia Tenggara. Gedung sekretarian ASEAN berada di Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia. ASEAN didirikan tanggal 8 Agustus 1967 di Bangkok. ASEAN diprakarsai oleh 5 menteri luar negeri dari wilayah Asia Tenggara, yaitu Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Filipina dan Singapura :


    1. Perwakilan Indonesia : Adam Malik
    2. Perwakilan Malaysia : Tun Abdul Razak
    3. Perwakilan Thailand : Thanat Koman
    4. Perwakilan Filipina : Narcisco Ramos
    5. Perwakilan Singapura : S. Rajaratnam

    Sedangkan terdapat negara-negara lain yang bergabung kemudian ke dalam ASEAN sehingga total menjadi 11 negara, yaitu :

    1. Brunei Darussalam tangal 7 Januari 1984
    2. Vietnam tangal 28 Juli 1995
    3. Myanmar tangal 23 Juli 1997
    4. Laos tangal 23 Juli 1997
    5. Kamboja tangal 16 Desember 1998


    Prinsip Utama ASEAN

    Prinsip-prinsip utama ASEAN digariskan seperti berikut:
    Menghormati kemerdekaan, kesamaan, integritas dan identitas nasional semua negara
    Setiap negara memiliki hak untuk menyelesaikan permasalahan nasionalnya tanpa ada campur tangan dari luar
    Penyelesaian perbedaan atau perdebatan antar negara dengan aman
    Menolak penggunaan kekuatan dan kekerasan
    Meningkatkan kerjasama yang efektif antara anggota

    ASEAN dikukuhkan oleh lima negara pengasas; Indonesia, Malaysia, Filipina, Singapura dan Thailand di Bangkok Proses pembentukan ASEAN dibuat dalam sebuah penandatanganan perjanjian yang dikenal dengan nama “Deklarasi Bangkok”. Adapun yang bertanda tangan pada Deklarasi Bangkok tersebut adalah para menteri luar negeri saat itu, yaitu Bapak Adam Malik (Indonesia), Narciso R. Ramos (Filipina), Tun Abdul Razak (Malaysia), S. Rajaratnam (Singapura), dan Thanat Khoman (Thailand). Pada tanggal 8 Januari 1984, seminggu setelah mencapai kemerdekaannya, negara Brunei masuk menjadi anggota ASEAN. 11 tahun kemudian, tepatnya tanggal 28 Juli 1995. Laos dan Myanmar menjadi anggota dua tahun kemudianya, yaitu pada tanggal 23 Juli 1997. Walaupun Kamboja sudah menjadi anggota ASEAN bersama sama Myanmar dan Laos, Kamboja terpaksa menarik diri disebabkan masalah politik dalam negara tersebut. Namun, dua tahun kemudian Kamboja kembali masuk menjadi anggota ASEAN pada 30 April 1999.

    LOGO ASEAN

    Logo ASEAN membawa arti ASEAN yang stabil, aman, bersatu dan dinamik. Warna logo ada 4 yaitu biru, merah, putih dan kuning. Warna tersebut merupakan warna utama lambang negara-negara ASEAN. Warna biru melambangkan keamanan dan kestabilan. Merah bermaksud semangat dan dinamisme sedangkan putih menunjukkan ketulenan dan kuning melambangkan kemakmuran. Sepuluh tangkai padi melambangkan cita-cita pelopor pembentuk ASEAN di Asia Tenggara, yaitu bersatu dan bersahabat. Bulatan melambangkan kesatuan ASEAN.



    TUJUAN DIBENTUKNYA PIAGAM ASEAN (ASEAN CHARTERED).

      Tahun 2007 bisa dikatakan bersejarah bagi ASEAN. Kawasan ini memiliki tampilan baru. Ada harapan ASEAN akan terstruktur dan tersistematis.

      Semua itu ditandai dengan ditandatanginya Piagam ASEAN (ASEAN Charter) sebagai kerangka “konstitusi bersama” ASEAN.

      Keberadaan sebuah piagam agar bisa lebih mengikat negara-negara anggota sebenarnya sudah cukup lama dikumandangkan di kalangan pemikir ASEAN. Akan tetapi, baru pada Konferensi Tingkat Tinggi (KTT) ASEAN tahun 2003 di Bali, keinginan ASEAN untuk memiliki sebuah piagam bersama itu mulai dikonkretkan.

      Ibarat sebuah perusahaan yang harus memiliki status hukum yang jelas, apakah itu perseroan terbatas (PT) atau perusahaan dagang (PD), ASEAN sebagai organisasi regional yang sudah berusia 40 tahun ini memang sudah seharusnya punya status hukum. Idealnya, dengan adanya status hukum itu, ASEAN lebih punya keleluasaan untuk bekerja sama dengan berbagai pihak, khususnya kalangan pebisnis. Dia (ASEAN) juga bisa memiliki aset, visi, dan misi, serta alat/perangkat untuk mewujudkan visi dan misinya tersebut.

      Piagam ASEAN memang tidak otomatis akan mengubah banyak hal di ASEAN. Malah, piagam itu sesungguhnya makin mengekalkan banyak kebiasaan lama. Misalnya, pengambilan keputusan di ASEAN tetap dengan cara konsensus dan KTT ASEAN menjadi tempat tertinggi untuk pengambilan keputusan jika konsensus tidak tercapai atau jika sengketa di antara anggota terjadi.

      Meski demikian, piagam tersebut hadir di saat yang pas, yaitu ketika kawasan Asia Tenggara ini terus berubah dan negara-negara ASEAN semakin memperluas cakupan kerja sama yang lebih kukuh ke Asia Timur (Jepang, Korea Selatan, dan China), Asia Tengah (India), serta ke selatan (Australia dan Selandia Baru). Juga, KTT Asia Timur yang diselenggarakan beriringan dengan KTT ASEAN.

    Tujuan dibentuknya Piagam Asean adalah sebagai berikut

    1. Permudah kerja sama

      Adanya Piagam ASEAN secara organisatoris akan membuat negara anggota ASEAN relatif akan lebih terikat kepada berbagai kesepakatan yang telah dibuat ASEAN. Secara teoretis, piagam itu akan semakin mempermudah kerja sama yang dibuat ASEAN dengan mitra-mitra dialognya.

      Jika pada masa lalu mitra ASEAN terkadang mengeluh bahwa kesepakatan yang telah dibuat dengan ASEAN ternyata hanya dilaksanakan dan dipatuhi oleh beberapa negara anggota ASEAN, kini kekhawatiran itu bisa dikurangi.

      Mekanisme kerja yang lebih jelas di ASEAN seperti tertuang dalam Piagam ASEAN itu juga akan mempermudah mitra-mitra atau calon-calon mitra yang ingin berurusan dengan ASEAN. Begitu pula bila di kemudian hari terjadi persengketaan, Piagam ASEAN telah membuat pengaturan umum untuk penyelesaian sengketa itu.

      Lebih penting lagi secara politis, ASEAN kini menegaskan dirinya sebagai organisasi yang menghormati serta bertekad untuk menjunjung tinggi hak asasi manusia (HAM) dan nilai-nilai demokrasi. Piagam meminta ASEAN menghargai HAM.

      Meski saat ini pelaksanaan kedua hal itu masih jauh dari ideal, setidaknya ASEAN sudah mengakui bahwa penghormatan atas HAM dan demokrasi sebagai nilai-nilai dasar, sama seperti umumnya negara maju. Dengan demikian, hambatan psikologis untuk bekerja sama dengan negara-negara ASEAN seperti sering terdengar selama ini dari beberapa negara maju, setidaknya sudah bisa dikurangi meski hambatan belum sepenuhnya bisa dihapuskan.

    2. Tantangan internal

      Keberhasilan ASEAN melahirkan sebuah piagam bersama tidak otomatis bermakna ASEAN yang semakin solid. Tantangan terbesar justru berada di lingkungan internal ASEAN sendiri, khususnya bagaimana agar benar-benar bisa mengimplementasikan piagam itu sehingga ASEAN menjadi kekuatan yang menyatu dan tidak terpecah belah.

      Bagaimanapun, kehadiran Piagam ASEAN, yang di dalamnya mengharuskan para anggota mematuhi apa-apa yang sudah diputuskan bersama oleh ASEAN, akan menimbulkan ketidaknyamanan bagi beberapa pihak. Mereka ini sebenarnya menaruh keberatan atas keputusan bersama itu. Meski demikian, Piagam ASEAN memang telah didesain sedemikian rupa sehingga tidak terlalu keras terhadap para anggotanya yang belum bisa menaati kesepakatan-kesepakatan yang telah dibuat.

      Celah-celah untuk kompromi yang sering kali diistilahkan banyak kalangan sebagai cara ASEAN (the ASEAN way) masih banyak diakomodasi di dalam piagam tersebut. Di bidang ekonomi, misalnya, Piagam ASEAN menjamin hak negara-negara anggota untuk berpartisipasi secara fleksibel dalam pelaksanaan komitmen-komitmen ekonomi di ASEAN. Begitu pula dalam pelaksanaan prinsip-prinsip “politik” ASEAN, seperti khususnya demokrasi dan penghormatan dan jaminan atas hak-hak asasi manusia, asas yang fleksibel tetap dipertahankan.

      Satu hal penting dalam Piagam ASEAN yang memang sudah selayaknya dilakukan adalah menjadikan organisasi ini sebagai organisasi yang berorientasi pada rakyat atau bukan organisasi birokrat semata. Dengan demikian, dibuka bahkan didorong kesempatan lebih besar kepada warga masyarakat ASEAN untuk berinteraksi satu sama lain dengan lebih intens.

      Pergaulan rakyat ASEAN di kawasan regional dan internasional itu tentu akan berkontribusi positif kepada kerja sama ASEAN dengan mitra-mitranya di seluruh kawasan.

    3. Langkah paling maju

    Ada tiga rencana ASEAN yang dituliskan di piagam itu. Tiga hal itu adalah menginginkan lahirnya Komunitas Ekonomi ASEAN, Komunitas Keamanan ASEAN, dan Komunitas Sosial Budaya ASEAN.

      Jangan skeptis dulu dengan rencana pembentukan komunitas itu. Atau jangan melihat realitas sekarang jika ingin menilai prospek pembentukan tiga jenis komunitas itu. ASEAN bisa saja tidak terlihat berwibawa, melihat realitas sekarang, dengan mayoritas anggotanya punya masalah tersendiri yang tergolong berat. Beberapa di antaranya bahkan masih tergolong negara paria.

      Sesungguhnya, rencana pembentukan komunitas itu merupakan refleksi dari tajamnya visi para pemikir ASEAN. Piagam itu disusun para pakar atau figur terkenal di ASEAN. Wakil dari Indonesia adalah mantan Menteri Luar Negeri Ali Alatas.

      Mantan Menteri Luar Negeri Ali Alatas terkesan jengkel dengan analisis pengamat yang relatif selalu skeptis melihat ASEAN. “Mereka itu kadang genit, ya,” demikian kalimat lucu dari Ali Alatas mengomentari piagam yang disambut dingin oleh pengamat.

    4. Piagam merefleksikan pandangan jauh ke depan.

      Bahkan, piagam secara tersirat akan membuat ASEAN malu jika tidak bisa memenuhinya di kemudian hari. Inilah sumbangsih para pemikir ASEAN. Ini merupakan bukti bahwa para pakar ASEAN tidak dungu, tetapi punya sudut pandang yang strategis menuju masa depan.

      Hal ini diperkuat lagi dengan rencana pemerintah ASEAN, yang pada November lalu, di Singapura, sudah menandatangani deklarasi pembentukan Komunitas Ekonomi ASEAN pada tahun 2015. Bahkan, pada tahun 2008 sudah ada langkah untuk mewujudkan komunitas ekonomi ini. Tujuan akhirnya adalah aliran barang, jasa, warga yang relatif lebih bebas di ASEAN.

      Ini strategis mengingat contoh empiris, negara kaya di dunia menjadi makmur karena mobilitas itu. Para teknokrat ekonomi dan para figur terkenal ASEAN sudah memberi contoh soal penyusunan langkah ke depan.

      Sekarang ini, eksekusinya ada di lingkungan pemerintah di ASEAN yang sarat problem, bahkan masih suka menyiksa rakyat.

      Apakah junta Myanmar tahu piagam, atau lebih percaya piagam ketimbang paranormal? Ini hanya contoh kecil. Tetapi sudahlah, semoga waktu akan mengubah perangai dan perilaku sebagian pemerintahan di ASEAN, yang juga masih sering sekadar berkomitmen dan tidak bertindak nyata. Setidaknya mereka masih mau menorehkan sejarah baru dengan menandatangani Piagam ASEAN dan juga cetak biru Komunitas Ekonomi ASEAN 2015

    5. Strategis

      Piagam itu sendiri dinilai strategis karena akan menjadi landasan hukum yang menjamin integrasi politik, sosial, ekonomi, budaya, keamanan, demokratisasi, perlindungan hak asasi, dan pelestarian lingkungan.

      Pembuatan piagam merupakan terobosan penting dalam sejarah ASEAN, yang selama 40 tahun lebih bersifat peguyuban. Dalam menghadapi tantangan 40 tahun kedua, ASEAN memang membutuhkan pijakan hukum yang lebih jelas dalam membangun blok politik dan ekonomi.

              Uncovering Taste of Luxury in Bangkok        

    Taste of  Luxury in Bangkok Bangkok has a global reputation for world-class restaurants, hotels, luxurious spas and modern shopping malls besides the many points of interest. We explored some at leisure during our trip to the capital of Thailand.   LUXURIOUS STAY Bangkok is home to many luxurious hotels and…
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              Wine tourism to boast tourism in South Africa in 2020.: Safari Uganda , Kenya , Rwanda        

    It’s too amazing to see that many countries the have the kenya safari are pouring large amount of money in wine projects yet this is just one example of the growth that is being seen around the world in wine tourism. Wine tourism is expanding in most major wine growing regions, including France, Spain, Germany, Italy, the U.S., South Africa, and Australia.

    Besides, South Africa is working towards positioning itself as one of the world's top 20 travel destinations by 2020, the local wine and tourism industry are uniting to present the country's first specialist wine tourism exhibition, Vindaba and the Kenya tour.This resulted from the backing effort of national and provincial government, and Vindaba will be showcasing the best in South African wine-related tourism when it is held in Cape Town in September 2012, targeting the local and international travel trade as well as wine, travel and lifestyle media.

    Wine Tourism is known world wide that very most travellers in any Namibia safaris prefer taking wine while on there vacation holidays and also many scholars have written different books with different definitions. According to an Australian researchers Hall and Macionis. They define wine tourism as "visitation to vineyards, wineries, wine festivals, and wine shows for which grape wine tasting and/or experiencing the attributes of a grape wine region are the prime motivating factors for visitors." we have the rwanda gorilla trekking This definition is useful because it encompasses the various venues most frequently sought by wine tourists, and highlights the fact that there are different reasons visitors go to a wine region.

    Also the South Africa Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk identified wine tourism as one of the fastest-growing and most lucrative sectors of the global tourism market. Get to visit the gorillas in Africa as the Vindaba, which marks a new spirit of collaboration among tourism bodies, is intended as a launching pad to position South Africa on the world map of wine tourism.

    Currently, Cape Wine is considered the most successful international wine trade show in the Southern Hemisphere, the masai mara safari and has been held every alternate year since 2000 with the exception of last year, given South Africa's hosting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.Next year's Cape Wine will be the first in four years and will thus provide an important opportunity for the industry to update its markets on new developments.Such as the It is expected that some 320 wineries will exhibit.

    Although cape wine 2012 is conceived as a stand-alone event, it will be staged simultaneously at the Cape Town Convention Centre. Cape Wine also as we get ready for the masai mara tour , hosted biennially by Wosa, exhibits a wide spectrum of South Africa's wines and wine styles to the international wine trade, from buyers to importers and sommeliers in important export markets. It also attracts wine, travel and lifestyle media.

    More so, both events will be staged as eco-friendly exhibitions, making use exclusively of recycled and recyclable materials. South Africa is already recognized as a world leader in eco-sustainable wine production. Now it plans to establish a similar reputation for wine tourism by marketing Vindaba as a "green" initiative.

    Van Schalkwyk has identified South Africa's wine tourism as central to marketing the country as an attractive long-haul destination. Speaking at a tourism stakeholder workshop in April, he said: along with gorillas and Chimpanzees we have "Wine tourism is a vital product offering in South Africa's tourism product as it helps improve the country's competitiveness against destinations like Brazil, Australia, Kenya and Thailand.” Though Australia has a highly developed wine tourism industry, many of its wine regions are located far apart, unlike South Africa where production is concentrated mostly in the Western Cape.3 day gorilla safari tour

    Not only will the two exhibitions feature many of the same producers, but there are other common links. Queen Elizabeth national park , South Africa has been steadily building a domestic and global awareness for the range and excellence of its wines and is now considered a significant wine-producing country. With provenance playing such a strategic role in wine marketing, it makes sense to advance wine-related tourism, so wine lovers are actively encouraged to visit the source of the products they enjoy.Murchison falls national park


              Onderweg naar/in Thailand        
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              Life Aboard the Earthship        
    One thing that we love about traveling is having the opportunity to be guests in so many different and varied houses. We see how people live in Thailand and Portugal, we meet interesting people in hostels, we daydream about being hoteliers at B&Bs, and sometimes we get to stay in really unique places like a … More Life Aboard the Earthship
              By: tosamart        
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              Book review: No Logo by Naomi Klein        


    the cover of the book

    If this was... my copy of the book, handed to Ms Klein, I'd be interested to hear her thoughts. My brother bought it in Thailand and it's obviously pirated. The cover looks OK until you try to bend it, the body paper is almost transparent, and there's evidence of low-grade scanning every other page. Large-scale piracy of Western goods, as the flipside of sweatshop labour, is a topic she leaves untouched.

    read more


                      





              [8.04] Ecommerce News You Should Know: Ofo Launches Bike-Sharing Service in Malaysia and Thailand        

    Here’s what you should know: 1. Fighting counterfeit products, Shell Malaysia goes online with Lazada Shell partnered with Lazada in Malaysia to launch an official store to sell motor oil products online. Customers from throughout the country can...

    The post [8.04] Ecommerce News You Should Know: Ofo Launches Bike-Sharing Service in Malaysia and Thailand appeared first on ecommerceIQ - Ecommerce in Southeast Asia, Reports, Data, Insights.


              [5.15] Morning Round-Up: Cyber Attack Spurs Concern For Thailand’s Critical Infrastructure        

    Here’s what you should know today. 1. Cyber attack ‘WannaCry worm’ spurs concern for critical infrastructure A Thai cybersecurity expert has urged all Window-based computer users to update their software to defend against the latest global cyberattack,...

    The post [5.15] Morning Round-Up: Cyber Attack Spurs Concern For Thailand’s Critical Infrastructure appeared first on ecommerceIQ - Ecommerce in Southeast Asia, Reports, Data, Insights.


              18.11.17 17:00 Uhr - Erlangen - 5 Jahre, 5 Meere        
    Tickets erhältlich unter: http://www.frankentipps.de/veranstaltung201515-tickets

    Es beginnt mit einem Traum. Alles verkaufen, sein bisheriges Leben hinter sich lassen und nach dem großen Glück suchen. Ohne Segelerfahrung sticht Mario mit seinem Katamaran „GOODLIFE“ in See. Eine Reise über 5 Meere und 22 Länder beginnt. Unter anderem erzählt der Aussteiger über seine Vorbereitungen in Thailand, Tauchgänge auf den Malediven, das Leben auf einsamen, unbewohnten Atollen und von Traumstränden auf den Seychellen.



    Er lernt Yvonne kennen und als sie schwanger wird, müssen die Pläne geändert werden. Das Arabische Meer und der Golf von Aden bringen, neben der Piratengefahr, auch technische Probleme und zwingen ihn zu einem Stopp in Jemen. Mario besucht die Beduinen in der Wüste und durch das Nadelöhr Suezkanal erreicht er die Pyramiden Ägyptens. Schüsse und Hubschrauberlärm in Israel, aber auch romantische Dörfer und Buchten in der Türkei gehören zu den zahlreichen Facetten dieser Geschichte. Die junge Familie hangelt sich im Winter durch die stürmische Inselwelt Griechenlands und reist mit Pistolen nach Marokko ein. Auf den kapverdischen Inseln begegnen sie einer Dschunke und finden neue Freunde. Eine nervenaufreibende Atlantiküberquerung mit der 18 Monate alten Tochter bringt eine überraschende Wende.

    Diese Multivision ist eine aufregende und abenteuerliche Aussteiger-Geschichte eines jungen Mannes, seiner Freundin und der gemeinsamen Tochter. Mario gewährt Euch tiefe persönliche Einblicke, spricht aber auch offen über die Machbarkeit und Grenzen eines Ausstieges.
              Best Of: Restaurants        
    I have had a lot of great experiences eating out these last few years, and it's difficult to winnow this list down as well.  What were my favorite eating out experiences during The Baltimore Snacker?  Well, I could not list all of them, but I tried to list about 20-to-30-ish in the Baltimore area (plus a handful of others elsewhere).  They're in alphabetical order by type of cuisine, and I try to do one of each type of eating establishment for variety.  Also note: yes, I am missing a lot of places, in a lot of neighborhoods.  This reflects my favorites.  That doesn't mean yours isn't any good.  Believe you me, I may not have even gotten to eat at your favorite in all the years I've been writing this blog.

    Favorite African: Dukem (Ethiopian - Mount Vernon, with another location in Washington, DC; featured in the post "Dukem #2", published December 17, 2006) - Always a good place for some filling beef wot and lamb fitfit.  Get an Ethiopian lager or stout while you're at it.
    • Honorable mention: The Yabba Pot (vegan/soul food - Station North/Charles Village - apparently it's now closed); Peju's Kitchen & Lounge (Nigerian / West African / Caribbean - Woodlawn); I'm still meaning to try Tam Tam (Senegalese - Rosebank) on York Road.

    Favorite African-American/Southern/Barbecue: TIE: Reginald F. Lewis Museum Café (Little Italy/Downtown - first featured in the post "Not a Festival - Reginald F. Lewis Museum", published July 10, 2007) and Miss Shirley's (various locations and food truck - first featured in the post "Food Truck Fight!!!!!", published June 26, 2012) - The café at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African-American History is one of the best museum cafés I've ever eaten at: some of the tastiest fried catfish and macaroni and cheese in the area.  As for Miss Shirley's, they have lovely grits, especially with the unexpected addition of mascarpone.  Fascinating.
    • Honorable mention: Andy Nelson's BBQ Restaurant (Cockeysville - surprising enough, I've never blogged about this one either); Blacksauce Kitchen (food truck, often at Waverly farmer's market - not blogged about this one either.  I'm slackin'...)
    Favorite American/Eclectic/"New American" (the last of which could be anything really, since nobody knows what the hell it means): The Food Market (Hampden - first featured in the post "The Food Market in Hampden") - Chef Chad Gauss used to be at the City Café, which had some wonderful food while he was there.  Sure the food there is still pretty good, but Gauss definitely took the best stuff with him to his new Hampden location.  It's pricey and super-busy, so go on a weeknight, preferably during Restaurant Week.
    • Honorable mention: City Café (Mount Vernon); Owl Bar (Mount Vernon); Mount Vernon Stable (Mount Vernon); Rocket 2 Venus (Hampden)
    Favorite Baked Goods: Iced Gems Baking (cupcakes - Reisterstown & food truck; first featured in the post "Iced Gems Baking", published May 13, 2010) - Love their English rose cupcakes - with real rosewater, I might add - and their vanilla chocolate, chocolate vanilla and vanilla vanilla offerings.
    Favorite Brewpub: Heavy Seas Alehouse (Little Italy - first featured in the post "Random Bites: December Edition", published December 26, 2012) - My sister and her husband just loved this place when they stopped here from Savannah over Christmas.  So many good recommendations from the waitstaff, and so many good beers, made right in Halethorpe, I might add.

    Favorite Burger: Alonso's (Roland Park; first featured in the post "Exit 25: MD-139 (Charles Street, to area colleges)", published February 22, 2008) - This was a tough one to winnow down, and the ones in the "Honorable Mention" category were justthisclose to being at the top.  But I have to go with the easy choice: their one pound burger is definitely one to take home and finish later, but it's still a yummy burger.
    • Honorable mention: So, sooooo many: City Café (Mount Vernon); Gino's (Towson); Marie Louise Bistro (Mount Vernon); Owl Bar (Mount Vernon); Shake Shack (various locations, including Upper West Side, Manhattan, New York, and Downtown, Washington, DC); Sláinte (Fells Point)
    Favorite Candies: Rheb's Candies (Violetville; first featured in the post "Rheb's Candies", published December 8. 2007) - Family lore has it that my grandmother worked there for a short time in the 50's.  Such wonderful candies they have there, all homemade, hon.
    Favorite Central Asian/Middle Eastern: The Helmand (Mount Vernon; first featured in the post "The Helmand", published September 23, 2006) - I wasn't sure how to formulate this category.  Where to put the Helmand: South Asian?  Central Asian?  I settled on this.  Or I could just create a category just for Baltimore's favorite Afghan restaurant.  Wonderful pilau, shawerma and my favorite dish of course, the kaddo borawni.  This was the second restaurant I ever blogged about, by the way.
    Favorite Chinese (Americanized or otherwise): TIE - Asian Court (Ellicott City - first featured in the post "Asian Court", October 1, 2011) and Golden Gate (Catonsville/Arbutus - first featured in the post "Exits 12B-C - MD-372 (Wilkens Ave., East and West)", published September 12, 2007) - Asian Court is one of the few (but becoming more common) places to find food that would be recognizable as "Chinese food" in China.  Wonderful dim sum.  Golden Gate is a more Americanized Chinese place, with the reliable old orange chicken (my favorite of theirs), though they, too, are starting to make more "Chinese Chinese" dishes available to the public.
    Favorite Crab Cake: G & M (Linthicum; first featured in the post "G & M", published April 5, 2007) - Yes, I went there.  I chose a favorite crab cake place.  I've had other good ones in this city but there's a reason why G & M keeps making Top 5 lists all over Bawlmer: big ass crabcake with so little filler it'll amaze you how they got it so big.  Complete with cole slaw and those bright red pickled apple slices that are so ubiquitous in Charm City.
    • Honorable mention: Faidley's (Lexington Market); Lansdowne Inn (Lansdowne - No, it's not the best crab cake, but it holds a very special place for me since my father often walked there from the house to get himself and Mom crab cakes.  Again, not the best crab cake in the area, but they are a sentimental favorite of mine.  Plus we held Dad's wake there after his funeral.  We had spaghetti that time though.  Again, sentimental favorite.).  
    • Avoid: Royal Farms Crab Cake (seriously, Royal Farms?)
    Favorite Deli: Attman's Delicatessen (Little Italy/Corned Beef Row - first featured in the post "Trekkin' around Little Italy and Corned Beef Row", published October 13, 2008) - A Bawlmer institution that I've been lucky to know since childhood, when my father would drag my sister and I there to get a few pounds of kosher dogs, lots of bologna and corned beef.  Oooooh, I can still taste it.
    Favorite Diner: Towson Diner (Towson - first featured in the post "Exit 26A and B: MD-45 (York Road, to Lutherville and Towson)", published March 6, 2008) - Snappy, friendly service and good, filling pancakes, Reubens and the like.  Still haven't ventured to try the mile-high cakes yet.  So much cake.

    Favorite Farmers' Market / Local Food (Farm-Affiliated) Store: 32nd Street Farmers' Market (Waverly; first featured in the post "Waverly Farmers' Market", published June 7, 2008) - Open every Saturday (except, maybe, in a snowpocalypse), they've got good stuff there - not just the myriad of fresh veggies and fruit but so much more!  Everything from buffalo (Gunpowder Bison) to meat pies (Curry Shack) to milk, butter and so on (South Mountain Creamery).
    Favorite Gay/Lesbian Bar: The Club Hippo (bar/gay & lesbian - Mount Vernon; first featured in the post "The Hippo", published October 11, 2006) - With a wide selection of beers on tap (DeClaw, Dogfish, New Belgium, Leininkugel, Shiner, Natty Boh, all the usual suspects) plus a big dance floor (that I never use 'cuz I can't dance, and don't ask me) that doubles as the scene for many a drag or leather competition, this is my go-to place in Mount Vernon.  See it fill up Monday nights for RuPaul's Drag Race or Wednesday nights for BINGO!
    • Honorable mention: Grand Central (across the street - are we really everywhere or just at the corner of Charles and Eager?); Nellie's Sports Bar (Shaw/U Street, Washington, DC); DC Eagle (Washington, DC)
    Favorite Hot Dog: Haute Dog Carte (hot dogs - Mount Washington; first featured in the post "Haute Dog Carte", published September 3, 2010) - Hands down.  Just the "regular" dog is special enough, but those special dogs?  Oh my.
    • Honorable mention: Ann's Dari-Creme (Glen Burnie); Weenie World (Dundalk - now closed) 
    Favorite Indian/South Asian: Indigma (Mount Vernon; first featured in the post "Indigma", published September 2, 2007) - Oh, this was a tough one.  There are so many good Indian places in and around Baltimore these days it's difficult to choose.  But you gotta hand it to Indigma: they suffered a massive fire and bounced back bigger than ever.  Their buffet is one of the most interesting, though not terribly pricier than the others.

    Favorite Irish Pub: Sláinte Pub (pub/Irish - Fells Point; first featured in the post "Sláinte Pub and the Amazing Last Minute Goal", published June 23, 2010) - Yes I go there for the soccer.  And I stay there for the food (Irish bibimbap and Friday $1 oysters, anyone?  Plus their fish and chips are definitely worth a look or two) and the Guinness.  They do have other beers, too.

    Favorite Italian (non-pizza): TIE: Sotto Sopra (Italian/Sardinian - Downtown; first featured in the post "Sotto Sopra", published June 13, 2008) and Chiapparelli's (Little Italy - last featured in the post "Tidbits: Boys of Summer Edition", published August 29, 2010) - Have had very good service in both places.  At Sotto Sopra the food is real Sardinian home cookin'.  Can't afford Opera Night, but I try to eat cheap anyway.  Chiapparelli's for Restaurant Week is also a beautiful thing.
    Favorite Japanese: Minato (Japanese - Mount Vernon; featured several times, including "Minato the Threequel", published September 1, 2007) - My go-to place for sushi and friendly service.  Their Maryland roll is fascinating, especially on $7 special maki roll night.  Try not to miss happy hour.

    Favorite Korean: Jong Kak (Korean - Koreatown/Charles Village; first published in the post "Jong Kak", published April 20, 2008) - My friends and I don't even have to say where when one of us suggests "Korean".  The barbecue is always filling and flavorful, the pajeon never too greasy, and the panchan goes well with a nice crisp bottle of Hite beer.
    Favorite Local Grocery Store, Hon, Ethnic or Otherwise: Geresbeck's (supermarket - Middle River; first featured in the post "A Dangerous Love Affair with Geresbeck's Bakery", published October 18, 2007) - Their cakes are just wonderful, and the smearcase is legendary.  And don't forget some chocolate top cookies.  Yes, I'm specifically raving about their bakery here.  Yum.

    Favorite Mexican: TIE: El Nayar (Catonsville and Elkridge - first featured in the post "El Nayar", published June 16, 2009) and R&R Taquería (Jessup/Elkridge - first featured in the post "Random Bites: December Edition", published December 26, 2012) - It's tough to find authentic Mexican in this area, but thankfully it's becoming easier!  El Nayar's taco plate is some of the more authentic I've had in the area, while R&R has the best cochinita pibil in Baltimore hands down.
    Favorite Pit Beef: Chaps Pit Beef (Armistead Gardens/Hopkins Bayview - I have not yet blogged about this, though watch this weekend) - Yes, we should bow to the king here - Chaps Pit Beef is a local legend, and it should be: wide selection of pit beef and BBQ, though I have to zero in on the pit beef.  Just plop some horseradish and "tiger sauce" on it and a little bit of hots.  Woh-ho-ho. Lansdowne is really getting built up these days.  But right near the new Wal-Mart and the Home Depot is a long-standing SoWeBaltCo (Did I just make up a new term?) tradition: that wonderful little pit beef truck with juicy pit beef and lots of horseradish and barbecue sauce to go with.  If only I was in the area more often when it's there.
    Favorite Pizza/Pizza and Subs: Vito's Pizza (Cedarcroft/Lake Walker; first featured in the post "Vito's Pizza", published April 8, 2009) - Good pizza of all kinds, since the owner - from Naples - knows what he's doing.  Delicious.
    • Honorable mention: Pasta Mista (various locations, including Canton and Towson - New Yorkers who live down here swear by it); Iggie's (Mount Vernon)
    Favorite Tapas/Small Plates: 13.5% Wine Bar (Hampden; first featured in the post "13.5% Wine Bar", published August 24, 2009) - A job hunt at the time didn't deter me from one of my favorite Hampden eateries.  Their wall o' wine is intimidating unless you just stick to cocktails or beer.  They have wonderful selections of cheese, pizzas and many different finger foods. 
    • Honorable mention: Tapas Teatro (Station North/Charles Village - this was, in fact, the very first restaurant I ever blogged about).  
    • Avoid: La Tasca (Inner Harbor- warmed-over frozen mixed veggies from a bag - yum.  Easily the most bleh, half-assed tapas I have ever had.  But that's what I get for eating at a chain restaurant in the most touristy part of the city)
    Favorite Thai: Thai Restaurant (Waverly; first featured in the post "Thai Restaurant", published April 14, 2010) - the fried crab wings (yes, crab wings) alone are reason to go there.  The pad thai is good but explore their many other offerings, will ya?
    Favorite Vegetarian/Vegan: Mango Grove (Columbia; first featured in the post "Mango Grove", published February 16, 2008) - It's not often I will go out of my way to eat vegetarian food, but when I do, I prefer Mango Grove.  Two words: bread pakora.  And the dosa?  Lovely.


    Favorite Vietnamese: Pho Miss Saigon (Glen Burnie - first featured in the post "Exit 3B - MD 2 South (Ritchie Hwy to Glen Burnie)", published June 11, 2007) - Good filling phò and not that pricey.

    Favorite Wine/Beer/Liquor Store: The Wine Source (Hampden; featured several times, including "Baltimore Beer Week Continues...", published October 14, 2009, "Get this wine - but I DARE you to close it back up!", published July 14, 2008), and "Sake, Sake Everywhere (Post #999)", April 17, 2009) - They have always been so knowledgeable about any wine that this non-wine person might ask about.  Wondrous selection of beers, too.  Also sample the cheese and charcuterie section while you're there.
    Also worth noting...


    Favorite Dearly Departed Restaurant: Zodiac Restaurant (American - Station North [now closed]; last featured in the post "Last Call at the Zodiac", published August 9, 2008) - For a quick bite before a show at the Charles Theatre or (now relocated) Everyman, I loved this place for its goofy decor, its line of vegan desserts and very non-vegan entrées (I so fondly remember their hamburger, and the mashed potatoes even more so), and its apparent hauntings which I had never experienced.  Since they shut down operations in 2008, apparently the Club Charles next door carries some of their same menu offerings.  The Zodiac still exists, though not as a restaurant: it's now a comedy club.  Maybe that ghost is having fun pushing patrons down the stairs again?

    Favorite Coddies:  I hate coddies.  Never liked 'em.  I have no favorites.  There, I said it.

    And now, just a handful of favorite eats out in other parts of the country and the world...


    Aroma (Chinese/Malaysian - Soho, London, England, UK; featured in post "Aroma", published January 6, 2007)

    BCD Tofu House (Korean - various locations, including Los Angeles' Koreatown; featured in the post "From Bulgogi Tacos to Avocado Salsa: A Day of Eating in LA", published May 26, 2010)

    Bojo (Indonesian - Leidesplein, Amsterdam, Netherlands; featured in post "Amsterdam Trip Part Drie: Little Bites Here and There", published March 25, 2008)


    Bool BBQ (Korean/Mexican - food truck, Los Angeles; featured in the post "From Bulgogi Tacos to Avocado Salsa: A Day of Eating in LA", published May 26, 2010)

    Casa Maya (Mexican/Yucatecan/Maya - Mentone, California; first featured in the post "Casa Maya", April 7, 2007)

    The Castaway Restaurant (American/brunch - San Bernardino, California; first featured in the post "Easter Sunday Eatin' Part 1: Castaway of San Bernardino", published April 9, 2007)

    Duplex Diner (American/gay and lesbian - Adams Morgan, Washington, DC; featured in the post "Adams Morgan for Capital Pride", June 17, 2011)


    Meskerem (Ethiopian - Washington, DC; first featured in the post "Day at the Smithsonian / Meskerem (or, "Hey, where did all the Ethiopian restaurants go?")", published December 31, 2008)

    Moon River Brewing Company (brewpub/American/Southern - Savannah, Georgia; first featured in the post "Georgia on My GPS Part 3: Moon River Brewing Company / Savannah Candy Kitchen", published June 27, 2009)

    Pig & Fish (pub/American - Rehoboth Beach, Delaware; first featured in the post "Tidbits: Rehoboth in August Edition", published August 6, 2011)


    Rudy's Barbecue (barbecue - Austin, Texas; first featured in the post "Austin City, Unlimited Part I - Of Barbecue and Barbacoa", published June 5, 2012)

    Shake Shack (hamburgers/shakes - most locations in New York, New York, with locations in Washington, DC, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; first featured in the post "Weekend in New York: The Food", published July 17, 2009)


    Wagamama (Japanese/ramen - various locations, mostly in the UK and continental Europe, with three stateside locations, all in Boston, Massachusetts; featured in several posts, including "Wedding in Provincetown Part II: Back to Boston", published September 23, 2011)
              19.11.17 14:00 Uhr - Erlangen - Thailand        
    Tickets erhältlich unter: http://www.frankentipps.de/veranstaltung201521-tickets

    Seit über 20 Jahren bereist Dirk Bleyer das Süd-Ost-Asiatische Königreich. Von den entlegenen Regionen der Bergstämme im Goldenen Dreieck, durch dichten Dschungel bei der Brücke am Kwai, bis hin zu den tropisch exotischen Stränden der südlichen Inselwelt. Dabei wird klar: Thailand ist ein Schatz für jeden Reisenden, der weitaus mehr zu bieten hat als „nur“ einen erholsamen Urlaub.

    Mit begeisternden Foto- und Filmaufnahmen zeichnet Bleyer ein wahres Ländererlebnis und beantwortet unter anderem Fragen, wieso im Garten des Hilton Hotels ein Schrein mit einem Penis von der Bevölkerung verehrt wird.
              afscheid van Thailand        
    none
              Scientists on the Margins        
    by
    David Nobes
    2005-01-30

    INTRODUCTION

    The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was convened in Geneva in December of 2003. When the World Summit was announced, many in the scientific community questioned why there was no clear or central role for science and scientists. Scientists at CERN, in particular, expressed their concerns because CERN, one of the premier international collaborative scientific institutions, is regarded by many as the “birthplace” of the Internet.

    As a result of the interventions of scientists, the UN and WSIS Secretariat proposed to hold an additional, but separate meeting ahead of the World Summit - the Role of Science in the Information Society (RSIS). The Role of Science meeting was also held in Geneva, at CERN, immediately before the World Summit. Many who attended RSIS also attended the WSIS. (The RSIS website is still active, as of January 2005).

    The RSIS was intended to provide a forum whereby scientists and science administrators could contribute to the ongoing discussions on the Information Society. The discussions focussed on information sharing - the mechanisms for such sharing, and the impact on society that information sharing could have, because it became quickly apparent that information sharing is one of the primary elements in what we have come to call the Information Society, which I will abbreviate here as IS. Information technology is abbreviated as IT.

    At this point, it should be noted that many of the participants, this author included, wondered what influence we scientists might have on the larger World Summit. Because of its separateness, many attendees doubted, sometimes publicly, that we would have much impact on the main WSIS “event” (the term used on the website and in the printed material). Many felt that the meeting was nonetheless useful, but more for the informal networks and contacts that we made, rather than for the formal proceedings. This reflects the nature of the Internet and modern electronic communications, which was nicely and concisely described by Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the browser-based interface, the “World Wide Web,” now concomitant with the popular conception of the Internet. He portrayed the “essence” of the Web as “decentralized” and “fractal.” It was originally designed to fill a need to share information (“data”) that was different in nature, format, and style.

    [ For a much different conception of a global informational network, albeit one that has yet to be put into popular practice, see the Home Page of Ted Nelson, eds. ]

    At the end of the RSIS was a “Visionary Panel Discussion: Science and Governance.” Most of the panel members who discussed the future of the Internet used outdated and outmoded terminology and paradigms, and I think they missed some of the inherent anarchic and democratic aspects of the Internet. Many of us felt that the panel, with the exception of Berners-Lee, showed a lack of understanding of the Internet and the Web. Indeed, the character of the Internet and the Web in many ways reflect how human progress is made, whether we are discussing science or broader societal aspects. We take steps that wander up many blind alleys and false trails before hitting upon solutions to previously unsolved problems. The solutions are almost always imperfect and almost always later superseded by some better approach. It is necessarily unstructured and chaotic, as any creative activity will be. However, those involved directly, such as scientists, are often excluded from the decision-making processes, which tend to be dominated by politicians and bureaucrats who are in general sadly ignorant of science and its methods. I hope to expand on this theme in the report that follows. The issues raised are no less relevant and important a year on from the meeting. The most exciting and innovative projects described during the meeting emphasised the lack of centralized control over the Internet and the Web, and that such control is nearly impossible. We cannot control what people do with the Internet; instead the main issue should be about showing people how to use the Internet effectively and sceptically.

