Posted by: Chuck | September 28, 2013

FRIDAY’S STRAIGHT SCOOP FROM UNCLE CHUCK


Good day folks, God may allow storms to happen in our lives, but He promised to be with us during the storm. We are safer in danger with Him, than in calmness without Him and this is a blessing. If you ever think of coming to the Philippines a place to check out is Mactan Island is a one many tourist attraction among the Visayas Islands. Mactan Island is continuing to grow and because of the many tourists that come to the island we now have our own Bureau of Immigration located at Gaisano Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City beside the one located in Mandaue and the airport.

If your thinking of doing business here as a stranger in this very strange land. We all know the risks here and so does the local Filipino. Getting shaking down is about the oldest scam in the When the Philippine government misses a ‘Porkulus’ payment to the terrorists and they go ape-schitt, are they going to pass my land by? Hell, if I could milk blood-money out of the Philippine government since I have no problem with anyone.

I have a relative in Mindanao who received a letter from the NPA (communist insurgency group in the Philippines) demanding that he pay farm care-taker money owed. My friend did employ this caretaker but disputes that he owes the care-taker anything. The letter is hand-written but looks official. It even has a control number on it. My relative’s inclination is to do nothing but if it were me, I’d pay the money or get out of Dodge. The next step he could be a shot. What do you folks think?

God wants us to live like the grass even if it is stepped on, crushed, burned and cut, it always persists and grows back even greener and stronger. Grow with God. God bless you all.

More than a third of federal workers would be told to stay home if the government shuts down, forcing the closure of national parks from California to Maine and all the Smithsonian museums in the nation’s capital. Workers at the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs wouldn’t be around to process visa and passport applications, complicating the travel plans of hundreds of thousands. These would be just some of the effects of a government shutdown that furloughs 800,000 of the nation’s 2.1 million federal workers. It could hit as early as Tuesday if a bitterly divided Congress fails to approve a temporary spending bill to keep the government running. Supervisors at government agencies began meetings Thursday to decide which employees would continue to report to work and which would be considered nonessential and told to stay home under contingency plans ordered by the Office of Management and Budget. http://news.yahoo.com/preparing-shutdown-government-plans-furloughs-073632831–politics.html

A planned economic zone in southern China will allow full internet freedom, similar to what will be allowed in a proposed free trade zone in Shanghai, a senior official behind the project said on Thursday. China tightly controls the internet through a so-called Great Firewall, routinely deleting online postings and blocking access to websites it deems politically sensitive or inappropriate such as Facebook and Twitter. “In Qianhai, we will be able to see what they can see in Hong Kong,” said Wang Jinxia, director of the research and innovation center of the Qianhai Authority, which is overseeing the proposed $45 billion financial zone in southern China. “We will strive for an exclusive international communication channel in which information won’t be filtered,” he said, adding that Facebook and Twitter would be available. The news is in line with a formal policy blueprint announced by China’s state council, or cabinet, for Qianhai in June last year that said “a dedicated channel for international communication in Qianhai shall be supported to satisfy the needs for international communications of the enterprises in the zone.” http://news.yahoo.com/chinas-mini-hong-kong-eyes-internet-access-shrugs-033420419–sector.html

Iran and the United States held their highest-level substantive talks in a generation on Thursday, saying the tone was positive but sounding cautious about resolving the long-running standoff over Iran’s nuclear program. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met after Zarif held wider talks with the United States and other major powers to address Western suspicions that Iran may be trying to develop atomic weapons. Diplomats from the major countries described the atmosphere of the wider talks in positive terms, but they, as well as the U.S. and Iranian foreign ministers, stressed the difficulty of resolving a dispute that has eluded solution for a decade. http://news.yahoo.com/u-iran-voice-optimism-caution-rare-encounter-002840696.html

Militants dressed in Indian army uniforms attacked Indian police and soldiers near the border with Pakistan on Thursday, killing nine people and triggering calls for talks between the prime ministers of the rival nations to be called off. Just a day before the twin assault in the disputed Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he would meet his Pakistan counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly on the weekend. The leaders of the nuclear-armed neighbors are expected to discuss rising violence in Kashmir. Indian Kashmir’s chief minister said the assault was an attempt to derail the talks. http://news.yahoo.com/militants-kill-four-shootout-indian-kashmir-army-camp-033829174.html

President Barack Obama is hosting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for talks on trade and security in a fragile region, offering a chance to inject new life into the partnership amid concerns that relations have stagnated. The leaders of the world’s two largest democracies were to meet Friday at the White House, where they were expected to firm up plans for moving forward on defense and civil nuclear agreements. U.S. efforts to counter China’s growing influence and the tenuous situation in Afghanistan will be strong undertones, even if the leaders don’t address them explicitly in public. http://news.yahoo.com/obama-indias-leader-seek-reinvigorate-ties-080211304–politics.html