    The structure of this report is simple. It follows the structure of the meeting, which was built around the central RSIS “themes”: education; economic development; environment; health; and enabling technologies. I summarise some of the main points and observations from each session, highlighting those talks, presentations and sessions that seem to have best captured the atmosphere of the RSIS and future of the Information Society.

    OPENING PLENARY SESSION - “SETTING THE SCENE”

    The opening plenary session comprised a series of presentations that ranged widely across the IS spectrum. Adolf Ogi, Special Advisor on WSIS to the Swiss Federal Council, officially welcomed the RSIS participants on behalf of Switzerland, the host country, and challenged the participants to promote “science for all, without boundaries.” He touched on the issues of control of technology and the role of infrastructure, and the costs associated with both. When we say “costs”, we mean both the cost to society as a whole and the cost to the individual. This becomes, then, a major concern in developing countries where personal monetary wealth is limited, and thus access to modern computing tools is limited.

    Two speakers put the Role of Science in the context of the World Summit on the Information Society. Adama Samassékou, President of the WSIS Preparation Committee, addressed the gulf between the “haves” and the “have-nots,” using the now common phrase “the digital divide.” However, Samassékou went beyond these almost clichéd terms and viewpoints to discuss the traditional forms of knowledge, and how in the IS world oral traditions, and the information they transmit, are being lost, largely because we have not had a means to incorporate them into the technology of the IS. He emphasised the goal of a lack of boundaries for the sharing of information, and the need to promote the IS within an ethical framework. In this framework, he included environmental ethics. This theme arose again in the special session on the Environment in the IS.

    Yoshia Utsumi, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union, emphasised accessibility of IS, but his emphasis was on scientific access. This was perhaps a reflection of the audience, but was then limited in its scope, especially when considered in the light of some of the presentations that came later in the day. He noted the lack of scientific funding in the developing world, and the “problems” in science policy. My opinion is that “gap” may have been a more appropriate word, because few countries, developing or otherwise, have clear policies for the sharing of information, scientific or otherwise. Many that do have such policies, such as the U.S.A., obstruct information sharing for reasons of “security,” even though open access to data and information is often the best defence. However, as Utsumi noted, this was a beginning of the process of discussion and policy formulation.

    After the two RSIS context speakers, we listened to three “keynote” speakers, each of whom gave brief talks: Dr Nitin Desai, Special Advisor to Kofi Annan on WSIS; HRH Princess Maha Chakro Sirindhom of Thailand; and Walter Erdelen, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences at UNESCO. These talks touched on issues of citizen-to-citizen communication and the “digital divide” (Desai), the lack of access to IT and concepts of sustainability in the IS (Sirindhom), and the environment (Erdelen).

    Dr Esther Dyson, the Founding Chair of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), was listed as speaking on “the promise of the Information Society and the role that science and technology have played.” ICANN is the organisation responsible for mediating domain names. They do not assign names, per se, but monitor the process and the circumstances. They have little power, but unfortunately are often seen, incorrectly, as responsible for the current morass over domain names. Dyson did not speak on the listed topic, but instead talked about the role of scientists themselves, rather than some monolithic “science,” in the future of the IS. She also emphasised that we cannot solve the problems of the Internet in a question and answer session.

    Finally, Ismail Serageldin, the Director-General of the Library of Alexandria, gave a PowerPoint presentation on the state of IT use at the Library. It is impossible to cover all of the material he (rapidly yet effectively) presented. The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is making use of IT in many ways, and to a large extent (their website is www.bibalex.org). Some of the problems and issues Serageldin identified for the RSIS were, to name a few:

    * effective and accessible publication and dissemination of information, specifically research and the results of research;
    * peer-review (or lack thereof for online publications);
    * copyright and “fair use” of online materials; and
    * Internet library loans.

    He discussed the rise of anti-science movements, particularly in the context of fundamentalist religious groups, and both here and in his talk he noted that these were not only Islamic but also Christian fundamentalist groups. Some approaches they used to try to counter such movements were:

    * the establishment of a BA science “supercourse”;
    * reaching children with “My Book”, which placed the child within the book designed and partly written by the child using online resources; and
    * the “Hole in the Wall” computer.

    This last approach was particularly interesting and revolutionary. The concept is to place a PC secured into a recess in a wall, using a transparent cover to allow visibility and access to the touch screen. Results showed that illiterate people, especially children and young adults, were learning to read by working their way through Internet connections. They would begin by using the symbols to guide their way, but would eventually learn to decipher at least in part the messages that accompanied those symbols.

    One unfortunate omission from the programme was the presentation by Tim Berners-Lee, who was delayed by a snowstorm in Boston, and did not arrive until half way through the second day of the symposium.

    “THE FUTURE: What the Scientific Information Society Can Offer”

    The next session was a bit of a misnomer. It was a mix of topics, ranging from GIS to technological access for urban and rural poor people to sociological aspects. The sociological paper was simply a written paper read aloud, with a singular lack of the use of any of the technology we had been discussing. The sociological presentation simply served to emphasise the growing gap between scientists and some social scientists, and made me uncomfortably aware of why the Sokal hoax had worked so well amongst the social science journals; the presentation was unnecessarily rife with jargon that obscures rather than informs.

    As an aside, for those unfamiliar with the Sokal hoax, Allan Sokal is a Professor of Physics at New York University who submitted a hoax article, “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity” to the journal Social Text. As the Skeptics Dictionary says (http://skepdic.com/sokal.html):

    The article was a hoax submitted, according to Sokal, to see “would a leading journal of cultural studies publish an article liberally salted with nonsense if (a) it sounded good and (b) it flattered the editors’ ideological preconceptions?” It would. Needless to say, the editors of Social Text were not pleased.

    What Sokal was attacking was the view amongst some social scientists that “physical reality” is a social construct, whereas the existence of an external “world” is an underlying premise in science. There is insufficient space to explore this issue adequately here, but the reader is referred to the many websites dealing with the Sokal “affair” (especially, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_Affair and http://www.drizzle.com/~jwalsh/sokal/), and Sokal’s own site ( http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/)

    [ Amato writes at length of the Sokal Affair in sokal text: another funny thing happened on the way to the forum; and it is discussed in Kilgore’s review of Technoscience and Cyberculture, and Ciccoricco’s Contour of a Contour, eds. ]

    In that session, nonetheless, were two presentations that stand out in my mind, those by Lida Brito, the Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Technology for Mozambique, and Onno Purbo, an engineer from Indonesia. Purbo talked about how to “Facilitate Fast and Self-Propelled Internet Access: Return to Society,” a presentation that was shifted from the second day into the first day’s programme. His presentation was, in many ways, a useful counterpoint to Serageldin’s, in particular the “Hole in the Wall” PC, noted above. Purbo obtains PC’s at low cost, usually sold cheaply or donated by large companies that are upgrading their computing systems. These PC’s are then made available in “classrooms” placed in poor urban and rural areas so that the local people can use the computers. They also learn to use the Internet. Purbo provides access by, as he put it, “stealing” open frequencies. He uses antennas ingeniously constructed from old tin cans; these are sufficient to provide the signal needed. He uses open source software, and emphasised that mass education is the key to providing a basic education to the broad populace.

    His presentation also served to emphasise that education is crucial for informed and useful access to the Internet. Too many people, of whatever socio-economic level, “surf” the Net without any thought about the “information” they are obtaining. The websites they access are often a source of disinformation and misinformation. However, this also serves to reinforce the democratic nature of the Internet. We cannot control how people use the Web, and the fact that there are hundreds of sites devoted to Elvis may or may not be a sad commentary on our society, but it nonetheless also serves to show us how uncontrollable the Internet is.

    I present the Elvis example, one noted at the meeting, not to denigrate the use of the Internet and the Web for such purposes. What it shows is that new technologies have become new instruments of entertainment, when the hope was that they would become self-directed teaching tools. My main point is that during many of the RSIS sessions, a number of our “elder statesmen” (and they were almost all male) talked about “control.” They seek to control access, information flow, and the development of the Internet. In this way, our “leaders” show their fundamental ignorance of this creature. I emphasise, again, Berners-Lee’s description of the Internet as a fractal and chaotic thing.

    Brito’s presentation was, in contrast, a passionate “wish” list of what she would like to do and see happen, both in Mozambique and beyond. Her list was focussed around the themes of wider literacy and ” relevant ” knowledge.

    The session ended with a panel discussion, ostensibly “Reflections on the Role of Science in the Information Society.” The participants each gave a short presentation, with a very brief period at the end for discussion. Most were much as expected, and a number were largely political in nature. One exception was Juergen Renn, of the Max Planck History of Science Institute and ECHO (European Cultural Heritage On-Line), who was concerned that the “core of cultural heritage is largely excluded from information technology” and noted how ECHO was formed to address this. He also briefly talked about the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. (The full declaration can be found at: www.zim.mpg.de/openaccess-berlin/berlindeclaration.html). While the goals of the declaration are laudable, a number of participants were concerned about the lack of copyright protection, citing cases where work done by researchers in developing countries was plagiarised by researchers in developed countries.

    So concluded the first day of the conference. A number of us noted a general lack of self-criticism in most of the presentations. There was a lot of vague language and abundant use of clichés, much “looking to the future” and long wish lists. The most exciting presentations, for me, were the ones that discussed concrete examples of taking IT to the broader populace, often in quite revolutionary ways, in all of the meanings of that phrase.

    PARALLEL SESSIONS

    I attended the session on “Contributions to Environment.” Other sessions were on Education, Economic Development, Health, and Enabling Technologies. All of these sessions had quite active online forums for discussion in the months leading up to the RSIS and WSIS symposiums, and the forums can be reviewed at the RSIS website. Most of us contributed to more than one online discussion group, but attended only one parallel session.

    In the Environment session, most of the presentations focussed on technical and management issues. David Williams of EUMETSAT talked about the Global Earth Observation Systems and Strategies, focussing on data management and the move toward an Integrated Global Observation Strategy (IGOS), which seeks a comprehensive integrated effort. Such a move needs a “shared strategy,” and involves the participation of the UN, international scientific and research programmes, space agencies, etc. They seek to develop a common approach to surface and satellite observations. The international weather observation and forecasting network is one successful example where a common strategy and approach has been developed. Williams had many interesting and pithy quotes: “The world is full of data and short on information” is probably my favourite.

    Patricio Bernal, of UNESCO and the IOC, talked about the Global Ocean Observation System (GOOS). There are regional GOOS “alliances.” New Zealand, where I am based, is a member of one such regional alliance. Bernal noted, however, that there needs to be an adaptation of international norms for data sharing to facilitate the further development of GOOS. This was a common theme that arose a number of times during the Environment parallel session, specifically, and the RSIS more generally. There are often conflicting protocols for sharing data and information and, as Williams’ quote illustrates, a set of data is not always usable information.

    Josef Arbacher of the ESA talked about Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES), a programme for monitoring of regional development, management of risk, and the guidance of crisis management and humanitarian aid. The ESA aims to have full capacity by 2012-2015. The EU will be spending 628 million euros in the 2004-2006 fiscal period, rising to 5005 million euros by the 2007-2015 period. Again, the issue of data sharing and accessibility arose, in addition to questions of data verification and transparency of the process.

    Stuart Marsh, of the British Geological Survey Remote Sensing Group, talked about Geohazards and the IS. He noted that citizens are the ultimate beneficiaries, and suggested that there are three main user groups of geohazards information: “responsible authorities”, scientists in monitoring and government agencies, and research scientists. They have different needs, e.g., baseline inventory of hazards, monitoring, rapid dissemination of information during a crisis, etc. He noted, as did the others in the session, the need for an integrated approach from surface to space, and the need for but difficulty in bringing together the different types of data. Again, this raised the issue of data management. Marsh’s presentation also highlighted, however, the gap in our knowledge about the scientific literacy of our public “authorities.” Those responsible may well be local or regional officials who are far removed from those who gather and use the data/information. These officials may have no understanding of the processes involved, and their concerns may in fact run counter to the actions that should be taken to avert a crisis. The current crisis in South Asia in the wake of the tsunami illustrates many of these concerns. An early warning system was not in place because of the cost (both for the infrastructure development and for ongoing support) and because of the lack of technical expertise to staff such an enterprise.

    This illustrates a major gap in the entire RSIS - there was little or no consideration of how we get technical information to the public officials and to the wider population. The entire issue of scientific literacy was glossed over, and instead most presenters focussed on those who were trained to use the data, when, as I noted earlier, most people are using the Internet in an undirected and uninformed way, so that they are unable or unwilling to distinguish “good” reliable information from poor quality “information” or even from reports that were consciously devised to misinform the “public.”

    After Marsh, Stuart Salter, who leads the Species Information Service (SIS) of the World Conservation Union (IUCN), gave probably the most thoughtful of the Environmental presentations. He discussed “appropriate technologies.” As an example to start off his talk, he mentioned an emergency in Belize where large volumes of vaccine were required, but which went bad because of a lack of refrigeration. Those providing the vaccine were unaware of such a lack; it never occurred to them that large parts of the world still lack refrigeration. He used this to highlight the problem when a network of scientists (who he described as “free spirited individuals”), give “information” that needs to be organised in a common format and then propagated up and out into the community. His premise was that complex ICT systems could allow a simple “front end” and often can be configured by users to suit their purposes. He noted the need to change the “paradigm” whereby scientists visit a country, do their research, then leave and publish the results, leaving no net results in the visited country. He emphasised the need for using scientists in regional networks, working in existing well-functioning scientific and conservation networks. Then the data are vertically integrated in a relational database, using a GIS format. This is the mode of operation used successfully by the SIS for decades. The data are controlled by the scientific community, and the quality of the data is overseen by Specialist Groups, of which there are 128 in the SIS. The data are continuously updated. The SIS has thus grown from existing networks, rather than imposed from outside, which explains why it has worked so well.

    Finally, Luigi Fusco of the ESA talked about “Emerging Technologies for Earth Observation and Environmental Applications.” He used as his example the wreck of the tanker “Prestige” off the northwest coast of Portugal and Spain. He noted that the satellite data were insufficient to be used alone, and that a wide range of technologies and their associated data, from surface through to satellite observations, needed to be integrated in a complex information management system. This theme of the need for integration of different types of data and information from a range of technologies and scales of observation arose again and again throughout the session.

    CLOSING SESSIONS

    The closing sessions were in two parts: a series of summaries of the thematic parallel sessions were presented, followed by a “panel discussion,” closing remarks from the Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and then the “Key Message” from the RSIS, presented by the Director-General of CERN. Given that the “Key Message” did not differ at all from the text circulated before the RSIS meeting, many of us wondered why we had spent two days talking about the various issues. We concluded that the greatest benefit may well arise from the creation of a network of individuals interested in the issues raised by the RSIS symposium.

    The session summaries raised some common themes and issues. One of the primary issues is the integration and sharing of data within complex structures, and the desire to get IT into rural and poor urban communities. The goal to fight illiteracy, generally, and scientific illiteracy, more specifically, is a major obstacle in the building of an Information Society, which requires the wider availability and use of IT, from tertiary institutions everywhere, not just in developing countries, to remote communities.

    Finally, the panel discussion amounted to little more than prepared statements from “elder statesmen” (men without exception, all elderly except for Tim Berners-Lee), and was perhaps symbolic of much of the meeting. Berners-Lee spoke for two minutes and encapsulated the essence of the Internet and the Information Society better and more succinctly than any other speaker. It is decentralized and “fractal” in its nature, and inherently uncontrollable and ungovernable. Yet so many of the politicians on the panel, for most were politicians, used outmoded and outdated paradigms and language in their politically motivated speeches. They kept talking about “governance” of the Internet and IT. I can only conclude that our political “leaders” have little or no idea about the Internet tiger they have by the tail. It is fundamentally an anarchic, often revolutionary creature, one that will refuse to be confined and controlled.


              Learn about Muay Thai        
    This article contains resources from

    Also known around the world as Thai boxing, Muay Thai is an ancient art of self defense that was created and tested in battle by the fearless warriors of ancient Thailand. Today, Muay Thai is used all around the world. The United States Navy SEALs, Thai military, and even the CIA takes full advantage of the devastating and bone crushing techniques this martial art offers.

    Unlike other martial arts, students of Thai don't earn belts for their skills and their progression. Instead, their skills are tested in the ring. Since Thai fighting first began, the only things that the fighters themselves are interested in are the championship belts which showcase their dominance in Muay Thai fighting.

    The skills that are taught with Muay Thai are far more dominant to other striking based martial arts. Muay Thai uses very little grappling, but focuses more on crushing kicks, punches, and bone shattering elbows. Students of Thai fighting can often take an opponent down with just one shot, often times breaking bones and sometimes even killing them with just one lethal kick or elbow.

    The reason why Muay Thai didn't utilize ground grappling or submission holds is because it was developed in ancient battlegrounds where there were always multiple attackers. These attackers were knowledgeable in sword fighting skills, which made the need for a dependable martial art more or less a necessity.

    Muay Thai used swords, spears, sticks, and hard strikes. In this type of environment, you didn't want the fight to go to the ground. The strikes and weapon movements needed be fast, hard, and very precise. With these types of conditions and the type of environment, Muay Thai needed be a very fast responsive martial art with an excellent weapons system.

    Even though grappling and submissions were planned for Muay Thai, the martial art became more of a ring sport before grappling could be implemented. With Thai originally being a martial art for striking purposes, a lot of martial artists have started using the techniques that have been proven time and time again with time boxing.

    Although there are other martial arts that put a lot of emphasis on striking, Muay Thai is quite different. The first area in which Muay Thai differs is the effective use of both elbows and knees. The elbows and knees that are used with most Thai techniques are feared all around the world by boxers and other stylists.

    Kicking and kneeing is the main objects in Muay Thai. In order to become efficient with kicking, the shins need to be conditioned - which can be quite painful. Once the Thai stylist has conditioned the nerves in his shins for impact, the shins can be used just like a club or a baseball bat. This is something you should really see for yourself in action - as the sound of the impact alone can send chills down your back.

    Through years of training and conditioning, Muay Thai fighters can become lethal and deadly weapons. A properly trained fighter can make deadly impact, meaning that his knees, shins, and elbows are quite possibly deadlier than a gun or other type of weapon. For this very reason - Muay Thai is one of the deadliest and most feared martial arts in the world.

    All in all, Muay Thai is a great martial art for defense and competition. Thai is one of the best martial arts in the world, proving it time and time again - in both ancient times and anytime it is used today.


              25.11.17 21:30 Uhr - Fürth - Jud - Stoner-Rock mit voller Energie und sozialkritischen Texten        
    Tickets erhältlich unter: http://www.frankentipps.de/veranstaltung214754-tickets

    Langsam rauscht der Dodge Omni über die staubige Straße in Richtung Los Angeles. Er kommt den langen Weg aus Richmond, Virginia. Die Insassen: Drei Musiker und erhebliche Mengen an Alkohol. Der Plan lautet: Lasst uns nach California ziehen. Es ist 1996, und wenn es nach Steve, Hoss und David geht, könnte heute so ziemlich alles passieren.Da kennen sich die drei Freunde fast von ihrer Geburt an, und doch dauert es über zwei Jahrzehnte, bis sie auf die Idee kommen, eine Band namens Jud zu gründen. Der erste Gig in Al’s Bar wird laut, beinahe melodisch, und deshalb sind sogar etwa zwölf Leute von der Bar rüber zum Set gekommen, angezogen vom wummernden Sound. Irgendwo soll es sogar noch ein Videotape von diesem Auftritt geben. Das ist der Anfang.
    Doch auf der Straße nach L.A. hat sich schon viel verändert. Steve Cordrey (Bass), Hoss Gadec (Schlagzeug) und David Judson Clemmons (Gitarre, Stimme) fühlen sich, als hätten sie schon eine Million Gigs hinter. Von Thailand bis New Mexico. Dabei lernen sie zu spielen, zu trinken und sich selbst nicht immer allzu ernst zu nehmen.
    Es vergeht erneut eine lange Zeit, bis Jud ein weiteres Album produzieren. Im November 2016 steht dann endlich "Generation Vulture" in den Regalen, das in Berlin aufgenommen wurde. Der Sänger schwärmt: "Ich denke, dass das neue Album auf eine Weise sehr futuristisch wirkt. Wir haben eben keine Computer-Instrumente, Samples oder diesen ganzen Elektro-Scheiß verwendet. Wir haben mit unseren Fingern und Händen gearbeitet." Die sieben Songs überzeugen mit straightem Rock, dynamischen Riffs und Anleihen aus dem Prog-Rock. Sogar die Multiinstrumentalistin Anne de Wolff von BAP hört man auf "Generation Vulture".
              The Afternoon Sound Alternative 12-15-2014 with Adam Taylor        
    Playlist:

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    Whitefield Brothers- Sem Yelesh - Beyond Addis Contemporary Jazz Funk Inspired By Ethiopian Sounds From The 70s
    JJ Cale- Cajun Moon - Country Funk Volume II 19671974
    Sly The Family Stone- Stand - Higher
    Lee Fields The Explorers- Aint It Funky Now - The Soul Fire Box Set
    Crow- Evil Woman - Mojo Presents Heavy Nuggets III
    Dubmatix- Shes In Love feat URoy Cornell Campbell - Rebel Massive
    Dubmatix- Give A Helping Hand feat The Mighty Diamonds - System Shakedown
    Batida- Ta Doce feat A F Diaphra - Batida
    Gary Clark Jr- Bright Lights Live - Gary Clark Jr Live
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    Machuca Cumbia- Staying Alive - The Afrosound Of Colombia Vol 2
    Toumani Diabat Sidiki Diabat- Bansang - Toumani Sidiki
    Seun Kuti Egypt 80- African Smoke - A Long Way To The Beginning
    Fema Kuti The FELA Band- Colonial Mentality Live At The New Afrika Shrine - Finding Fela Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
    Mbongeni Ngema- Lizobuya - Amandla
    Kris Kristofferson Gillian Welch David Rawlings- The Ballad Of Ira Hayes - Look Again To The Wind Johnny Cashs Bitter Tears Revisited
    Thao The Get Down Stay Down- Nobody Wants A Lonely Heart - Master Mix Red Hot Arthur Russell
    Bobby Bland- I Pity The Fool - Bowie Heard Them Here First
    Thepporn Petchubon- Pa Gun Tor - The Sound Of Siam Vol 2 Molam Luk Thung Isan From NorthEast Thailand 19701982
    The Flaming Lips- Lovely Rita feat Tegan And Sara Stardeath And White Dwarfs - With A Little Help From My Fwends
    Bossacucanova- Balana No Pode Parar - Six Degrees Of Brazil Vol 2
    tienne Daho Dominique A- En Surface En Duo - Le Pop 8
    Galactic- Out In The Street Feat Cyril And Ivan Neville - Carnivale Electricos
    Kasai Allstars- The Chiefs Enthronement Oyaye - Beware The Fetish Congotronics 5
    Dilated Peoples- Good As Gone - Directors Of Photography
    Adrian Younge Souls Of Mischief- There Is Only Now feat Snoop Dogg - There Is Only Now
    MC Frontalot- Shudders feat Kid Koala The Protomen - Question Bedtime
    ItchyO- Jaywalker - Burn The Navigator
    Sin Fang- Young Boys - Made In Iceland VII
    Justin Townes Earle- Single Mothers - Single Mothers
    Shakey Graves- Big Time Nashville Star feat Esm Patterson - And The War Came
    Nikki Lane- Sleep With A Stranger - All Or Nothin
    Sylvan Esso- Coffee - Sylvan Esso
    Jolie Holland- On And On - Wine Dark Sea


    playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/5/playlistDate/2014-12-15
              The Afternoon Sound Alternative 11-17-2014 with Adam Taylor        
    Playlist:

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    Goat- Talk To God - Commune
    Khun Narin- Sut Sanaen 2 - Khun Narins Electric Phin Band
    - Pa Gun Tor - The Sound Of Siam Vol 2 Molam Luk Thung Isan From NorthEast Thailand 19701982
    - Where Have All The Good Times Gone - Bowie Heard Them Here First
    The Budos Band- The Sticks - Burnt Offering
    Nostalgia 77 Prince Fatty- Seven Nation Army Dub feat Dennis Alcapone - In The Kingdom Of Dub
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    Jack White- That Black Bat Licorice - Lazaretto
    Flying Lotus- Coronus The Terminator - Youre Dead
    - Drop It - Beyond Addis Contemporary Jazz Funk Inspired By Ethiopian Sounds From The 70s
    Gary Clark Jr- Aint Messin Round Live - Gary Clark Jr Live
    Sly The Family Stone- Youre The One - Higher
    - Ave Cruz - Six Degrees Of Brazil Vol 2
    - Young Boys - Made In Iceland VII
    - Island Illingtons Silent Journey Remix - Psychedelic Planet
    The Black Keys- Weight Of Love - Turn Blue
    Mike Doughty- To See The Sun Come Down feat Jay Boogie Andrew Scrap Livingston - Stellar Motel
    MC Frontalot- Shudders feat Kid Koala The Protomen - Question Bedtime
    Dinosaur Jr- Start Choppin - Where You Been
    Massive Attack- Teardrop - Collected The Best Of Massive Attack
    - Zombie - Finding Fela Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
    Antibalas- Dirty Money - Antibalas
    Del And Dawg- Walkin The Dawg - Hardcore Bluegrass In The Dawg House
    Old Crow Medicine Show- 8 Dogs 8 Banjos - Remedy
    Gasoline Lollipops- Nashville - Death
    Snake Rattle Rattle Snake- The Breath And The Glow - Totem
    Shovels Rope- Coping Mechanism - Swimmin Time Deluxe Version
    Nikki Lane- Loves On Fire - All Or Nothin
    Nikki Lane- Sleep With A Stranger - All Or Nothin
    LCD Soundsystem- All My Friends - Sound Of Silver
    TuneYards- Water Fountain - Nikki Nack
    Dilated Peoples- Show Me The Way Feat Aloe Blacc - Directors Of Photography
    St Vincent- Severed Crossed Fingers - St Vincent
    - Im Goin Down - Dead Mans Town A Tribute To Born In The USA


    playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/5/playlistDate/2014-11-17
              The Afternoon Sound Alternative 11-03-2014 with Adam Taylor        
    Playlist:

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    The Widows Bane- Dont Be Afraid Its Only Death - Dont Be Afraid Its Only Death
    Dubmatix- Pull Up Selector ft EekAMouse Leroy Horsemouth Wallace - Rebel Massive
    EDJ- Lose It All All The Time - EDJ
    - Colonial Mentality Live At The New Afrika Shrine - Finding Fela Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
    Dilated Peoples- Good As Gone - Directors Of Photography
    - Im The Man - The Soul Fire Box Set
    Bostich Fussible- Motel Baja - Motel Baja
    - Origin Of Man - Beyond Addis Contemporary Jazz Funk Inspired By Ethiopian Sounds From The 70s
    Gary Clark Jr- When My Train Pulls In Live - Gary Clark Jr Live
    Ark Life- Let Your Heart Break - The Dream Of You Me
    Snake Rattle Rattle Snake- Like A Moth - Sineater
    Snake Rattle Rattle Snake- The Breath And The Glow - Totem
    Jack White- High Ball Stepper - Lazaretto
    Toumani Diabat Sidiki Diabat- Bansang - Toumani Sidiki
    Tim Easton- Troubled Times - Not Cool
    - Tulsa Turnaround - Country Funk Volume II 19671974
    Johnny Cash- Dont You Think Its Come Our Time with June Carter Cash - Out Among The Stars
    Johnny Cash- Baby Ride Easy with June Carter Cash - Out Among The Stars
    MC Frontalot- Shudders feat Kid Koala The Protomen - Question Bedtime
    TuneYards- Wait For A Minute - Nikki Nack
    - Nunca Mais DJ Patife Remix - Six Degrees Of Brazil Vol 2
    Justin Townes Earle- Worried Bout The Weather - Single Mothers
    St Vincent- Birth In Reverse - St Vincent
    - Pa Gun Tor - The Sound Of Siam Vol 2 Molam Luk Thung Isan From NorthEast Thailand 19701982
    Jolie Holland- Route 30 - Wine Dark Sea
    JD McPherson- Dimes For Nickles - Signs Signifiers
    Jason D Williams- Hillbillies And Holy Rollers - Hillbillies And Holy Rollers
    - A Quick One While Hes Away - I Saved Latin A Tribute To Wes Anderson
    The Flaming Lips- Lovely Rita feat Tegan And Sara Stardeath And White Dwarfs - With A Little Help From My Fwends
    Nikki Lane- Man Up - All Or Nothin
    Whiskey Blanket- Pound Boom - No Object


    playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/5/playlistDate/2014-11-03
              The Afternoon Sound Alternative 10-06-2014 with Adam Taylor        
    Playlist:

    Gary Clark Jr- Third Stone From The Sun If You Love Me Like You Say Live - Gary Clark Jr Live
    - Origin Of Man - Beyond Addis Contemporary Jazz Funk Inspired By Ethiopian Sounds From The 70s
    Eddie Cotton- Here I Come - Here I Come
    Greensky Bluegrass- Worried About The Weather - If Sorrows Swim
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    Tim Easton- Lickety Split - Not Cool
    - Pa Gun Tor Lets Break Up - The Sound Of Siam Vol 2 Molam Luk Thung Isan From NorthEast Thailand 19701982
    Hippie Sabotage- Sunny - The Sunny Album Deluxe Edition
    Toumani Diabat Sidiki Diabat- Bansang - Toumani Sidiki
    Dubmatix- Pull Up Selector ft EekAMouse Leroy Horsemouth Wallace - Rebel Massive
    Kasai Allstars- The Chiefs Enthronement Oyaye - Beware The Fetish Congotronics 5
    William Oneyabor- Heaven And Hell Javelin Remix - What Willieam Oneyabor Remixed
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    Jack White- Just One Drink - Lazaretto
    - Teacher Dont Teach Me Nonsense - Finding Fela Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
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    - Pay Day Give Away - Country Funk Volume II 19671974
    - Alkher Illa Doffor - Psychedelic Planet
    MC Frontalot- Shudders feat Kid Koala The Protomen - Question Bedtime
    - Young Boys - Made In Iceland VII
    Lay Low- Talking About The Weather - Talking About The Weather
    Hollie Cook- 99 - Twice
    - Nunca Mais DJ Patife Remix - Six Degrees Of Brazil Vol 2
    Danielle Ate The Sandwich- Letter To The President - Like A King
    Danielle Ate The Sandwich- What You Were - Like A King
    - Hound Dog - Dues Paid The Bluestime Story
    Adrian Younge Souls Of Mischief- There Is Only Now feat Snoop Dogg - There Is Only Now
    Dilated Peoples- Good As Gone - Directors Of Photography
    Seun Kuti Egypt 80- African Airways - A Long Way To The Beginning
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    Bahamas- Stronger Than That - Bahamas Is Afie
    Old Crow Medicine Show- 8 Dogs 8 Banjos - Remedy
    St Vincent- Digital Witness - St Vincent


    playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/5/playlistDate/2014-10-06
              The Afternoon Sound Alternative 09-15-2014 with Adam Taylor        
    Playlist:

    Conor Oberst- I Dont Want To Die in The Hospital - Conor Oberst
    Sly Robbie- Stormy - Underwater Dub
    Quantic- Magnetica - Magnetica
    Tycho- Awake - Awake
    Toumani Diabat Sidiki Diabat- Hamadoun Toure - Toumani Sidiki
    The Souljazz Orchestra- Agoya - Inner Fire
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    William Oneyabor- Heaven And Hell Javelin Remix - What Willieam Oneyabor Remixed
    - Bring Back The Love Shrift Mix - Six Degrees Of Brazil Vol 2
    Seun Kuti Egypt 80- African Airways - A Long Way To The Beginning
    Kasai Allstars- As They Walked Into The Forest On A Sunday They Encountered Apes Dressed As Humans - Beware The Fetish Congotronics 5
    Eddie Cotton- Here I Come - Here I Come
    - voicebreak -
    Courtney Barnett- Out Of The Woodwork - The Double EP A Sea Of Split Peas
    Compilation- La Muerte - The Original Sound Of Cumbia The History Of Colombian Cumbia Porro
    Compilation- Cumbia Del Puerto - The Original Sound Of Cumbia The History Of Colombian Cumbia Porro
    Casey James Prestwood The Burning Angels- Out Of Beer - Honky Tonk Bastard World
    Chatham County Line- The Traveler - Tightrope
    - Our Conversations - Made In Iceland VII
    - Losers Can Win - Made In Iceland VII
    - voicebreak -
    - Pay Day Give Away - Country Funk Volume II 19671974
    Amos Lee- Stranger - Mountains Of Sorrow Rivers Of Song Deluxe
    - Lets Break Up - The Sound Of Siam Vol 2 Molam Luk Thung Isan From NorthEast Thailand 19701982
    The Plates- Boom Boom Rockers - Punky Reggae
    Mungos Hi Fi Prince Fatty- Scrub A Dub Style Prince Fatty Mix feat Sugar Minott - Prince Fatty Versus Mungos HiFi
    Pretty Lights- Around The Block Datsik Remix feat Talib Kweli - A Color Map Of The Sun Remixes
    - voicebreak -
    Dilated Peoples- Show Me The Way Feat Aloe Blacc - Directors Of Photography
    Grieves- Astronauts feat Slug - Winter The Wolves
    Sylvan Esso- Coffee - Sylvan Esso
    Blockhead- Tricky Turtle - The Music Scene
    Jack White- Just One Drink - Lazaretto
    Buckwheat Zydeco- Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad - The Best Of Buckwheat ZydecoMillennium Collection
    - voicebreak -
    The Flaming Lips- Cant Get You Out Of My Head - Fight Test
    The National- Trophy Wife - Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers
    Weezer- Say It Aint So original Album Mix - Weezer
    Jolie Holland- On And On - Wine Dark Sea


    playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/5/playlistDate/2014-09-15
              The Afternoon Sound Alternative 08-27-2014 with Josh Gross        
    Playlist:

    Phox- Evil - Phox
    Rodrigo Y Gabriela- The Soundmaker - 9 Dead Alive
    - voicebreak -
    Trampled By Turtles- Alone - Stars Satellites
    The Goastt The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger- Moth To A Flame - Midnight Sun
    Gulp- Clean And Serene - Season Sun
    Tennis- Mean Streets - Small Sound EP
    The Yanks- The Trip To Boston Hanleys Tweed Fred Finns - Haymaker
    - voicebreak -
    Got A Girl- Close To You - I Love You But I Must Drive Off This Cliff Now
    Modern Rivals- Angel Bones - Cemetery Dares
    Lyla Foy- Feather Tongue - Mirrors The Sky
    Rufus Wainwright- Me And Liza - Vibrate The Best Of
    - voicebreak -
    Old Crow Medicine Show- 8 Dogs 8 Banjos - Remedy
    Temples- Sun Structures - Sun Structures
    Compilation- Rhythm Soul - Causes 1
    Courtney Barnett- Out Of The Woodwork - The Double EP A Sea Of Split Peas
    Robert Plant Alison Krauss- Your Long Journey - Raising Sand
    - voicebreak -
    Nickel Creek- Elephant In The Corn - A Dotted Line
    Midlake- The Old And The Young - Antiphon
    Thepporn Petchubon- Lets Break Up - The Sound Of Siam Vol 2 Molam Luk Thung Isan From NorthEast Thailand 19701982
    Moses Sumney- Title Of This Song - Beck Song Reader
    - voicebreak -
    Iron Wine- Someday The Waves - The Sea And The Rhythm
    The Devil Makes Three- Stranger - Im A Stranger Here
    The Books- I Didnt Know That - The Way Out
    Mirah- Goat Shepherd - Changing Light
    - Stutterbeat - Patrick Dethlefs Eye The Arrow Split EP
    Should- Everybody Knows - The Great Pretend
    Jack White- Just One Drink - Lazaretto
    The Acid- Tumbling Lights - Liminal
    Nathaniel Rateliff- Nothing To Show For - Falling Faster Than You Can Run
    - voicebreak -
    Grace Potter And The Nocturnals- Some Kind Of Ride - Nothing But The Water
    Los Rakas- Sueo Americano - El Negrito Dun Dun Ricardo
    The War On Drugs- The Haunting Idle - Lost In The Dream
    Sleepy Kitty- The Hoax - Projection Room
    - voicebreak -
    Quilt- Mary Mountain - Held In Splendor
    St Vincent- Digital Witness - St Vincent
    The Black Keys- 10 Lovers - Turn Blue


    playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/35/playlistDate/2014-08-27
              The Afternoon Sound Alternative 08-18-2014 with Adam Taylor        
    Playlist:

    - Keep On - Mojo Presents Heavy Nuggets III
    The Good The Bad And The Queen- Three Changes - The Good The Bad And The Queen
    Amos Lee- Tricksters Hucksters And Scamps - Mountains Of Sorrow Rivers Of Song Deluxe
    - Miam Maikan - Putumayo Presents Native America
    Seun Kuti Egypt 80- African Smoke - A Long Way To The Beginning
    Toumani Diabat Sidiki Diabat- Bansang - Toumani Sidiki
    - voicebreak -
    - California Women - Country Funk 19671974
    - Dont Let Me Down - Country Funk 19671974
    Kasai Allstars- As They Walked Into The Forest On A Sunday They Encountered Apes Dressed As Humans - Beware The Fetish Congotronics 5
    Luther Dickinson- Vandalize - Rock n Roll Blues
    Mungos Hi Fi Prince Fatty- Scrub A Dub Style Prince Fatty Mix feat Sugar Minott - Prince Fatty Versus Mungos HiFi
    - Pa Gun Tor - The Sound Of Siam Vol 2 Molam Luk Thung Isan From NorthEast Thailand 19701982
    - Bury The Heart In Vientiane - The Sound Of Siam Vol 2 Molam Luk Thung Isan From NorthEast Thailand 19701982
    Robert Cray Band- Nobodys Fault But Mine - In My Soul
    Neil Young- Down By The River Live At The Cellar Door - Live At The Cellar Door
    Chatham County Line- The Traveler - Tightrope
    Richard Buckner- Gauzy Dress In The Sun - Bloomed Remastered
    Courtney Barnett- Avant Gardener - The Double EP A Sea Of Split Peas
    Dave Alvin Phil Alvin- Key To The Highway - Common Ground Dave Alvin Phil Alvin Play And Sing The Songs Of Big Bill Broonzy
    - voicebreak -
    Shovels Rope- Coping Mechanism - Swimmin Time Deluxe Version
    - Hound Dog - Dues Paid The Bluestime Story
    - Im The Man - The Soul Fire Box Set
    TuneYards- Wait For A Minute - Nikki Nack
    Sylvan Esso- Coffee - Sylvan Esso
    Cornmeal- Swingtown - Summer Camp Music Festival
    William Onyeabor- Body And Soul Scientist Remix - What
    Beck- I Just Started Hating Some People Today - I Just Started Hating Some People Today Single
    - voicebreak -
    Jolie Holland- Route 30 - Wine Dark Sea
    Jack White- Just One Drink - Lazaretto
    The Black Keys- Gotta Get Away - Turn Blue
    - voicebreak -
    Nikki Lane- Sleep With A Stranger - All Or Nothin
    The Plates- Boombox Vibin - Punky Reggae
    Nathaniel Rateliff- Nothing To Show For - Falling Faster Than You Can Run
    Ark Life- Rock Roll Take It Easy - The Dream Of You Me
    St Vincent- Severed Crossed Fingers - St Vincent


    playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/5/playlistDate/2014-08-18
              The Afternoon Sound Alternative 06-13-2014 with 99 & Barry        
    Playlist:

    Dave Pike Set- Mathar - Noisy Silence Gentle Noise
    Dengue Fever- Hold My Hips - In The Ley Lines
    Francis Bebey- La Condition Masculine - African Electronic Music 19751982
    - Cleopatra - Studio One Ska Fever
    Pelican Daughters- Subcutaneous Scrimshaw - Fishbones Wishbones
    Jonathan Coulton- When Im 25 Or 64 - Thing A Week One
    - Theme From The Monkees - Spy Magazine Presents Vol 3
    - voicebreak -
    Galactic- Wild Man - YaKaMay
    Fantasma- Ghost Town feat Manu Schaller On Theramin - Fantasma City
    Brunk- Puppeteer - A Simple Guide
    Oshiri Penpenz- Opium - The White Album
    Sublime Frequencies- Radio Excerpt Thailand - Leaf Music Drunks Distant Drums
    Elisabeth Waldo And Her Concert Orthestra- Ritual Of The Human Sacrifice - Rites Of The Pagan Mystic Realm Of The Ancient Americas
    Geese- Tundra Bean - Ep
    Desi Arnaz And His Orchestra- Tabu - Babalu
    Ennio Morricone- Ricreazione Divertita - Crime And Dissonance
    - voicebreak -
    TuneYards- Time Of Dark - Nikki Nack
    Mr Scruff- Render Me feat Denis Jones - Friendly Bacteria
    DJ Spooky- Duality - The Secret Song
    Raya Brass Band- Cell Phone Song Sajzerski oek - Dancing On Roses Dancing On Cinders
    Ibibio Sound Machine- The Tortoise - Ibibio Sound Machine
    Various Artists- Arai Arai Kor Disco - Thai Funk Zudrangma Vol1
    - voicebreak -
    Medeski Martin Wood Nels Cline- Los Blank - Woodstock Sessions Vol 2
    John Cage Langham Research Centre- Imaginary Landscape No 5 - Cage Early Electronic Tape Music
    Matmos- Lipostudio And So On - A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure
    Juicy Panic- Im An Elephant - Otarie
    - voicebreak -
    Miles Davis- Maiysha - Agharta
    Syriana- The Road To Damascus - Real World
    Delia Debyshire- Falling - Inventions For Radio Dreams


    playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/65/playlistDate/2014-06-13
              Interview with Chiang Mai Based Digital Nomad Rob Cubbon        

    Rob Cubbon - Chiang Mai Thailand

    Please tell us about yourself?

    I’m originally from the UK. For many years, I was living in London doing really crappy jobs. Looking back, I find it hard to believe I did that for so long. It’s as if it happened to a different person.

    Tell us about your website?

    I set up my website way back in 2005. It’s the same one as I use now: robcubbon.com (I didn’t spend long thinking about the domain). I originally started blogging about the technical side of print design. As I grew more confident, I started writing articles about web design, WordPress, blogging (yeah, I blogged about blogging), getting clients, etc. These days I write about anything and everything that interests me – passive income, cryptocurrencies, lifestyle, location independence, personal development, entrepreneurship, etc.

    What do you do for work?

    This is a really difficult question for me. The answer I give depends on whom I’m talking to.

    I usually say I have an online business, but in reality, it is more complicated. I run a web and graphic design business where we provide services for clients (most of that is outsourced). I sell courses and e-books through my site and many platforms. …


              The Complete Guide to Finding Chiang Mai Apartments        

    Chiang Mai Apartment Guide

    One of the most popular requests I get from readers of JetSetCitizen is for apartment recommendations in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In most cities around the world, it’s difficult and expensive to find decent accommodations in trendy areas. Fortunately, Chiang Mai is not like most places. It’s, by far, one of the easiest and cheapest places to rent accommodations in the world. Even in the busy winter season, there are always apartments available. Although, you’ll have better choices if you can arrive before October. Here is my guide to renting a great apartment in Chiang Mai.

    Chiang Mai Apartments are Not What You Think

    If you haven’t been to Thailand before, I’m sure your idea of what it’s going to be like to rent an apartment here is going to be highly skewed. Your experiences renting apartments in your home country and most other travel destinations are nothing like what you’ll experience in Thailand.

    There are no income checks, no reference requirements, and few long-term lease requirements.  In many places, you can rent for as little as a day. Of course, the longer you rent, the better deal you will get.

    One of the most difficult things to imagine …


              Travel and Babies        

    Travelling with a Baby

    Our baby boy, JJ is 14 months old now and we’ve taken him to one of our favourite cities, Chiang Mai, Thailand. As you can imagine, my wife and I have a drastically different lifestyle than before having a child. We were definitely apprehensive about long haul flights with a baby, but so far everything about this trip has been great. Thailand loves babies, so we’re very grateful JJ has a chance to get so much attention from so many different people. Here is an update on how having a baby has changed our life and some of my thoughts on raising an international child.

    The Miracle of Childbirth

    After witnessing the birth of my child, I’m extremely happy that we chose to deliver the child in my home country of Canada. We’ve had great experiences with medical care in other countries, including the first prenatal visits in Budapest, but the quality of care in Canada was absolutely amazing. From what I saw, child birth can be a very violent and even dangerous experience, so it was great to have first class medical care. Having a full trauma team in the delivery room on a moment’s notice was very comforting …


              We’re Having a Baby!        

    We're having a baby!

    If you’re on my mailing list, you’ll already know that Motoko and I are having a baby. He’s only about six weeks away now. That will obviously bring some big changes. After 15 years of marriage, here are some of thoughts on our new lifestyle. I really like whether everything is going so far.

    I am Canadian

    We’ve decided to deliver the baby in Canada. Before and after the delivery we’ll need to have regular doctor visits and some stability in our lives.

    We were considering Hungary, Japan and Thailand, but Canada was the clear winner. Our first two checkups were with a great doctor in Budapest, but it made more sense to go to Calgary. My immediately family is all here and everyone speaks reasonably good English. 🙂

    We’ve tried medical services in about half a dozen countries, Canada is the best by far. All doctor visits are 100% covered by our free health care system and the quality and service are first rate.

    Many Canadians complain about the long wait times, but I’d suggest they try other countries to see just how good they have it. Winters can be long and cold, but Canada is a pretty amazing …


              How to Change the World – An Interview with Ben Randall of ‘The Human, Earth Project’        

    The Human, Earth Project

    Can one person make a meaningful difference in the world?  Ben Randall is an inspiring example of what’s possible in this time of great abundance. I first met Ben in Thailand last winter. He told me his story of how he saved some money and then quit his job to travel to SE Asia to search for a kidnapped friend and raise awareness for the tragedy of human trafficking.  Since that time, Ben and his cameraman Moreno Paulon have successfully crowdfunded $12,000 to complete production of a feature-length documentary film and managed to locate and meet the kidnapped girl (now an adult) in China. It’s easy to get caught up in the stress and busyness of our modern lifestyles, but  relative to the billions suffering in abject poverty around the world, are you doing the best you can do? Ben Randall definitely is.

    Enjoy the interview.

    What is ‘The Human, Earth Project’?

    ‘The Human, Earth Project’ has been a long, strange process of evolution towards the goal of finding and helping my friend M, who was kidnapped from Vietnam and sold as an unwilling teenaged bride in China.

    It has involved a nine-month, 37,000-kilometre journey to find 100 people I …


              Akankah FaceCash Membunuh Kartu Kredit?        

    TEMPO Interaktif, Jakarta - Sebuah perusahaan Silicon Valley telah menciptakan sistem pembayaran bernama FaceCash yang diharapkan suatu hari menggantikan kartu kredit.

    Pendiri perusahaan, Aaron Greenspan, lulusan Harvard yang tahun 2007 mengklaim bekas temannya, Mark Zuckerberf, telah mencuri karyanya saat Zuckerberg menciptakan Facebook. Tahun lalu Greenspan memenangkan gugatan terhadap Facebook dan Zuckerberg yang diajukan pada 2008.

    Greenspan, sekarang 27, memiliki tidak hanya kepintaran, tapi juga kebulatan tekad. Dia telah mengerjakan teknologi pembayaran ini selama 10 tahun, sejak dia mengelola teknologi akunting untuk bisnis keluarganya.

    Greenspan memperlihatkan FaceCash hari ini untuk VentureBeat, untuk mendemonstrasikan bagaimana dia dapat membayar makan siang di restoran Thailand di Palo Alto, California.

    Begini cara kerjanya: Anda dapat mengunduh aplikasi FaceCash di berbagai ponsel cerdas- dia akan tersedia di iPhone, Blackberry atau ponsel Android minggu depan. Ketika anda menulis informasi akun bank anda, nomor jaminan sosial, dan nomor SIM, dan mengunggah gambar anda. Cukup itu saja.

    Sekarang anda dapat menggunakan ponsel anda untuk berbagai transaksi baik di restoran atau toko - sepanjang mereka telah mengadopsi layanan itu. Untuk menerima pembayaran anda, toko cukup memindai kode FaceCash di ponsel anda, dan fambar anda akan muncul di layar komputer mereka - yang membantu mereka menghidari penipuan. Mereka kemudian menyetujui pembayaran anda. Sangat mudah.

    FaceCash adalah produk dari Think Computer, perusahaan yang didirikan Greenspan pada 1998. Perusahaan itu akan meluncurkan FaceCash di konferensi Asosiasi Pembayaran Elektronik akhir minggu ini.

    FaceCash mengesankan karena sistem pembayarannya dibangun seluruhnya dari bawah. Jika dia meluncurkannya, dia akan mengontrol sistem proses pembayaran itu, dan dapat menawarkan fitur pembayaran yang lebih murah dan efisien dari pada perusahaan lain.

    Jika dia melakukannya dengan benar, terdapat potensi besar. Pasar pembayaran mobile diperkirakan mencapai US$ 510 miliar pada 2012, menurut Edgar, Dunn and Company. Sebagian besar perusahaan baru gagal untuk memecahkan kode itu dan dan kembali melayani segmen kecil, seperti membantu pembayaran games mobile. Bahkan Paypal, perusahaan mobile yang telah mapan, belum mencapai kekuatan besar dalam pembayaran perorangan.

    Bagi FaceCash, mendapatkan pedagang yang mendaftar sistem ini adalah tantangan pertama. Pedagang harus membayar pemindai kode senilai US$ 30 dan harus memiliki komputer. Jika tidak ada dia dapat membelinya dari perusahaan Greenspan US$ 150.

    Bagaimanapun, pedagang dapat dengan cepat menutupinya, karena FaceCash hanya membebankan 1,5 persen dari semua transaksi. Nilai itu lebih murah daripada yang harus dibayar restoran ke perusahaan kartu kredit, setelah berbagai biaya, beban transaksi, dan pajak diperhitungankan. Jika sebuah restoran mencatat US$ 30 ribu per bulan, FaceCash akan membuat restoran itu menghemat sekitar US$ 450 per bulan.


              Changes: Volunteering Globally, Nationally and Locally        
    Volunteering is a gift. For the past year, I have been part of the CrisisCommons – Global Core Team as the co-lead of the Community Working Group. We grew the community from US, Canada, UK and New Zealand to other events and volunteers in Australia, France, Thailand, Belgium and others. I volunteered on efforts for ...
              Direct Talk - episode: 142        
    Cynthia Maung is a refugee physician from Myanmar who runs a free clinic for displaced people and migrant workers in Thailand. She believes ensuring healthcare for all will benefit society as a whole.
    Length: 
    00:12:00
    Rating: 
    Closed Caption: 
    CC
    Episode Source: 
    NHK

              Rex Tillerson Says Americans Shouldn't Worry About North Korea's Threats        
    U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok during a one-day visit to Thailand on Tuesday.

    WASHINGTON — He promised unpredictability and he's delivering. On an issue with the highest stakes imaginable, the life-and-death matter of a nuclear showdown, Donald Trump's team delivered mixed messages Wednesday, with some seeking to de-escalate the boss's language.

    Team Trump danced around questions such as: Was Trump serious when he vowed to unleash fire, fury, and power with unprecedented force in world history, as retaliation for North Korean threats? Was this a firm red line? Was this statement prepared in advance?

    A spokeswoman for his State Department even scolded reporters who pressed for more clarity: "I know you all want to obsess over statements and all of that and try to want to make a lot of noise," Heather Nauert said.

    Some reports said Trump's words were improvised and surprised his own aides. The New York Times and CNN said the sheet of paper Trump was glancing at while uttering his threat was not a statement on North Korea — but a fact sheet on the opioid crisis.

    USA-TRUMP/

    A spokeswoman for Trump had a more nuanced explanation.

    Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the message had been co-ordinated — to a certain extent. She said the president's chief of staff, Gen. John Kelly and the National Security Council, were aware of the tone he would take but: ''The words were his own.''

    The headline-grabbing statement caused some people, not just the news media, to snap to attention. It also prompted a spike in Google searches within the United States for, "How to survive a nuclear attack," which increased 100-fold from a day earlier.

    The words were his own.Sarah Huckabee Sanders

    What the president specifically threatened was retaliation in the event of "any more threats to the United States" — a stakes-escalating gambit, given that the trash-talking, nuke-chasing, Hermit Kingdom crosses this threshold on a near-daily basis.

    In fact, North Korea did it again immediately.

    Canadian delegation in North Korea

    North Korea quickly put the president's words to a test by threatening to attack the U.S. base on the island of Guam. A Canadian delegation happened to be at the epicentre of the drama Wednesday, securing the release of a pastor who had been jailed for more than two years in North Korea.

    Trump's secretary of state was on Guam during a refuelling layover and he delivered a soothing message to anyone back home alarmed by the sudden escalation in rhetoric.

    "I think Americans should sleep well at night," said Rex Tillerson, who spent an hour on the phone with the president after his attention-grabbing threat.

    ''Have no concerns about this particular rhetoric over the last few days. ... I think what the president was just reaffirming is the United States has the capability to fully defend itself from any attack and defend our allies and we will do so. So the American people should sleep well tonight."

    The secretary of defence also dialed down the warning level slightly.

    While he used stern language and his remarks were reported as threatening by U.S. media, the specific wording employed by Defence Secretary James Mattis was more circumscribed.

    While Trump spoke about retaliating against, "threats," Mattis hewed to the stricter term, "actions.'' Twice in a statement, he warned the North Koreans to avoid, ''actions,'' that would provoke a catastrophic response: ''(It) would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.''

    But not everyone downplayed the threat.

    NATO-AFGHANISTAN/

    One White House staffer, security aide Sebastian Gorka, compared the standoff to the Cuban Missile Crisis — that tense two-week period in 1962 when global superpowers reached the brink of mutual, mushroom-cloud annihilation.

    "During the Cuban missile crisis, we stood behind JFK,'' Gorka told Fox News.

    ''This is analogous to the Cuban missile crisis. We need to come together."

    Trump, meanwhile, had a more low-key day Wednesday.

    The president retweeted a story and video of himself delivering the threat; he tweeted a boast that he had modernized the U.S. nuclear arsenal, a years-long project that predated his presidency; and he took a shot against the top Senate Republican, amid an esalating feud within his party.

    For a president who would declare, during his campaign, that, ''We have to be unpredictable,'' on military matters, it was mission accomplished. But a staffer from the previous administrations was incredulous.

    Barack Obama aide Ben Rhodes said the North Korean regime will not be talked out of abandoning its nuclear program — which it views as a bargaining chip to ensure its survival.

    But with the help of international allies, and diplomacy, he said the U.S. could use current sanctions as leverage, offering some relief in exchange for controls on the nuclear program — as occurred in the controversial Iran deal.

    He said rash talk made it harder to build a diplomatic alliance. He also said this should be a wakeup call for Americans, who have yet to witness the Trump administration confront a real crisis.

    "We're talking about nuclear war," Rhodes told a podcast, Pod Save The World.

    "Is this really the informed judgment of his entire national-security team? Or is this something he just decided to pop off and say? ... We have to hope there is a more sober group of people in the Trump administration."

    Also on HuffPost:


              Performing in paradise — Ko Phangan, Thailand        
    Spark! Circus Thailand Tour
              Breathtaking bamboo building withstands earthquakes and boasts a zero-carbon footprint        
    Thailand’s eco-friendly Panyaden International School has added a stunning new sports hall to its campus that’s built entirely of bamboo and stays naturally cool year-round in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Designed by Chiangmai Life Construction, the Bamboo Sports Hall features a modern organic design that draws inspiration from the lotus flower. The large multipurpose facility was built to withstand local natural forces including high-speed winds and earthquakes, and boasts a zero-carbon footprint. Completed...
              A Book and a Cuppa: Buku Buku Kafe        
    image

    I love to read, and I set my 2017 reading goal at thirty books. I also like to eat and try out new places to chill, and my other goal is to NOT gain thirty pounds this year. Oh my! Not much knocks down relaxing with a good book while munching on your comfort food… so I think a bookstore or a small library within a cozy café is a pretty great idea.

    Buku Buku Kafe offers exactly that (and more!) and is one of the key players in this concept café bandwagon. They recently opened their second branch at SM Southmall, and I’ll tell now you why it’s definitely worth making a special trip for especially if you live in the North side of Manila like I do.

    image

    With its artsy, graffiti-filled industrial interiors, Buku Buku has a distinct appeal that’s both welcoming and curiosity-inducing. You just know that it’s a brainchild of creative people and you want to enter and take a peek of their minds. My favorite part of the place? They have hanging books as lighting fixture. To say I didn’t stare at it, looking for familiar titles, for quite a while is a lie.

    image

    Crispy Pulled Pork, Sisig Nachos, Triple Cooked Chicken Wings, and Buk Burger

    Onto the food guys! We were told that the Sisig Nachos (Php199/Php379) was their best-seller and it’s indeed really good especially for sharing with friends. You’ll never see Sisig or Nachos in the same way again! The Triple Cooked Chicken Wings (Php219) was never not going to be my favorite as I just love chicken anything. And above, its garlicky taste is just the way I like my wings.

    image

    Bagnet at Chicharon Bulaklak, Pad Thai, Pesto Bicolano, and Heap O’ Hotcakes

    I’m writing this at six in the morning and I’m craving all over again just thinking about the dishes… Am I allowed two favorites? Because the Bagnet at Chicharon Bulaklak (Php335) was surely a memorable one. The meat was good, the crunchy chicharon was likewise good but together? Sinfully delicious! Pad Thai (Php239) and Pesto Bicolano (Php225), though I only tried spoonfuls of each, are as authentic as the dishes from Thailand and Bicol should be.

    image

    A closer look at the book chandelier of my dreams.

    image

    Buku Buku Kafe also managed to stretch its café idea beyond food and books as it’s also home for local artists to showcase their crafts, like music gigs and art workshops. The second floor serves doubles as the stage – how cool! There is really a space for everyone here; to have a go at their yummy offerings, or to spend your lazy afternoon reading, or to even immerse yourself to something new, have you tried listening to speaking poetry? Visit their Facebook page for schedules.

    image

    I’m so returning here, alone or with my squad! Better yet, I hope they would open a place nearer. Pretty please?! Come say hi if you see me… except if you notice a very serious, into-the-book face, because you might ruin a literary moment.

    Just kidding. :)

    image

    BLOGLOVIN  |  FACEBOOK  |  TWITTER


              Beginning of a New Decade        

    Happy New Year!

    As the year ended, we could not help but once again remember God’s faithfulness. 2017 is the beginning of a new decade for us here in the mission field. We arrived in Thailand on the 6th of January 2006, with three luggages, meager support and three children, nobody thought (including ourselves) that we could even last for a couple of years.

    But here we are, with God’s care and provisions and with our friends’ love and sacrifices. We are ready to face another decade of ministry. We will continue serving God and helping people to find their freedom in Christ.

    In Thailand, they don’t celebrate Christmas or at least they do not know the real reason why Christians celebrate it. Although it is not considered as a holiday, the supermarkets and shopping malls are full of Christmas stuff on sale and Christmas songs filled the air. This is the time of the year when Thai people are open to listen to the true message of Christmas. This Christmas, the Lord had given us several opportunities to be in that situation-share the message.

    Christmas Activities

    We are thankful to God that the Tesaban 1 Municipal school asked us to sing carols and explain the meaning of Christmas at the school during their flag ceremony. We thought it was a great opportunity to involve our church in the activity. Our church’s youth joined us in the singing and our Pastor, Ajan Sunit shared the message.


    We also had the privilege to join several Christmas activities. First, we organized the New Life Creations Foundation Christmas Party. Second, we had the opportunity to be part of Pantamit Church’s Christmas outreach program in Baan Nana, one of the biggest children shelters in Mae Sai. Lastly, for three years now, we had been invited to be part of the Christmas program for the School for the Blind in Mae Sai. We are praying that our working relationship with the School of the Blind will grow deeper. We pray that we may be able to help through connecting them with people who have called to work with the blind.

    English Camp at Tesaban 1 

    Narlin is doing what she does well, organizing English camp at schools. Joey has to excuse himself to take the time to write this newsletter. She had been planning this English Camp (with YWAM-Madison Team) for more than a month when Teacher Jar (the head of the school English department) told us that two other teams from Univeristy in the US would join the activities. So instead of having 7 people from YWAM, we ended up with 18 volunteer teachers from the US.


    It is a big group, but by God’s grace we are on the last day of the English camp and as far as we can see, it was a success. We are once again, thankful to the Lord for giving us the opportunity to serve the children at the school. We also have helped the teachers and our good relationship with the school has grown stronger. All for the glory of God.

    Family Update

    We considered going home to the Philippines to celebrate Christmas with our family. But we thought it would be better if our children, Jared, Jillian and Reuven, would come to here to celebrate with us and also that they would be reconnected with their little brothers and sisters. Nuch came home from Chon Buri to join us. That was the first time in five years that we were reunited.



              Vision Realized        

    As we enter the final quarter of 2016, we see how God put into reality the ministry which three years ago was just a vision.  It was in 2013 when we first met Larry and talked about our common burden to rescue, protect and empower young women and children against the evil of human trafficking.

    We learned from an NGO called DEPDC that many exploited workers (mostly women) in Bangkok and South Thailand come from Northern Thailand. They are either illegally transport from neighboring countries of Myanmar and Laos or recruited through middlemen from very poor families in the tribal villages.

    We thank the Lord for this opportunity He has given to us to help these young women and children through New Life Creations Foundation. Our ultimate goal is for these young women and children to have a personal relationship with the Father through Jesus and experience the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

    Thank you Lord! This vision is now a reality.

    School Break

    The school will be closed for two weeks. The children will be staying in the house and either Narlin or Joey needs to stay at home to look after them.  When the children are in the school, we are shuffling our time to work for New Life Creations Foundation and Sak Saum Thailand.

    Thank you for your prayers and support for our ministry with the children.  Your continued prayers and financial support make it possible for us to take care of the children and send them to school. They are also active in the church and may soon be part of the worship team. The Lord is indeed faithful to provide for our needs.

    Please continue to help us pray for a new house. Our landlady advised us that anytime she calls, it means we have to leave the house within six months. We have been searching all over the town for a house suitable for the children.  We also started dreaming of buying our own property and build a house. Pray for provision for this specific need.

    New Life Creations/Sak Saum Thailand

    Our friend and  partner, Larry will be in the US for a couple of months hoping to raise more funds for New Life Creations Foundation and Sak Saum Thailand.  The registration of NLCF with the Thai government took a lot of financial resources. We desire to help younger women by providing them home and skills so that they can support themselves and live in dignity.

    We are thankful to the Lord for the Canadian team that visited us last month and shared our ministry in their church.  Their church raised and sent the fund for two industrial and one ordinary sewing machines. We are praying for individuals or churches who are willing to sponsor two more girls and for the rent of the girls’ home and sewing training center. Please help us to pray for this ministry to rescue, protect and empower young women against human trafficking.

    Moreover, we formally signed an MOU with Sak Saum Cambodia. They will allow us to make for them selected “approved” products and will help us to market them in the US. They made order for scarves, wallets and bags and surprisingly, the girls were up to the challenged and were able to fulfill the orders within three weeks. We pray and hope that through this partnership with Sak Saum we can sustain the salary for the girls and the rent for their home and sewing training center.


              Rainy days        

    It’s rainy season here in Thailand and aside from the humidity, we are loving it. It turns the mountains, fields and almost everything around us into a lively green. The air that had been heavily polluted is now refreshingly clean. The birds unceasingly singing beautiful notes. This reminds us once again of God’s love and faithfulness. He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call. His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. (Psalm 147:8-11) We are sharing with you the highlights of our ministry activities from the last month.

    NLC Foundation/Saksaum Thailand Facilities
    While we were in the Philippines, NLC/Saksaum Thailand leadership team found a suitable place for Saksaum’s training centre and girls’ home. An apartment at the front along the road is used as the Foundation office. The leadership team with Thae and prospective girls worked so hard to clean the place which was abandoned for more then five years. So when we came in the place looked clean and presentable. A team from Colorado came and helped paint the houses. At the moment, we are doing necessary works that are needed to be done. We are thankful to the Lord for this ministry, the leadership team, staff and now the two girls that are already undergoing sewing training. We are thankful for our leader, Larry, and for churches who are helping him with the needed fund.

    Joey has shingles
     A week after we arrived in Thailand, Joey was already complaining of pain and numbness on the left side of his body. He ignored the pain and just kept on working until rashes and blisters appeared. The pain became unbearable. Blisters also started appearing on his arms and face. (The doc said it is totally unrelated to shingles.) We wanted to go to Overbook Hospital but out truck broke down again. So we ended up going to a famous dermatologist here in Mae Sai. It entailed waiting for two hours. His patients are just too many. But he is really good. Joey has shingles, he needs some rest and strengthen his immune system. It may last for another week, but the worst is over. We thank the Lord for healing. We thank all those who are praying for us and our health.

    Thanksgiving Prayers
     Our last “quick update” was an appeal for help for Narlin’s hospitalisation and for our ministry vehicle. We usually don’t do this, however, we think that the money we have been saving must be used primarily for the children’s needs—food, clothing, education and shelter. So we are thankful for those who provide financial assistance for Narlin’s hospital fees. Thank you so much.

    We are also thankful for the opportunity of being part of the ministry of great needs here in Mae Sai. Saksaum Thailand already ha stwo girls in training but it will probably open officially open in 30th of July. Please continue to pray for NLC Foundation and Saksaum Thailand.

    We are thankful for Rocky, our truck. It has served us for five years already and is becoming old. We think it still has many years of usefulness. But this year, it has broken down more often than usual. We are praying for a new ministry vehicle and we believe that a van is more suitable for our present need. A friend sent us the seed money for the new vehicle. We are praying it will grow.

    We are thankful for the children. They have grown up to be responsible and disciplined. Although they still need constant supervision, they are growing up to be a good model to other children in the church and community. By God’s grace, we are hoping to take care of them until they finish their university.

    We are thankful that our work permit is already extended for another year. Our visa will expire on the 20th of July and its extension is based on the validity of our work permit. Please pray that the visa renewal will go smoothly this year. We are thankful for our children in the Philippines. They are taking their education seriously and for God’s guidance, protection and provision for them. We hope to see them again soon.

    Thanks again for your friendship and partnership in the ministry. Until the next update. God bless you.
              Fruitful New Year        

    Happy New Year! We are thankful to the Lord for his faithfulness for the year that passed and we look forward to another fruitful year to come. We pray that the Lord will give us the resources and opportunities to help young women and more children at risk. Most importantly, we are praying that Jesus will reveal more of himself to these people through these projects.

    This year, we are taking our New Life Garden (NLG) team verse (Jeremiah 29:11-12) as our family verse too.
    For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the Lord. ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope. When you call out to me and come to me in prayer, I will hear your prayers.

    We are sending this update from the Philippines. We are grateful for our friend, Leah, who (surprisingly) find ways for us to be home on new year to celebrate God’s faithfulness in our lives and in our church too. We are at the moment enjoying the remaining times of our stay here with our children.

    Thanks again for your continued support, love and prayers. We are sharing to you the ministry that we had last Christmas season.

    Christmas Activities

    When we came to Thailand ten years ago, we often heard people say that there is no Christmas celebration in the country. But I think that notion has already changed. The Thais are more aware of the commercialisation of Christmas rather than its spiritual meaning.

    For this reason, we believe that Christmas is a day when many Thais are open to the message of the gospel. Thai churches have their Christmas party that is open to all the people from the community in a effort to impart to the people the real meaning of Christmas.

    Hence, we, the NLG team carefully planned and held a party at Santhad Village on Christmas day. We gave gifts to those who attended and explained that Jesus is the greatest gift that a person can have in his life. The children also told the story of the birth of Jesus through a dramatic presentation of the nativity. The show was successful in getting the people’s full attention in learning the story of the birth of Jesus.

    We also participated in our church’s Christmas Party. Our children performed a traditional Thai dance and they did perform the same dance at a Christmas party in the School for the Blind Foundation.

    Another town event that we participated is the Ten Tribes of Mae Sai Festival. This event was totally a secular activity for businesses and organisations who put up their booth for selling their products and services. We put up a booth promoting the activities of the Network for Women and Children Protection, NLG, Rainbow Homes and other community and social projects that we are doing.

    2016 Opening Activities

    The year 2016 has begun and we believe that it is appropriate that we spend the first few days of the year with our children in the Philippines. We’ll be back in Thailand on the 15th of January.

    Please include in your prayers our activities this month. Upon arriving we will have a YWAM team from Wisconsin. This partnership has started five years ago and the traditions of the team taking care of the children to give us a weekend break has become a tradition. We are looking forward to it not because of the break but because we know that the children will have a wonderful time with people from across the seas.

    The team will do English teachings at schools in the village. We are also hoping that the village leader will be able to organise Conversational English teaching for adults. Please help us to pray for this ministry opportunity.

    In February, we will be joining the other NLG team members in a visit to a community project for young women that we will pattern our ministry with. The project is about training the young women with skills that they can use so that they can earn a decent income to save them from prostitution and other forms of exploitation.

    Thanksgiving Prayers

    Once again, we want to share many wonderful deeds that the Lord has done in our lives and the lives of our children.

    • We are thankful for God’s continuous provisions for the children’s schooling. The Lord has been using friends like you who are faithful in their contributions. Pray that we will be able to get Fluke this year.
    • We are thankful for his goodness to our own children in the Philippines. Jared passed the teacher’s board examination and Jillian will be graduating in May. Reuven just finished his first term with minimal difficulties. Please continue to pray for them. Their financial, spiritual and educational needs.
    • We are thankful for the opportunity to help more children. Also for the opportunity to work with NLG. We are envisioning to help more young women and perhaps the elderly too. We hope that as we minister to these people, Jesus will reveal more of himself to them.
    • We are thankful for the opportunity to preach and share the word of God. Thankful for the church that we can call our family in Thailand.
    • We are thankful for Narlin’s healing in the due time. We are thankful for friends who helped us with her hospitalisation and medication.
    • We are thankful for friends who continues to believe in us and the works we are doing to help children and share God’s LOVE. We are so blessed to have you as our partner. May God bless and keep you.

    In behalf of the children, we thank you for your love, prayers and generosity. Praying that God will bless you more and more.
              Network for Children and Women Under the Same Sky (NCWSS)        
    Ncwsa logo copy During our early years in Mae Sai, God clearly impressed upon us that we will be working with children and women. So it is only logical that we are now working together with NCWSS. We are hoping to do more projects through NCWSS. Below is the document describing the organization's activities and projects. NCWSS is an orgnization who woks to help the child and women in the provinces of Northern Thailand like Mae Sai, Mae Fa Luang, Chiang Kong, Chiang Saen, Mong, Lampang and other places. Many children and women became victims of abuse, exploitation and human trafficking. These problems are real but the community seems oblivious to the increasing realities of these evil deeds being committed against children and women. Therefore, different organisations and individuals who are genuinely concern to fight against these problems work together to protect the right and welfare of women and children. NCWSS goals are as follows:
    1. To provide accommodation and education for the homeless children.
    2. To assist in the care of the orphans.
    3. To help the children who are the victims of sexual abuse.
    4. To assist in protecting the children from human trafficking.
    5. To help women from abusive husbands.
    6. To assist women and children from labor and sex trafficking.
    7. To help women workers from exploitative employers.
    8. To increase knowledge of the communities to enable them to have a greater concern for being part of the solving problems.
    When there are several groups and organisations which have the same mission and vision, they can work together to achieve their goals. NCWSS has been established for the purpose of:
    1. Unite together to help and protect children and women’s right.
    2. Share information, problems and experiences for better solve the problems.
    3. Coordinate with the government, community organisations and individuals to achieve the goals.
    4. Educate and encourage community and individual to work together on solving these problems.
    The organization is registered with Ministry of Social Development and Human Security as Network for Children and Women Under the Same Sky as a public welfare organization by Legal Principle Section 82 of the Civil and Commercial LA. In September 15, 2008 and was awarded a certificate from The Association Registrar of the Chiang Rai Province. Main activities of the association:
    1. Annual meeting to update and revise policy for the members’ guidance.
    2. Organised seminars to educate and train the members how to extend assistance to the victims and to be more informed about the law and regulations.
    3. Help and assist the children and women who are in danger of becoming victims.
    4. Educate community, individual citizens and schools about the problems confronting the children and women in the society and how to acquire help to solve the problem.
    5. Encourage the citizen to have an active part in solving these social problems.
    6. Help the poor children by donating food, clothes, medicine, school supplies, finances for school fees, etc.

              Through the years        


    Happy New Year! It’s a bit late greeting but we missed the opportunity to do it because we skipped sending you our January Newsletter.  We thanked the Lord for your continued partnership through out the years. Nine years to be exact.

    We came to Mae Sai in January 2006 hence we are now on our ninth year here. This year, we were together in celebrating God’s faithfulness in our lives and ministries. We are grateful that Jared and Jillian were able to come to celebrate Christmas, New Year and the anniversary of our coming here in Thailand.

    Team Visits
    They came with a purpose to help the children at risk and we happen to have ten of those. Seven wonderful young ladies from YWAM DTS-Madison came to help us with the children and also with teaching English at the Municipal school. They stayed in our house for almost a week. We also took some time out to show them to few interesting places in Mae Sai. They came at the right time because we needed to go to the Philippine Embassy in Bangkok that weekend because Reuven had to take the Alternative Learning System Accreditation Equivalency (ALSAE) Test. We had people who looked after the children while we were away.

    We also met with a 32-people team from South Korea through our Pastor friend. They were doing mission exposure in Southeast Asian countries. We were grateful to them for taking the time to visit our place and for encouraging us. We were able to help them in our own small way to look for an overnight accommodation.

    We will also be working with YWAM Team from South Africa this month. Please pray for the school activities where these young people who will minister among the students of the municipal school.

    Children Update
    We thank the Lord for his provision for all the children’s school expenses. They are all doing good in the school. Being with them and seeing them 24/7 make us oblivious to the physical changes happening to them. We just noticed that their clothes are getting too small for them.  So we are again buying them new set of clothes and school uniforms.
    Our own children are doing well in their studies. But Narlin and I think they need somebody to be with them to help them keep the house tidy and prepare food for them. Jared will be graduating in May and Jillian will be in her third year. The fact that they are in the Philippines in college is a miracle of God’s provision.

    Reuven took this year ALSAE Test. If he passed, he will go straight to college in the Philippines. The test is specially difficult for him because the test is 90% in Tagalog. For someone who who live in Thailand for most of his life, written Tagalog is not easy to understand. Please pray that Reuven will pass the test this time.

    HT Related Projects
    Please continue to pray for us as we help our friend to start his ministry projects in Mae Sai that seeks to prevent young women from becoming victim of human trafficking (HT). We hope to find a place to rent to be used as vocational trainings centre (initially sewing for crafts like dresses and bags and maybe more courses later) and another place for shelter. Pray for our friend's health and pray for wisdom and provision.

    During our last meeting with the Network for Women and Children, someone brought out a pressing problem. We are told that the Thai Immigration Office deported several young women who are working illegally in Thailand. Although these girls are from Burma, they practically grew up here. They couldn’t speak Burmese and they don’t have any idea where their family are located. Allegedly, they ended up homeless and raped by the police.

    We are hoping to help provide solution to this problem by having people in the immigration office to look for the deported girls and provide them temporary shelter until such time they locate their family in Burma. This is a good opportunity to share God’s love to them.  Please for God’s guidance and provisions.

    Members of Network for Children and Women (NCW) sharing problem on human trafficking and sharing ideas on how to provide solutions.

    Thanksgiving
    • We thank the Lord for another year he has given to us. We are looking forward for a fruitful 2015.
    • We thank the Lord that our children from the Philippines were able to celebrate holidays with us.
    • We thank the Lord for friends who are faithfully supporting and praying for us. We pray that God will bless you always.
    • We thank the Lord for leading us to a local church where we can serve him.
    • We thank the Lord for the opportunity to serve with the international community (who need spiritual feeding too) in our once a month English worship.
    • We thank the Lord for the opportunity to teach English and the Word to the children and young people in the community. 
    • We know it's still early but please help us pray for our visa and work permit this year. We are grateful that we did not have major difficulties in extending our stay in Thailand.

              Be still and know        
    For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. (Romans 8:19-22)
    We are blessed to live in a place where the weather is friendly most of the time of the year. Just enough heat on summer, right amount of rain during the rainy season and comfortably cold during the winter. However, this blessing has been taken for granted by the people of Mae Sai. Waking up with a heavy downpour is normal but if it had lasted for three hours or more, we have a feeling that something unusual was about to happen. We seldom experience this kind of rain. We thought if the rain would continue for another thirty minutes, flooding was a sure thing. Thankfully the rain stopped but the flooding still happened. The water came with tons of mud in it.

    We were not directly affected but those who live beside the mountains had a difficult times. For the last three years, construction business is booming here in Mae Sai. Rice fields are being converted into subdivisions and these construction projects need tons of filling materials. Contractors are cutting the mountains like crazy to meet these needs. This is a disaster waiting to happen that may be triggered off by even hours of heavy downpour. We are praying that would be last heavy downpour this year and that the government will do something with the cut mountains. Once again, we thank you for your partnership in the gospel.

    We sincerely thank you for your untiring prayers which we feel every second of our life. His protection surrounds us his provision is constant.

      Flooding in Mae Sai

    Flood in mae sai

    NCWSS against human trafficking

    The Network for Women and Children Under the Same Sky (NCWSS) is determined to be more proactive in fighting human trafficking. Many NGOs have data to prove that Thailand is on the top tier of human trafficking activity. Mae Sai is considered as gateway for transporting people from poor country like Burma, Laos and Cambodia to the target market. Our last three meetings were very fruitful in laying out plans of actions we need to do as Christian leaders so that children and young women might be protected and prevented in becoming victims. Most of the network members are already involved in providing shelter for children, we thought of having projects that will give empowerment to children and young women to fight against the evil of human trafficking. Please pray for NCWSS members to be more supportive and pray for financial provisions to support some of the programs and activities we hope to implement in the future.

      NCWSS Members

    United Christians in Mae Sai

    It is safe to say that Joey and Narlin have a small part in the early years of the United Christian in Mae Sai. When the organization decided to go bigger to include all the churches in Mae Sai and neighbouring towns to become The United Christian Protestant in Mae Sai, we thought our participation was no longer needed. However, this month, the President invited us to attend the meeting for the election of new officers, I learned that we are considered as representative for Filipino workers in Mae Sai. We are thankful to the Lord for this opportunity of being a part of God’s bigger work here. United Christian Protestant Mae Sai

    More Prayer Requests

    We are praying to go home next month. We did not have plan to go home this year. But our children in the Philippines are facing personal difficulties Our children need our presence Please pray for God’s provision for our air fare. Please pray also for our children in the Philippines. Please pray for our health. Perhaps is a break out of “pink eyes”(conjunctivitis) here in Mae Sai and Tachilek. And at the moment, two of the children are infected already. We are doing our best not to spread it to everyone in the house. Moreover, Tina has fever and suffering from most probably a flu. Please pray for our health. Pray for that we can go home to the Philippines in October. Wehad no plan to go home this year. However, our children are experiencing difficulties back at home. We feel that our children need our presence at least for a month just to be with them and settle a personal problem. Please pray for God’s provision and for the safe travel. We are also asking you to pray for our children’s needs and difficulties.

      Fluke s Conjunctivitis Pray for our teaching and preaching ministry. More children are coming to us to learn English. We are thankful for this opportunity to bless the children and their parents too. In addition, we will be teaching young people to prepare them to university or church ministry. Also, Joey was requested to become a regular preacher at Pantamit Mae Sai Church. Please pray that God will use these opportunities that more people will come to know Jesus Christ.
              The Father Cares for Us        
    Red whiskered bulbul 2 EDIT The sweet songs of what seem like a hundred birds awaken us from our sleep every day. In fact, they sing the whole day, come rain or shine. A reminder to us that God’s faithfulness is new every morning. Jesus asks us to look at the carefree lifestyle of the birds to teach us not to worry about life’s necessities. God uses these little feathered creatures to tell us that we have a caring heavenly Father who looks after our needs.
    “I tell you not to worry about your life. Don’t worry about having something to eat, drink, or wear. Isn’t life more than food or clothing? Look at the birds in the sky! They don’t plant or harvest. They don’t even store grain in barns. Yet your Father in heaven takes care of them. Aren’t you worth more than birds?” - Matthew 6:25-26
    But to be honest, in our moments of weakness, we could not help but feel anxious. We worry about our own children who live away from us. Are they safe? Are they in the company of good people? Do we have the financial capability to see them through college? We worry about our children here. What would happen if for some reasons our visa is not renewed? Who will take care of them? Do we have enough funds to provide for their needs? But then we heard the birds sing, remember God's constant care and our friends whom he uses. All our worries are gone as soon as they came. Thanks again for your love and prayers. Our appreciation could be expressed in words.

    Nobody Saw It Coming

    The Mae Sai municipal school English drama team composed of five of our children that represent Mae Sai a drama competition won the third place. It was an English drama competition among municipal schools in Northern Thailand. Nobody in the school thought they had a chance but the children outdid themselves and and to everybody’s amazement was able to snatched the third prize. By virtue of their win, they will represent three teams that will represent Northern Thailand in a nation wide competition in Bangkok on first of August. The municipal and school officials, recognising that the team has the potential to win the first prize, are exerting extra effort to make the drama better. They allocate more funding to replace the hand drawn backdrop with the printed tarpaulin and the recycled plastic costumes with the real dresses. Narlin has been spending sleepless nights sewing dresses. She will also accompany the children to Bangkok. Please pray for their safe travel. The children are praying for another opportunity to win. Please help them in prayer. This is another to give glory to God through the lives of our children. Cinderella Casts
    DSCN0503

    We Can Call This Place Our Home

    Thank you for helping us in praying for the extension of our visa. We went to Chiang Mai immigration office on the 18th of July. The process was a bit different from last year. This time, we had an interview with the immigration officer and our photo was taken while they are receiving our payment for the visa fees. It makes you wonder why they are doing that. We were given the usual provisional period of one month and by 19th of August we expect that our visa will be extended to full one year. Thank you so much for praying for us about our visa and also for helping us financially. God has allowed us to stay in Thailand for another year and now we can really now call this place our home.