Scientists can now say with extreme confidence that human activity is the dominant cause of the global warming observed since the 1950s, a new report by an international scientific group said Friday. Calling man-made warming “extremely likely,” the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change used the strongest words yet on the issue as it adopted its assessment on the state of the climate system. In its previous assessment, in 2007, the U.N.-sponsored panel said it was “very likely” that global warming was man-made. http://news.yahoo.com/climate-panel-warming-extremely-likely-man-made-081442244–finance.html

Desperate Pakistani villagers in remote areas hit by a massive earthquake this week say they are still waiting for government aid to reach them. Mansoor Ahmed said Friday that help from the government has yet to reach his village of Dalbeedi. He says the only help they’ve received was from relatives in the port city of Karachi who sent a truck of supplies. Almost all of the villages 350 houses were destroyed when the magnitude 7.7 quake hit southwestern Baluchistan province on Tuesday. Baluchistan is the country’s most impoverished province. The lack of infrastructure such as decent roads has hampered relief efforts. The Pakistani military has been ferrying aid into the region by helicopter and evacuating the injured. http://news.yahoo.com/quake-hit-pakistani-villages-still-wait-aid-081203705.html

A leading Malaysian rights activist who faces sedition charges at home has said he was denied a visa to enter Australia, raising suggestions Canberra had buckled to pressure from Kuala Lumpur. Haris Ibrahim, a strident campaigner against the Malaysian government now headed by Prime Minister Najib Razak, said he was seeking a meeting with Australian officials for clarification. “I sent a request to meet with the relevant officer at the Australian High Commission with a view to fully explaining the purpose of my intended visit to Australia and to lay to rest any and all concerns they may have,” he said in an entry posted on his blog Thursday. http://news.yahoo.com/malaysian-activist-says-barred-australia-064148483.html

President Hassan Rouhani said Thursday that Iran was committed to negotiate on its nuclear program in “good faith” after the highest-level talks yet held with world powers. “We are fully prepared to seriously engage in the process toward a negotiated and mutually agreeable settlement and do so in good faith and with a business-like mind,” Rouhani told a think tank forum in New York. He addressed the Asia Society and Council on Foreign Relations soon after his foreign minister held talks with major powers at the United Nations in the highest-level contact ever between the United States and Iran over its nuclear program. http://news.yahoo.com/irans-rouhani-promises-good-faith-nuclear-talks-222605274.html

President Barack Obama is hosting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (MUHN’-moh-hahn sing) at the White House for talks on trade and security in a fragile region. The meeting Friday offers the leaders of the world’s two largest democracies a chance to inject new life into the partnership amid concerns that relations have stagnated. Obama and Singh will firm up plans for moving forward on defense ties and a civil nuclear agreement. America’s efforts to counter China’s growing influence and the tenuous situation in Afghanistan will be strong undertones, even if the leaders don’t address them explicitly in public.  The White House says economic cooperation and clean energy initiatives are also on the agenda. Singh may also press the president about immigration legislation in Congress and India’s high-skilled workers. http://news.yahoo.com/obama-indian-leader-seek-reinvigorate-ties-080114099–politics.html

Tokyo Electric Power Co on Friday applied to restart a nuclear plant in northwestern Japan, an initial step on its planned recovery from the Fukushima nuclear disaster. But final approval to resume power generation at the Kashiwazaki Kariwa facility, the world’s largest nuclear plant some 300 km (180 miles) northwest of Tokyo, is uncertain and any decision would take many months at best. All of Japan’s 50 reactors were shut down after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima plant, triggering a nuclear crisis and a spike in popular opposition to the industry. Two units were brought back on line last year, but recent shutdowns have left Japan without nuclear power for only the third time since 1970. http://news.yahoo.com/tokyo-electric-seeks-restart-worlds-largest-nuclear-plant-043844762–finance.html

A Pakistani police official says a bomb planted on a bus carrying government employees has killed 13 people. Police officer Arif Khan says the bomb exploded on Friday in the rear of the bus on the outskirts of the northern city of Peshawar. He says the explosion also wounded 32 people. Pakistani television showed images of the bus with its tail end completely mangled. There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Pakistani militants battling the government often target officials and symbols of the state. http://news.yahoo.com/bomb-blast-kills-13-people-northern-pakistan-083221227.html

During an interview for “This Week” airing Sunday, former President Bill Clinton called parts of the reported House GOP proposal to raise the debt ceiling “chilling” and “almost spiteful” in the way that it would impact low-income Americans. “If I were the president, I wouldn’t negotiate over these draconian cuts that are going to take food off the table of low-income working people, while they leave all the agricultural subsidies in for high-income farmers and everything else. I just think it’s – it’s chilling to me,” Clinton told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an interview this morning in New York. “It seems almost spiteful,” he added. Clinton, speaking to Stephanopoulos during the annual Clinton Global Initiative, asserted that House Republicans were attempting to strong-arm President Obama and advised him to not change course. The president has said repeatedly that he would not negotiate with Congress over raising of the debt ceiling. http://gma.yahoo.com/bill-clinton-calls-parts-house-gop-proposal-raise-223921076–abc-news-topstories.html