    When We Pray God Works

    At the moment, the cost of education of our children adopted and natural, here and in the Philippines is really overwhelming. But we are grateful to the Lord that we still have enough to pay our bills, eat good food and have transportation going and to and from school. Having said that, we are grateful to God for his faithful provisions. I was reminded again by Hudson Taylor's words: "God's work, done in God's way, will never lack God's supply." I believe God's supply does not refer only to crisp dollar bills, it may refer to people touched by God to become our friends and partners in the ministry. We are greatly blessed to have you. Pray for Jared and Jillian studies. God’s provision for their studies is nothing short of a miracle. Their monthly expenses can be considered a heavy burden for parents who have regular job and income. We neither have both but we have a great God who provides for everything that they need. DSCN2777 Pray for Reuven. We are hoping that he can take and pass the test for Alternative Learning System (ALS) this year. He needs reviewer so that he can properly prepare for the test. If he passed, he will qualify for college in the Philippines. He will be going home to be with Jared and Jillian maybe in the same university. Pray for Aipang, SamChing, Dina, Yekchai, Muey and the other members of the English Drama Team. They will go to Bangkok for the competition. They will be going with other teams from their school that will compete with dance and recycling contests. Narlin and the other school staff will go with them. Please pray for safe travel and that God will give them favour to win the English drama competition. Pray for Joey as he will take care of the seven other children who will be left behind for three days. Pray for the Network for Children and Women. Some of the members opted to disassociate themselves. Khun Ngaw, one of the founding members is now back and bright prospects are now possible under his leadership. Meetings with the members makes us realise that many children still need home and they asked us if we could take more. Unfortunately, we our house and resources are just enough for the children we have at the moment. Please pray for the network that God will use this to help minister to children and women needs help. NCWA Meeting Pray for our need to build a quarter for the boys. We are seeking God’s guidance regarding this need. We believe that if it is God’s will for us to have this building, will receive confirmation and funding. Please pray about this particular need. Please continue to pray for our teaching and preaching ministry. Through this community service to the children and young people, we are able to connect with other schools. Please pray for Joey's as he is regularly been asked to share the Word to Pantamit church. English Teaching 1
    English teaching
              225: Air Fresheners on Mount Olympus         
    The Olympus story continues to unfold. Getty gets a whiff of some pine scented lawsuit. And, the Thailand floods hinder production at Nikon, Sony, and more.
              Perjuangan Panjang dan Mahal Bangsa Indonesia Mencapai Persatuan dan Kesatuan        
    tadi Tentang Sumpah PEMUDA Sekarang saya share tentang Perjuangan bangsa Indonesia Dan Rencana pembangunan . . . . . . . . .


    Langsung aja


    Usaha bangsa Indonesia mencapai Persatuan Bangsa, Kesatuan Negara, dan Keutuhan Nusantara telah melewati jangka waktu yang sangat panjang. Setelah mengalami penjajahan Belanda selama lebih dari tiga abad, menjelang akhir abad ke 19 timbul kesadaran bahwa bangsa Indonesia yang bercerai berai dengan mudah dapat di adu-domba satu sama lain yang tidak memungkinkan tercapainya cita-cita untuk memerdekakan bangsa. Dengan lahirnya Boedi Oetomo tahun 1908, Kebangkitan Nasional Indonesia mulai bersemi, khususnya tentang pentingnya unsur pendidikan bagi usaha-usaha mencapai kemerdekaan, kemajuan dan kemakmuran. Kebangkitan Kebangsaan tersebut kemudian melahirkan Kesadaran Politik yang menghimpun segala kemampuan rakyat dan golongan melalui Partai Politik, baik yang bersifat keagamaan, nasionalisme, maupun sosialisme. Diperlukan waktu 20 tahun sejak munculnya rasa Kebangkitan Nasional 1908 untuk dapat melahirkan rasa Kesatuan Kebangsaan dalam Sumpah Pemuda tahun 1928 yang menyatakan tekad rakyat Indonesia untuk hidup sebagai Satu Bangsa, dalam Satu Tanah Air, dengan satu bahasa persatuan yaitu Bahasa Indonesia.

    Perjuangan politik Bangsa Indonesia yang dijiwai oleh Sumpah Pemuda 1928 tersebut memerlukan waktu 17 tahun lagi untuk mencapai Proklamasi Kemerdekaan yang pada dasarnya menegaskan bahwa bangsa Indonesia yang telah bangkit dan bersatu itu ingin dan bertekad untuk hidup dalam Satu Negara yaitu Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia yang di proklamasikan tahun 1945. NKRI 1945 itu ditopang dan dijiwai oleh semangat Pancasila, UUD 1945, Negara Kesatuan, prinsip Bhineka Tunggal Ika dengan semangat musyawarah dan mufakat disertai tradisi gotong royong. Diperlukan pula waktu lebih dari 4 tahun dalam perang kemerdekaan yang mengorbankan jiwa raga dan harta benda bangsa yang tidak sedikit untuk memperjuangkan pengakuan dunia internasional terhadap Negara Indonesia tersebut yang baru tercapai setelah Konferensi Meja Bundar di Denhaag tahun 1949, 40 tahun setelah kebangkitan bangsa 1908.
    NKRI yang lahir tahun 1945 itu pernah mengalami tantangan dari semangat federalis yang didalangi oleh kekuatan kolonial melalui Negara Republik Indonesia Serikat (RIS) yang umurnya tidak lebih dari setahun dan yang kemudian ditinggalkan oleh bangsa Indonesia karena dijiwai oleh kepentingan colonial yang menentang berdirinya NKRI.
    Dalam tahun 1950 Indonesia kembali kepada Negara Kesatuan. Tetapi dengan system pemerintahan yang bersifat parlementer. Sementara itu, Republik Indonesia mengalami pula pergantian-pergantian UUD antara lain melalui UUD RIS (1949-1950) dan UUD RI 1950 (1950-1959), dan kembali lagi ke UUD 1945 pada tahun 1959, yaitu 50 tahun sejak Kebangkitan Nasional 1908. Sejarah memperlihatkan bahwa Republik Indonesia dengan jiwa demokrasi parlementer sejak 1950 tidak mampu membawa kestabilan di dalam negeri. Pemerintah silih berganti dengan koalisi partai politik yang berubah-rubah, pertentangan ideologi tetap berlanjut disertai pertentangan­-pertentangan yang disebabkan oleh rasa keagamaan dan rasa kedaerahan yang berlebihan, sementara kekuatan asing tetap mengintai untuk melihat agar Indonesia tetap terpecah belah, sedangkan perjuangan mengembalikan Irian Barat (kini Papua) kepangkuan NKRI tetap mengalami kemacetan.
    Sementara itu, Indonesia mulai merasakan bahwa salah satu faktor dari sulitnya mengembangkan Persatuan Bangsa dan Kesatuan Negara tersebut adalah komposisi geografis Indonesia sebagai negara kepulauan yang diselingi oleh laut-laut yang luas. Pada mulanya, sesuai dengan ketentuan Hukum Internasional pada waktu itu dirumuskan oleh negara-negara kolonial, kedaulatan Indonesia di laut hanyalah sampai tiga mil laut dari pantai masing-masing pulau. Dengan demikian maka laut-laut antar pulau Indonesia dianggap sebagai laut bebas yang dapat dimanfaatkan oleh siapa saja dan negara mana saja, termasuk ruangnya dan kekayaan alamnya, dan dalam beberapa hal malah juga dimanfaatkan untuk mengadu-domba dan memisahkan bangsa Indonesia dari satu pulau kepulau lainnya demi untuk dapat menguasai bangsa Indonesia tersebut.
    Barulah dalam bulan Desember 1957 Pemerintah Indonesia menyadari dan mengumumkan bahwa Sumpah Pemuda 1928 yang menyatakan tekad bangsa Indonesia untuk hidup dalam Satu Tanah Air tersebut harus berarti bahwa laut-laut yang terletak antara pulau-pulau Indonesia tanpa memperhatikan lebarnya dan dalamnya haruslah di manfaatkan untuk memperkuat rasa satu Kebangsaan dan satu Kenegaraan Indonesia. Laut harus berfungsi sebagai pemersatu Bangsa dan Negara, bukan sebagai pemisah pulau dan pemecah belah Bangsa dan Negara.
    Deklarasi Nusantara Indonesia 1957 tersebut mendapat protes dan tantangan dari berbagai-bagai negara didunia. Deklarasi tersebut pada dasarnya menekankan bahwa satu kesatuan Tanah Air Indonesia itu haruslah terdiri dari Kesatuan Wilayah antara darat dengan laut, termasuk dasar laut dan tanah dibawahnya, udara diatas darat dan lautnya, serta seluruh kekayaan yang terdapat didalamnya.
    Diperlukan waktu 25 tahun bagi usaha-usaha diplomasi Indonesia untuk memperjuangkan agar konsepsi kesatuan Negara Nusantara/Kepulauan tersebut mendapat pengakuan dunia Internasional di dalam Konvensi Hukum Laut PBB 1982. Setelah itu diperlukan waktu 12 tahun lagi untuk membuat Konvensi Hukum Laut PBB 1982 tersebut berlaku secara Internasional dalam bulan November 1994.
    Kini, kita sedang merayakan 100 tahun Kebangkitan Nasional 1908 dan 80 tahun sejak Sumpah Pemuda untuk mencapai satu Kesatuan Bangsa, Tanah Air, dan Bahasa, 63 tahun sejak Proklamasi Kemerdekaan, dan 51 tahun sejak Deklarasi Nusantara 1957. Jika diingat mulai sejak perjuangan pahlawan bangsa sebelum 1908, mulai dari Teuku Umar di Aceh sampai ke Pattimura di Maluku, maka perjuangan bangsa yang sangat panjang untuk mencapai dan memperkokoh persatuan Bangsa, kesatuan Kenegaraan, dan kesatuan Kewilayahan tersebut merupakan 3 tiang utama Indonesia. Ketiga tiang utama inilah yang selalu mendapat tantangan dan grogotan, baik dari dalam negeri maupun dari luar negeri, baik di masa lalu maupun dewasa ini. Hal ini antara lain disebabkan oleh masih minimnya kesadaran bangsa terhadap peran laut sebagai pemersatu bangsa. Berbagai usaha meningkatkan kesatuan bangsa dan Negara melalui perhubungan darat, laut, udara dan telekomunikasi telah dilakukan dengan tingkat hasil-hasil yang berbeda. Dewasa ini usaha-usaha pemersatu bangsa dan perkembangan ekonomi mulai pula dibangun melalui jembatan dan terowongan-terowongan, malah bukan hanya dalam suatu Negara tetapi juga antar negara dan antar benua.
    Beberapa Negara di dunia sudah lama memulai proyek-proyek besar seperti ini demi untuk mempererat rasa persatuan bangsa dan negaranya, memperlancar perhubungan, pembangunan ekonomi, pemerintahan, pertahanan, dan lain-lain. Amerika Serikat sudah banyak membangun jembatan yang sangat panjang untuk mempermudah dan mengefisiensikan perekonomiannya. China baru selesai membangun jembatan terpanjang di dunia yang kabarnya lebih dari 40 KM. Denmark dan Swedia sudah lama membangun jembatan melalui selat strategis yang memisahkan kedua Negara tersebut. Turki sudah selesai membangun jembatan melintasi selat Bosporus yang memisahkan benua Eropa dengan benua Asia. Perancis dan Inggris telah membangun terowongan di bawah Selat Dover yang menghubungkan kedua Negara tersebut. Malah Vietnam pun baru saja selesai membangun jembatan yang sangat panjang dan tinggi di Halong Bay untuk mempercepat pembangunan ekonomi di utara Vietnam dan yang menghubungkan Hanoi melalui jalan raya ke China dan terus ke pantai timur dan pedalaman China. Sementara Suez Canal yang panjangnya ratusan kilometer telah digali untuk menghubungkan Laut Tengah dengan Laut Merah dan Samudera Hindia sejak abad 19 yang lalu. Di kawasan kita sudah lama ada cita-cita besar untuk membangun Kra Canal melalui Thailand Selatan untuk menghubungkan laut Andaman dengan teluk Siam dan laut Cina Selatan terus ke Jepang dan Asia Timur untuk menghadapi semakin padatnya selat Malaka dan selat Singapura. Malah akhir-akhir ini sudah pula terdengar suara-suara untuk membangun jembatan dan terowongan melintasi selat Malaka melalui pulau Rupat dan Malaka untuk menghubungkan Malaysia dengan Sumatera agar dengan demikian perokonomian Sumatera (dan Indonesia) dapat terkait erat dengan perkembangan ekonomi di Asia Tenggara dan China.
    Disinilah terletak arti strategis yang sangat penting dari Jembatan Selat Sunda. Pemerintah propinsi Lampung dan Banten sudah menandatangani kesepakatan untuk membangun jembatan tersebut. Berbagai-bagai segi teknis, ekonomis, hukum, dan lain-lainnya dewasa ini sedang giat dipelajari. Presiden SBY sendiri sudah memberikan dorongannya dan para Menteri terkait juga sudah mendukung rencana tersebut. Pembangunan JSS bukanlah hal yang gampang, murah ataupun mudah dilakukan dalam waktu sekejap mata. Pembangunan tersebut akan memakan waktu bertahun-tahun, dukungan modal yang sangat besar, serta ketekunan dari para anak bangsa untuk mendukung dan merealisirnya. Para pemuka bangsa sebelum 1908 dan sesudahnya mempunyai visi masa depan yang tangguh terhadap kesatuan bangsa, negara dan kewilayahan Indonesia, dan bersedia berjuang dan berkorban untuk tujuan-tujuan besar tersebut. Dalam rangka memperingati 100 tahun Kebangkitan Bangsa, 80 tahun Sumpah Pemuda, 63 tahun Kemerdekaan Indonesia, dan 51 tahun Deklarasi Djuanda, saya percaya bahwa bangsa Indonesia dan para pemimpinnya sekarang ini tidak kehilangan semangat juang, visi jangka panjang, berpikir besar, dan rasa berbakti, berjuang, dan berkorban untuk kepentingan satu bangsa, satu negara, dan satu tanah air, yaitu Indonesia. Pembangunan Jalan tol dalam kota Jakarta antara Cawang- Tanjung Priok, Jembatan Tiga sampai ke Grogol pada dasarnya adalah jembatan.
    Semoga bangsa Indonesia, khususnya generasi sekarang dan generasi yang akan datang tidak akan melupakan perjuangan bangsa yang panjang ini dan tidak kembali terpecah belah dalam semangat golongan dan kedaerahan yang sempit, yang dengan mudah akan dapat di manfaatkan oleh kepentingan-kepentingan yang tidak menginginkan Persatuan Bangsa, Kesatuan Negara dan Kesatuan Kewilayahan dalam NKRI.
              Strengthening the Right to Information for People and the Environment (STRIPE)        

    Rapid development has transformed many countries’ economies, but with this growth comes hazardous pollution. Globally, 80% of wastewater contaminated by toxic sludge, industrial chemicals and other pollutants flows untreated into the water that poor communities rely on for everything from their drinking water to their livelihoods. Many of these same communities also suffer from dangerously high air pollution. Each year, 6.5 million people die from causes directly related to air pollution.

    A lack of information is a key part of the problem. Despite the passage of Freedom of Information (FOI) laws around the world, people still don’t know if their water is safe to drink or if their air is too dirty to breathe. Worldwide, 80% of countries do not publicly report the amount of pollution that companies discharge. Without this information, local communities cannot voice their concerns, participate in decision-making or hold powerful interests to account.

    Strengthening the Right to Information for People and the Environment (STRIPE) helps communities improve their environment and health by exercising their right to access information and participate in environmental decision-making. Working with civil society organizations and local communities, STRIPE:

    • Assesses countries’ transparency, participation and environmental laws
    • Evaluates what environmental information is available to the public and the barriers communities face in accessing this information
    • Works with community members to use FOI laws to request information from governments and tracks the results—how many requests were granted? How many were appealed? Was the information given complete? How much time did officials take to respond?
    • Analyzes findings to inform local advocacy campaigns that urge governments to improve transparency and proactively release environmental information
    • Build community members’ capacity to advocate for pollution prevention and restoration

    STRIPE is one of The Access Initiative’s (TAI) projects. TAI is the largest civil society network in the world dedicated to ensuring that citizens have the right and ability to influence decisions about the natural resources that sustain their communities. Subscribe to our newsletter, and follow us on Twitter @TAIGlobal to learn more. 

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              RELEASE: 1.2 Billion People Living in Cities Lack Access to Affordable and Secure Housing        

    RELEASE: 1.2 Billion People Living in Cities Lack Access to Affordable and Secure Housing

    WASHINGTON (July 12, 2017) — According to a new report from World Resources Institute Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, 330 million households in cities around the world, equivalent to 1.2 billion people, do not have access to affordable and secure housing. Without immediate action, the problem will become even more critical, as this housing gap is projected to grow by 30 percent to 1.6 billion people by 2025.

    “Cities are the engines of economic growth and policymakers need help prioritizing solutions,” said Ani Dasgupta, Global Director of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. “Supporting affordable housing is one of the best ways to help fast-growing cities in the global south run smoother and provide benefits to all residents.

    “Two and half billion additional people will be living in urban areas worldwide by 2050, with Asia and Africa seeing nearly 90 percent of this growth. The housing gap has a human cost and is a major drag on the economy and the environment. We need to take immediate action to avoid creating cities that are less productive, less efficient and less inclusive—something that would truly impact everyone.”

    The latest installment of WRI’s flagship World Resources Report “Towards a More Equitable City,” which examines whether prioritizing access to core urban services for the underserved will create cities that are prosperous and sustainable for all people, emphasizes housing as one such critical core need.

    “Housing is often seen as falling into discrete categories such as public or private, formal or informal,” said Robin King, lead author and WRI Ross Center Director of Knowledge Capture and Collaboration. “But we view housing options on a spectrum that combines different elements of ownership, space, services and finance. In some cases, land may be public while the dwellings on it are private. This spectrum allows a more nuanced analysis of the reality of housing markets in the global south and consideration of a wider range of possibilities.”

    “The paper is coming out at a very important time, when the discussion about affordability, adequacy and issues of secure tenure have become very critical in global cities of the south,” said Sheela Patel, founding member and Chairperson of Slum/Shack Dwellers International. “Cities produce aspirations. If you don’t fulfill those aspirations, which start with safe neighborhoods, a good environment, a good education—these are all settlement and neighborhood related amenities and services—you produce discontent.”

    The study focuses on three actionable approaches city officials can use to address the housing crisis, while highlighting specific examples from around the world:

    1. Participatory approaches to improving housing without relocating residents to the urban periphery (_in situ_upgrading) Demand for housing has outstripped supply, leading to a proliferation of informal and substandard settlements. “Slum-free cities” is often code for displacement of people to the periphery. Finding ways to accommodate people where they are, rather than displacing them to far corners of a city, taps into community knowledge and energy while retaining links to existing social and livelihood networks. This approach is harmful to the city at large. An example of success: Thailand’s Baan Mankong program directs government infrastructure subsidies, soft housing and land loans to poor communities who then negotiate with land owners for formal tenure and use the funds to upgrade their housing. By 2016, 1,903 poor communities in 345 cities had been fully upgraded under the program; 101,224 poor families had secure land decent houses and healthy living environments.
    2. Expand rental markets for people across all income levels. Home ownership is over-emphasized in urban development, which hurts those who lack the resources to buy a home and those who need flexibility such as those working in the informal sector. Expanded rental markets for people of all income levels, with legal protection for landlords and renters, can help meet the housing needs of the urban poor while maintaining flexibility and encouraging market-driven development. Gauteng Province, South Africa, which includes Johannesburg, tackled a housing shortage of 687,000 units by making it legal to rent out formally illegal informal backyard apartments. This made it easier for low-income people to find places to live and encouraged development of services without government subsidies.
    3. Convert under-utilized, centrally located urban land into affordable housing in cities. Policies that drive the poor to the periphery leaves prime locations under-utilized or totally unused, even as new residents seeking housing come into the city. Political will to address housing needs is critical. By converting this land, especially publicly held land, into affordable housing, cities can avoid sprawl, take advantage of existing resources, and spur economic growth. In Cochabamba, Bolivia, 420 families live in the María Auxiliadora Community on land purchased and held in trust as community-owned property, an approach commonly referred to as a Community Land Trust. Its unique governance structure rotates leadership among women in two-year terms, rejects men who engage in domestic violence and provides community-managed support to families. The land cannot be sold for profit, which keeps the housing affordable.

    “These solutions will help urban policymakers in fast-growing cities meet the demand for housing while encouraging economic development and cleaner, safer environments,” said King. “Closing the housing gap by providing access to affordable, adequate and secure housing will benefit everyone, not just the poor and underserved, as cities become more productive, environmentally sustainable, and truly places for all.”

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              Confronting the Urban Housing Gap        

    Confronting the Urban Housing Gap

    More than 1.2 billion city dwellers―one of every three people living in urban areas―lack access to affordable and secure housing. This housing gap is a major drag on the economy and the environment. The impact is severe in Asia and Africa, where 2.25 billion people are expected to be added to urban populations between now and 2050. If business continues as usual, slums will grow across the developing world, exacerbating inequality and threatening cities’ traditional role as drivers of economic growth.

    The latest working paper of WRI’s flagship World Resources Report (WRR), “Towards a More Equal City,” draws on the knowledge of dozens of urban experts to examine whether meeting the needs of the urban underserved can improve the economy and environment.

    Sheela Patel on “Confronting the Urban Housing Crisis in the Global South: Adequate, Secure and Affordable Housing.”


    Housing is often seen as falling into discrete categories such as public or private, formal or informal, individual or collective. Instead, we view housing options on a spectrum that combines different elements of ownership, space, services and finance. In some cases, land may be public while the dwellings on it are private. This spectrum allows a more nuanced analysis of the reality of housing markets in the global south and consideration of a wider range of possibilities.

    While many challenges emerged, we focused on three that city officials can act upon and scale up.

    Issue 1: The Growth of Informal or Substandard Settlements

    As demand for housing has outstripped supply, informal and substandard settlements have proliferated. Since 1990, even as the proportion of global urban populations living in slums has declined, there has been an increase in the absolute number of people living in these areas.

    Solution: Find ways to accommodate people where they are

    While some call for “slum-free” cities, this is often code for displacement of people to the edge of town, which disrupts labor markets, social networks and lives and harms the city at large. Instead we suggest finding ways to upgrade existing slum areas, tapping into community knowledge and energy while retaining links to social and livelihood networks. This option is best for cities with large slum populations, except in locations with environmental or geographic risks.

    An example is Thailand’s Baan Mankong program, which directs government infrastructure subsidies, soft housing and land loans to poor communities who then negotiate with land owners for formal tenure and use the funds to upgrade their housing. By 2016, 101,224 poor families in 345 cities had been fully upgraded under the program with secure land, decent houses and healthy living environments.

    Issue 2: Overemphasis on Ownership

    Home ownership is over-emphasized in urban development, which hurts those who lack the resources to buy a home or who need flexibility. People who work in the informal economy are particularly affected. Subsidies meant to encourage home ownership are geared to those with regular, documented incomes, not those who work in activities like recycling, domestic help and construction that do not produce a paper trail in many parts of the world. Moreover, rentals are often not available to the urban poor, or are subject to great uncertainty about rights and responsibilities for both landlords and renters, with unclear processes for dispute resolution.

    Solution: Expand rental markets for people of all income levels

    Establishing legal protection for landlords and renters, while acknowledging informal sector activity, can help meet the housing needs of the urban poor while maintaining flexibility and encouraging market-driven development. This includes non-standard payment patterns and cooperative housing where tenants collectively purchase land and rent small plots within it. Vibrant rental markets foster a fluid labor market, a necessary prerequisite for economic prosperity in any city.

    For example, authorities in Gauteng Province, South Africa, which includes Johannesburg, tackled a housing shortage of 687,000 units by making it legal to rent out formerly illegal informal backyard apartments. This made it easier for low-income people to find places to live and encouraged development of services without government subsidies.

    Issue 3: Policies That Drive the Poor to the Periphery

    In many cities, land is often tangled up in legal disputes, leaving it under-utilized or unused, even as new residents seek housing in the city. Building and land use regulations often impose costs and limit creative use of incremental improvements and innovative land management tools.

    Solution: Convert under-utilized land, especially publicly held land, into affordable housing

    Political will to address housing needs is critical. Rather than encouraging sprawl, existing urban land should be used for housing. City officials and real estate developers should revise rules and building standards to expand the availability of housing on under-used land.

    For instance, in Cochabamba, Bolivia, 420 families live in the María Auxiliadora community land trust on land purchased and held in trust as community-owned property. The community’s unique governance structure rotates leadership among women in two-year terms, rejects men who engage in domestic violence and provides support to families. The land cannot be sold for profit, which keeps the housing affordable.

    These solutions will help urban policymakers in fast-growing cities meet the demand for housing while encouraging economic development and cleaner, safer environments. Closing the housing gap by providing access to affordable, adequate and secure housing will benefit everyone, not just the poor and underserved, as cities become more productive, environmentally sustainable and truly places for all.


              Faith and Dalmatians: How I Learned to Believe God        

    Faith and Dalmations: How I Learned to Believe God

    It seemed every kid in our neighborhood had a dog. Every kid except me. I asked my parents on several occasions if I might have a dog too. They wisely explained that a pet meant responsibility, and they felt I needed to be at least ten years old before I would be ready for one. I was nine.

    In the meantime, my mom encouraged me to research various dog breeds so I would be able to make an informed choice when the time came. It didn’t take me long to decide. I wanted a Dalmatian. Other kids had labs or terriers or common breeds. But I would have something special: a dog I had previously thought was reserved only for firefighters.

    Unfortunately, Dalmatian puppies were expensive—a purebred cost around $400 at the time. Mom warned me that $400 was a lot of money, most likely more than our family could pay. This apparent obstacle set the stage for one of the most important lessons I have ever learned: how to ask God for something and then trust his guidance in the answer.

    Like all kids, I had a dream. And like most kids, I lacked the resources to make that dream a reality. So I began to pray, petitioning God to give me a Dalmatian. I didn’t have much experience in prayer or a super-Christian faith. I just wanted a dog, and because my parents encouraged it, I decided to ask God.

    God loves to answer prayer when people actually expect him to, when they believe he can. And most of all, he loves the faith-filled prayers of children. They have sway with him like none else.

    And so it happened, that on a warm summer evening in suburban Fort Worth, God unmistakably inserted himself into my life. His answer to my little prayer did not come as a fuzzy feeling or some vague aligning of circumstances. Instead, it came in the form of a champion-quality adolescent Dalmatian trotting right into my front yard!

    God loves to answer prayer when people actually expect him to.

    Stray dogs were fairly common in our neighborhood, but a Dalmatian? It was exactly what I had been praying for! My heart raced as I observed this beautiful animal darting from place to place, sniffing out every tree and bush, seemingly oblivious to the stunned nine-year-old boy gawking from the porch.

    I quickly recovered from my shock. As it became apparent that no owner was in sight, I caught the dog and brought her inside. Mom slipped an old collar from a former pet around our canine visitor’s neck. The tag on it was current, displaying our home address, phone number, and the name Tina. After releasing the Dalmatian into the backyard, we discussed how to proceed.

    We knew from our research what a quality Dalmatian should look like. This dog was perfect. Too perfect, in fact, to be a stray. Dismayed, I listened sadly as Mom explained that the dog must belong to someone and we needed to do our best to get her back home. She was right, of course, and we set about trying to find the owner.

    A little while later, I went into the backyard and discovered to my horror that my dream pet had disappeared! We later learned that she was a fence-jumper, and our short, four-foot chain link had been no match for her.

    To say that I was heartbroken would be an understatement. I had been so certain that God had given me a Dalmatian. Despite our conclusion that she belonged to someone else, I still held out hope that I might get to keep her. Now she was gone. It was the first time in my short life I felt a keen sense of loss, and I remember vividly how I sobbed in my mom’s arms.

    But the story didn’t end there. Could we not pray again? We did pray, but my faith was small. Surely this dog was gone forever, and prayer was merely our dutiful response to a hopeless situation. God, however, was just getting warmed up.

    I thanked God for his goodness and faithfulness to a nine-year-old boy.

    Only a short time passed before the phone rang. A man on the other end claimed that he had found Tina. Could we come pick her up? I was beside myself. Minutes later, this amazing Dalmatian was back at the Steele home, now confined more carefully to prevent escape.

    In the days to come, we ran ads in the local newspaper and hung posters all over our neighborhood. No one ever claimed her. Finally, Dad gave his permission and the dog was mine to keep. I named her Ashlea, and as you might expect, she was the best pet a kid could ever hope for. But to me she was much more than a pet. She was the hand of God reaching deliberately into my life, showing me that he was real, that he was powerful, and that he cared about me.

    Years later, while I was home on my first furlough from Ukraine, Ashlea passed away. I buried her myself on the back of my parents’ Texas farm. Through tears, with the shovel in my hands, I thanked God for his goodness and faithfulness to a nine-year-old boy.

    Next Steps

    Ashlea was a beginning. From there, God continued to mold my life in various ways, introducing greater tests of faith. When I was 12, my mom registered me for a large Christian conference that was held annually in our city. It was a big event, and I felt very privileged to attend at such a young age.

    The speaker challenged us to follow God in many practical areas, even when it was hard. He told stories from his own life about learning to walk in faith. I found one example particularly poignant: obtaining and maintaining a clear conscience. I grew in humility as I began patching up relationships with others, admitting when I was wrong, and asking for forgiveness. It was terrifying at times. But God loves contrition. As he led me, I learned to value his approval far more than the approval of people.

    Another significant area for me was submission to my parents. As a young adolescent I learned not only to obey my parents out of duty, but to value their authority as a sort of divine guidance. I knew God had placed me under my parents, and I began to realize that as I followed their direction, I was following his. The ability to hear God’s voice in this way became increasingly valuable to me, reinforcing my relationship with him and with my parents. Their wisdom protected me from many a pitfall during my formative years, and their training continues to benefit me and my family to this day.

    Meeting Mike

    God brought a second major event into my life at the age of 12: my first meeting with Michael Pearl. Mike came to visit our church in Texas and led a Bible study on Romans and Revelation. Everything about it fascinated me. The teaching was excellent, but I was most struck by Mike’s loyalty to the Word of God. I had never heard a preacher who was so confident in believing the Bible word for word, just as it was written. His speech was void of all-too-familiar criticisms such as, “This would be better translated as . . .” or “In the original Greek it actually says . . .” Instead, Mike seemed to hang on every word, every comma. These were God’s words, after all, and they were perfectly preserved for us. We could read them and understand them. We could search for meaning and find it. We could know for ourselves the doctrines of God without having to rely blindly on the private interpretations of others.

    This approach to Scripture gave me confidence. Over the next few years, I listened to every Bible study from Mike that I could get my hands on. We had cassette tapes then, and I remember listening to them as I did my chores. I saw that Mike wasn’t trying to conform me into a belief system he had contrived. Instead, with Mike’s guidance, I was learning to follow God, and this thrilled me. I was learning to read God’s Word for myself and stand on its claims with boldness. Mike’s teaching on various passages of Scripture frequently left me thinking, “Why didn’t I see that before? It’s written right here in black and white!”

    By the time I was 18, I had become fearless. I knew that I still had much to learn, but I had no doubt in my mind about how to learn it. I needed nothing more than my King James Bible, a good concordance, and time.

    Hong Kong

    As I progressed through my adolescent years, I gradually recognized that God was orchestrating significant events to lead me down a specific path. It was my job to discern his direction and obey. He would take care of the rest. In fact, this perception became a core part of my prayer life. “Lord, if you will only make your will clear to me, I will obey.”

    One life-steering event came when I was 16 in the form of a phone call from Michael Pearl. He was inviting me to take part in a short-term mission project in Hong Kong. Mike’s son, Gabriel, was going and their family wanted someone to accompany him. Would my parents consider allowing me to go?

    When I heard this proposition, I was excited, but I had my doubts that it would ever materialize. Our family didn’t travel much at all. Besides, this would cost money, and although Mike’s church had offered to pay for living expenses while I was in Hong Kong, the cost of the airfare would be up to us. Where would we get the money? After some discussion, my mom and dad agreed: if God would provide the funds, they would allow me to go.

    I had a part-time job in construction, and I immediately began saving all I could. But there was another problem. It was now December of 1995, and due to squabbling in Congress, the U.S. government had shut down. Among other things, new passports were not being issued. Even if I could earn enough for my plane ticket, how would I get a passport?

    I listened to the news on the radio. Reports told of people going to passport agencies and camping out for days, hoping that the government might open in time for them to receive a passport. Again, my situation seemed impossible, and again, God acted.

    The government finally decided to open the passport offices for one week. If you showed up in time and got through the lines, you could get a passport. Mom loaded me and the other kids in the car, and we left for Houston. As we approached the city, I prepared myself for a dreadful sight. Based on the radio reports I’d heard, there would be impossible lines, tents everywhere, and a general feeling of chaos.

    We timed our arrival so that we would reach the city in the pre-dawn hours, hoping this would help our chances. As we navigated the downtown Houston streets, I fumbled with an atlas trying to guide Mom to the right place. Finally, after asking directions, we found the passport office. Mom dropped me off to get a place in line, and then left to check in to our hotel.

    I entered the building and went up several floors to the main entrance of the passport office. It was still closed. This much I had expected. What I did not expect was to find myself alone. There was not a soul in sight. Was I in the right place? Where were the lines we’d heard about? I did not have to wonder long. Minutes later the crowds arrived behind me. Soon a security guard came out and began explaining various protocols. This was indeed the right place, and I was first in line!

    Mom managed to find me at the front of the line and we started checking all our paperwork. The security guard had assured us that if anything was missing, we would be passed over for the next applicant, losing our place in line and possibly our chance to obtain a passport.

    To my horror, we suddenly realized that we had neglected to fill in my social security number on the application. We didn’t have it anywhere! Only minutes remained until the doors opened! After some discussion, we decided to call Dad in Fort Worth to see if he could find the number. This was before the days of smartphones and wifi, so Mom set off to find a pay phone. It seemed this whole crazy plan of ours was coming apart at the seams.

    Yet once again, right on cue, God did what seemed to us impossible. Mom hadn’t gotten far when she was stopped by a man in line. He had overheard our conversation and to our amazement, he produced a cellular telephone! I had barely heard of such devices, let alone used one. In 1995, a cell phone was rare indeed.

    Yet once again, right on cue, God did what seemed to us impossible.

    Mom dialed home. A few moments later, she was back at the front of the line with the number in hand. Within half an hour, we had completed the application process, and by early afternoon, we were driving toward Fort Worth, passport in hand.

    Against all odds, I flew to Hong Kong in January of 1996 and spent six weeks spreading the Gospel with a team of young missionaries. Gabriel Pearl had injured his leg just before the trip, and so I ended up traveling alone. But then, I was not alone. I was more convinced than ever before that God was with me. He was the God who heard and answered my prayers. He was the God who produced Dalmatians out of thin air, who revealed his Word to children, who provided money for mission trips, and who even dispatched his angels in Houston armed with cell phones. This was my God, and I would follow him to the ends of the earth.

    Conclusion

    Just 18 months after returning from Hong Kong, I discovered my next mission field: Ukraine. I spent five months there in 1997. God ultimately used that trip to lead me to the ministry I have today.

    I could tell many more stories of God’s guidance, provision, and faithfulness. Someday, perhaps I will write them all down in a book. For now, let me close by challenging you, young man or young woman, to believe God. This little testimony is not a story about a special boy who achieved great faith. This is a story about a great God who built faith in a little boy. That same God is waiting for you. He is extending his hand to lead you. He is ready to part the Red Sea for you and show you wonders that will defy your imagination. Let him build your faith as you obey his Word. Seek God, believe God, and follow God as he transforms your life into an incredible story that will glorify his name and turn many to salvation.

    And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
    - Hebrews 11:32-34

    ---

    Joshua has been ministering the Gospel in Ukraine since 2001, and has also served in Mexico, Hong Kong, Thailand and the United States. Prior to her calling as a wife and mother, Kelsie took part in mission trips to Taiwan, Mexico, and Romania. She and Joshua were married on September 18, 2004, after which they returned to Ukraine as a couple.

    Joshua and Kelsie are both founding members of Euro Team Outreach (ETO), a ministry dedicated to advancing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Eastern Europe. One of ETO’s core outreaches is Bible First!

    During the summer months, ETO hosts Carpathian Mountain Outreach, an annual short-term project aimed at evangelizing remote mountain villages, expanding the impact of Bible First! in Ukraine, and providing hands-on missions training for young men.

    The Steeles currently reside in L’viv, Ukraine. They have four children: Abigail, Rebekah, Hosanna, and Kathryn. Both Joshua and Kelsie speak the Ukrainian language fluently and are actively involved in the lives of the Ukrainian people.

    The post Faith and Dalmatians: How I Learned to Believe God appeared first on No Greater Joy Ministries.


              Drug trafficking in the Golden Triangle        

    6 January 2009 - UNODC has just published the second volume of "De Narcoticis"; a series of photojournalism books depicting the lives of real people involved in - or touched by - the trade in illicit drugs.

    This second volume takes as its canvas the area which has come to be known as the Golden Triangle; the part of South East Asia encompassing Thailand, Laos and Myanmar. The first volume focused on Colombia. UNODC has been active here for many years, with much success. The area now produces only 5 per cent of the world's opiates (down from over 70 per cent some 30 years ago) and UNODC has been influential in bringing local governments together in a common fight against the drug trade.

    The book is produced by award-winning photographer, journalist and UNODC goodwill ambassador, Alessandro Scotti. Scotti says that the "de Narcoticis" project "gives a face to the protagonists of this world. It's an underworld which has been examined closely enough to give us plenty of figures and statistics, but which is less known for its personal stories".

    The stories in the book are varied: it does not judge any of the characters involved, and there are many. They range from enforcement officers to traffickers, plantation workers to addicts in treatment centres; people united only by the fact that they all occupy some small part of the long drug trafficking chain.

    These small links in the chain are a theme to which Scotti returns regularly. "The people involved in trafficking have only a very partial perception of the overall phenomenon, and yet their lives are powerfully affected by it. They are simple people with a limited perception of the impact of their actions. Most are in any case tied to the 'job' for their very survival; desperate people with otherwise limited life chances or opportunities."

    Scotti says this is why he believes UNODC's work beyond enforcement is so important. "UNODC offers a holistic approach including development strategies which allow alternative businesses to grow and become sustainable. A stronger economic and social framework leads to a different balance."

    The book is designed to do more than tell stories through photography, though: it elicits a powerful response in the reader. As UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa says, it "challenges us to respond".


              Negara Paling Korup 2016        
    Kita semua tidak sukakan korupsi, satu perbuatan sampah yang kita mahu hapuskan daripada kalangan masyarakat kita. Dalam satu kajian yang dijalankan oleh Transparency International, mereka telah mengeluarkan senarai Corruption Perceptions Indes (CPI).

    Berapakah CPI negara kita Malaysia? Nanti kita lihat sama-sama.






    Dalam index yang dikeluarkan untuk tahun 2016, negara paling korup adalah Somalia, malah ia mememang rekod ini selama 10 tahun berturut-turut. CPI yang diberikan kepada Somalia hanyalah 10 point sahaja.

    Makin rendah point CPI maka makin teruk tahap korupsi di sesebuah negara tersebut. Ranking top 5 negara yang paling bersih pula didahuli oleh negara New Zealand (90 CPI), Denmark (90 CPI), Finland (89 CPI), Sweden (88 CPI) dan Switzerland (86 CPI).

    Bagi negara kita pula, Malaysia diberikan 49 CPI dan berada di ranking ke 55 dunia. Mata CPI diberikan turun 1 mata berbanding tahun lalu dengan 50 CPI.




    Dalam kalangan negara serantau pula Singapura dianggap paling bersih di Asia Tenggara dengan 84 CPI berada di ranking ke 7 dunia. Dan negara paling kurop di Asia Tenggara pula adalah Kemboja dengan 21 mata sahaja diberikan.

    Country CPI World Rank
    1. Singapura 84 7
    2. Brunei 58 41
    3. Malaysia 40 55
    4. Indonesia 37 90
    5. Philines 35 101
    6. Thailand 35 101
    7. Timor-Leste 35 101
    8. Vietnam 33 113
    9. Loas 30 123
    10. Myanmar 28 136
    11. Cambodia 21 156


    Negara besar seperti U.S.A pula dibeirkan 74 mata CPI, dan berada di ranking 18 dunia. Manakal negara China hanya diberikan sebanyak 40 mata dan berada di tangga 79. Russia lagi bawah dengan hanya 29 CPI, berada ditangga ke 131 dunia.

    Berikut adalah senarai penuh ranking yang dikelaurkan oleh Corruption International bagi negara paling kurop 2016.



              5 Manfaat Daun Pisang kering Untuk Ikan Cupang Dan Ikan Hias Air Tawar Lainya        
    5 Manfaat Daun Pisang kering Untuk Ikan Cupang, majalahikan.com | Satu lagi rahasia para peternak ikan cupang Asia ( Thailand ) yang musti sahabat ketahui untuk membuat ikan cupang dan ikan hias lainnya sehat adalah ekstrak daun pisang kering.

    Yupss ....... daun pisang kering ini akan menyulap air aquarium menjadi kecoklatan layaknya daun ketapang (Terminalia Catappa). Warna coklat juga memiliki manfaat yang sama dengan daun ketapang untuk ikan cupang.
    Gambar Manfaat Daun Pisang kering Untuk Ikan Cupang



    Masih ndak percaya...?

    Ini adalah rahasia para peternak yang bertahun tahun telah digunakan untuk kesehatan ikan cupang, bahkan di Eropa daun pisang ini menjadi rahasia para aquaris yang juga dipakai hingga sekarang.

    Akan tetapi apakah yang dimaksud daun pisang yang ada di pekarangan, kebun atau pohon pohon pisang yang setiap hari kita lihat ?????

    Untuk itu,,,,,Aaaayuk lihat semua ulasan 5 manfaat daun pisang kering untuk ikan cupang berikut hingga akhir.....

    5 Manfaat Daun Pisang kering Untuk Ikan Cupang Itu Dari Jenis Pohon Pisang Apa?


    Asal kalian tau ya...di Eropa orang orang yang tidak memiliki pohon pisang khusus ini mencoba mengambil daun pisang kering lain....meskipun berhasil, akan tetapi tidak semaksimal daun pisang kering yang dirahasiakan oleh para aquaris Eropa.

    Penasaran bukan daun pisang apa ???

    Seperti kita ketahui, bahwasanya pisang adalah tanaman tropis yang banyak tumbuh di Asia.

    Lalu kenapa para orang aorang Eropa kurang berhasil memanfaatkan daun pisang yang tumbuh di Eropa?

    Karena pohon pisang yang tumbuh di sana kurang mendapat sinar matahari layaknya pohon pisang di Asia.

    Kalau begitu semua pohon di Indonesia bisa donk dimanfaatkan ??

    Eiiitssss tunggu dulu.....nggak semuanya....lanjut dulu bacanya ya 😁😁😁

    Jika sahabat buka wikipedia....pohon pisang yang dibudidayakan pada awalanya berasal dari Musa acuminata yakni pisang liar, lalu disilangkan dengan jenis pohon pisang lain seperti misalnya M. acuminata disilangkan dengan M. balbisiana.

    Nah.... daun pisang kering rahasia peternak Asia ini adalah dari jenis Musa sapientum ( Musa sp. Var. Sapientum ).

    Lalu pisang Musa sp. Var. Sapientum itu pisang apa kalau di Indonesia?

    Di terangkan juga oleh wikipedia kalau kelompok pisang AAB juga dikenal dengan nama Musa sapientum.

    Dan di bawahnya juga di jelaskan kalau pisang kelompok AAB adalah jenis jenis pisang raja, pisang tanduk, pisang kepok, pisang siam.

    Sudah tau kan daun pisang dari jenis pohon pisangnya??

    Nah sekarang mari kita lihat cara dan manfaat daun pisang kering untuk ikan cupang.

    Cara Pemberian Untuk Mendapatkan 5 Manfaat Daun Pisang kering Untuk Ikan Cupang Dan Ikan Hias Air Tawar Lainya



    Kurang lebih sama dengan daun ketapang, yakni memasukan daun ke air aquarium.....berapa ukuranya....dikira kira saja. Jangan lupa dicuci dahulu ya....agar terbebas dari pestisida atau zat berbahaya lainya.

    Air akan berubah menjadi kecoklatan kurang lebih 2 sampai 3 hari...dan gantilah daun atau air setelah 1 atau 2 minggu.

    Manfaat Daun Pisang kering Untuk Ikan Cupang

    Apa manfaat daun pisang kering untuk ikan cupang ???

    1. Meringankan stres
    2. Meningkatkan kecerahan warna ikan
    3. Membantu mempercepat pemulihan luka
    4. Mengobati penyakit seperti misalnya jamur, kerusakan selaput lendir dll
    5. Meningkatkan kesiapan pemijahan

    Daun pisang kering ini juga bermanfaat untuk ikan hias air tawar lainya, seperti misalnya Gouramis ( sepat hias ), tetra, arwana, discus, cichids, corydoras, pleco, rasbora dan lain lain.



    Semoga 5 Manfaat Daun Pisang kering Untuk Ikan Cupang Dan Ikan Hias Air Tawar Lainya ini memberi ilmu baru buat sahabat semua.
              News: Win the Trip of a Lifetime to Watch Leicester City vs Liverpool Premier League Match with DirectAsia!        
    DirectAsia Group, the leading provider of direct-to-consumer insurance in Thailand and Singapore and also the proud official partner of Leicester City Football Club for the 2016/17 season, is launching an exciting promotional campaign offering consumers the opportunity to win a trip to the UK to watch a Premier League match between Leicester City and Liverpool next February. From 15 November to 31 December 2016, DirectAsia will be holding a lucky draw contest, from which a total of 3 winners will be selected, each winning a trip for two to the UK where they get to witness Premier League’s defending champion Leicester City in action against Liverpool, live at King Power Stadium on 25 February 2017. All the sweat and tears,…
              Pelancong Dunia Mulai Incar Indonesia        

    Pelancong dunia yang berkunjung ke Indonesia (inbound), terjadi peningkatan permintaan jika diukur dari tren onlineyang berkembang. Dunia online kini dipandang memberikan dampak pada keputusan pelancong dalam memilih destinasi dan perangkat wisata lainnya.


    Kami menerima banyak permintaan untuk destinasi Indonesia. Terutama dari Timur Tengah, Singapura, dan Malaysia.
    -- Graham Hills
    Hal tersebut terungkap dalam acara konferensi Web in Travel (WIT) di Jakarta, Rabu (27/3/2013). Salah satu narasumber yaitu Managing Director Wego Indonesia, Graham Hills melihat semakin tinggi permintaan pencarian tentang Indonesia.
    "Wego Indonesia memang fokus di domestik danoutbound. Tetapi kami menerima banyak permintaan untuk destinasi Indonesia. Terutama dari Timur Tengah, Singapura, dan Malaysia, mereka mencari tahu tentang Indonesia," tutur Graham.
    Sementara itu, CEO & Managing Director Go Indonesia, Yusuf Ijsseldijk mengungkapkan bahwa pihaknya juga menerima permintaan untuk inbound. Ia mengaku terjadi peningkatan pesat untuk inbound ke Indonesia dengan pemesanan melalui online.

    Senada pula dengan CEO Eztravel.co.id, Eric Tjetjep, juga menerima inbound dari China, Thailand, dan Malaysia. Pihaknya sendiri masih menggabungkan penjualan via online maupun secara tradisional.
    Berbeda lagi dengan Rajakamar.com. CEO Rajakamar.com, William Newley menuturkan pihaknya memang masih fokus di pasar domestik. Namun, mereka tengah bekerja sama dengan perusahaan luar seperti dari China untuk mendatangkan pelancong ke Indonesia.
    Ia mengaku masih "bermain" di pasar orang Indonesia untuk outbound (melakukan perjalanan ke luar negeri), baru kemudian inbound. Oleh karena itu, pihaknya berencana ke depan akan membuat situs berbahasa Inggris.

    sumber : kompas

              Israeli wins Thai kickboxing medal after Palestinian refuses to fight        

     

    Palestinian Sultan Abu al-Hajj refused to fight an Israeli athlete at kickboxing’s World Youth Championship in Thailand. Al-Hajj refused to fight “as there has not yet been an official Palestinian decision over whether to face Israeli athletes in any …


              In Pop Aye, an Elephant Makes Being Human Feel a Little Easier        
    A man and his elephant. by Julia Raban

    popaye.jpg

    Kirsten Tan’s feature debut Pop Aye begins with a hitchhiker in Thailand trying to catch a ride. Trudging along the side of the road, the man holds out his hand once, with no luck. He tries again and a truck slows. The driver seems unfazed as he loads the man’s cargo: a sweetly cooperative elephant. The hitchhiker is Thana, an esteemed architect who became so frustrated with his life that he trashed it…


              AFF Suzuki Cup 2016 Keputusan Dan Kedudukan        
    AFF Suzuki Cup 2016 Keputusan Dan Kedudukan. Myanmar dan Filipina sebagai tuan rumah bersama bagi kejohanan kali ini menyediakan 4 buah stadium bagi setiap perlawanan AFF Suzuki Cup 2016. Thailand dan Singapuran merupakan juara bertahan Piala AFF Suzuki dengan empat kali kemenangan dan Skuad Harimau Malaysia juga pernah memenangi kejohanan ini pada tahun 2010. Kejohanan ini akan berlangsung dari 19 November hingga 17 Disember 2016. Berikut adalah AFF Suzuki Cup 2016 Keputusan Dan Kedudukan yang dapat dikongsikan pada anda.


    AFF Suzuki Cup 2016


    AFF Suzuki Cup 2016 Keputusan Dan Kedudukan

    Separuh Akhir

    • 4 Disember 2016 (Pusingan Pertama)
      • SF 1 : Indonesia 1 - 2 Vietnam
      • SF 2 : Myanmar 0 - 2 Thailand
    • 7 Disember 2016 (Pusingan Kedua)
      • SF 1 : Vietnam 2 - 2 Indonesia
      • SF 2 : Thailand vs Myanmar
    Akhir

    • 14 Disember 2016 (Pusingan Pertama)
      • Indonesia vs Juara SF 2
    • 17 Disember 2016 (Pusingan Kedua)
      • Juara SF 2 vs Indonesia
    Peringkat Kumpulan

    Kumpulan A


    KedudukanPasukanPerlawananMenangSeriKalahMata
    1Thailand
    3
    3
    0
    0
    9
    2Indonesia
    3
    1
    1
    1
    4
    3Filipina
    3
    0
    2
    1
    2
    4Singapura
    3
    0
    1
    2
    1


    • 19 November 2016
      • 4.30 petang : Thailand 4 - 2 Indonesia
      • 8.00 malam : Filipina 0 - 0 Singapura
    • 22 November 2016
      • 4.30 petang : Thailand 1 - 0 Singapura
      • 8.00 malam : Indonesia 2 - 2 Filipina
    • 25 November 2016
      • 8.00 malam : Singapura 1 - 2 Indonesia
      • 8.00 malam : Filipina 0 - 1 Thailand
    Kumpulan B


    KedudukanPasukanPerlawananMenangSeriKalahMata
    1Vietnam33009
    2Myanmar32016
    3Malaysia31023
    4Kemboja3003
    0


      • 20 November 2016
        • 4.30 petang : Malaysia 3 - 2 Kemboja
        • 7.30 petang : Myanmar 1 - 2 Vietnam
      • 23 November 2016
        • 4.30 petang : Malaysia 0 - 1 Vietnam
        • 7.30 petang : Kemboja 1 - 3 Myanmar
      • 26 November 2016
        • 7.30 petang : Vietnam 2 - 1 Kemboja
        • 7.30 petang : Myanmar 1 - 0 Malaysia

      Semoga AFF Suzuki Cup 2016 Keputusan Dan Kedudukan ini akan memihak kepada skuad Harimau Malaysia untuk menjuarai Kejohanan AFF Suzuki kali ini.
                        

      Goodbye Fukuoka

      So, that's it! The time has come for me to leave Japan and with it must also end The Daily Shashin. It's been a fun little project and I'd like to thank all of you who have regularly visited this page and kept me motivated and encouraged by your comments and kind words.

      I am now embarking on The Heneghan Half-World Tour which, after brief visits to Taipei and Hong Kong, will see me undertake the 14,000 km journey from Singapore to London by train and bus.

      From Singapore I'll be passing through Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, China, Mongolia, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and finally the UK, so it promises to be a fantastic adventure, especially from a photographic perspective. I will leave Singapore on August 1st and I aim to arrive back in the UK in the first or second week of September. You can keep up-to-date on my trip via my other blog and I will try to make posts there as often as possible as I make my way home.

      In the meantime if you want to see more photos please feel free to check out my Flickr page.

      That's all for now, I'll be embarking on a new project in the autumn once I get back to sunny England!

      Take care everyone!
                A Little Slice of Paradise in Krabi, Thailand        
      none
                Travel Video: Thailand Travel Guide and Tourism 2016        
      The jewel of the Southeast Asian travel circuit, Thailand offers astonishing diversity and a truly fascinating and accessible culture that, along with the revered Thai hospitality, makes it an incredibly popular destination. With an enticing mixture of established destinations such as Phuket and Hua Hin, and out-of-the-way palm-fringed islands, Thailand has a very exotic appeal. […]
                READING COMPREHENSION        

      1.HATES CRIMES

                  The number of organized hate groups in the United States increased 20 percents last year, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. Nearly 9000 hate crimes , more than half of them motivated by race, were reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1996- compared to 7947 incidents in 1995 and 5932incidents in 1994. Last week, James Byrd, Jr., a 49 -year's old black man, was dragged to death in Texas by a chain from the back of a pickup truck. Recently, two black men also became the targets of possible copycat crimes in Illinois and Louisiana.

                  Authorities say the three men who have been charged with Byrd's murder my have ties with white supremacist groups, which have grown to over 400 organizations nationwide, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. In fact, the Ku Klux Klan has been granted permission to rally later this month in Jasper, Texas, and the town where Byrd was killed. "These groups are getting better with the public," said Joe Roy, director of the Intelligence Project of the Southern poverty Law Center."They are no longer racist but racialist, not segregationists, but separatists. They are using a lot more attractive buzz words to lead people into their organizations "of the 474 hat groups documented by the Intelligence Project, 127were related to the Ku Klux Klan 100 was neo-Nazi, 42 were Skinheads, 81were Christian Identity, a racist religion, 12 were Black separatists and 112subscribed to a mélange to hate -based doctrines and ideologies.
      Tracking Hate Crimes

                  The FBI is investigating the Texas case as a possible that crime, defined as an offense motivated buy the dislike of a person's race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin. " This was an act of violence that had a much broader implication than just the murder of a single person " said Hillary Shelton , deputy director of the NAACP in Washington DC " A much larger message was being sent by this horrible action" Many civil right s groups attributes the rise in hate  crimes to proliferation of Internet hate sites , racist music lyrics and white power literature- propaganda tools for promoting race- hating ideology that have reached an audience of as many as 2 million people . Since1995, more than 160 hate sites are active online, according to the intelligence project. Less than three years ago, there was only one. "Technology has a lot to do with opening up new recruitment opportunities for these groups," said Roy "It's a place where young people of the computer generation can vent their frustration, exchange ideas and download information to feed their hatred.

      1. How many of the hate crimes were about racial differences?
      2. How did Mr. Byrd die in Texas?
      3. Are the men who killed Byrd connected to any groups? If so, what?
      4. How are these hate groups encouraging new people to join?
      5. How many hate groups are there nationwide?
      6. What do civil rights groups say the reason is for such a increase in hat e crimes.?
      7. How many men have been charged with Byrd's murder?
      8. Why were two black men targets of crimes in Illinois and Louisiana.?
      9. What was the increase in hate groups last year?
      10. Who is Hillary Shelton?         

      2.PILOT  ACCUSED

                  Lotfi Raissi , an Algerian pilot who had been accused of training the suicide hijackers who crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, walked free today after being granted bail at an extradition hearing . Mr.Raissi, 27 who has been held in jail for five months, emerged from the top security Belmarsh magistrate's court complex in south -east London to applause from his family and friends. Minutes earlier, district judge Timothy Workman said Mr.Raissi, who lives near Heathrow airport. Could have conditional bail as he was only facing extradition to the US on two counts of falsifying as application for a US pilot's license. At previous court hearings in London, lawyers acting for the US authorities indicated he was suspected of being a lead instructor for pilots responsible for the September 11 hijackings. And US prosecutor have in the past made clear that the pilot's license accusations were only holding charges. But no terrorism charges have been formally introduced and Mr. Raissi's lawyers successfully argued today that the charges related to pilot's license applications did not justify him being held in prison. Mr. Workman said he appreciated the September 11 investigation was long and painstaking but he said he was allowing bail as the US government was unlikely to bring terrorism charges inAA the near future. Mr. Raissi's family has strenuously denied he was involved in the September 11 terror attacks in any way. Today he was told his family would have to give $10000in surety, that he would have to live at an address specified to the court , that he would have to surrender his passport and not apply for international travel documents . Mr. Raissi's French wife Sonia, speaking after the judge's decision, said that she believed justice had been done. She said " we have been waiting five months and my message to the FBI is , You arrested him for terrorism so why do you want to extradite him for these ridiculous , minor charges? .

                  Lotfi's brother, Mohamed, said "The FBI said to he world that he was a big terrorist and they have to now say to the world, that his man is innocent. They have destroyed his life, his future and his dream".
       But James Lewis, representing the US government, told the court Mr.Raissi should not be granted bail. He said "we are concerned with an investigation into an atrocity that shocked the civilized world ...Mr. Raissi is a suspect in that investigation"

                  Hugo Keith, representing Mr. Raissi, said "The Americans now seen unwilling to withdraw from their initial position and accept on this occasion, they pursued the wrong person. He is not fundamentalist. He is married to a white Catholic" Prosecutors have alleged that Mr.Raissi had links to Hani Hanjour ,the pilot suspected of crashing Flight 77 into the Pentagon.

                  Mr. Raissi was arrested on September 21 and has been held at London' high -security Belmarsh prison ever since. He was indicated by a federal grand jury in Arizona on charges of falsifying applications for a pilot's license and other documents. He allegedly held a 1993 theft conviction and failed to mention that he had undergone a knee operation. He has also been indicated Arizona on 11 more counts, including conspiracy to submit a false immigration claim. A previous attempt to win him bail in the high court in London in December failed. Lawyers acting for the US alleged that there was "a web of circumstantial evidence that points to the involvement of Raissi in a terrorist conspiracy which culminate in the events of September 11" US counsel said Mr.Raissi had "links to the Al-Qsida organization" and was "someone who has both motive and means t escape"

      1. When was Mr.Raissi arrested?
      2. How long has he been held in jail?
      3. Is it confirmed that Mr.Raissi had links to the hijacker of Flight77?
      4. What nationality is Mr.Raissi's wife?
      5. What did he hide in 1993?
      6. Did he succeed in his previous attempt to win bail?
      7. What are the conditions of his bail?
      8. What nationality is Mr. Raissi and where does he live?
      9. Has he been charged with terrorism?
      10.What did the US authorities accuse him of doing?

      3.BOSNIA INJURIES

                  On Thursday in northern Bosnia, two American soldiers were wounded when a land mine exploded. One of the soldiers suffered injuries to his right foot and other was able to walk away from the blast with shrapnel wounds to his lower leg . The incident happened at about 2:30 PM 0930EST in the town of Hadizici, which is located about ten miles south east of Tuzla .

                  NATO issued a statement about the incident. The statement said, "two American engineers were injured by an anti-personal mine as they were conducting a joint inspection of a minefield with the Bosnian Serb Army. One soldier stepped on an anti- personnel mine, incurring injuries to one foot.
      Concerns have been raised by ERRI and any number of other sources in regard to the dangers of landmines and other improvised explosive devices in Bosnia. According to UNICEF, Bosnia has one of the highest densities of landmines per square mile of any place in the world. UNICEF says that more than 1800000mines may have been laid in Bosnia during the recent years of ethnic conflict. More troublesome to NATO troops than traditional mines, which are made of metal, are mines with plastic cases or improvised mines made from wooden cases and high explosives. The wood and plastic mines are far more difficult to detect with conventional mine detectors.

                  In other news regarding to Bosnian peace mission, United States Navy Admiral Leighton Smith made some remarks regarding the six confirmed sniper incidents involving NATO forces since Sunday. Admiral Smith said, "We have got some jerk up there pulling a trigger and he has got a night scope. That makes it tough. But boy, let me tell you , if we do see him he had better be fast and be clad in bullet-proof stuff. Because we will attack with out  warning. There are such things as anti- sniping teams ....people who snipe at our forces are at great risk to themselves. If we see some body pointing a weapon at our forces he will be attacked with out warning.... no warning shots, no' drop your weapon"

                   And true to Admiral Smith's words -- French NATO forces later killed a sniper in the suburb where most of the shooting incidents have occurred. A NATO statement said "One gunman was located by the French Special Forces and was later neutralized. This person was seriously wounded. He later died of his injuries in spite of the intervention from a military physician. Another armed civilian was also apprehended by 0ur forces. This individual was disarmed with out any bloodshed".

      1. How many confirmed sniper incidents have there been?
      2. Where were the two American soldiers inured?
      3. Did both of the soldiers walk away from the explosion?
      4. Will a warning be given to snipers who shoot at NATO forces?
      5. How many mines have been placed in Bosnia during the conflict?
      6. Does Bosnia have a large amount of mines per square mile?
      7. What happened to the sniper found by French NATO forces?
      8. Was the second civilian, who was carrying a weapon ,shot by NATO forces?
      9. Which types of mines are more difficult to detect?
      10. Was the first sniper shot dead by the French NATO forces?


      4. CLONE SYSTEM

                  Numerous reports from around the world in Jan/ Feb 2001 of fresh attempts to clone human embryos, ranging from Clonaid saying they hope t implant embryos into surrogate mothers in February to Australian scientists saying they have managed to make a human cloned embryo by combining a empty pig egg with a human cell . Their cloned human embryo divided to 32 cells before being destroyed. In other words it seems that the empty eggs from animal contain all that is needed to activate human genes for successful human cloning. There are huge risks of abnormalities and mutations in these human cloning experiments. We know that these animal-human hybrids are likely to escape legal controls because a court of law would probably decide that this was not human cloning a legally defined .However the outcome - if born - would be a clone baby which has identical genes in the nucleus of every cell to the adult from which the original cell was taken . Interestingly , 1%of the genes in mammal cells are not in the nucleus but in the power packs providing all the electricity for cells . These power generators called mitochondriaa .So technically these human clones made from animal eggs would have 1% animal DNA . Worrying  we know that there are many serious diseases in human caused by faulty genes in the mitochondria . But that is with human mitochondria .What will be the risk of problems with animal mitochondria being used to power every cell in human cloned child that is yet to go?

                  Clonaid  says five British couples, including two pairs of homosexual men have asked to be cloned. Peter and lldako Blackborn , computer consultants from Huntingdon Cambrisdgeshire UK have expressed an interest in human cloning as a alternative infertility treatment but which had not say if they are in touch with Clonaid . as the press conference called and announce of the cloning the United States government banned it to practice in the future . The US government pledged that it will harm the civilization of the human being so world should not follow the mal -practices .

                  After two months the Korean scientist claimed that he also get success to reproduce a clone baby and he claimed that he will use it for the couple who doesn't  have kids and deserve it .According to the scientist , he will provide who ever the couples deserve, but the donor should give his consents .
      The British government strongly condemned the act of the Korean scientist and announced that the UK government does not allow the cloning to spread in the world. Cloning should be only in side the lab.  The international scientists said that it is a big step in the human civilization and should be utilized to find out the cure of all diseases in the future. it also claimed ridiculously that every couple wants Clinton and Bill Gates as their children at the same time the natural system has been disturbed by the pressure of cloning . The world need people of every sector not money maker and politicians. If so, the world will destroy very soon.

                  A conference has been organized by some popular scientists in the   New York and concluded with a statement that it is a extraordinary achievement for the whole world with some vital de-merits so all should stand together to utilized the said invention. The  prime responsibility rest upon the politicians who claims to be the supreme of the United Nations organization.

      1. What was the conclusion of New York press conference?
      2. What was the only vital demerit of the cloning?
      3. What was the claimed to of the Korean scientist?
      4. Why the US government did banned the cloning system?
      5. What is the main problem of cloning system?
      6. What does Australian scientist claim?
      7. What is the risk in human cloning experiments?
      8. For what reason did the scientists prefer to sue and empty pig egg and a human cell for the experiment?
      9. What is the specific with mitochondria??
      10. Why have scientists shown their interest in human cloning?


      5. ARSON IN THE VILLAGE


                  On Sunday morning in a hot summer day, one patrol team of CIVPOL monitor received a radio call from the CIVPOL station about an arsoning incident in a bear by village. Someone had called up and informed the station about the incident from a local public call office .The patrol team rushed to the scene of incident. As reaching the scene, they saw a red vehicle speeding away in a very high speed with at least four or five persons inside with at least one man holding something like gun. Arriving at the scene, the monitors saw tow houses burning. Some natives came towards them and informed that some armed people came to the village, set light to the two houses belonging to a local politician and fled in their red car. The situation was immediately reported the CIVPOL station and the local police authority were duly informed. Within few minutes the fleeing red vehicle as stopped at a check point and the perpetrators arrested by the local police.

                  The patrol team informed to the fire brigade about the arson case and the Fire brigade team form the local municipality arrived in 15 minutes to the scene and put off the fire. Some local said during the interview that the both house was belong to the local politicians called Mustafa Leader. Leader had some arguments with some rivals during the municipality meeting last Friday about the grazing of the animal in the village of Ruslan. The leader received a threat from the rival of abandon the village as soon as possible or faces the adverse consequences. The leader did not obey the threat and the incident happen. Both house entirely damaged by the arson but the fire bridge could not give the total amount of loss of the house. The CIVPOL interviewed with the house owner and revealed that two houses worth $ 10000 and two camels worth $ 1000, cash worth $99 and utensils worth $45, grains worth $ 129, have been damaged during the arson.  The monitor team assured him relief of compensation from the local authority. 

                  The local police team with out aid of UN Police have arrested the red vehicle and recovered a Tomy machine gun and 354 rounds of live ammunitions form the red car. Five suspects including driver also have been arrested by the local but not disclosed in public by the local police. The local police issued a statement in the same day saying that investigation is underway and if information needed contact to regional head quarters the following day.

                  The National Labour Party belongs to Mustafa organized a protest rally in the town demanding the full security to the local leader and their property and take legal and strain action to perpetrators. During the demonstration supporters of the party vandalized 4 shops and injured three local security personnel.
       The local authority endorsed compensation to the Mustafa, according to the report of Fire Brigade which cost in the said head but only $ 11000.  The fire brigade did not mention the head of the loss but recommended the whole some of money.

                  The local police control the security situation in the town and the police released one suspect with out any legal charge and other four have been sent to the jail by the order of local magistrate on the charge of arson and possession of illegal weapon.

                  The red car sent to the auction to pay the compensation of the damage property. The owner of the car complained that his car was stolen from the garage at midnight on the same day, and it is dictatorship of the local authority to auction his car with out investigating properly and he also claimed that he will sue to the local authority in the Apex court.

      1.      When did the car stolen?
      2.      What was the lost property?
      3.      What were the ammunition found by the local police?.
      4.      What was the demand of political party?
      5.      What had happened during the demonstration of local political party?
      6.      What message did the CIVPOL received?
      7.      How was the CIVPOL station informed of the incident ?
      8.      En- route to the scene, what did the patrol team saw?
      9.      What was the monitor action on the scene?
        10. what action did the local police take ?

      6. Authoritarian regime


                  President Abdurrahaman Wahid granted amnesty  thousands of prisoners Thursday, including some who were ailed for there political beliefs. Minister for law and legislation Yusril Ihza Mahendra said 105 political prisoners, and 3000 others who were jailed for criminals' acts, would be released. He said Wahid signed a presidential decree Thursday and the prisoners would be set free Thursday night and Friday morning.

                  "We are releasing the criminal prisoners because it's Christmas time and the New year",he said . He added that the release of the political prisoners' mostly separatist activists from Aceh and Irian Jaya province was part of the government's efforts to release all those who were jailed for political activity under Indonesian's former authoritarian regime. Most of the political prisoners were jailed during the32 -year dictatorship of Suharto , who was ousted from power due to a student uprising in May 1998.

                  It is not the self motivated move of the government but international political pressure to released the political prisoners .  There are more than 40% members of the parliament are brought from the security service to show the political honesty to the military department .  Military party called National Unity party is more powerful in Indonesia till now and it has 32 years' background. The civil leadership could not do any thing with out the military aid. So democratic government willing to follow the military advice. 

                  The international court of justice has declare to punish some of the criminals who were directly involved in the massacre in Indonesia during the dictatorship of Suharto regime. But it is ridiculous to digest that the than army chief who has been accused of murdering 200 prisoners of political belief, is a member of parliament now. The Amnesty International condemned the act of the government to nominate the army chief Mr. Javal as a parliamentarian and said that the government marginalized the people voice.

                  The International Court of Justice summoned  as per the international standard to Suharto to present his opinion in Hague whether he did the crime or not , but it went in vain because Suharto has been admitted to Jakarta Teaching   hospital due to chest and BP problem . Suharto has been accusing of accumulating large sum of money and killing 500 students during the students' uprising.

                  The interim president of East Timor Mr. Gusmao also condemned the act of the government to make escort free to the war criminals and said government is deceiving the people of Indonesia. Indonesian government barked against the East-Timor saying that no one could interfere in internal matter of the country. For the information, East -Timor is a fragment of the republic of Indonesia and got independence in 1997 by the acute international political pressure and military intervention by the UN.

                   Indonesian   people believe, the criminal who are released on the occasion New year will never involve in criminal activities in the future. Indonesia lies in East of the Asia bordering  China , Australia, Iran and Indian sea respectively East, West, South and North. and it is has the most dense Muslim population with mainly  Hindu religion . Indonesia was colonized by French in 1800 AD and ruled till 1936 and got independence. The military authority ousted the civil government in 1940 by military coup and rules till 1997. The country has notorious history of producing natural drugs like Heroine and Cocaine and it is also called the country of golden triangle, the main transit of drugs , including Burma ,Thailand and Laos.       

      1. Which countries are called golden triangle country?
      2. Which country is lies in the  south of Indonesia ?
      3. What is the formal accusation to Suharto?
      4. Why the democratic government does follow the military advice?
      5. What was the reply of the government to East -Timor condemnation?
      6. Where is the international court of Justice located?
      7. why were the thousands of people jailed ?
      8. What did Mr. Yusril Ihza Mahendra say?
      9. How many political prisoners were jailed?
           10. Who were the released prisoners mostly?

      7.  GAMBLE

                  November 27, 2001 Bangkok, Thailand: Thai police said on Mondays they have arrested six Filipino gang members for allegedly luring two Japanese and three French tourists to gamble in their house and cheating them out of millions of Baht (thousands of dollars) . The gang members, three men and three women, were arrested on Sunday from a house in Bangkok where all six gang members lived, police Lieutenant General Chat Kuldilok told reporters. Lt. Gen. Kuldilik said the women pretended to be Thai house wives and invited their victims. Whom they met on the street while pedaling handicrafts, to come to their house to teach them Japanese, and to sell them handicrafts. He said the male members of the gang pretended to be millionaires from Brunei who lost huge sums to each other to avoid suspicion by the tourists, Chat said. Four of the five tourists agreed to gamble with the male gang members while the female gang members supposedly were making them fool. Once the tourists had lost all of their money to the gang members they tried to get some of their money back, but the gang members refused. The tourists were told if they told the police or any one else about losing money to them, they would be killed. All the male gang members had knives and showed them to the tourists after telling them this. The tourists left the house and notified Thai police immediately. The tourists informed the police of the gang members' house and were willing to help them in hopes of getting their money back. Upon arrest, the Thai police searched the entire house, but unfortunately the money could not be found. One of the tourists response was," I am happy, even tough we didn't get our money back , I'm just glad the gang members were found by the Thai Police . Hopefully nothing like this will happen to any tourists ever again.

                  Police interviewed all the detainees in the police cell and found that other two gangs also committing the same crime using same modus operandi in the capital city. Police started the vigorous checking around the suspected area and arrested one gang with some weapons and valuables in the rented house. Police confiscate six knives and four round of live bullets including four gang members.  Later on police honestly publicized two golden rings, four golden bracelets, six wrist watches and five passports. And issued a statement saying that any one who is belongs to the valuables contact with proofs to the city police officer Mr. Rothan.

                   Police registered a legal case to the first 6 members of the gang accusing looting the valuable of the tourists but the local magistrate released all saying that police did not show the proofs of looting.  The second gang members also charged with looting the tourists and illegal possession of weapons .The magistrate send them to the jail for six months on the charge of looting but the magistrate said police should be careful accusing the civilian who has only live bullets not a pistol or revolver.

                  The police assured that the looting case will come down after the arrest of 2 looting gangs and vows that they will do enough to arrest who are involved in looting case. Police said that tourist should be careful with the people who were involved in prostitution. Bangkok is famous for sex tourism in East Asia.  Most of the prostitutes are brought form the Philippine in the name of house wife . In this racket the local administration and police and pimps are also involved.

      1.      How may gang members arrested?
      2.      What are the valuables had been confiscated?
      3.      Why the Bangkok city is famous for?
      4.      How many culprits were sent to jail and how many released?
      5.      How the gang member did pretend themselves?
      6.      What were the nationality of the victims ?
      7.      What was the tourist said after not getting his money?
      8.      What did general Chat said about the accident?
      9.      What were weapons confiscated.
                10. How many tourists had gambled with cheaters?

      8.  EBOLA

                  Sunday, December 9, 2001 An outbreak of fever in the West African nation of Gabon has been confirmed as the deadly disease Ebola, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Sunday. It is world's first documented outbreak of Ebola since last year in Uganda, where 224 people - including health workers - died from the virus. Ebola is one of the most virulent viral diseases known to humankind, causing death in 50 to 90 percent of all clinically ill cases. "It's been confirmed by a laboratory in Gabon" WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told the press. "We have reports that seven people have died" Hartl said WHO has already sent a team to help the coastal nation and that a second team of four specialists would leave Geneva for Gabon on Monday. The out break is in remote Ogooue Ivindo province in northeastern Gabon, he said. Gabon was last afflicted in an outbreak in 1996-97 that killed 45 of the 60 people infected. "We have had very little information" Hartl said. The conformation came from a laboratory in France ville, also in eastern Gabon. A team from the Gabon Ministry of Health and the International Center of Medical Research in  France Ville went to the province last week when they first received reports of that the outbreak might be Ebola, Hartl added. On Friday, Hartl said there were unconfirmed reports of a possible outbreak in nearby Congo. Ebola is passed through contact with bodily fluids, such as mucus, saliva and blood, but Ebola is not airborne. The virus incubates for four to 10 days before flu-like symptoms set in. Eventually, the virus causes severe internal bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea. There is no known cure for Ebola, but patients treated early for dehydration have a good chance of survival. WHO says more than 800 people have died of the disease since the virus was first case in Gabon was documented in 1994 the agency says. After the 1996-97 out break in Gabon it wasn't documented again until it appeared in Uganda last year. WHO recommends the suspected cases is isolated from other patients and that strict barrier nursing techniques be used to shield health workers from exposure. Gloves and masks must be worn and disinfected prior to reuse, the agency says. Patients who die from the disease should be promptly buried or cremated. The virus has also been transmitted to people from handling ill or dead infected chimpanzees, WHO says. Police are worried there may be widespread panic in the area because of the confirmed reports. There have been rumors of possible riots and / or break -ins. Police officials said tat when out breaks such as this occur, people become frightened and assume the worst and that is when people start to try and upraise against the police . However, no reports have been made in regards to riots and/ break -INS, but police have been told to be prepared for the worst. The Goban Government called emergency cabinet meeting and declared Ivindo province as "forbidden Province". The government begs international support and relief to get rid of the diseases.  it is requested to all media house not to make undue publicity to  the outbreak ,which can terrorize the general public and can hamper  to maintain the security situation in  the country. Gabon a Central African Republic also facing starvation, malnutrition, political instability, and draught from a long decade.  The neighboring countries Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Kenya, Somalia are also suffering from internal conflict and could not do as requested by the Gabon.  The first world showing their interest  on the request and ready to provide the assistances or relief  but they have an eye or vested interest on the natural resources of the Gabon republic which is rich in diamond, gold , natural gas , petroleum mine .

      1.      What did government request to Media?
      2.      Which province was declared as "forbidden province" ?
      3.      Why the neighboring countries could not assist the Republic of Gabon?
      4.      When the disease was documented first in the Africa?
      5.      What was the rate of death causing Ebola?
      6.      What were the symptoms of Ebola?
      7.      How the Ebola is transmitted to another person.
      8.      What was the resource of the Ebola?
      9.      Why did the first world countries showing their interest to Gabon?
      10. How many medical teams are going to be assign to assist the Gabon republic.    


      9. TALIBAN ARRESTED

                  US forces detained seven suspected Taliban fighters yesterday outside the American military base at Kandhar airport in southern Afghanistan after it came under attack , defense officials said. They said the men were detained for questioning after patrols were sent out to investigate the attack. A small number of other people who might have been involved in the gunfight escaped, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified. No American troops were injured, they said. A Reuters television cameraman, Taras Protsyuk, said he heard heavy gunfire and a number of explosions at the Kandhar base . He said the shooting lasted about 30 minutes and was at its most intense for a period of about five minutes ." I have seen the tracers and there were some light explosions like hand grenades ", he said " Americans appeared to be firing at a point in the hills to the West Side of the air base." Operation in Afghanistan by the US military and its allies to mop up remnants of the vanquished Taliban and the AL-QUIDA network are based at Kandahar airport .

                  There are about 4100 military personnel based at the airport, with the majority from the US. Mr. Protsyuk said the heaviest firing was on the airport's western perimeter, about half a mile from the terminal building. In a separate incident, an American military transport plane crashed in a remote region of the Afghanistan on Tuesday night , injuring all eight crew members but non of them critically ,US  officials said yesterday . Seven of those injured in the crash were able to walk and " non of the injuries were considered life- threatening " ,said Major Brad Lowell, a spokesman for the US central command in Florida . The cause of the crash was not known , although it did not appear to be the result of hostile fire, official said . An American soldier was killed in an accident in Afghanistan yesterday when a piece of heavy industrial equipment fell on him at Bagram air base near Kabul, the US military said . The soldier's name was  withheld pending notification of next of kin. Later on , it was revealed that the detainees were investigated thoroughly and two among seven were sent to " Kwantanamo Bey" a notorious jail used by American military  to dump terrorists. Kwantanamo Bey is in Cuba , a communist nation , ruled by Fidel Kastro , a south American country

                  It was provided to USA on lease for hundred years. Remaining among the detainees were sent to the local judicial authority and imposed to the judicial remand for six months . The American soldier killed by heavy equipment was delivered  to home with a national regards by a special US navy plane . The US had  started war against Afghanistan to abolish Taliban regime , who allegedly harboring the terrorist leader Osama bin Laden  in the country . American military could not find the Osama  till now. Osama is Saudi Arabia born billionaire and blind supporter of Muslim belief , he involved in fighting with Soviet Union  who had strong hold in Afghanistan during the second world war and  with the aid of US the Al quada successes to remove Russia from Afghanistan . Bin laden started getting physical and moral support from theUS . later on , the US  did not give his support to Osama so he and his allies attacked on US interest in South Africa killing 1000 innocent people by the suicide bombing and declared Osama a terrorist .  After the 9/11 terrorist attack on twin tower , the US has declared fight against the terrorism and  announce to hand over the Osama to the US by Afgan Government . The Taliban regime  did not obey the order saying that he was the guest of the country and  guest should not be hand over the western country . 

      1. Who is Osama bin Laden?
      2. What do you know about Kwantanamo Bey?
      3. What had happen to arrested seven detainees?
      4. Why did America attack Afghanistan?
      5. where did the US transport plane crash?
      6. Where is the US central command located?
      7. How many US military have been killed according to the passage?
      8. Where was the heaviest firing occurred?
      9. Where is the Kandhar air port located?
      10.  Who is Taras?


      10. THE UNITED NATION

                  The United Nation is an international organization established to create international security and friendship among the member states. After the Second World War, the allied nation established the United Nation on 24 December 1945 including 51 member states. Now it has 191 member states around the globe. The head quarters of the United Nation lies in New York in the US and the branch for the Europe is lies in Switzerland.

      Main objectives of the United Nations are as follows.

      1. To maintain international security
      2. To maintain friendship among the countries
      3. To regards human rights.

      It has six main organs
      1. International court of justice
      2. Secret General assembly
      3. Security Council
      4. Economic and social council
      5. Trusteeship council
      6. Secretariat
                                              1. International court of justice.

                  The headquarters of International court of justice lies in Netherlands. The UN secretariat lies in New York. The meeting of general assembly starts on third of September and concludes on December. Security council has 15 members among them 5 are permanent members , which are America, China , Russia , French, and Germany and other 10 members are elected by the 191 members states of general assembly for the period of two years . The Economic and Social council has 54 members' states and every member has three years of working period. The headquarters of the Economic and Social council lies in Geneva.

                  America, China, France, Germany, Russia the permanent members of the Security council has veto power .Chinese English, French, Russian, Spanish are the official language of the United nation,. Mr. Ban ki Mon is the Secretary General of the United Nations, a South Korea citizen.

                  Nepal as a United Nation member state has sent 1241police personnel to serve the United Nation, as civil police, police monitor, police advisor and police trainers. Nepal has established two Form Police Units in Haiti and Sudan as per the request of the United Nation. wins their obedience, confidence, respect and enthusiastic co-operation in achieving common objectives.


      1.HATES CRIMES

                  The number of organized hate groups in the United States increased 20 percents last year, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. Nearly 9000 hate crimes , more than half of them motivated by race, were reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1996- compared to 7947 incidents in 1995 and 5932incidents in 1994. Last week, James Byrd, Jr., a 49 -year's old black man, was dragged to death in Texas by a chain from the back of a pickup truck. Recently, two black men also became the targets of possible copycat crimes in Illinois and Louisiana.