Boeing has been turning outdated planes into unmanned drones that the Air Force can use in targeting drills. The Daily Mail reports that Boeing has successfully converted six F-16 fighter jets into drones, allowing the aircraft to take off and fly without a pilot. Boeing says it’s the first time a F-16 has flown unmanned. “It’s a replication of current, real world situations and aircraft platforms they can shoot as a target,” U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ryan Inman, Commander of the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron said in a release. “Now we have a 9G capable, highly sustainable aerial target.” The jets had all previously been retired and were residing at Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona. Boeing restored the jets and added the necessary equipment to allow them to fly as drones. http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/boeing-turns-aging-planes-into-drones-for-air-force-target-practice-010653391.html

In April, with his domestic agenda stymied in Congress, Barack Obama tried to channel Mark Twain when he declared, “Rumors of my demise may be a little exaggerated at this point.” For the president, those were the good old days. In the early spring, his approval rating was still over 50 percent in some surveys and he clung to hopes for legislative victories like immigration reform. Since then, on almost every front, things have gotten worse politically for the president. Obama’s popularity in the polls now averages 44 percent, close to the nadir of his presidency. It’s not only the polls. Immigration reform is dying in Congress. And not even last week’s massacre at the Washington Navy Yard could revive efforts for limited gun legislation, a cause that earlier this year aroused Obama’s deepest public emotions. http://news.yahoo.com/obama-obamacare-syria-iran-recovery-recession-134107522.html

Hours before the first significant high level meeting between the U.S. and Iran since the Iranian revolution in 1979, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani urged the destruction of all nuclear weapons. Rouhani’s statement was closely watched because his country faces severe international embargoes because its nuclear program is suspected of building a nuclear arsenal. “Any use of nuclear weapons is a violation of the U.N. charter and a crime against humanity,” Rouhani said, speaking at U.N. headquarters in New York. As head of the Non-Aligned Movement, Rouhani called for a total destruction of nuclear weapons and said “de-targeting, de-alerting or reducing the number of nuclear weapons [is] not [a] substitute for their total elimination.” The nuclear weapon states must lead the charge to disarm, Rouhani said and he called on Israel to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty “without delay” in a rare, direct reference to the country. http://gma.yahoo.com/irans-rouhani-calls-destruction-nukes-183513607.html

There was little to distinguish the man from among the other wounded soldiers on the hospital bunks. Like many of the fighting men that had come to Zamboanga, he was gaunt. As we were introduced, he struggled to prop himself up with his good leg. I apologized and indicated that he need not get up. But he stands nonetheless and salutes the Lt. Colonel who was with me. He couldn’t have been more than 27 years old and I couldn’t help but think that at that age, I was still in some convoluted experiment with the corporate world. Beside his bed was a laptop, some sort of war game had been paused. http://ph.news.yahoo.com/wounded-warriors-unfinished-mission-170730107.html

Wednesday night’s “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” averaged 9.41 million viewers, winning its time period. Fan favorite Rupert Boneham got booted off the island while his wife, Laura remains in the competition. Rupert stopped by the “omg! Insider” newsroom on Thursday to talk about his departure from the show after choosing to swap places with his wife, ultimately costing him the game. http://ph.omg.yahoo.com/video/rupert-boneham-no-regrets-survivor-232625759.html

Mark Caguioa’s PBA season ended unceremoniously after the Barangay Ginebra skipper left Thursday night’s Governors’ Cup quarterfinal game against Petron Blaze with a knee injury following a slip in the second period of the Kings’ 101-94 loss. Caguioa did not return to the game amid speculation that he may have suffered a torn MCL, and ended up playing only 12 minutes and scoring four points as the Blaze Boosters went on to oust Ginebra from the season-ending tournament. Just hours after the game ended, the outspoken Caguioa went on Twitter to thank the Ginebra fans and all those who wished him well, and also to complain about the wet floor conditions that led to his injury. Apparently the Spark slipped on a wet spot that was not mopped after a player hit the floor. http://ph.sports.yahoo.com/news/nba–caguioa-blames-slippery-floor-for-knee-injury-033733568.html

Despite his perhaps bizarre appearance, a man in China who is growing a new nose on his forehead is the beneficiary of a rather common nose reconstruction technique. The man suffered damage to his nose and an infection after a severe car accident, and the infection had eaten away at the cartilage in his nose, making it impossible to for doctors to fix his original nose. Instead, the team decided to grow the man an entirely new nose on his forehead, according to the Huffington Post. But despite its extreme appearance, this method is not that different from plastic surgery techniques used all the time, said Dr. David Cangello, an attending plastic surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital and Manhattan, Eye Ear and Throat Hospital in New York. http://ph.news.yahoo.com/mans-forehead-nose-common-reconstruction-technique-182245077.html

You’re welcome to visit and any time, Uncle Chuck

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