                  Authorities say the three men who have been charged with Byrd's murder my have ties with white supremacist groups, which have grown to over 400 organizations nationwide, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. In fact, the Ku Klux Klan has been granted permission to rally later this month in Jasper, Texas, and the town where Byrd was killed. "These groups are getting better with the public," said Joe Roy, director of the Intelligence Project of the Southern poverty Law Center."They are no longer racist but racialist, not segregationists, but separatists. They are using a lot more attractive buzz words to lead people into their organizations "of the 474 hat groups documented by the Intelligence Project, 127were related to the Ku Klux Klan 100 was neo-Nazi, 42 were Skinheads, 81were Christian Identity, a racist religion, 12 were Black separatists and 112subscribed to a mélange to hate -based doctrines and ideologies.
      Tracking Hate Crimes

                  The FBI is investigating the Texas case as a possible that crime, defined as an offense motivated buy the dislike of a person's race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin. " This was an act of violence that had a much broader implication than just the murder of a single person " said Hillary Shelton , deputy director of the NAACP in Washington DC " A much larger message was being sent by this horrible action" Many civil right s groups attributes the rise in hate  crimes to proliferation of Internet hate sites , racist music lyrics and white power literature- propaganda tools for promoting race- hating ideology that have reached an audience of as many as 2 million people . Since1995, more than 160 hate sites are active online, according to the intelligence project. Less than three years ago, there was only one. "Technology has a lot to do with opening up new recruitment opportunities for these groups," said Roy "It's a place where young people of the computer generation can vent their frustration, exchange ideas and download information to feed their hatred.


      1. How many of the hate crimes were about racial differences?
      2. How did Mr. Byrd die in Texas?
      3. Are the men who killed Byrd connected to any groups? If so, what?
      4. How are these hate groups encouraging new people to join?
      5. How many hate groups are there nationwide?
      6. What do civil rights groups say the reason is for such a increase in hat e crimes.?
      7. How many men have been charged with Byrd's murder?
      8. Why were two black men targets of crimes in Illinois and Louisiana.?
      9. What was the increase in hate groups last year?
      10. Who is Hillary Shelton?         

      2.PILOT  ACCUSED

                  Lotfi Raissi , an Algerian pilot who had been accused of training the suicide hijackers who crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, walked free today after being granted bail at an extradition hearing . Mr.Raissi, 27 who has been held in jail for five months, emerged from the top security Belmarsh magistrate's court complex in south -east London to applause from his family and friends. Minutes earlier, district judge Timothy Workman said Mr.Raissi, who lives near Heathrow airport. Could have conditional bail as he was only facing extradition to the US on two counts of falsifying as application for a US pilot's license. At previous court hearings in London, lawyers acting for the US authorities indicated he was suspected of being a lead instructor for pilots responsible for the September 11 hijackings. And US prosecutor have in the past made clear that the pilot's license accusations were only holding charges. But no terrorism charges have been formally introduced and Mr. Raissi's lawyers successfully argued today that the charges related to pilot's license applications did not justify him being held in prison. Mr. Workman said he appreciated the September 11 investigation was long and painstaking but he said he was allowing bail as the US government was unlikely to bring terrorism charges inAA the near future. Mr. Raissi's family has strenuously denied he was involved in the September 11 terror attacks in any way. Today he was told his family would have to give $10000in surety, that he would have to live at an address specified to the court , that he would have to surrender his passport and not apply for international travel documents . Mr. Raissi's French wife Sonia, speaking after the judge's decision, said that she believed justice had been done. She said " we have been waiting five months and my message to the FBI is , You arrested him for terrorism so why do you want to extradite him for these ridiculous , minor charges? .

                  Lotfi's brother, Mohamed, said "The FBI said to he world that he was a big terrorist and they have to now say to the world, that his man is innocent. They have destroyed his life, his future and his dream".
       But James Lewis, representing the US government, told the court Mr.Raissi should not be granted bail. He said "we are concerned with an investigation into an atrocity that shocked the civilized world ...Mr. Raissi is a suspect in that investigation"

                  Hugo Keith, representing Mr. Raissi, said "The Americans now seen unwilling to withdraw from their initial position and accept on this occasion, they pursued the wrong person. He is not fundamentalist. He is married to a white Catholic" Prosecutors have alleged that Mr.Raissi had links to Hani Hanjour ,the pilot suspected of crashing Flight 77 into the Pentagon.

                  Mr. Raissi was arrested on September 21 and has been held at London' high -security Belmarsh prison ever since. He was indicated by a federal grand jury in Arizona on charges of falsifying applications for a pilot's license and other documents. He allegedly held a 1993 theft conviction and failed to mention that he had undergone a knee operation. He has also been indicated Arizona on 11 more counts, including conspiracy to submit a false immigration claim. A previous attempt to win him bail in the high court in London in December failed. Lawyers acting for the US alleged that there was "a web of circumstantial evidence that points to the involvement of Raissi in a terrorist conspiracy which culminate in the events of September 11" US counsel said Mr.Raissi had "links to the Al-Qsida organization" and was "someone who has both motive and means t escape"

      1. When was Mr.Raissi arrested?
      2. How long has he been held in jail?
      3. Is it confirmed that Mr.Raissi had links to the hijacker of Flight77?
      4. What nationality is Mr.Raissi's wife?
      5. What did he hide in 1993?
      6. Did he succeed in his previous attempt to win bail?
      7. What are the conditions of his bail?
      8. What nationality is Mr. Raissi and where does he live?
      9. Has he been charged with terrorism?
      10.What did the US authorities accuse him of doing?

      3.BOSNIA INJURIES

                  On Thursday in northern Bosnia, two American soldiers were wounded when a land mine exploded. One of the soldiers suffered injuries to his right foot and other was able to walk away from the blast with shrapnel wounds to his lower leg . The incident happened at about 2:30 PM 0930EST in the town of Hadizici, which is located about ten miles south east of Tuzla .

                  NATO issued a statement about the incident. The statement said, "two American engineers were injured by an anti-personal mine as they were conducting a joint inspection of a minefield with the Bosnian Serb Army. One soldier stepped on an anti- personnel mine, incurring injuries to one foot.
      Concerns have been raised by ERRI and any number of other sources in regard to the dangers of landmines and other improvised explosive devices in Bosnia. According to UNICEF, Bosnia has one of the highest densities of landmines per square mile of any place in the world. UNICEF says that more than 1800000mines may have been laid in Bosnia during the recent years of ethnic conflict. More troublesome to NATO troops than traditional mines, which are made of metal, are mines with plastic cases or improvised mines made from wooden cases and high explosives. The wood and plastic mines are far more difficult to detect with conventional mine detectors.

                  In other news regarding to Bosnian peace mission, United States Navy Admiral Leighton Smith made some remarks regarding the six confirmed sniper incidents involving NATO forces since Sunday. Admiral Smith said, "We have got some jerk up there pulling a trigger and he has got a night scope. That makes it tough. But boy, let me tell you , if we do see him he had better be fast and be clad in bullet-proof stuff. Because we will attack with out  warning. There are such things as anti- sniping teams ....people who snipe at our forces are at great risk to themselves. If we see some body pointing a weapon at our forces he will be attacked with out warning.... no warning shots, no' drop your weapon"

                   And true to Admiral Smith's words -- French NATO forces later killed a sniper in the suburb where most of the shooting incidents have occurred. A NATO statement said "One gunman was located by the French Special Forces and was later neutralized. This person was seriously wounded. He later died of his injuries in spite of the intervention from a military physician. Another armed civilian was also apprehended by 0ur forces. This individual was disarmed with out any bloodshed".

      1. How many confirmed sniper incidents have there been?
      2. Where were the two American soldiers inured?
      3. Did both of the soldiers walk away from the explosion?
      4. Will a warning be given to snipers who shoot at NATO forces?
      5. How many mines have been placed in Bosnia during the conflict?
      6. Does Bosnia have a large amount of mines per square mile?
      7. What happened to the sniper found by French NATO forces?
      8. Was the second civilian, who was carrying a weapon ,shot by NATO forces?
      9. Which types of mines are more difficult to detect?
      10. Was the first sniper shot dead by the French NATO forces?


      4. CLONE SYSTEM

                  Numerous reports from around the world in Jan/ Feb 2001 of fresh attempts to clone human embryos, ranging from Clonaid saying they hope t implant embryos into surrogate mothers in February to Australian scientists saying they have managed to make a human cloned embryo by combining a empty pig egg with a human cell . Their cloned human embryo divided to 32 cells before being destroyed. In other words it seems that the empty eggs from animal contain all that is needed to activate human genes for successful human cloning. There are huge risks of abnormalities and mutations in these human cloning experiments. We know that these animal-human hybrids are likely to escape legal controls because a court of law would probably decide that this was not human cloning a legally defined .However the outcome - if born - would be a clone baby which has identical genes in the nucleus of every cell to the adult from which the original cell was taken . Interestingly , 1%of the genes in mammal cells are not in the nucleus but in the power packs providing all the electricity for cells . These power generators called mitochondriaa .So technically these human clones made from animal eggs would have 1% animal DNA . Worrying  we know that there are many serious diseases in human caused by faulty genes in the mitochondria . But that is with human mitochondria .What will be the risk of problems with animal mitochondria being used to power every cell in human cloned child that is yet to go?

                  Clonaid  says five British couples, including two pairs of homosexual men have asked to be cloned. Peter and lldako Blackborn , computer consultants from Huntingdon Cambrisdgeshire UK have expressed an interest in human cloning as a alternative infertility treatment but which had not say if they are in touch with Clonaid . as the press conference called and announce of the cloning the United States government banned it to practice in the future . The US government pledged that it will harm the civilization of the human being so world should not follow the mal -practices .

                  After two months the Korean scientist claimed that he also get success to reproduce a clone baby and he claimed that he will use it for the couple who doesn't  have kids and deserve it .According to the scientist , he will provide who ever the couples deserve, but the donor should give his consents .
      The British government strongly condemned the act of the Korean scientist and announced that the UK government does not allow the cloning to spread in the world. Cloning should be only in side the lab.  The international scientists said that it is a big step in the human civilization and should be utilized to find out the cure of all diseases in the future. it also claimed ridiculously that every couple wants Clinton and Bill Gates as their children at the same time the natural system has been disturbed by the pressure of cloning . The world need people of every sector not money maker and politicians. If so, the world will destroy very soon.

                  A conference has been organized by some popular scientists in the   New York and concluded with a statement that it is a extraordinary achievement for the whole world with some vital de-merits so all should stand together to utilized the said invention. The  prime responsibility rest upon the politicians who claims to be the supreme of the United Nations organization.

      1. What was the conclusion of New York press conference?
      2. What was the only vital demerit of the cloning?
      3. What was the claimed to of the Korean scientist?
      4. Why the US government did banned the cloning system?
      5. What is the main problem of cloning system?
      6. What does Australian scientist claim?
      7. What is the risk in human cloning experiments?
      8. For what reason did the scientists prefer to sue and empty pig egg and a human cell for the experiment?
      9. What is the specific with mitochondria??
      10. Why have scientists shown their interest in human cloning?


      5. ARSON IN THE VILLAGE

                  On Sunday morning in a hot summer day, one patrol team of CIVPOL monitor received a radio call from the CIVPOL station about an arsoning incident in a bear by village. Someone had called up and informed the station about the incident from a local public call office .The patrol team rushed to the scene of incident. As reaching the scene, they saw a red vehicle speeding away in a very high speed with at least four or five persons inside with at least one man holding something like gun. Arriving at the scene, the monitors saw tow houses burning. Some natives came towards them and informed that some armed people came to the village, set light to the two houses belonging to a local politician and fled in their red car. The situation was immediately reported the CIVPOL station and the local police authority were duly informed. Within few minutes the fleeing red vehicle as stopped at a check point and the perpetrators arrested by the local police.

                  The patrol team informed to the fire brigade about the arson case and the Fire brigade team form the local municipality arrived in 15 minutes to the scene and put off the fire. Some local said during the interview that the both house was belong to the local politicians called Mustafa Leader. Leader had some arguments with some rivals during the municipality meeting last Friday about the grazing of the animal in the village of Ruslan. The leader received a threat from the rival of abandon the village as soon as possible or faces the adverse consequences. The leader did not obey the threat and the incident happen. Both house entirely damaged by the arson but the fire bridge could not give the total amount of loss of the house. The CIVPOL interviewed with the house owner and revealed that two houses worth $ 10000 and two camels worth $ 1000, cash worth $99 and utensils worth $45, grains worth $ 129, have been damaged during the arson.  The monitor team assured him relief of compensation from the local authority. 

                  The local police team with out aid of UN Police have arrested the red vehicle and recovered a Tomy machine gun and 354 rounds of live ammunitions form the red car. Five suspects including driver also have been arrested by the local but not disclosed in public by the local police. The local police issued a statement in the same day saying that investigation is underway and if information needed contact to regional head quarters the following day.

                  The National Labour Party belongs to Mustafa organized a protest rally in the town demanding the full security to the local leader and their property and take legal and strain action to perpetrators. During the demonstration supporters of the party vandalized 4 shops and injured three local security personnel.
       The local authority endorsed compensation to the Mustafa, according to the report of Fire Brigade which cost in the said head but only $ 11000.  The fire brigade did not mention the head of the loss but recommended the whole some of money.

                  The local police control the security situation in the town and the police released one suspect with out any legal charge and other four have been sent to the jail by the order of local magistrate on the charge of arson and possession of illegal weapon.

                  The red car sent to the auction to pay the compensation of the damage property. The owner of the car complained that his car was stolen from the garage at midnight on the same day, and it is dictatorship of the local authority to auction his car with out investigating properly and he also claimed that he will sue to the local authority in the Apex court.

      1.      When did the car stolen?
      2.      What was the lost property?
      3.      What were the ammunition found by the local police?.
      4.      What was the demand of political party?
      5.      What had happened during the demonstration of local political party?
      6.      What message did the CIVPOL received?
      7.      How was the CIVPOL station informed of the incident ?
      8.      En- route to the scene, what did the patrol team saw?
      9.      What was the monitor action on the scene?
        10. what action did the local police take ?
      6. Authoritarian regime

                  President Abdurrahaman Wahid granted amnesty  thousands of prisoners Thursday, including some who were ailed for there political beliefs. Minister for law and legislation Yusril Ihza Mahendra said 105 political prisoners, and 3000 others who were jailed for criminals' acts, would be released. He said Wahid signed a presidential decree Thursday and the prisoners would be set free Thursday night and Friday morning.

                  "We are releasing the criminal prisoners because it's Christmas time and the New year",he said . He added that the release of the political prisoners' mostly separatist activists from Aceh and Irian Jaya province was part of the government's efforts to release all those who were jailed for political activity under Indonesian's former authoritarian regime. Most of the political prisoners were jailed during the32 -year dictatorship of Suharto , who was ousted from power due to a student uprising in May 1998.

                  It is not the self motivated move of the government but international political pressure to released the political prisoners .  There are more than 40% members of the parliament are brought from the security service to show the political honesty to the military department .  Military party called National Unity party is more powerful in Indonesia till now and it has 32 years' background. The civil leadership could not do any thing with out the military aid. So democratic government willing to follow the military advice. 

                  The international court of justice has declare to punish some of the criminals who were directly involved in the massacre in Indonesia during the dictatorship of Suharto regime. But it is ridiculous to digest that the than army chief who has been accused of murdering 200 prisoners of political belief, is a member of parliament now. The Amnesty International condemned the act of the government to nominate the army chief Mr. Javal as a parliamentarian and said that the government marginalized the people voice.

                  The International Court of Justice summoned  as per the international standard to Suharto to present his opinion in Hague whether he did the crime or not , but it went in vain because Suharto has been admitted to Jakarta Teaching   hospital due to chest and BP problem . Suharto has been accusing of accumulating large sum of money and killing 500 students during the students' uprising.

                  The interim president of East Timor Mr. Gusmao also condemned the act of the government to make escort free to the war criminals and said government is deceiving the people of Indonesia. Indonesian government barked against the East-Timor saying that no one could interfere in internal matter of the country. For the information, East -Timor is a fragment of the republic of Indonesia and got independence in 1997 by the acute international political pressure and military intervention by the UN.

                   Indonesian   people believe, the criminal who are released on the occasion New year will never involve in criminal activities in the future. Indonesia lies in East of the Asia bordering  China , Australia, Iran and Indian sea respectively East, West, South and North. and it is has the most dense Muslim population with mainly  Hindu religion . Indonesia was colonized by French in 1800 AD and ruled till 1936 and got independence. The military authority ousted the civil government in 1940 by military coup and rules till 1997. The country has notorious history of producing natural drugs like Heroine and Cocaine and it is also called the country of golden triangle, the main transit of drugs , including Burma ,Thailand and Laos.       

      1. Which countries are called golden triangle country?
      2. Which country is lies in the  south of Indonesia ?
      3. What is the formal accusation to Suharto?
      4. Why the democratic government does follow the military advice?
      5. What was the reply of the government to East -Timor condemnation?
      6. Where is the international court of Justice located?
      7. why were the thousands of people jailed ?
      8. What did Mr. Yusril Ihza Mahendra say?
      9. How many political prisoners were jailed?
           10. Who were the released prisoners mostly?
      7.  GAMBLE

                  November 27, 2001 Bangkok, Thailand: Thai police said on Mondays they have arrested six Filipino gang members for allegedly luring two Japanese and three French tourists to gamble in their house and cheating them out of millions of Baht (thousands of dollars) . The gang members, three men and three women, were arrested on Sunday from a house in Bangkok where all six gang members lived, police Lieutenant General Chat Kuldilok told reporters. Lt. Gen. Kuldilik said the women pretended to be Thai house wives and invited their victims. Whom they met on the street while pedaling handicrafts, to come to their house to teach them Japanese, and to sell them handicrafts. He said the male members of the gang pretended to be millionaires from Brunei who lost huge sums to each other to avoid suspicion by the tourists, Chat said. Four of the five tourists agreed to gamble with the male gang members while the female gang members supposedly were making them fool. Once the tourists had lost all of their money to the gang members they tried to get some of their money back, but the gang members refused. The tourists were told if they told the police or any one else about losing money to them, they would be killed. All the male gang members had knives and showed them to the tourists after telling them this. The tourists left the house and notified Thai police immediately. The tourists informed the police of the gang members' house and were willing to help them in hopes of getting their money back. Upon arrest, the Thai police searched the entire house, but unfortunately the money could not be found. One of the tourists response was," I am happy, even tough we didn't get our money back , I'm just glad the gang members were found by the Thai Police . Hopefully nothing like this will happen to any tourists ever again.

                  Police interviewed all the detainees in the police cell and found that other two gangs also committing the same crime using same modus operandi in the capital city. Police started the vigorous checking around the suspected area and arrested one gang with some weapons and valuables in the rented house. Police confiscate six knives and four round of live bullets including four gang members.  Later on police honestly publicized two golden rings, four golden bracelets, six wrist watches and five passports. And issued a statement saying that any one who is belongs to the valuables contact with proofs to the city police officer Mr. Rothan.

                   Police registered a legal case to the first 6 members of the gang accusing looting the valuable of the tourists but the local magistrate released all saying that police did not show the proofs of looting.  The second gang members also charged with looting the tourists and illegal possession of weapons .The magistrate send them to the jail for six months on the charge of looting but the magistrate said police should be careful accusing the civilian who has only live bullets not a pistol or revolver.

                  The police assured that the looting case will come down after the arrest of 2 looting gangs and vows that they will do enough to arrest who are involved in looting case. Police said that tourist should be careful with the people who were involved in prostitution. Bangkok is famous for sex tourism in East Asia.  Most of the prostitutes are brought form the Philippine in the name of house wife . In this racket the local administration and police and pimps are also involved.

      1.      How may gang members arrested?
      2.      What are the valuables had been confiscated?
      3.      Why the Bangkok city is famous for?
      4.      How many culprits were sent to jail and how many released?
      5.      How the gang member did pretend themselves?
      6.      What were the nationality of the victims ?
      7.      What was the tourist said after not getting his money?
      8.      What did general Chat said about the accident?
      9.      What were weapons confiscated.
                10. How many tourists had gambled with cheaters?

      8.  EBOLA

                  Sunday, December 9, 2001 An outbreak of fever in the West African nation of Gabon has been confirmed as the deadly disease Ebola, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Sunday. It is world's first documented outbreak of Ebola since last year in Uganda, where 224 people - including health workers - died from the virus. Ebola is one of the most virulent viral diseases known to humankind, causing death in 50 to 90 percent of all clinically ill cases. "It's been confirmed by a laboratory in Gabon" WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told the press. "We have reports that seven people have died" Hartl said WHO has already sent a team to help the coastal nation and that a second team of four specialists would leave Geneva for Gabon on Monday. The out break is in remote Ogooue Ivindo province in northeastern Gabon, he said. Gabon was last afflicted in an outbreak in 1996-97 that killed 45 of the 60 people infected. "We have had very little information" Hartl said. The conformation came from a laboratory in France ville, also in eastern Gabon. A team from the Gabon Ministry of Health and the International Center of Medical Research in  France Ville went to the province last week when they first received reports of that the outbreak might be Ebola, Hartl added. On Friday, Hartl said there were unconfirmed reports of a possible outbreak in nearby Congo. Ebola is passed through contact with bodily fluids, such as mucus, saliva and blood, but Ebola is not airborne. The virus incubates for four to 10 days before flu-like symptoms set in. Eventually, the virus causes severe internal bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea. There is no known cure for Ebola, but patients treated early for dehydration have a good chance of survival. WHO says more than 800 people have died of the disease since the virus was first case in Gabon was documented in 1994 the agency says. After the 1996-97 out break in Gabon it wasn't documented again until it appeared in Uganda last year. WHO recommends the suspected cases is isolated from other patients and that strict barrier nursing techniques be used to shield health workers from exposure. Gloves and masks must be worn and disinfected prior to reuse, the agency says. Patients who die from the disease should be promptly buried or cremated. The virus has also been transmitted to people from handling ill or dead infected chimpanzees, WHO says. Police are worried there may be widespread panic in the area because of the confirmed reports. There have been rumors of possible riots and / or break -ins. Police officials said tat when out breaks such as this occur, people become frightened and assume the worst and that is when people start to try and upraise against the police . However, no reports have been made in regards to riots and/ break -INS, but police have been told to be prepared for the worst. The Goban Government called emergency cabinet meeting and declared Ivindo province as "forbidden Province". The government begs international support and relief to get rid of the diseases.  it is requested to all media house not to make undue publicity to  the outbreak ,which can terrorize the general public and can hamper  to maintain the security situation in  the country. Gabon a Central African Republic also facing starvation, malnutrition, political instability, and draught from a long decade.  The neighboring countries Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Kenya, Somalia are also suffering from internal conflict and could not do as requested by the Gabon.  The first world showing their interest  on the request and ready to provide the assistances or relief  but they have an eye or vested interest on the natural resources of the Gabon republic which is rich in diamond, gold , natural gas , petroleum mine .

      1.      What did government request to Media?
      2.      Which province was declared as "forbidden province" ?
      3.      Why the neighboring countries could not assist the Republic of Gabon?
      4.      When the disease was documented first in the Africa?
      5.      What was the rate of death causing Ebola?
      6.      What were the symptoms of Ebola?
      7.      How the Ebola is transmitted to another person.
      8.      What was the resource of the Ebola?
      9.      Why did the first world countries showing their interest to Gabon?
      10. How many medical teams are going to be assign to assist the Gabon republic.    


      9. TALIBAN ARRESTED

                  US forces detained seven suspected Taliban fighters yesterday outside the American military base at Kandhar airport in southern Afghanistan after it came under attack , defense officials said. They said the men were detained for questioning after patrols were sent out to investigate the attack. A small number of other people who might have been involved in the gunfight escaped, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified. No American troops were injured, they said. A Reuters television cameraman, Taras Protsyuk, said he heard heavy gunfire and a number of explosions at the Kandhar base . He said the shooting lasted about 30 minutes and was at its most intense for a period of about five minutes ." I have seen the tracers and there were some light explosions like hand grenades ", he said " Americans appeared to be firing at a point in the hills to the West Side of the air base." Operation in Afghanistan by the US military and its allies to mop up remnants of the vanquished Taliban and the AL-QUIDA network are based at Kandahar airport .

                  There are about 4100 military personnel based at the airport, with the majority from the US. Mr. Protsyuk said the heaviest firing was on the airport's western perimeter, about half a mile from the terminal building. In a separate incident, an American military transport plane crashed in a remote region of the Afghanistan on Tuesday night , injuring all eight crew members but non of them critically ,US  officials said yesterday . Seven of those injured in the crash were able to walk and " non of the injuries were considered life- threatening " ,said Major Brad Lowell, a spokesman for the US central command in Florida . The cause of the crash was not known , although it did not appear to be the result of hostile fire, official said . An American soldier was killed in an accident in Afghanistan yesterday when a piece of heavy industrial equipment fell on him at Bagram air base near Kabul, the US military said . The soldier's name was  withheld pending notification of next of kin. Later on , it was revealed that the detainees were investigated thoroughly and two among seven were sent to " Kwantanamo Bey" a notorious jail used by American military  to dump terrorists. Kwantanamo Bey is in Cuba , a communist nation , ruled by Fidel Kastro , a south American country

                  It was provided to USA on lease for hundred years. Remaining among the detainees were sent to the local judicial authority and imposed to the judicial remand for six months . The American soldier killed by heavy equipment was delivered  to home with a national regards by a special US navy plane . The US had  started war against Afghanistan to abolish Taliban regime , who allegedly harboring the terrorist leader Osama bin Laden  in the country . American military could not find the Osama  till now. Osama is Saudi Arabia born billionaire and blind supporter of Muslim belief , he involved in fighting with Soviet Union  who had strong hold in Afghanistan during the second world war and  with the aid of US the Al quada successes to remove Russia from Afghanistan . Bin laden started getting physical and moral support from theUS . later on , the US  did not give his support to Osama so he and his allies attacked on US interest in South Africa killing 1000 innocent people by the suicide bombing and declared Osama a terrorist .  After the 9/11 terrorist attack on twin tower , the US has declared fight against the terrorism and  announce to hand over the Osama to the US by Afgan Government . The Taliban regime  did not obey the order saying that he was the guest of the country and  guest should not be hand over the western country . 

      1. Who is Osama bin Laden?
      2. What do you know about Kwantanamo Bey?
      3. What had happen to arrested seven detainees?
      4. Why did America attack Afghanistan?
      5. where did the US transport plane crash?
      6. Where is the US central command located?
      7. How many US military have been killed according to the passage?
      8. Where was the heaviest firing occurred?
      9. Where is the Kandhar air port located?
      10.  Who is Taras?
        
      10. THE UNITED NATION

                  The United Nation is an international organization established to create international security and friendship among the member states. After the Second World War, the allied nation established the United Nation on 24 December 1945 including 51 member states. Now it has 191 member states around the globe. The head quarters of the United Nation lies in New York in the US and the branch for the Europe is lies in Switzerland.

      Main objectives of the United Nations are as follows.

      1. To maintain international security
      2. To maintain friendship among the countries
      3. To regards human rights.

      It has six main organs
      1. International court of justice
      2. Secret General assembly
      3. Security Council
      4. Economic and social council
      5. Trusteeship council
      6. Secretariat
              
                    1. International court of justice.

                  The headquarters of International court of justice lies in Netherlands. The UN secretariat lies in New York. The meeting of general assembly starts on third of September and concludes on December. Security council has 15 members among them 5 are permanent members , which are America, China , Russia , French, and Germany and other 10 members are elected by the 191 members states of general assembly for the period of two years . The Economic and Social council has 54 members' states and every member has three years of working period. The headquarters of the Economic and Social council lies in Geneva.

                  America, China, France, Germany, Russia the permanent members of the Security council has veto power .Chinese English, French, Russian, Spanish are the official language of the United nation,. Mr. Ban ki Mon is the Secretary General of the United Nations, a South Korea citizen.

                  Nepal as a United Nation member state has sent 1241police personnel to serve the United Nation, as civil police, police monitor, police advisor and police trainers. Nepal has established two Form Police Units in Haiti and Sudan as per the request of the United Nation. wins their obedience, confidence, respect and enthusiastic co-operation in achieving common objectives.






      1.HATES CRIMES

      The number of organized hate groups in the United States increased 20 percents last year, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. Nearly 9000 hate crimes , more than half of them motivated by race, were reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1996- compared to 7947 incidents in 1995 and 5932incidents in 1994. Last week, James Byrd, Jr., a 49 -year's old black man, was dragged to death in Texas by a chain from the back of a pickup truck. Recently, two black men also became the targets of possible copycat crimes in Illinois and Louisiana.
      Authorities say the three men who have been charged with Byrd's murder my have ties with white supremacist groups, which have grown to over 400 organizations nationwide, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. In fact, the Ku Klux Klan has been granted permission to rally later this month in Jasper, Texas, and the town where Byrd was killed. "These groups are getting better with the public," said Joe Roy, director of the Intelligence Project of the Southern poverty Law Center."They are no longer racist but racialist, not segregationists, but separatists. They are using a lot more attractive buzz words to lead people into their organizations "of the 474 hat groups documented by the Intelligence Project, 127were related to the Ku Klux Klan 100 was neo-Nazi, 42 were Skinheads, 81were Christian Identity, a racist religion, 12 were Black separatists and 112subscribed to a mélange to hate -based doctrines and ideologies.
      Tracking Hate Crimes
      The FBI is investigating the Texas case as a possible that crime, defined as an offense motivated buy the dislike of a person's race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin. " This was an act of violence that had a much broader implication than just the murder of a single person " said Hillary Shelton , deputy director of the NAACP in Washington DC " A much larger message was being sent by this horrible action" Many civil right s groups attributes the rise in hate  crimes to proliferation of Internet hate sites , racist music lyrics and white power literature- propaganda tools for promoting race- hating ideology that have reached an audience of as many as 2 million people . Since1995, more than 160 hate sites are active online, according to the intelligence project. Less than three years ago, there was only one. "Technology has a lot to do with opening up new recruitment opportunities for these groups," said Roy "It's a place where young people of the computer generation can vent their frustration, exchange ideas and download information to feed their hatred.





      1.    How many of the hate crimes were about racial differences?
      2.    How did Mr. Byrd die in Texas?
      3.    Are the men who killed Byrd connected to any groups? If so, what?
      4.    How are these hate groups encouraging new people to join?
      5.    How many hate groups are there nationwide?
      6.    What do civil rights groups say the reason is for such a increase in hat e crimes.?
      7.    How many men have been charged with Byrd's murder?
      8.    Why were two black men targets of crimes in Illinois and Louisiana.?
      9.    What was the increase in hate groups last year?
      10.    Who is Hillary Shelton?   


      2.PILOT  ACCUSED

      Lotfi Raissi , an Algerian pilot who had been accused of training the suicide hijackers who crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, walked free today after being granted bail at an extradition hearing . Mr.Raissi, 27 who has been held in jail for five months, emerged from the top security Belmarsh magistrate's court complex in south -east London to applause from his family and friends. Minutes earlier, district judge Timothy Workman said Mr.Raissi, who lives near Heathrow airport. Could have conditional bail as he was only facing extradition to the US on two counts of falsifying as application for a US pilot's license. At previous court hearings in London, lawyers acting for the US authorities indicated he was suspected of being a lead instructor for pilots responsible for the September 11 hijackings. And US prosecutor have in the past made clear that the pilot's license accusations were only holding charges. But no terrorism charges have been formally introduced and Mr. Raissi's lawyers successfully argued today that the charges related to pilot's license applications did not justify him being held in prison. Mr. Workman said he appreciated the September 11 investigation was long and painstaking but he said he was allowing bail as the US government was unlikely to bring terrorism charges inAA the near future. Mr. Raissi's family has strenuously denied he was involved in the September 11 terror attacks in any way. Today he was told his family would have to give $10000in surety, that he would have to live at an address specified to the court , that he would have to surrender his passport and not apply for international travel documents . Mr. Raissi's French wife Sonia, speaking after the judge's decision, said that she believed justice had been done. She said " we have been waiting five months and my message to the FBI is , You arrested him for terrorism so why do you want to extradite him for these ridiculous , minor charges? .
       Lotfi's brother, Mohamed, said "The FBI said to he world that he was a big terrorist and they have to now say to the world, that his man is innocent. They have destroyed his life, his future and his dream".
       But James Lewis, representing the US government, told the court Mr.Raissi should not be granted bail. He said "we are concerned with an investigation into an atrocity that shocked the civilized world ...Mr. Raissi is a suspect in that investigation"
      Hugo Keith, representing Mr. Raissi, said "The Americans now seen unwilling to withdraw from their initial position and accept on this occasion, they pursued the wrong person. He is not fundamentalist. He is married to a white Catholic" Prosecutors have alleged that Mr.Raissi had links to Hani Hanjour ,the pilot suspected of crashing Flight 77 into the Pentagon.
      Mr. Raissi was arrested on September 21 and has been held at London' high -security Belmarsh prison ever since. He was indicated by a federal grand jury in Arizona on charges of falsifying applications for a pilot's license and other documents. He allegedly held a 1993 theft conviction and failed to mention that he had undergone a knee operation. He has also been indicated Arizona on 11 more counts, including conspiracy to submit a false immigration claim. A previous attempt to win him bail in the high court in London in December failed. Lawyers acting for the US alleged that there was "a web of circumstantial evidence that points to the involvement of Raissi in a terrorist conspiracy which culminate in the events of September 11" US counsel said Mr.Raissi had "links to the Al-Qsida organization" and was "someone who has both motive and means t escape"
      1.    When was Mr.Raissi arrested?
      2.    How long has he been held in jail?
      3.    Is it confirmed that Mr.Raissi had links to the hijacker of Flight77?
      4.    What nationality is Mr.Raissi's wife?
      5.    What did he hide in 1993?
      6.    Did he succeed in his previous attempt to win bail?
      7.    What are the conditions of his bail?
      8.    What nationality is Mr. Raissi and where does he live?
      9.    Has he been charged with terrorism?
      10.What did the US authorities accuse him of doing?



      3.BOSNIA INJURIES

      On Thursday in northern Bosnia, two American soldiers were wounded when a land mine exploded. One of the soldiers suffered injuries to his right foot and other was able to walk away from the blast with shrapnel wounds to his lower leg . The incident happened at about 2:30 PM 0930EST in the town of Hadizici, which is located about ten miles south east of Tuzla .
      NATO issued a statement about the incident. The statement said, "two American engineers were injured by an anti-personal mine as they were conducting a joint inspection of a minefield with the Bosnian Serb Army. One soldier stepped on an anti- personnel mine, incurring injuries to one foot.
      Concerns have been raised by ERRI and any number of other sources in regard to the dangers of landmines and other improvised explosive devices in Bosnia. According to UNICEF, Bosnia has one of the highest densities of landmines per square mile of any place in the world. UNICEF says that more than 1800000mines may have been laid in Bosnia during the recent years of ethnic conflict. More troublesome to NATO troops than traditional mines, which are made of metal, are mines with plastic cases or improvised mines made from wooden cases and high explosives. The wood and plastic mines are far more difficult to detect with conventional mine detectors.
      In other news regarding to Bosnian peace mission, United States Navy Admiral Leighton Smith made some remarks regarding the six confirmed sniper incidents involving NATO forces since Sunday. Admiral Smith said, "We have got some jerk up there pulling a trigger and he has got a night scope. That makes it tough. But boy, let me tell you , if we do see him he had better be fast and be clad in bullet-proof stuff. Because we will attack with out  warning. There are such things as anti- sniping teams ....people who snipe at our forces are at great risk to themselves. If we see some body pointing a weapon at our forces he will be attacked with out warning.... no warning shots, no' drop your weapon"
       And true to Admiral Smith's words -- French NATO forces later killed a sniper in the suburb where most of the shooting incidents have occurred. A NATO statement said "One gunman was located by the French Special Forces and was later neutralized. This person was seriously wounded. He later died of his injuries in spite of the intervention from a military physician. Another armed civilian was also apprehended by 0ur forces. This individual was disarmed with out any bloodshed".


      1.    How many confirmed sniper incidents have there been?
      2.    Where were the two American soldiers inured?
      3.    Did both of the soldiers walk away from the explosion?
      4.    Will a warning be given to snipers who shoot at NATO forces?
      5.    How many mines have been placed in Bosnia during the conflict?
      6.    Does Bosnia have a large amount of mines per square mile?
      7.    What happened to the sniper found by French NATO forces?
      8.    Was the second civilian, who was carrying a weapon ,shot by NATO forces?
      9.    Which types of mines are more difficult to detect?
      10.    Was the first sniper shot dead by the French NATO forces?


      4.CLONE SYSTEM

      Numerous reports from around the world in Jan/ Feb 2001 of fresh attempts to clone human embryos, ranging from Clonaid saying they hope t implant embryos into surrogate mothers in February to Australian scientists saying they have managed to make a human cloned embryo by combining a empty pig egg with a human cell . Their cloned human embryo divided to 32 cells before being destroyed. In other words it seems that the empty eggs from animal contain all that is needed to activate human genes for successful human cloning. There are huge risks of abnormalities and mutations in these human cloning experiments. We know that these animal-human hybrids are likely to escape legal controls because a court of law would probably decide that this was not human cloning a legally defined .However the outcome - if born - would be a clone baby which has identical genes in the nucleus of every cell to the adult from which the original cell was taken . Interestingly , 1%of the genes in mammal cells are not in the nucleus but in the power packs providing all the electricity for cells . These power generators called mitochondriaa .So technically these human clones made from animal eggs would have 1% animal DNA . Worrying  we know that there are many serious diseases in human caused by faulty genes in the mitochondria . But that is with human mitochondria .What will be the risk of problems with animal mitochondria being used to power every cell in human cloned child that is yet to go?
      Clonaid  says five British couples, including two pairs of homosexual men have asked to be cloned. Peter and lldako Blackborn , computer consultants from Huntingdon Cambrisdgeshire UK have expressed an interest in human cloning as a alternative infertility treatment but which had not say if they are in touch with Clonaid .
      as the press conference called and announce of the cloning the United States government banned it to practice in the future . The US government pledged that it will harm the civilization of the human being so world should not follow the mal -practices .
      After two months the Korean scientist claimed that he also get success to reproduce a clone baby and he claimed that he will use it for the couple who doesn't  have kids and deserve it .According to the scientist , he will provide who ever the couples deserve, but the donor should give his consents .
      The British government strongly condemned the act of the Korean scientist and announced that the UK government does not allow the cloning to spread in the world. Cloning should be only in side the lab.  The international scientists said that it is a big step in the human civilization and should be utilized to find out the cure of all diseases in the future. it also claimed ridiculously that every couple wants Clinton and Bill Gates as their children at the same time the natural system has been disturbed by the pressure of cloning . The world need people of every sector not money maker and politicians. If so, the world will destroy very soon.
      A conference has been organized by some popular scientists in the   New York and concluded with a statement that it is a extraordinary achievement for the whole world with some vital de-merits so all should stand together to utilized the said invention. The  prime responsibility rest upon the politicians who claims to be the supreme of the United Nations organization.


      1.    What was the conclusion of New York press conference?
      2.    What was the only vital demerit of the cloning?
      3.    What was the claimed to of the Korean scientist?
      4.    Why the US government did banned the cloning system?
      5.    What is the main problem of cloning system?
      6.    What does Australian scientist claim?
      7.    What is the risk in human cloning experiments?
      8.    For what reason did the scientists prefer to sue and empty pig egg and a human cell for the experiment?
      9.    What is the specific with mitochondria??
      10.    Why have scientists shown their interest in human cloning?
      5.    ARSON IN THE VILLAGE

      On Sunday morning in a hot summer day, one patrol team of CIVPOL monitor received a radio call from the CIVPOL station about an arsoning incident in a bear by village. Someone had called up and informed the station about the incident from a local public call office .The patrol team rushed to the scene of incident. As reaching the scene, they saw a red vehicle speeding away in a very high speed with at least four or five persons inside with at least one man holding something like gun. Arriving at the scene, the monitors saw tow houses burning. Some natives came towards them and informed that some armed people came to the village, set light to the two houses belonging to a local politician and fled in their red car. The situation was immediately reported the CIVPOL station and the local police authority were duly informed. Within few minutes the fleeing red vehicle as stopped at a check point and the perpetrators arrested by the local police.
      The patrol team informed to the fire brigade about the arson case and the Fire brigade team form the local municipality arrived in 15 minutes to the scene and put off the fire. Some local said during the interview that the both house was belong to the local politicians called Mustafa Leader. Leader had some arguments with some rivals during the municipality meeting last Friday about the grazing of the animal in the village of Ruslan. The leader received a threat from the rival of abandon the village as soon as possible or faces the adverse consequences. The leader did not obey the threat and the incident happen. Both house entirely damaged by the arson but the fire bridge could not give the total amount of loss of the house. The CIVPOL interviewed with the house owner and revealed that two houses worth $ 10000 and two camels worth $ 1000, cash worth $99 and utensils worth $45, grains worth $ 129, have been damaged during the arson.  The monitor team assured him relief of compensation from the local authority. 
       The local police team with out aid of UN Police have arrested the red vehicle and recovered a Tomy machine gun and 354 rounds of live ammunitions form the red car. Five suspects including driver also have been arrested by the local but not disclosed in public by the local police. The local police issued a statement in the same day saying that investigation is underway and if information needed contact to regional head quarters the following day.
      The National Labour Party belongs to Mustafa organized a protest rally in the town demanding the full security to the local leader and their property and take legal and strain action to perpetrators. During the demonstration supporters of the party vandalized 4 shops and injured three local security personnel.
       The local authority endorsed compensation to the Mustafa, according to the report of Fire Brigade which cost in the said head but only $ 11000.  The fire brigade did not mention the head of the loss but recommended the whole some of money.
      The local police control the security situation in the town and the police released one suspect with out any legal charge and other four have been sent to the jail by the order of local magistrate on the charge of arson and possession of illegal weapon.
       The red car sent to the auction to pay the compensation of the damage property. The owner of the car complained that his car was stolen from the garage at midnight on the same day, and it is dictatorship of the local authority to auction his car with out investigating properly and he also claimed that he will sue to the local authority in the Apex court.
      1.    When did the car stolen?
      2.    What was the lost property?
      3.    What were the ammunition found by the local police?.
      4.    What was the demand of political party?
      5.    What had happened during the demonstration of local political party?
      6.    What message did the CIVPOL received?
      7.    How was the CIVPOL station informed of the incident ?
      8.    En- route to the scene, what did the patrol team saw?
      9.    What was the monitor action on the scene?
      10. what action did the local police take ?

          

      6.    Authoritarian regime

      President Abdurrahaman Wahid granted amnesty  thousands of prisoners Thursday, including some who were ailed for there political beliefs. Minister for law and legislation Yusril Ihza Mahendra said 105 political prisoners, and 3000 others who were jailed for criminals' acts, would be released. He said Wahid signed a presidential decree Thursday and the prisoners would be set free Thursday night and Friday morning.
      "We are releasing the criminal prisoners because it's Christmas time and the New year",he said . He added that the release of the political prisoners' mostly separatist activists from Aceh and Irian Jaya province was part of the government's efforts to release all those who were jailed for political activity under Indonesian's former authoritarian regime. Most of the political prisoners were jailed during the32 -year dictatorship of Suharto , who was ousted from power due to a student uprising in May 1998.
      It is not the self motivated move of the government but international political pressure to released the political prisoners .  There are more than 40% members of the parliament are brought from the security service to show the political honesty to the military department .  Military party called National Unity party is more powerful in Indonesia till now and it has 32 years' background. The civil leadership could not do any thing with out the military aid. So democratic government willing to follow the military advice. 
      The international court of justice has declare to punish some of the criminals who were directly involved in the massacre in Indonesia during the dictatorship of Suharto regime. But it is ridiculous to digest that the than army chief who has been accused of murdering 200 prisoners of political belief, is a member of parliament now. The Amnesty International condemned the act of the government to nominate the army chief Mr. Javal as a parliamentarian and said that the government marginalized the people voice.
      The International Court of Justice summoned  as per the international standard to Suharto to present his opinion in Hague whether he did the crime or not , but it went in vain because Suharto has been admitted to Jakarta Teaching   hospital due to chest and BP problem . Suharto has been accusing of accumulating large sum of money and killing 500 students during the students' uprising.
          The interim president of East Timor Mr. Gusmao also condemned the act of the government to make escort free to the war criminals and said government is deceiving the people of Indonesia. Indonesian government barked against the East-Timor saying that no one could interfere in internal matter of the country. For the information, East -Timor is a fragment of the republic of Indonesia and got independence in 1997 by the acute international political pressure and military intervention by the UN.
            Indonesian   people believe, the criminal who are released on the occasion New year will never involve in criminal activities in the future. Indonesia lies in East of the Asia bordering  China , Australia, Iran and Indian sea respectively East, West, South and North. and it is has the most dense Muslim population with mainly  Hindu religion . Indonesia was colonized by French in 1800 AD and ruled till 1936 and got independence. The military authority ousted the civil government in 1940 by military coup and rules till 1997. The country has notorious history of producing natural drugs like Heroine and Cocaine and it is also called the country of golden triangle, the main transit of drugs , including Burma ,Thailand and Laos.       

      1.    Which countries are called golden triangle country?
      2.    Which country is lies in the  south of Indonesia ?
      3.    What is the formal accusation to Suharto?
      4.    Why the democratic government does follow the military advice?
      5.    What was the reply of the government to East -Timor condemnation?
      6.    Where is the international court of Justice located?
      7.    why were the thousands of people jailed ?
      8.    What did Mr. Yusril Ihza Mahendra say?
      9.    How many political prisoners were jailed?
       10. Who were the released prisoners mostly?


      7.  GAMBLE

      November 27, 2001
      Bangkok, Thailand: Thai police said on Mondays they have arrested six Filipino gang members for allegedly luring two Japanese and three French tourists to gamble in their house and cheating them out of millions of Baht (thousands of dollars) . The gang members, three men and three women, were arrested on Sunday from a house in Bangkok where all six gang members lived, police Lieutenant General Chat Kuldilok told reporters. Lt. Gen. Kuldilik said the women pretended to be Thai house wives and invited their victims. Whom they met on the street while pedaling handicrafts, to come to their house to teach them Japanese, and to sell them handicrafts. He said the male members of the gang pretended to be millionaires from Brunei who lost huge sums to each other to avoid suspicion by the tourists, Chat said. Four of the five tourists agreed to gamble with the male gang members while the female gang members supposedly were making them fool. Once the tourists had lost all of their money to the gang members they tried to get some of their money back, but the gang members refused. The tourists were told if they told the police or any one else about losing money to them, they would be killed. All the male gang members had knives and showed them to the tourists after telling them this. The tourists left the house and notified Thai police immediately. The tourists informed the police of the gang members' house and were willing to help them in hopes of getting their money back. Upon arrest, the Thai police searched the entire house, but unfortunately the money could not be found. One of the tourists response was," I am happy, even tough we didn't get our money back , I'm just glad the gang members were found by the Thai Police . Hopefully nothing like this will happen to any tourists ever again.
      Police interviewed all the detainees in the police cell and found that other two gangs also committing the same crime using same modus operandi in the capital city. Police started the vigorous checking around the suspected area and arrested  one gang with some weapons and valuables in the rented house. Police confiscate six knives and four round of live bullets including four gang members.  Later on police honestly publicized two golden rings, four golden bracelets, six wrist watches and five passports . And issued a statement saying that any one who is belongs to the valuables contact with proofs to the city police officer Mr. Rothan.
       Police registered a legal case to the first 6 members of the gang accusing looting the valuable of the tourists but the local magistrate released all saying that police did not show the proofs of looting.
       The second gang members also charged with looting the tourists and illegal possession of weapons .The magistrate send them to the jail for six months on the charge of looting but the magistrate said police should be careful accusing the civilian who has only live bullets not a pistol or revolver.
      The police assured that the looting case will come down after the arrest of 2 looting gangs and vows that they will do enough to arrest who are involved in looting case. Police said that tourist should be careful with the people who were involved in prostitution. Bangkok is famous for sex tourism in East Asia.  Most of the prostitutes are brought form the Philippine in the name of house wife . In this racket the local administration and police and pimps are also involved. 
      1.    How may gang members arrested?
      2.    What are the valuables had been confiscated?
      3.    Why the Bangkok city is famous for?
      4.    How many culprits were sent to jail and how many released?
      5.    How the gang member did pretend themselves?
      6.    What were the nationality of the victims ?
      7.    What was the tourist said after not getting his money?
      8.    What did general Chat said about the accident?
      9.    What were weapons confiscated.
              10. How many tourists had gambled with cheaters?


      8.  EBOLA

      Sunday, December 9, 2001
      An outbreak of fever in the West African nation of Gabon has been confirmed as the deadly disease Ebola, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Sunday. It is world's first documented outbreak of Ebola since last year in Uganda, where 224 people - including health workers - died from the virus. Ebola is one of the most virulent viral diseases known to humankind, causing death in 50 to 90 percent of all clinically ill cases. "It's been confirmed by a laboratory in Gabon" WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told the press. "We have reports that seven people have died" Hartl said WHO has already sent a team to help the coastal nation and that a second team of four specialists would leave Geneva for Gabon on Monday. The out break is in remote Ogooue Ivindo province in northeastern Gabon, he said. Gabon was last afflicted in an outbreak in 1996-97 that killed 45 of the 60 people infected. "We have had very little information" Hartl said. The conformation came from a laboratory in France ville, also in eastern Gabon. A team from the Gabon Ministry of Health and the International Center of Medical Research in
      France Ville went to the province last week when they first received reports of that the outbreak might be Ebola, Hartl added. On Friday, Hartl said there were unconfirmed reports of a possible outbreak in nearby Congo. Ebola is passed through contact with bodily fluids, such as mucus, saliva and blood, but Ebola is not airborne. The virus incubates for four to 10 days before flu-like symptoms set in. Eventually, the virus causes severe internal bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea. There is no known cure for Ebola, but patients treated early for dehydration have a good chance of survival. WHO says more than 800 people have died of the disease since the virus was first case in Gabon was documented in 1994 the agency says. After the 1996-97 out break in Gabon it wasn't documented again until it appeared in Uganda last year. WHO recommends the suspected cases is isolated from other patients and that strict barrier nursing techniques be used to shield health workers from exposure. Gloves and masks must be worn and disinfected prior to reuse, the agency says. Patients who die from the disease should be promptly buried or cremated. The virus has also been transmitted to people from handling ill or dead infected chimpanzees, WHO says. Police are worried there may be widespread panic in the area because of the confirmed reports. There have been rumors of possible riots and / or break -ins. Police officials said tat when out breaks such as this occur, people become frightened and assume the worst and that is when people start to try and upraise against the police . However, no reports have been made in regards to riots and/ break -INS, but police have been told to be prepared for the worst. The Goban Government called emergency cabinet meeting and declared Ivindo province as "forbidden Province". The government begs international support and relief to get rid of the diseases.  it is requested to all media house not to make undue publicity to  the outbreak ,which can terrorize the general public and can hamper  to maintain the security situation in  the country. Gabon a Central African Republic also facing starvation, malnutrition, political instability, and draught from a long decade.  The neighboring countries Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Kenya, Somalia are also suffering from internal conflict and could not do as requested by the Gabon.  The first world showing their interest  on the request and ready to provide the assistances or relief  but they have an eye or vested interest on the natural resources of the Gabon republic which is rich in diamond, gold , natural gas , petroleum mine .

      1.    What did government request to Media?
      2.    Which province was declared as "forbidden province" ?
      3.    Why the neighboring countries could not assist the Republic of Gabon?
      4.    When the disease was documented first in the Africa?
      5.    What was the rate of death causing Ebola?
      6.    What were the symptoms of Ebola?
      7.    How the Ebola is transmitted to another person.
      8.    What was the resource of the Ebola?
      9.    Why did the first world countries showing their interest to Gabon?
      10. How many medical teams are going to be assign to assist the Gabon republic.    

      9. TALIBAN ARRESTED

          US forces detained seven suspected Taliban fighters yesterday outside the American military base at Kandhar airport in southern Afghanistan after it came under attack , defense officials said. They said the men were detained for questioning after patrols were sent out to investigate the attack. A small number of other people who might have been involved in the gunfight escaped, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified. No American troops were injured, they said. A Reuters television cameraman, Taras Protsyuk, said he heard heavy gunfire and a number of explosions at the Kandhar base . He said the shooting lasted about 30 minutes and was at its most intense for a period of about five minutes ." I have seen the tracers and there were some light explosions like hand grenades ", he said " Americans appeared to be firing at a point in the hills to the West Side of the air base." Operation in Afghanistan by the US military and its allies to mop up remnants of the vanquished Taliban and the AL-QUIDA network are based at Kandahar airport .
          There are about 4100 military personnel based at the airport, with the majority from the US. Mr. Protsyuk said the heaviest firing was on the airport's western perimeter, about half a mile from the terminal building. In a separate incident, an American military transport plane crashed in a remote region of the Afghanistan on Tuesday night , injuring all eight crew members but non of them critically ,US  officials said yesterday . Seven of those injured in the crash were able to walk and " non of the injuries were considered life- threatening " ,said Major Brad Lowell, a spokesman for the US central command in Florida . The cause of the crash was not known , although it did not appear to be the result of hostile fire, official said . An American soldier was killed in an accident in Afghanistan yesterday when a piece of heavy industrial equipment fell on him at Bagram air base near Kabul, the US military said . The soldier's name was  withheld pending notification of next of kin. Later on , it was revealed that the detainees were investigated thoroughly and two among seven were sent to " Kwantanamo Bey" a notorious jail used by American military  to dump terrorists. Kwantanamo Bey is in Cuba , a communist nation , ruled by Fidel Kastro , a south American country .
          It was provided to USA on lease for hundred years. Remaining among the detainees were sent to the local judicial authority and imposed to the judicial remand for six months . The American soldier killed by heavy equipment was delivered  to home with a national regards by a special US navy plane . The US had  started war against Afghanistan to abolish Taliban regime , who allegedly harboring the terrorist leader Osama bin Laden  in the country . American military could not find the Osama  till now. Osama is Saudi Arabia born billionaire and blind supporter of Muslim belief , he involved in fighting with Soviet Union  who had strong hold in Afghanistan during the second world war and  with the aid of US the Al quada successes to remove Russia from Afghanistan . Bin laden started getting physical and moral support from theUS . later on , the US  did not give his support to Osama so he and his allies attacked on US interest in South Africa killing 1000 innocent people by the suicide bombing and declared Osama a terrorist .  After the 9/11 terrorist attack on twin tower , the US has declared fight against the terrorism and  announce to hand over the Osama to the US by Afgan Government . The Taliban regime  did not obey the order saying that he was the guest of the country and  guest should not be hand over the western country . 

      1. Who is Osama bin Laden?
      2. What do you know about Kwantanamo Bey?
      3. What had happen to arrested seven detainees?
      4. Why did America attack Afghanistan?
      5. where did the US transport plane crash?
      6. Where is the US central command located?
      7. How many US military have been killed according to the passage?
      8. Where was the heaviest firing occurred?
      9. Where is the Kandhar air port located?
      10.    Who is Taras?

      10. THE UNITED NATION

      The United Nation is an international organization established to create international security and friendship among the member states.
          After the Second World War, the allied nation established the United Nation on 24 December 1945 including 51 member states. Now it has 191 member states around the globe. The head quarters of the United Nation lies in New York in the US and the branch for the Europe is lies in Switzerland.

      Main objectives of the United Nations are as follows.

      1. To maintain international security
      2. To maintain friendship among the countries
      3. To regards human rights.

      It has six main organs

      1. International court of justice
      2. Secret General assembly
      3. Security Council
      4. Economic and social council
      5. Trusteeship council
      6. Secretariat

                                              1. International court of justice.

          The headquarters of International court of justice lies in Netherlands. The UN secretariat lies in New York. The meeting of general assembly starts on third of September and concludes on December. Security council has 15 members among them 5 are permanent members , which are America, China , Russia , French, and Germany and other 10 members are elected by the 191 members states of general assembly for the period of two years . The Economic and Social council has 54 members' states and every member has three years of working period. The headquarters of the Economic and Social council lies in Geneva.

          America, China, France, Germany, Russia the permanent members of the Security council has veto power .Chinese English, French, Russian, Spanish are the official language of the United nation,. Mr. Ban ki Mon is the Secretary General of the United Nations, a South Korea citizen.

          Nepal as a United Nation member state has sent 1241police personnel to serve the United Nation, as civil police, police monitor, police advisor and police trainers. Nepal has established two Form Police Units in Haiti and Sudan as per the request of the United Nation. wins their obedience, confidence, respect and enthusiastic co-operation in achieving common objectives.


      11.  UN FAILURE IN BOSNIA

          A long -awaited report into the failure of a Dutch UN peacekeeping force to prevent the murder of thousands of Muslims in the Bosnian town of Brebrenica will be published on Wednesday. The Netherlands is bracing itself for the results of the inquiry in to the worst massacre in Europe since world War second. The
          BBC's Europe correspondent says Dutch troops are likely to be criticized for their part in event leading up to the 1995 slaughter. In July 1995, Srebrenica was being protected by 110 Dutch troops who were supposed to ensure the safety of the town's mainly Muslim population against surrounding Bosnian Serb forces. The United Nations had declared it a safe area but when it  was attacked, the town fill with out the Dutch UN troops firings shot . Up to 8000 Muslim men and boys were then murdered.

      Five years of research

                        While the Dutch troops are likely to be criticized for letting the town fall without a fight , fault is also set to be found with the over all UN commander for failing to order air strikes to protect the enclave. The report is also understood to criticize the Dutch government for showing lack of political will. The 7000-pages report by the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation is the official Dutch history of events in Srebrenica. It has taken more than five years to produce. In a 1999 report, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan blamed the international community for its failure to protect the enclave but insisted that it was impossible " to say whether a more decisive action by the Dutch would have saved lives" .A report two weeks ago by the Interchurch Peace Council ( IKV) in the Netherlands condemned Dutch troops, generals and politicians for failing to evacuate and protect the Muslims.

      Scenes from hell

          The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague has ruled that the massacre was genocide. Last August it sentenced Bosnian Serb General Radisav Krstic, considered a key commander in the episode, to 46 years in prison. The judge in the case said the massacre was characterized by " scenes from hell, written on the darkest pages of human history" Survivors' reports, aerial photography and grisly evidence exhumed from mass graves indicate the most victims in the massacre were summarily executed ,Dutch MPs may now call for a public inquiry. Seven military commanders of Royal Dutch army have been sentenced to seven years jail . Ten army personnel have been fired from the service and 20 have been restricted from the promotion as per the report of the criminal tribunal.   The BBC's correspondent Mr. Havel Eastward has been facilitated by the Dutch Government as a friends of mankind . After the massacre in the Srebrenica the Dutch government begs pardon with the Bosnian people and saying that her troops could not do any thing to save the life of the people and she is responsible to the accident.


      1. How many Dutch troops were protecting Srebrenica?
      2. What ethnic group were the people of Srebrenica?
      3. Why the Dutch government begs pardon with the people of Bosnia ?
      4. How many people were killed in Srebrenica?
      5. How many army personnel were punished?
      6. Who is criticized in the report?
      7. Where is the International Criminal Tribunal based?
      8. Would more positive action by the Dutch troops have saved lives?
      9    What sentence was General Krstic given?
      10    Who was facilitated by the Dutch government and why?


      12.  SWARM ATTACK

          Six people were hospitalized after they were attacked by a swarm of bees in Singapore, a news report said on Tuesday. The bees attacked contractors who were trying to remove a beehive in the tropical city-state .Two police officers who were on the scene to keep back the public, were among those attacked and hospitalized. Police public affairs officers could not immediately be contacted to confirm the report. The incident occurred at approximately 12:30PM on Tuesday afternoon. Two of the people who were injured in the attack were still in the hospital on Tuesday night at 10:00 PM; however they were in good condition. Such incidents are rare in heavily urbanized Singapore. But two years ago , a 51 years old taxi driver died after he was stung by a swarm bees .The driver was changing his back left tire and he removed the deflated tire , a beehive was in the wheel well . Witnesses said that the swarm covered the man's face and hands and repeatedly sting him as he cried out in pain .He died later that night while being hospitalized. Singapore is a very small country covered by the see in the east of Asia and known as a well industrialized country.
          The big industry installations have many nooks and corners where the swarm bees get shelters. firstly people do not care about it because it seems harmless and small in the beginning but after  a year it  appeared in large scale and bees become escort free so they undermine their stung so they try to destroy their hives and got stung and the result  become very adverse. The same accident happened in The US in 1990 when a farmer had gone to his farmhouse to clean the room , he saw that there is a bee hive in the ceiling of the room he thought it was full of honey , unfortunately it was poisonous  swarm bee's hive.  He collected his two sons and a black servant to take the honey . In the mean time when they lit a fire to fly the bees , the swarm bees started stung them . The younger son who was in the door side escaped from the room after having a look at the victims and called the police . The house got in to the gutter by the fire and three injured had been hospitalize in the city centre . The house owner Mr. Kally died during the medical treatment and two had been discharged after 2 weeks with swollen face and bruises for the whole life.  The same accident happened in Nepal too on 23 September 2002. The Raute , who are famous for honey hunter ,had tried to collect honey from the very steep hill near Manang District. they made rope ladder to climb the hill and with the aid of fire they started collecting the honey .
          It was a documentary program filmed by Scottish Director visualized to broadcast in Britain  by BBC. Al together there were 15 men. When the honey hunter was climbing down from the steep hill after the successful visualization of the film. Unfortunately, one of the hunters touched the bees hive. Due to the finished job, they did not prepare for next attack and they all were on very thin cloths and without cloves . Three among five hunters fall down from the cliff and died. Two were severely bitten by the bees were died on the way to hospital and ten crew members of the visualization  were admitted in the hospital and discharged after 2 weeks .  It is said that the bees seems so calm if they are not hurt and if anyone hurt their queen , they become so terrifying and take revenge from the hunter . The queen is the most powerful among the bees. if the queen of the bees  safely removed from the hive it will be so easy to get the honey from the hive   which is considered as medicine  in eastern countries . The working bees always follow the queen bee , if she abandon the hive silently , all the bees left the hive with out revenge. so if you want to get honey remove the queen tactically and calmly.
               
      1.    How many people had been killed according to the passage.?
      2.    How many people had been injured according to the passage?
      3.    Where was the bees's hive in the taxi?
      4.    Who was the authentic person to provide informations about injured police officers according to the passage.
      5.    What had happened to the two Americans who escaped from the death?
      6.    What is the ideal idea to get honey?
      7.    What did the team doing in Manning District?
      8.    How did the taxi driver killed?
      9.    Where was the bees's hive in the room?
      10.    Who is the most powerful in the hive?

      13.  ARAFAT POLITICS
          Arafat is not the point. As Israelis and Palestinians use ever more lethal means against each other's civilians, the question being asked in Israel and the US is not how to end the occupation, but whether or not to end the career, or even the life, of Arafat. At the time of writing this coverage trend in early February 2002, in a further escalation Israeli tanks have confined Arafat in an area of 200m square in Ram Allah. And have destroyed the remainder of his helicopter fleet that it began to destroy on the attack of his compound on 3 December 2001.
          If Israel killed Arafat or sent in to exile, nothing would change. It seems almost absurd to have to point out that forcing millions of people to live for decades under hostile military rule with no end on sight inevitably produces violent resistance. Only a mind -set that steadfastly refuses to recognize this can become captivated by a lone figure who's real and imagined failings became a smoke screen that obscures the machinery that actually drives the conflict.
          If Israel truly seeks the moral high ground it invokes in the international arena, it should stop seeking a relative high ground whose only elevation stems from the weakness and failing of its historical enemies. Rather Israel should address the most obvious things it dies to perpetuate the conflict.
          The bottom line is that the single most identifiable factor that perpetuates the Israeli- Palestinian conflict in all its forms, both legitimate, is the Israeli military occupation that exists to protect the continuing Israeli colonization of the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including Jerusalem.
          Comparisons of Arafat with Bin Laden serve to legitimize Israel's continuing repression of the Palestinians and bear no reality to the dynamics that this particular conflicts, dynamics that Israel has played no small part in creating.
          Israel's killing of civilians is a form of terrorism. The United States  tacit support of Israel's so called retaliation in US support of terrorism .Although Israeli officials are occasionally note don record " apologizing" for the latest " accidental" death of a child , there comes a point -- after a year in which one quarter of the 800 Palestinians killed were children and 50 percent of these children were killed for away from clashes- that it becomes imperative to note that Israel could always simply stop killing children , instead of merely apologizing for it.
          Israel's nightly shelling of Palestinian neighborhoods has accounted for one quarter of the 800 Palestinians killed during the first year of the Second Intifada .  Israel's regular killing of innocent civilians including children as a "by product " of its ironically titled" targeted killings " of Palestinian activists most commonly with rockets fired from combat helicopters at these leader's vehicles while in cit streets offer more examples of the indiscriminate violence that characterizes 'terrorism' as most people understand the word.
          Following a series of suicide bomb attacks in February / March 1996, then Israeli President Weizmann bluntly described Israel's practice of using closure to turn Palestinian towns in to prisons for the entire population: "Sometimes, when you are searching for a needle in a haystack, you have to burn the haystack".
          Israel has been encouraged to carry out similar "retaliation" as in the case of the December 2001bombing, by the knowledge that the United States would not condemn it. America must refrain from "understanding" Israel's violence. This can only have the effect of encouraging the continued Israeli killing of innocent Palestinian civilians.

      1.    How many Palestinian children have been killed this year?
      2.    How many Palestinians have been killed during nightly shelling?
      3.    Are children targeted by the Israelis?
      4.    Who is Arafat compared to and why?
      5.    Where is Arafat confined, and what size of area?
      6.    How many people live under hostile military rule in Palestine?
      7.    What is the question being asked in Israel and the US?
      8.    Why is Israel not afraid to carry out retaliation attacks on Palestinians?
      9.    What happened in 1996?
      10.    What dies Israel do when it is faced with suicide bomb attacks?








      14.  BUS LOOTED
          A bus, which started off in Kathmandu , at 5:30 PM , traveling to Biratnagar , was looted by some Indian dacoits, which had crossed the boarder in order to escape the authorities there. They had been in Nepal for at least a month and had been regularly stopping night buses and robbing the passengers of all their belongings as well as money.
          When the bus number Ba Ga 3987, first started off from Gongabu Bus Park there was a total of 30 passengers. Just near Thankot 3 more passengers got on. The journey was uneventful until they reached Muggling, where they stopped for dinner. Here, the bus conductor managed to find 4 more people wanting to travel to Biratnagar . After about half an hour stop for dinner, they set off again. At Bharatpur 2 of the passengers got off as they had only booked up to this point. The bus had to wait for about one hour as the engine had trouble and the driver had to fix it .After this they started  of again and had a short tea break at Hetauda where another 2 people got off and one got on.
          At about 2:00 PM in the morning, when most of the passengers were asleep, the driver suddenly stopped as there was a tree across the main road. The passengers all wake up as the bus had come to a sudden stop, and were all looking out of the windows. Two Indian men dressed in black were behind the fallen tree with country made rifles; at the same time 2 also came from the back and two on each side of the bus. At once they told all the passengers to come out of the bus and line up in front of the bus, even though it as a moonlight night, no body could make out the faces of the dacoits, and could tell only by the way they spoke that they were from India. Everybody was told to remove their watches, jewelries and to empty out their pockets and moneybags. One of the men colleted all this while the others told all the passengers to lie down with their faces facing down. During this time the dacoits all disappeared, as nobody wanted to follow them as they might get shot

      1.    How many passengers were on the bus when it was robbed?

      2.    How many dacoits were there in total?

      3.    How long did they stop for dinner?

      4.    Why did they stop a second time before the robbery?

      5.    How did the passengers know that the dacoits were not Nepali?

      5.    Where did the bus start first?

      6.    How many got in the Baratpur?

      7.    Why did the bus have to stop suddenly?

      8.    How many we on the bus at Muggling?

      9.    Although it was night time how could the passengers make out how many dacoits there were?  
      15.    KOSOVO POLICE

          On Monday 17 March 2003 , at 0745 hours , two Kosovo Police Officers were on patrol duty in a police vehicle when they observed a white van type vehicle , license 496KS858 driving very fast. The officers stopped the white van type vehicle for questioning using their blue flash lights. When the driver stopped, the patrol team stopped five meters behind his vehicle, however the van did not turn off its engine. As the officers exited their vehicle, the drivers of the white van type vehicle sped away very quickly. The officers ran back to their vehicle and chased the white vehicle .They were driving on the road to the airport. The police vehicle was driving at almost 120 km/hour but was unable to catch up to the van. Suddenly, the van turned north on to an unpaved roadway. The officers continued the pursuit. The van drove for approximately a hundred meters more. There was a big hole by the side of the road which the van fell into as the driver had lost control of the van, then it rolled upside down into a deep ditch on the south side of the roadway at grid reference 184-846. The officers stopped their vehicle on the opposite side of the roadway and proceeded cautiously toward the offender's vehicle. When they were approximately two meters away form the white van type vehicle they could see that the offender was still in his vehicle but was not moving. There were no sign of blood or injury  to the offender .As the officers got closer they could see three bundles, approximately 35 cm by 20cm by 25cm in the rare cargo area of the vehicle . One of the bundles was ripped open and a dark green plant material was showing, the officers assumed that it was marijuana. The first officer proceeded to the front of the vehicle to check the physical condition to the driver. The offender was breathing but didn't respond to any of the officer's verbal commands.  The officer radioed for an ambulance and the offender was taken to the local hospital. The second officer searched the offender's vehicle and found another bundle under the front seat with a knife. The Knife was 20 cm long with old blood stains. There were no papers or registration found in the vehicle. All material were seized as evidence and taken to police station.

      1.    What were the 2 officers doing at 0745 Hrs?
      2.    Why did they ask the van to stop?
      3.    What was their reason for stopping the van?
      4.    At what distance behind did the police stop?
      5.    How many bundles were seen?
      6.    Approximately what speed was the van traveling when in pursuit?
      7.    What did the officers assume it to be?
      8.    Was the knife found before or after the suspect was taken to hospital?
      9.    What distance did the van travel on the dirt road?
      10.    How did the man crash the vehicle?
      16.    GERMANY SOOTING

      Germany was in shock yesterday after 19 years old, masked gunman shot 17 people, including two female students, before killing himself in a school massacre in the eastern city of Erfurt.
      The black -clad gunman a recently - expelled student of the Gutenberg secondary school, burst into a classroom during an exam yesterday morning around 11 AM and started shooting with a pump action rifle mounted on his back. "He passed us in the corridor with out paying any attention and walked straight into the secretary's office and started shooting." He said. Witnesses said the gunman walked through the building, opening classroom doors and targeting staff, killing nine male teachers, four female teachers, a secretary and two female students all within minutes. Caretakers heard the shots and notified the local police. Two officers arrived on the scene and discovered two dead bodies in the entrance hall. Moments later the gunman appeared and opened fire, shooting dead one of the policemen. A special commando unit immediately surrounded the school, which has nearly 700 students. As the shooting continued, around 180 students were still trapped in the building. Commandos stormed the building shortly before noon and came upon what was described as terrible scenes. 'Bodies lay in the halls, in bathrooms and classrooms' said Mr.Rainer Grube, a police spokesman. The gunman, who had barricaded himself into a room, shot himself as officers approached. 'The gunman killed himself when he saw that there was no way out for him' said Mr., Grube.
          For the students trapped inside the building, their ordeals ended nearly three hours later when they were led, pale and shaking, out of the school to worried parents at the gate. They were all receiving counseling yesterday evening, while four people injured in the attack were brought to hospital. Police were last night still investigating students reports that there was a second gunman. They had no motive for the shootings yesterday evening. Friends of the as yet unidentified gunman described him as an intelligent student who was ' full of life' and often spoke of his wish to become famous. The massacre is one of the most violent attacks in German post -war history, and ranks alongside the 1996 school shooting in Dunblane and the 1999 massacre in Columbine , Arkansas. Yesterday evening Erfurt residents were in shock and German politicians speechless .
      'We are stunned at this horrific crime. No explanation we could give would go far enough right now ' said the Chancellor, Mr. Gerhard Schroeder, expressing his sympathy for the families of the victims and the students who witnessed the attack. He ordered the German flag on the Reichstag in Berlin to flown to be flown at half mast. 'We are all in one room .One teacher is dead, we are crying.



      1.    Which two other massacres are mentioned?
      2.    How many people were injured in the attack?
      3.    What time did the shooting start?
      4.    What weapons were used?
      5.    How many teachers were killed?
      6.    Did the gunman target students?
      7.     Who notified the police about the shooting?
      8.    Who stormed the building and when?
      9.    How many police men entered the building initially?
      10.    How long it take to gunman to kill the people and was there only one gunman?



      17.  DEAD BODY FOUND

      Mr. John Edwards lives alone in his cottage in the southern part of Cambridge, UK. He was a retired officer who previously worked for the finance office which was based in London. He had been retired for 5 years now and spent most of his time in Cambridge. He had worked for 34 years and during that time lived in London. By the sides of his cottage, there was a husband and wife living who used to work for Mr. Edwards. The woman would cook his meals and the man would attend to the garden. Mr. Edwards had no close family or friends who would come to visit him regularly .On December 15 , 2002 ,Mr. Edwards was found dead in his study at 0700 hrs. His body was fund by the woman who did his cooking. She had informed the police when she had seen him lying on his desk at 0700hrs. All the doors were closed from the inside so the woman thought in quite suspicious so she looked through the window. This is when she saw Mr. Edwards at his desk. When the police arrived at 0730 hrs. They broke open the door and checked the body. Mr. Edwards was confirmed dead and his body sent for post mortem. By the side of the table there was a bottle and a letter which said that he was taking his life as he was fed up and didn't see any future in continuing. All these materials were sent to the police lab for the necessary testing. The reports all confirmed that Mr. Edwards did take the poison, traces of which were found in his blood and on his lips. On the latter, apart from Mr. Edward's finger prints, there were other prints found as well. When the police checked up they found that it belonged to the husband the woman who cooked for Mr. Edwards. The police found this very suspicious as the husband had said that he never came into the study at any time. The police brought the man in for questioning and under interrogation he at first denied that he had gone to the house ant any time. After 2 hours, he changed his story and said that he
                Vermont bats begin white nose recovery and other wildlife health related news stories        
      TOP STORIES

      Crisis biology: Can bacteria save bats and frogs from deadly diseases?

      As populations plummet, biologists race for a solution.

      In 2007, Valerie McKenzie volunteered for a large study of human body bacteria. It was the dawn of the golden age of the microbe. Researchers were just beginning to understand how bacteria and other microbes in human intestines influence everything from obesity to allergies and infections. McKenzie, a University of Colorado-Boulder biologist, was mildly curious about her "microbiome." But she was more interested in the bacteria living on the skin of frogs and toads.

      Amphibian populations worldwide are plummeting, and entire species are going extinct. The West's struggling species include boreal toads and mountain yellow-legged frogs. Invasive species and habitat degradation play a major role, but amphibians are dying even in places with good habitat. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, an aggressive fungus commonly known as chytrid, is often to blame.

      McKenzie, who was studying the role of farmland conversion and suburbanization in the decline of leopard frogs in Colorado, suspected chytrid was also a factor. When she read a paper about a strain of bacteria found on red-backed salamanders that inhibited chytrid's growth, she began to wonder: What microbes lived on the skin of her frogs and toads? And could any of them fight chytrid?

      High Country News
      26 Feb 2014
      Emily Guerin

      >>> FULL ARTICLE

      Other Frog Health News 
      >>> Does your pond host killer frog disease? Scientist at uni's Penryn campus wants to know [Cornwall, United Kingdom]


      Infected Tasmanian devils reveal how cancer cells evolve in response to humans

      Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) has ravaged the world's largest carnivorous marsupial since it emerged in 1996, resulting in a population decline of over 90%. Conservation work to defeat the disease has including removing infected individuals from the population and new research explains how this gives us a unique opportunity to understand how human selection alters the evolution of cancerous cells.

      DFTD is an asexually reproducing clonal cell line, which during the last 16 years has been exposed to negative effects as infected devils, approximately 33% of the population, have been removed from one site, the Forestier Peninsula, in Tasmania between 2006 and 2010.

      Science Daily
      18 Feb 2014

      >>> FULL ARTICLE

      Cited Journal Article
      Beata Ujvari, Anne-Maree Pearse, Kate Swift, Pamela Hodson, Bobby Hua, Stephen Pyecroft, Robyn Taylor, Rodrigo Hamede, Menna Jones, Katherine Belov, Thomas Madsen. Anthropogenic selection enhances cancer evolution in Tasmanian devil tumours. Evolutionary Applications, 2014; 7 (2): 260 DOI: 10.1111/eva.12117


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      White-Nose Syndrome
      One Health News Corner
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                What's killing all the starfish on the West Coast? and other wildlife health news stories        
      TOP STORIES

      White-nose syndrome confirmed in bats in Arkansas

      White-nose syndrome, a fatal disease to several bat species, has been confirmed in Arkansas, the state Game and Fish Commission said Wednesday. The disease was documented in two northern long-eared bats found at a cave on a natural area managed by the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission in Marion County, according to a news release.

      ... Five bats were found to have the disease during a survey of the Marion County cave on Jan. 11. The fungus was confirmed by tests on two of the bats by the U.S. Geological Survey National Wildlife Health Center, according to an AGFC news release. The bats had damage to wing, ear and tail membranes consistent with white-nose syndrome.

      Arkansas News Bureau
      29 Jan 2014
      Arkansas, USA

      >>> FULL ARTICLE

      More White-Nose Syndrome News
      >>> Bat fungus continues to concern biologists
      >>> Winter cave surveys track bat numbers, health [Kentucky, USA]
      >>> White Nose Syndrome May Be Unstoppable: Deadly Bat Disease Can Thrive in Caves Without Bats


      What's killing all the starfish on the West Coast?

      Starfish have been mysteriously dying by the millions in recent months along the West Coast, worrying biologists who say the sea creatures are key to the marine ecosystem.

      Scientists first started noticing the mass deaths in June 2013. Different types of starfish, also known as sea stars, were affected, from wild ones along the coast to those in captivity, according to Jonathan Sleeman, director of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center.

      ... The most commonly observed symptoms are white lesions on the arms of the sea star. The lesions spread rapidly, resulting in the loss of the arm. Within days, the infection consumes the creature's entire body, and it dies.

      Entire populations have been wiped out in Puget Sound off the coast of Washington state, in the Salish Sea off Canada's British Columbia as well as along the coast of California. The mortality rate is estimated at 95 percent.

      ... “What we currently think is likely happening is that there is a pathogen, like a parasite or a virus or a bacteria, that is infecting the sea stars and that compromises in some way their immune system,” Pete Raimondi, chair of the department of ecology and evolutionary biology, at the University of California, Santa Cruz, told AFP.

      San Jose Mercury News
      2014 Feb 02
      Jean-Louis Santini
      Washington, and California, USA, and British Columbia, Cananda 

      >>> FULL ARTICLE


      Assorted South West parasites favour cleaner habitat

      BIOLOGISTS investigating parasites on freshwater fish in the South West believe they have discovered at least 42 native parasite species that were previously undescribed...Murdoch University Associate Professor Alan Lymbery, who presented the research at the WA Freshwater Fish Symposium, says two known introduced parasite species were found.

      In addition to the introduced species, 42 morphologically different native parasites appeared to be different species.... Dr Lymbery says 30–40 per cent of the parasites were only found in a single species of fish, which had serious implications for the parasite’s conservation risk if the fish was endangered.

      “[Parasites] are probably at more risk than the fish host species because although some of the parasites we found have a direct life cycle, which means that the fish is their only host, a large number of them also had an indirect life cycle, which means they rely on other hosts as well,” he says.

      ... Dr Lymbery says the finding most fish biologists found interesting was that parasitism generally increased with improving water quality. He says parasites, particularly those with complex life cycles, are quite sensitive indicators of environmental quality....“Contrary to what most people think, which is that the worse the conditions are, the more disease or parasitism you have, you actually don’t find that,” Dr Lymbery says.

      “What we found was that the better the quality of the habitat, the more fish were parasitised and the greater number of species of parasites you found.”


      ScienceNetwork Western Australia
      2014 Jan 13
      M Wheeler

      >>> FULL ARTICLE


      Some Good News Amid Bad News, for Hawai`i’s Endangered Honeycreepers

      Warming temperatures due to climate change are exposing endangered Hawaiian forest birds to greater risk of avian malaria. But new research led by the U.S. Geological Survey holds out some hope that the birds may be able to adapt.

      For decades, scientists have documented declines and extinctions among species of Hawaiian honeycreepers due to the spread of avian malaria and other diseases. At one time, the Hawaiian Islands had no mosquitoes—and no mosquito-borne diseases. But, by the late 1800s, mosquitoes were firmly established in the islands. Another invasive species—feral pigs—helped the mosquito population boom by creating larval habitat as they rooted through forests. The honeycreepers had no natural defense against a disease they had never before experienced.

      "Honeycreepers are exquisitely sensitive to avian malaria," said Dr. Carter Atkinson, a USGS microbiologist based at the USGS Pacific Islands Ecosystems Research Center in Hawai’i. Atkinson is the lead author of two new research papers examining how climate change is increasing the honeycreepers’ risk of infection.

      USGS Newsroom
      31 Jan 2014

      >>> FULL PRESS RELEASE

      Cited Journal Article
      Carter T. Atkinson et al. (2014). Changing Climate and the Altitudinal Range of Avian Malaria in the Hawaiian Islands - an Ongoing Conservation Crisis on the Island of Kaua'i. Global Change Biology; [Epub ahead of print]. doi:10.1111/gcb.12535

      Carter T. Atkinson et al. (2014). Experimental Evidence for Evolved Tolerance to Avian Malaria in a Wild Population of Low Elevation Hawai‘i ‘Amakihi (Hemignathus virens). EcoHealth. [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1007/s10393-013-0899-2


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                Thailand recalibrates with the outside world - Bangkok Post        
      Thailand's relations with the outside world were naturally complicated by its latest military coup in May 2014.
                History Of SLANK        

      Slank


      Slankadalah sebuah grup musik di Indonesia. Dibentuk oleh Bimbimpada 26 Desember 1983karena bosan bermain musik menjadi cover band dan punya keinginan yang kuat untuk mencipta lagu sendiri. Dan berhasil menjadi salah satu musisi bersejarah dan dikenang serta berpengaruh sepanjang masa di Indonesia. Selain itu Slank juga menyandang predikat Indonesia's Highest-Paid Music Star (bintang musik berbayaran termahal) pada tahun 2008 dan 2009 dengan honor Rp 500 Juta per show.
      Awal Karier
      Cikal bakal lahirnya Slank adalah sebuah grup bernama Cikini Stones Complex (CSC) yang dibentuk oleh Bimo Setiawan Sidharta (Bimbim) pada awal tahun 80-an. Band ini hanya memainkan lagu-lagu Rolling Stones dan tak mau memainkan lagu dari band lain, alhasil mereka akhirnya jenuh dan menjelang akhir tahun 1983 grup ini dibubarkan.
      Bimbim meneruskan semangat bermusik mereka dengan kedua saudaranya Denny dan Erwan membentuk Red Evil yang kemudian berganti nama jadi Slank, sebuah nama yang diambil begitu saja dari cemoohan orang yang sering menyebut mereka cowok selengean[1]dengan personel tambahan Bongky (gitar) dan Kiki (gitar). Kediaman Bimbim di Jl. Potlot 14 jadi markas besar mereka dan menjadi situs wajib yang harus dikunjungi para Slanker.
      Mereka sempat tampil di beberapa pentas dengan membawakan lagu-lagu sendiri sebelum Erwan memutuskan mundur karena merasa tidak punya harapan di Slank. Dengan perjuangan panjang terbentuklah formasi ke-13, Bimbim, Kaka, Bongky, Pay dan Indra, Slank baru solid.Dengan formasi Bimbim (Drum), Bongky (Bass), Pay (Gitar), Kaka (Vokal) dan Indra (Keyboard) mereka mulai membuat demo untuk ditawarkan ke perusahaan rekaman.
      Setelah berulang kali ditolak, akhirnya tahun 1990 demonya diterima dan mulai rekaman debut album Suit... Suit... He... He... (Gadis Sexy). Album yang menampilkan hit Memang dan Maafkan itu meledak dipasaran sehingga mereka pun diganjar BASF Award untuk kategori pendatang baru terbaik. Album tersebut juga seakan "menampar" industri musik Indonesia yang kala waktu itu masih gencarnya lagu lagu Malaysia seperti tembang Issabella milik Search. Musik Slank yang Rock 'N Roll Blues itu bisa dibilang penyelamat kaum anak muda di Indonesia. Gayanya yang cuek dan slengean tapi bersahabat itu menarik massa yang saat itu masih sebatas minoritas.
      Album kedua mereka, Kampunganpun meraih sukses yang sama. Hits single dari album Kampungan adalah Mawar Merah dan Terlalu Manis yang dibuat dalam dua versi. Suka suka dan Jualan. Namun anehnya,, justru lagu yang versi Suka suka lah yang menjadi hits dan sering dimainkan. Lagu nya memang damai karena Kaka bermain harmonika (bukan pertama kali ini saja Kaka bermain harmonika). Di album Kampungan ini pun,Slank memasukkan lagu Nina Bobo. Nafas Rock 'N Roll dan Blues masih terasa di album ini. Wajar,, karena nyawa musik Slank ada di situ.
      Tahun 1993 bulan Desember, Slank merilis Album ketiga yang diberi judul Piss!. Semboyan Peace di plesetkan menjadi Piss. Semboyan Piss menjadi trend pada masa itu (mungkin juga sampai sekarang). Hits single dari album ini adalah Piss dan Kirim Aku Bunga. Cover album ini adalah seorang model yang meniru pose Jim Morisson (The Doors). walaupun banyak yang berpendapat bahwa model di cover tersebut adalah Bimbim, namun faktanya model cover album tersebut adalah Adji 'tarmo' tetangga seberang rumah Bimbim.
      Tahun 1994, Slank lagi-lagi merilis sebuah album yang diberi titel Generasi Biru. Lagu ini juga sering dibawakan sampai saat ini. Hits single dari album ini adalah Generasi Biroe, Terbunuh Sepi, dan juga Kamu Harus Pulang yang sering dimainkan saat ending show mereka.
      Album ke lima mereka, Minoritasdirilis pada Januari 1996. Menampilkan single Bang Bang Tut yang juga sukses dipasaran dan masih sering dinyanyikan di show mereka. Di album ini juga Bimbim menyanyikan sebuah lagu miliknya yang berjudul Bidadari Penyelamat. Unik nya, lagu ini tidak ada aransemen apapun. Hanya suara Bimbim saja.
      Perpecahan Band
      Pada saat menggarap album keenam Lagi Sedih, Bimbim selaku leader akhirnya memutuskan untuk memecat Bongky, Pay dan Indra. Namun ada juga yang menyebutkan bahwa Bongky, Indra dan Pay keluar atau mengundurkan diri karena perilaku Bimbim dan Kaka yang sudah terlampau parah dalam penggunaan narkoba. Perpecahan tersebut sebenarnya sudah bisa terlihat di album ke empat mereka di lagu Pisah Saja Dulu. Bimbim bahkan berniat untuk membubarkan Slank. Namun sebuah surat yang ditulis dengan darah oleh seorang Slanker membuatnya mengurungkan niatnya. Isinya menyeramkan. Dia bersumpah untuk membunuh Bimbim jika Bimbim benar benar melaksanakan niatnya untuk membubarkan Slank. Kaka dan Bimbim tetap menggarap album ke-6 dengan bantuan additional player. Reynold masuk untuk mengisi posisi gitar dan Ivanka yang waktu itu sering nongkrong di Potlot juga ikut membantu dalam mengerjakan project Slank untuk album ke enam dengan formasi masa transisi ini.
      Album Lagi Sedihpun dirilis pada Februari 1996. Dengan single Koepoe Liarkoe dan Tong Kosong membuktikan Slank masih bisa survive. Tawaran manggung pun berdatangan. Dan saat tinggal beberapa kota yang akan diselesaikan dalam rangkaian show nya,, Reynold menyatakan ingin keluar dari Slank. Alasannya karena beliau juga tidak kuat karena Bimbim dan Kaka yang saat itu masih terjerumus dengan narkoba. Walaupun saat itu sudah dibujuk untuk menunda pengunduran dirinya,, Reynold tetap tidak ingin melanjutkan sisa show nya. Saat itu lah reformasi di tubuh Slank terjadi.

      Narkoba
      Terbujuk rayuan teman di Bali 14 tahun lalu, Bimbim  dan keponakannya, Kaka pun mencecapi ”obat langit” yang membuat pemakainya melayang-layang dan ketagihan.
      Waktu pertama kali mencoba (1994), mereka bilang badan jadi tidak enak. Muntah-muntah. Tapi kok besok paginya mencari lagi?  Itulah putau, sekali pakai orang langsung ketagihan. Maka berlanjutlah ia memakai putau.
      Semenjak memakai jenis narkoba ini, Bimbim yang biasanya pendiam, rapi, tak suka teriak-teriak, tiba-tiba berubah. Demikian juga Kaka.Banyak pengalaman pahit, dari sejak mereka pakai (1994) sampai tahun 1999. Pengalaman di Lubuk Linggau(1998) juga tak terlupakan. Mereka ”kehabisan barang”, sakau. Tidak ada orang jual barang seperti itu di Lubuk Linggau. Bimbim sampai tidak bisa bangun, di kamar. Padahal mereka masih harus melayani wartawan, wawancara. Tinggal Kaka, yang badannya lebih kuat, melayani wartawan, meski dengan susah payah.
      Slank membantah anggapan bahwa dengan mengonsumsi Narkoba seorang seniman bisa lebih kreatif, justru sebaliknya, tanpa menggunakan barang haram tersebut mereka terbukti bisa menghasilkan karya-karya bagus.
      "Saat membikin album pertama hingga ketiga, kami belum memakai Narkoba, tapi album itu terbukti paling bagus. Jadi, tanpa Narkoba kami bisa menghasilkan karya yang bagus. Setelah album ketiga, kami menjadi pengguna," ujar Kaka.
      Masuknya Abdee, Ridho, dan Ivanka (Formasi Akhir)
      Ivanka ditarik menjadi member resmi. Slank yang sepeninggal Reynold langsung bergerak cepat. Management langsung mencari orang untuk untuk menyelesaikan sisa show di beberapa kota. Ivanka merekomendasikan Abdee Negarauntuk membantu Slank. Abdee dan Ivanka memang sebelumnya sudah bersahabat dan satu Band di Flash. Sedangkan manager Slank waktu itu, Mbak Wiwid mengontak Mohammad Ridwan Hafiedz (Ridho) yang baru saja menyelesaikan sekolah gitar.
      Album baru dan semangat baru
      Masuknya Abdee dan Ridho dalam formasi inti Slank membuat Bimbim dan Kaka melanjutkan perjalanan bermusiknya. Diawali dengan album Tujuh yang dirilis January 1997 dengan single yang menghentak yaitu Balikin. Lagu yang menandakan bahwa Bimbim dan Kaka ingin rehat dan sehat dari ketergantungan. Ditambah dengan Abdee dan Ridho yang benar-benar bersih dari narkoba semakin menguatkan niat mereka. Mereka berhenti bukan karena takut diikuti massa yang memang sudah banyak,, namun mereka berhenti justru karena sudah banyaknya yang mengikuti mereka memakai narkoba. Album tersebut terjual satu juta copy hanya dalam hitungan minggu. Bimbim lagi-lagi menyumbang suaranya dalam lagu Bimbim Jangan Menangis. Sebuah curhatan yang tercipta sejak tahun 1993. Ridho bermain keyboard di lagu ini. Pada tahun ini pulalah Bunda Iffet selaku Ibunda dari Bimbim mengambil alih jabatan menjadi Manager Slank.
      Album berikutnya Mata Hati Reformasi dirilis. Lagu-lagu di album ini banyak bercerita tentang masalah sosial dan pemerintahan di zaman reformasi. Ketinggalan Zaman menjadi andalan di album ini. Slank juga mengaransemen ulang lagu tradisional yang diberi judul Punk Java. Di album ini juga terdapat sebuah lagu yang seharusnya di rilis pada album Tujuh namun terkena sensor. Namun saat Orba rezim Soehartoruntuh, lagu tersebut bisa masuk dalam album ini. Siapa Yang Salah adalah judul lagunya. Yang unik dari lagu ini adalah lagu ini hanya dimainkan oleh Bimbim dan Kaka. Mereka berdua yang memainkan semua. Bimbim juga mengambil dua porsi lagu yang dia nyanyikan. Aktor Intelektual dan Nggak Mau Percaya. Di album ini Slank memberi bonus sebuah kalung tiap satu buah kaset original. Ada peringatan di belakang kaset untuk didampingi kepada pendengar dibawah umur. Banyak lagu yang direkam secara live di album ini.
      Tahun 1998 juga Slank menyelenggarakan konser dengan judul Konser Piss 30 Kota yang direkam dan dijual ke pasaran. Lagu yang direkam secara live dan ada bonus dua buah lagu baru yaitu Pintu dan Makan Gak Makan. Album ini banyak sekali mengambil tema lagu-lagu politik yang di masuk kan ke dalam nya. Bimbim bernyanyi di lagu Kalo Aku Jadi Presiden namun ada lirik yang diubah oleh nya. Hampir di setiap lagu, ada sedikit "ceramah" dari Kaka maupun Bimbim.
      Tahun 1999 Slank merilis double album yang diberi judul 999+09. Ada total 27 lagu yang dibuat dalam dua versi. Yaitu versi abu-abu dan versi yang biru. Versi yang biru memiliki single Bintang Kesiangan dan Anak Mami sedangkan versi abu-abu adalah Orkes Sakit Hati dan Ngangkang serta Malam Minggu Lagi. Konon, saking banyaknya lagu yang mau dijadikan single, Slank mengumpulkan massa di Potlot dan mendengarkannya kepada pendengar untuk dimintai pendapatnya perihal lagu mana yang akan dijadikan single. Lagu Orkes Sakit Hati memang ditujukan kepada orang-orang dan politisi yang cenderung menguraikan janji-janji manis nya. Di PV (promo video)lagu tersebut juga Slank bermain di tengah-tengah masyarakat kecil. Bimbim mengambil jatah dua lagu dari masing-masing album. Sista Petty di album abu-abu dan Friday di album biru.Bonus dari album ini adalah sebuah kantong kecil yang biasa dipakai di ikat pinggang. Tahun 1999 pun menjadi tahun dimana Bimbim mengakhiri masa lajangnya dan menikahi seorang gadis bernama Reny.
      Slank kemudian merilis sebuah album the best yang diberi titel De Bestnya Slank. Berisi lagu lagu pilihan dengan satu lagu dari album sebelumnya yang di remix oleh DJ Anton di lagu Ngangkang. Dan sebuah live lagu Malam Minggu Lagi yang direkam di Potlot.
      Next album,, Virus dirilis pada 2001. Berisi single Virus, Jakarta Pagi Ini, dan #1. Bonus dari album ini adalah sebuah tattoo dan kartu koleksi Slank. Lagu bertema sosial juga dimasukkan di album ini. Keprihatinan Slank tentang pembabatan hutan bisa ditangkap lewat lagu Lembah Baliem. Bahkan Slank memasukan lagu Yamko Rambe Yamko di akhir lagu Lembah Baliem. Lagu yang berasal dari tanah Papua. Di lagu #1 dan Symphaty Blues, Slank untuk pertama memasukkan unsur orkestra di lagu nya. Erwin Gutawa orkestra lah yang ikut membantu lagu yang ditaruh di track terakhir itu. Sebelum lagu #1, Anda bahkan bisa mendengar permainan solo Abdee di lagu Kereta terakhir. Di lagu Symphaty Blues, Anda bisa mendengar suara seorang wanita yang konon itu adalah istri dari Kaka, Tascha.
      Sukses album Slank sendiri langsung diikuti dengan konser Virus Road Show 22 Kota di Indonesia dan hasil Live nya sendiri bisa didengar di album yang diberi judul A Mild Live Slank Virus Road Show dengan bonus tambahan satu buah lagu baru dengan judul yang sangat menarik, I Miss You But I Hate You dan bonus sebuah Koran Koranan Slank. Koran Koranan Slank ini adalah cikal bakal lahirnya media bulletin yang bisa didapatkan diluar (tanpa harus membeli kasetnya) secara berkala. Ini adalah album live kedua Slank setelah Konser Piss 30 Kota.
      Dalam versi kaset,,terdapat permainan solo dari Abdee, Ridho, dan Ivanka. Rekaman lagu Pak Tani yang di Jember dimana terjadi keributan antar penonton pun dimasukkan di kaset ini. Namun jika melihat versi VCD nya,, konser yang di ambil adalah yang di Jember. Di lagu Bocah, Ivanka bermain gendang terlebih dahulu sebelum memainkan gendangnya. Di lagu Pak Tani dimana ada keributan tersebut, Slank mengajak penonton untuk melakukan semacam tanya jawab di tengah-tengah lagu dan yang menarik adalah saat Kaka bertanya apakah mungkin jika Slank menjadi presiden, dan jawabannya ternyata tidak mungkin. Di lagu Kamu Harus Pulang yang menjadi penutup konser pun diselipi ucapan terima kasih kepada semua pihak di tengah-tengah lagu.
      Seperti tak mengenal lelah,,Slank lagi-lagi merilis album studio kesebelas nya yang diberi titel Satu Satu(11) pada tahun 2003. Bulan dan Bintang, Gara-Gara Kamu, dan Jembatan Gantung menjadi hitsnya. Lagu Bulan dan Bintang juga masuk dalam soundtrack film Novel Tanpa Huruf R. Lagu Gara-Gara Kamu ditujukan kepada narkoba yang sempat membuat mereka mengalami masa-masa kritis. Tingkat kreativitas Slank saat itu bisa dibilang sangat tinggi dan sangat produktif. Bisa dibilang pada tahun ini lah mereka benar-benar bersih dari ketergantungan. Album ini juga diikuti dengan award AMI Award kategori album rock terbaik. Album ini diberi bonus kondom dan kartu koleksi Slank. Cover depan album pun ditulis 'EDISI KHUSUS SUAMI ISTRI'. Di album ini Kaka sudah tidak berambut panjang gimbal namun menjadi lebih pendek namun tetap keriting. Bimbim menyumbang suaranya di lagu Jadi Masalah. Di PV Jembatan gantung, Slank tidak tampil namun hanya para siswa sekolah yang diperankan Marshandadan beberapa remaja lainnya.
       Slank kemudian menyelenggarakan Satu-Satu Live Tour di kota-kota Indonesia. Beberapa lagu di konser tersebut dimasukkan ke album live ketiga mereka yang diberi titel Bajakan. Bajakan adalah bentuk kegelisahan Slank terhadap para pembajak yang dengan mudah dan gampangnya mencuri hak cipta seorang pemusik. Lagu lagu yang direkam semuanya adalah live hasil konser dibeberapa tempat dan event. Ada tiga lagu baru yang dimasukkan di album live ketiga Slank ini. That's All,, yang direkam pada konser Satu-Satu Live Tour ini menjadi single disusul Bendera 1/2 Tiang yang direkam di studio Parah di Potlot dan juga lagu hasil kolaborasi dengan group musik dari Korea Selatan berjudul South Asia. South Asia direkam secara live bersama Yoon Band dari Korea. Lagu ini pernah dibawakan saat Slank bermain di Korea. Yoon Band pun ikut berkolaborasi di lagu I Miss You But I Hate You milik Slank yang direkam pada acara Impresario. Sang vokalis dari Yoon Band mengubah liriknya menjadi bahasa korea. Lagu tersebut juga masuk dalam album Bajakan ini. Ada juga lagu dimana Slank berkolaborasi dengan raja dangdut Rhoma Irama di lagu Balikin. Kaka tidak banyak bernyanyi di lagu ini. Malah Rhoma lah yang mengambil hampir seluruh bagian yang dinyanyikan Kaka. Hasil konser Tiga Dimensi pun dimasukkan kesini. Ending album Bajakan adalah Sumpah Anti Pembajak yang di deklarasikan Slank bersama Slanker se-Indonesia. Bonus album ini adalah sebuah pick guitar.
       Slank merayakan ulang tahun ke 20 nya di Lebak Bulus. Konser yang diberi judul Metamorfosa Sebuah Generasi ini banyak diisi para musisi yang meramaikan acara ini di antaranya Ungu, Koil, dll. 20 tahun bermain musik dan berkreasi belumlah cukup untuk Slank. Mereka masih ingin bermimpi dan meraih mimpi-mimpinya

      Album Live pertama di dunia

      Memasuki tahun 2004 dimana punkberhasil menggebrak musik Indonesia, Kaka mengubah image dirinya dengan rambut mohawk. Punk ala Slank. Begitu mereka menyebutnya. Slank dan Naifmenggelar konser bersama bernama Road to Peace 24 Kota. Yang menarik dari konser ini adalah, dibawakannya lagu-lagu baru yang belum pernah dibawakan dan hasil lagunya direkam secara live dan dijadikan album berikutnya. Jika biasanya Slank merekam lagu, rilis, kemudian tour,, kali ini tidak. Mereka tour sambil merekam secara live di panggung, baru kemudian merilisnya. Album ini diberi nama Road to Peace. Naif juga berkolaborasi di lagu Amrozy Gitting yang direkam di studio Parah milik Slank. Dua lagu yaitu Amrozy Gitting dan P3K direkam di Potlot, markas mereka sedangkan yang lainnya direkam di atas panggung. Mars Slankers dan Salah menjadi jagoan di album ini. Di album ini juga dimasukkan sebuah karya dari Mochtar Embut berjudul Mars Pemilu yang diaransemen menjadi aransemen rock oleh Slank. Album ini konon disebut sebagai album live pertama di dunia. Walaupun sudah pernah ada yang merekam full album secara live seperti Greateful Dead dan Blues Traveler,, namun band tersebut tidak merekam nya di atas panggung seperti yang dilakukan Slank. Untuk pematangan konsep pun, Slank tidak ragu dan malu untuk menyewa sebuah studio ketika Slank berada di kota tempat mereka akan show. Bahkan lagu Make Love Not War direkam saat Slank sedang checksounddi Yogyakarta. PV lagu Mars Slanker mencampurkan unsur animasi di dalamnya sedangkan PV lagu Salah, lagi-lagi Slank tidak ada di video tersebut.Bonus dari album ini adalah sebuah poster dan masker berlogo peace yang di design oleh seorang Slanker dari Makassar bernama Firman.
      Tahun 2004 ini juga Slank mewakili Indonesia untuk tampil di acara MTV Asia Aid di Thailand dan membawakan sebuah lagu yang diambil dari album Satu Satu yaitu Karikatur. Selain Slank, musisi lain yang tampil di event tersebut adalah Simple Plan, Rain, Siti Nurhaliza, Namie Amuro, Jay Chou Hoobastank, dll.
      Di akhir tahun 2004, lagi-lagi Slank merilis sebuah album baru. P.L.U.Radalah nama albumnya. PLUR adalah singkatan dari kata Peace, Love, Unity, Respect. Sebuah semboyan baru Slank (sebelumnya Slank setia dengan jargon Piss). Album ini mengandalkan Ku Tak Bisa, Biru, dan Juwita Malam sebagai jagoan. Juwita Malam ini adalah lagu ciptaan Ismail Marzuki. Dibuat dalam dua versi. Punk dan Blues. Lagu Juwita Malam dan Biru masuk dalam soundtrack film Banyu Biru yang dibintangi Tora Sudiro. Bimbim bernyanyi kembali di lagu Indonesiakan Una. Bonus album ini adalah sebuat sticker dan poster kalender. Dan album ini, pada akhir tahun 2005 menurut majalah GitarPlusmasuk sebagai album gitar rock terbaik tahun tersebut bersama dengan Gigi, Edane, dan Netral. Alasannya adalah permainan gitar Abdee dan Ridho yang cenderung blues dan rock 'n roll menyaru ke permainan gitar rock modern.
      Pada tahun 2004 ini Slank merayakan ulang tahun ke 21 tahun di kota Surabaya pada 26 Desember bertepatan dengan bencana besar di Aceh. Sebenarnya di album ini pun Slank membuat lagu tentang Aceh yaitu Atjeh Investigation. Lagu Gossip Jalanan yang membuat gerah para politisi pun terdapat di album ini.
       Bencana Aceh tersebut lantas dijadikan destinasi oleh Slank untuk mengumpulkan dana dan memberikan sumbangan di tengah-tengah promo album P.L.U.R tersebut. Akhirnya pada awal tahun 2005, Slank dan Iwan Falsdiajak oleh Deteksi Production untuk menggelar konser di 27 Kota Indonesia yang diberi judul Bersatu Dalam Damai. Slank dan Iwan Fals berhasil mengumpulkan total 2,9 Milyar Rupiah yang akan disumbangkan untuk korban bencana alam tsunami di Aceh dan sekitarnya. Target dari Deteksi dan A Mild adalah Rp.3 Milyar sehingga angka tersebut di bulatkan menjadi Rp.3 Milyar yang disumbangkan ke Aceh. Terjadi insiden di Bengkulu dalam konser ini dimana Kaka harus dilarikan ke dokter umum karena terkena timpukan dari penonton yang mengakibatkan pendarahan pada mulutnya. Namun show masih dilanjutkan. Konser ini diakhiri di Ancol.
      Tahun 2005, Slank di daulat leh MTVIndonesia menjadi Icon dari MTV. Saat itu Slank berhasil mengalahkan saingan laiinya di antaranya Dewadan juga Chrisye. Malam penganugerahan gelar tersebut diselenggarakan di TMII Jakarta dan musisi yang hadir di situ membawakan lagu Slank. Acara itu dimeriahkan oleh Gigi, Seurieus, Netral, Shanty dll.
      Pada tahun 2005 ini pula lah Slank untuk pertama kalinya show di Korea Selatan. Pada tanggal 7 Oktober 2005, Slank bermain di kota Gwangju. The May 18 Memorial Foundation yang mengundang Slank untu tampil dalam acara yang diberi judul Echo of Music Concert. Slank membawakan dua buah lagu yaitu Bang Bang Tut dan Virus (English Version). Dalam konser ini, Slank juga bertemu kembali dengan Yoon Band,musisi yang berkolaborasi dengan Slank dan menghasilkan sebuah lagu yang masuk ke dalam album mereka masing-masing.
      Masih pada tahun yang sama, Abdee Negara selaku gitaris Slank melelang gitar Fender Stratocoasternya. Dibuka dengan harga Rp 10 Juta, dan berharap bisa mencapai Rp 20 Jutaan, perkiraan Abdee ternyata jauh meleset. Angkanya terus naik dan akhirnya terjual seharga Rp 325 Juta. Adrie Soebono, seorang promotor kondang dari JAVA Musikindo itulah yang berhasil mendapatkannya. Bahkan terlihat Abdee sempat ingin meneteskan air mata setelah tahu harga gitar yang telah setia menemaninya itu (gitar Abdee tersebut dipakai saat rekaman maupun tour Slank dari pertama Abdee bergabung) dinilai sangat tinggi melebihi bayangan awalnya. Ivan juga sempat melelang bass Tobias Legend kesayangannya dan berhasil meperoleh Rp. 5 Juta.
      Di tahun 2005, Slank sempat merilis sebuah Video Live dalam format DVD dan VCD. Diambil dari konser A Mild Live Soundrenaline saat itu. Lagu-lagu nya di ambil dari lima kota tempat berlangsungnya konser tersebut (Bali, Palembang, Bandung, Surabaya, dan Semarang). Slank juga mengajak vokalis Crowned King, Shawn Frank untuk berkolaborasi di lagu I Miss You But I hate You. Ada sedikit dokumentari di setiap clip nya.

      Ajaran bernama SLANKISSME

      Di penghujung tahun 2005, Slank kembali merilis sebuah album studio ke 14 nya yang diberi titel SLANKISSME. Dan ulang tahun Slank yang ke 22 tahun di Ancol pun sedikit banyak telah memainkan lagu-lagu baru dari album tersebut. Konser ulang tahun yang kali ini pun dimeriahkan oleh PAS Band, Peterpan, Naif, Seurieus, J-Rock's, The Brandals, Speaker F1rst, Teamlo, Melanie Soebono, Ratu, Cokelat, Jacko, Shanty dll. Di beberapa lagu, Slank berkolaborasi dengan para bintang tamu. Konon, total lagu yang dimainkan Slank sepanjang konser tersebut adalah 40 lagu.
       Slankissme sendiri adalah sebuah ambigu kalimat dari Slank Kiss Me, Slank Is Me, dan Slankisme. Bimbim menyebut bahwa ada 13 ajaran 'gak sempurna dari Slankisme, dan itu harus diketahui oleh para Slanker, agar mengerti dan menjalani. Kenapa, karena memang kesempurnaan hanya milik Tuhan. Begitu kata Bimbim. Dan "tiga belas ajaran gak sempurna ini" dijadikan manifesto Slank, dan Bimbim selalu membacakannya di saat Slank berkunjung ke suatu negara. Namun, Di dalam negeri pun Slank sering kali membacakan manifesto-nya tersebut. Single dari album ini adalah SBY, singkatan dari Sosial Betawi Yoi, dan dua tembang ballad nya, Gak Ada 2nya dan Yang Manis yang ketiga nya dibuat PV nya. Di lagu Kritis BBM dan Alami, Bimbim menciptakannya dalam satu hari. Slank bermain akustik di lagu Alami.
      Di awal tahun 2006, Slank berangkat ke Jepanguntuk konser disana. Konser pada tanggal 2 January itu bertujuan untuk acara charity for Sumatra. Kemudian Slank gencar mempromosikan album baru nya. Baik dari live on air di televisi atau juga konser tour nya yang menjangkau 60 kota di Indonesia. Bisa dibilang ini adalah tahun tersibuk Slank, karena pada tahun ini, selain promo album Slankissme, Slank juga menjalani tour di beberapa kota di Jawa Barat dan Banten dalam rangka konser Ngedjinggo Bareng Slank, lalu merilis Album Slank Since 1983 di Malaysia dan promo di negara tersebut. Di Malaysia, Slank harus kerja keras dan mereka kelelahan karena harus interview di televisi, radio serta media cetak disana. Dan puncaknya adalah ketika Bimbim menolak seorang fans yang meminta foto bersama. Di tour Ngedjinggo Bareng Slank ini, setiap Slank mampir ke suatu kota, selalu saja mampir ke suatu tempat untuk kegiatan bhakti sosial, atau juga kegiatan lainnya yang melibatkan rakyat kecil dan juga kesenian dan budaya setempat. Slank juga masih sering tampil di televisi, lalu juga konser sebagai penutup di event musik terkenal Soundrenaline. Bukan hanya itu, Slank juga mampir ke Amerika untuk mengisi acara di 5 tempat live house di beberapa kota di Amerika. Slank di undang oleh para mahasiswa disana. Hal itu dijadikan kesempatan untuk membawa CD demo album Slank yang telah di translate ke bahasa Inggris agar albumnya bisa rilis di luar negeri dan go internasional. Untuk itulah Slank gencar mencari cara dan usaha agar bisa terbang dan bermain di sana. Kesempatan emas itu pun hadir tatkala Slank mengundang dua produser di konser mereka. Satu dari Amerika dan satu dari Kanada. Blues Saraceno, mantan gitaris group band Poisonyang juga guru gitar Ridho ketika menuntut ilmu di Musician Institute, Hollywood, hadir sebagai produser yang ingin melihat aksi Slank. Dan satu lagi seorang produser dari Kanada yang juga hadir bersama vokalist dari group Crowned King, Shawn Frank, yang pernah berkolaborasi dengan Slank ketika konser Soundrenaline tahun 2005 di Bali turut serta hadir jauh-jauh dari Kanada. Mereka berdua tertarik dan akhirnya Slank lebih memilih Blues Saraceno. Alasan Slank ingin berkarier di luar negeri karena mereka telah jenuh, dalam artian, hampir semuanya sudah pernah di raih oleh Slank di Indonesia. Makanya, Amerika dan dunia lah tujuan berikutnya Slank. Slank ingin kembali menjadi Underground, yang belum dikenal oleh siapa-siapa, yang belum terkenal. Inilah pertama kalinya Slank ke Amerika. Ketika di Las Vegas, Bimbim sempat membuat sebuah lagu yang hasilnya ada di album berikutnya dari Slank.
       Tahun 2006 ditutup dengan sebuah pesta ulang tahun yang ke 23 berjudul 23rd Slank Indie Festival. Acara ini memang banyak mengambil musisi-musisi ang berangkat dari jalur Indie seperti Nidji, Steven n Coconut Trezz, Suicidal Sinatra, The S.I.G.I.T, Sheila on 7dll. Ada dua panggung besar di ulang tahun ini

      2007-2008 : Slank Meraih Mimpi dan Kasus dengan DPR

      Tahun 2007 Slank kembali mengeluarkan album dengan titel Slow But Sure. Inilah album yang bisa dibilang "jawaban" dari para pendengar musik terutama Slanker karena banyak sekali yang meminta Slank untuk bermain akustik/unplugged. Di album ini, Slank bermain sangat sederhana. Tidak ada bunyi bising. Yang ada hanyalah suara-suara bersahabat dari perkusi, gitar akustik dan selingan harmonika. Bimbim menyumbang satu lagu di lagu Me & Reny dan ada satu lagu yang diciptakan oleh Bimbim di Las Vegas pada tahun 2006 yang dimasukan ke album ini yaitu Sin City. Kemudian ada lagu My Scooter Love yag diciptakan oleh Kaka. Di lagu ini bahkan bisa didengar di akhir lagu suara VespaKaka. Ada juga lagu berjudul Lapindo yang mengkritisisasi semburan lumpur Lapindo di Sidoarjo. Sebelum lagu itu dimulai, Abdee berceramah sedikit terlebih dahulu. Namun lagu ini terkena sensor di bagian reff nya. Karena ada kata yang mungkin tidak seharusnya dicantumkan di album tersebut. Namun, jika lagu ini di putar di sebuah acara on air mingguan yang khusus memutar lagu-lagu Slank, lagu ini tidak di sensor. Dan ada sebuah hidden track di lagu ini berjudul Lilo. Lagu ini tidak terdapat di album tersebut tapi liriknya terdapat di booklet album. Lagu ini bisa didapatkan bila membeli software game Lilo. Single di lagu ini adalah Cinta?, Slalu Begitu, dan Sejak Kau Benci. Di versi VCD dan DVD semua lagu dibuat video klip nya. Bonus dari album ini adalah sebuah boxer.
      Slank masih melanjutkan acara tour Ngedjinggo Bareng Slank nya di musim yang kedua ini bersamaan dengan promo album SLow But Sure. Slank kerap kali bermain dalam dua sesi, akustik dan elektrik. Bimbim kerap kali hanya duduk di sebuah koyak yang terbuat dari kayu, dan kayu itu dijadikan perkusi untuk mengiringi lagu. Ketika lagu Me & Reny, SLank melakukan change member. Kaka pindah ke drum dan Bimbim bermain gitar sambil bernyanyi.
      Slank kemudian meraih hasil dari CD demo yang dibawa ke Amerika tahun 2006. Blues Saraceno bersedia untuk menjadi produser Slank untuk perilisan album internasional pertama nya. Slank yang biasanya tampil di semua kota dalam pergelaran musik Soundrenaline, tahun ini hanya mengambil jatah satu kota.
      Hari-hari Slank di Amerika dimulai tanpa kehadiran Ridho yang harus menyusul seoang diri karena masalah visa. Nama aslinya yang berbau islami menjadi pertimbangan pihak Amerika untuk mengizinkan Ridho bisa ke Amerika. Maklum saja, pasca isu teroris berkembang, Amerika selalu waspada dan sangat ketat dengan orang-orang yang berasal dari negara Arab. Hal itu pula yang membuat Ridho kesulitan mendapatkan visa nya karena namanya yang berbau Arab.Rekaman Slank di Studio City Sound dimulai. Ada sepuluh lagu yang disertakan dalam album ini. Setelah Ridho datang, maka rekaman pun disempurnakan dan Ridho cukup mengisi bagian gitar nya saja. Blues Saraceno yang juga mantan guru gitar Ridho memberi banyak sekali masukan dan ide nya kepada Slank. Bimbim sempat membuat sebuah lagu berjudul Hard For You yang kemudian masuk ke album Slank berikutnya pada tahun 2008.
      Tahun 2008, Slank sempat akan digugat oleh DPR karena saat itu Slank aktif mendukung KPK dan sempat memberikan CD yang berisi lagu-lagu Slank sebagai bentuk dukungan nya dan menyuaakan saat melakukan pertunjukan. Namun ternyata ada lagu yang berjudul Gossip Jalanan(dari album PLUR, tahun 2005) yang dianggap menyakiti lembaga tertentu. [6]B[7] Kasus tersebut sempat ramai dibicarakan, dan banyak dukungan datang untuk Slank. Slank pun kerap dapat banyak permintaan membawakan lagu tersebut saat mereka melakukan pertunjukan.
      Selesai rekaman album barunya di Amerika, Slank kemudian pulang ke Indonesia. ID Indonesia sendiri, Slank berkenalan dengan musisi dari Jepang bernama The Big Hip. The Big Hip yang tinggal menyisakan dua orang personel tersisa melakukan jamming di Potlot bersama Slank dan mereka sepakat untuk membuat sebuah album kolaborasi. The Big Hip diboyong di pesta ulang tahun Slank ke 24 di Surabaya dengan titel From Slank With Loveyang menampilkan "bidadari" seperti Maia Estianti, T2, Sarah Idol, Sherina, Astrid, Julia Perez, dan Nirina Zubir

      Diskografi

      Album Studio

      1. Suit... Suit... He... He... (Gadis Sexy) (1990)
      2. Kampungan (1991)
      3. Piss! (1993)
      4. Generasi Biru (1995)
      5. Minoritas (1996)
      6. Lagi Sedih (1996)
      7. Tujuh (1997)
      8. Mata Hati Reformasi (1998)
      9. 999+09 (biru) (1999)
      10. 999+09 (abu-abu) (1999)
      11. Virus (2001)
      12. Satu Satu (2003)
      13. Road To Peace (2004)
      14. PLUR (2005)
      15. Slankkissme (2006)
      16. Slow But Sure (2007)
      17. The Big Hip (2008)
      18. Anthem For Broken Hearted(2008)
      19. Jurus Tandur No.18 (2010)
      20. I Slank U (2012)

      Album Live

      1. Konser Piss 30 Kota (1998)
      2. Virus Roadshow (2001)
      3. Bajakan (2003)
      4. BIP {2011)
      Album Soundtrack
      1. Ost. Get Married (2007)
      2. Ost. Generasi Biru (2009)
      3. Ost. Get Married 2 (2009)
                Review: Development Projects Observed        
      Albert O. Hirschman wrote this book in 1967 with the permission of his home university (Harvard), the funding of the Brookings Institution and Carnegie Institute, and the cooperation of the World Bank, which provided access to their projects in El Salvador, Ecuador, Ethiopia, India, Italy, Nigeria Pakistan, Peru, Thailand, and Uruguay.

      In his preface (p xi), he notes a key finding of his research:
      In the end, my argument amounted to denouncing attempts at trait-making [proposing and implementing a project that may not fit with local conditions] under certain conditions. Some narrow-latitude tasks simply go beyond the capacity of a society as presently constituted and are therefore likely to end in failure.
      This passage previews what promises to be an insightful early critique of today's International Aid Community -- one that I have criticizedmany. times. It also indicates that this book is still well worth reading 50 years after its publication.

      Perhaps the most important reason for reading this book is Hirschman's accessible and conversational style of connecting academic curiosity with realistic critique. You can already tell in the first few pages that you are reading the words of a man who has learned a few key lessons after seeing a lot -- as well as the words of a man who knows that his story is not the only one. Every "development project" has a unique character.

      Hischman is known for coining new terms ("Exit Voice Loyalty"). Here, he coins "the hiding hand," which hides surprises that drive a project off its planned course and hides people's capacity to solve those complications. Hischman is therefore pessimistic that we know what we are doing but optimistic that we can actually achieve a lot despite that. When using this term, he is quick to contrast the bureaucrat with the entrepreneur, in that the former is more shy about taking a chance and less eager to innovate to prevent failure. These attitudes may determine the difference between bureaucratic failure and entrepreneurial success on the same project.

      After introducing and discussing this idea, Hirschman has four chapters on Uncertainties, Latitudes and Disciplines, Project Design (trait taking and trait making) and Project Appraisal (the centrality of side effects).

      I'm going to rush through notes for the rest of the book because (a) you should read it and (b) I'd write a LOT more if I merely described all the great insights in this book of less than 200 pages.

      On Uncertainties, Hirschman warns that projects cannot be "copy pasted" when local conditions matter (e.g., irrigation schemes). From the opposite side, he suggests that projects that can happen "anywhere" are less likely to fail from unforeseen (local) conditions such as a division of labor among groups that do not talk to each other for political, religious or other subjective reasons that have nothing to do with the project. These divisions matter in any conditions but they make it much harder to "deal with the hiding hand" because groups see failure as a time to grab their share instead of look for a cooperative solution.

      In Latitudes and Disciplines, he discusses how it may be useful to have "freedom to adopt" OR useful to lack that freedom, as options can facilitate compromise or make it harder to force compromise. Such situational circumstances can make or break a project, depending on its leadership. Leaders thus might work hard to help a project succeed to protect their reputation, but they may also choose a path that leads to larger harm. (This happened with the Metropolitcan Water District of Southern California when they built the Colorado Aqueduct in the 1930s and had no customers -- they supported sprawl via cheap water as a "solution" -- see my dissertation.)

      Hirschman points out that corruption in construction need not lead to corruption in operation if construction and maintenance are separated. If they are both under one roof, then watch out -- especially if it's a monopoly service like energy, trains or irrigation! (He also makes the apt comparison of slums to planned communities, pointing out that slums are probably more efficient in delivering what their poor residents -- rather than planners or ideologues -- want.)

      Under Project Design, he notes that a trait-taking project "takes as given" local conditions, which makes it more likely that the project will succeed by adding to those conditions, contra a "trait making" project that forces locals to fit the planners' vision. (See Scott on this issue.) He warns against projects that lack time or site constraints, as they are most likely to wander and attract corruption.

      In Project Appraisal, he warns against aggregate benefit-cost analysis that ignores benefits to one group and costs to another or counts some costs but not others -- two themes I explored in this paper [pdf] on desalination projects.

      Bottom Line: I give this book FIVE STARS for its interesting and entirely relevant of the process of designing and building the big projects that "develop" societies, projects that require a strong community to ensure that the commons are protected and extended for the benefit of all. I wrote this review in extreme haste, but don't let its brevity mislead. I plan to read this book again every year or so to remind myself of the big picture in human cooperation. You should too.
      For all my reviews, go here.

                Singapore 'getmeouttahereASAP' weekend away — Kata, Thailand        
      Around the world ... in search for smiles
                Create + Cultivate LA 2014        

      This was our 7th Create + Cultivate (and the biggest.) 100 ladies + gentleman from as far as Thailand gathered in a room in Downtown Los Angeles to feel inspired.  The goal of C+C has always been to enlighten, entertain and inspire-- to cultivate relationships without feeling like you are networking, to meet creatives in an environment that lets you be yourself and to hear some of the  best and the business tell their story and give invaluable advice. It is something I am incredibly proud of creating.  Each year after emails pour in about the game changing experience which make all the blood, sweat and tears that go into feel so worth while.  

      Next year, we are going BIG and I mean BIG (stay tuned) and I am so excited to bring this conference to even more amazing men + women.  Below are some photos I feel captured the experience.














      The best team a girl could ask for!


      The besties came out to support!



      My right hand lady, Nikia.


                Lovely asian from thailand strips and plugs her pussy with a dildo        

      Lovely asian from thailand strips and plugs her pussy with a dildo

      Read more!
                Singapore – Thailand Joint Issue — Desserts        
      Singapore and Thailand will each release a joint stamp issue on 18 September featuring desserts. There will be 2 stamps with a miniature sheet issued by Singapore Post.
                UNCENSORED SOE-3