Friday, August 27, 2010

Demarche issued as China refuses visa to army officer

Relations between India and China have hit a new low with New Delhi issuing a strong protest after Beijing refused visa to one of its top army commanders.

China denied entry to Lt Gen B.S. Jaswal, general officer commanding-in-chief of northern area command, saying he was responsible for Jammu and Kashmir, a state that Beijing considers as disputed.

Retaliating to the snub, India refused permission to two Chinese defence officials to do a course at the National Defence College. A subsequent visit by Indian military officials to China was also cancelled.
India has conveyed its anger over the denial of visa in strong terms. Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yang was summoned by the external affairs ministry and handed over four demarches. Yang met Gautam Bambawale, Joint Secretary in charge of China.

"The defence minister has taken a strong view. Talks on the issue will go on," said Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur.

Sources in the external affairs ministry told Headlines Today that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is concerned and has said the matter would be taken up with China.

Colonel Jaishankar, the defence attache in Beijing, too has lodged an official protest with the Chinese defence ministry.

Lt Gen Jaswal's visit to China had been agreed upon in January. The Indian defence establishment had started preparations for the visit in June.

Army says no to military interaction with China
The army has reacted strongly to the denial of visa. Army sources said there will be no military interactions with China until Beijing took corrective action.

The sources said the army is waiting for guidance from the government on whether protocol for border meetings will change now. The army has been told that its anger has been conveyed to the Chinese government.

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bangladesh bans enforced Islamic dress code

A Bangladesh court has ruled that people cannot be forced to wear skull caps, veils or other religious clothing in workplaces, schools and colleges.

The ruling came after reports that a college in the north had forced students to wear veils.
The high court also ruled that women cannot be prevented from taking part in sports or cultural activities.

The court said that wearing any form of religious clothing, for students and employees, should be a personal choice.

It has also asked the authorities to explain why it should not be made illegal to prevent girls from taking part in sports and cultural activities.

In April this year, the court ordered schools and colleges not to force women to wear the burqa, a garment that covers the entire body except the eyes and hands.

Mahbub Shafique, one of the lawyers who filed the latest litigation, told the BBC how this ruling goes a step further.

"The difference between these two is that, this particular ruling today doesn't apply only on females it also applies to males as well.

"Because any kind of religious attire is imposed, that has been declared illegal to some extent."
The repeated interventions by the court show that these orders are likely to be ignored by most people living outside the capital Dhaka.

Though Bangladesh is a Muslim-majority nation, most people practise a moderate version of Islam.

In the long run, the country's politicians want the country to transform into a secular democracy rather than an Islamic republic.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Another view on Teen Undertaker

If you come to work in this industry, you'll either have left by lunchtime or you'll stay for the next 20 years. I started when I was nine, helping my dad move bodies, and launched my own business at 17. As a schoolkid, I used to cremate all the pets in the class: we had funerals for hamsters and goldfish.

Teen Undertaker, which was on Channel 4 on Friday, followed two youngsters, Laura and Paul, as they worked with dead bodies. The average funeral director isn't stern and doom-laden, but still we had Laura's mother saying she was too pretty and blonde to be a funeral director. Our youngest employee started at 24 and got the same comments.

I strongly related to Paul preparing his deceased uncle's body. When my mum died, I rushed to get there, but missed her dying. Consequently, I wanted to take her down to the mortuary, dress her and take over everything. Our embalmer actually embalmed his own mum, as well as Princess Diana. For him, it was the final act of respect and care.

We once had a guy whose family had put betting slips, lottery tickets and cigarettes in his coffin. They even put his mobile in there and someone rang it during the mass. It was hilarious. Another group stood around their friend's coffin drinking brandy and chucked a glass in for him.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Alvin Vergara Patrimonio

Alvin Vergara Patrimonio (born November 17, 1966) was nicknamed "The Captain" and was a professional basketball player from the Philippines.

He played for the Mapúa Institute of Technology Cardinals in the NCAA from 1983 to 1986. He entered the PBA in 1988 as part of the illustrious quartet alongside 1988 Rookie of the Year Jojo Lastimosa, many-time Mythical Team and Best Defensive Team Member Jerry Codiñera and perennial Best Defensive Team Member Glenn Capacio.

He first played for Hope in the PABL (now known as the PBL). then he transferred to YCO and again to Swift wherein he give the franchise a championship before going to the pros but Swift delayed his pro debut because of some conflicts.

He played his entire career with the Purefoods TJ Hotdogs and won several championships, mostly in the PBA All Filipino Cup; he also played for the Philippine national team including the 1998 Philippine Centennial team.

Patrimonio holds several PBA records including most consecutive games played (596) and most PBA Most Valuable Player awards (4 tied with Ramon Fernandez). He was also the second player after Bogs Adornado to win back-to-back MVP awards in 1993-1994 and also the second player to win three Best Player of the Conference award after Vergel Meneses. He also shares the distinction of having played the most Asian Games (4) with 1990 PBA MVP Allan Caidic.

During his playing years in the PBA, Alvin found time to do movies. He first appeared as guest in the Mars Ravelo classic Bondying which starred Jimmy Santos. Then he was launched together with Jerry Codinera and Bong Alvarez in the film Last Two Minutes in 1990. The movie was a top-grosser at the box-office and spawned a sitcom of the same title aired over PTV-4. The Captain was also paired with Maricel Soriano in the remake of the Robert Jaworski/Nora Aunor film Dobol Dribol in 1992 and did Tasya Fantasya opposite Kris Aquino in 1994.

In 2004, 16 years after playing in the pro league, Patrimonio announced his retirement to concentrate more on his duties as the current team manager of the Purefoods franchise in the PBA. The best power forward in the annals of the PBA, he redefined the meaning of power forward as a prolific and phenomenal scorer ending his career as the league’s No. 3 scorer with 15,091 just behind all-time greats Ramon Fernandez and Abet Guidaben with 18,996 and 15,775, respectively.

On November 26, 2005, he played in the Legends 3-Point Shootout during the PBA All-Star in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. The game saw Patrimonio sink the very last money ball to prop the Legends, also composed of Ronnie Magsanoc and Frankie Lim, to a 41-39 win over the young Turks of Jimmy Alapag, Ren-Ren Ritualo and Dondon Hontiveros.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Public or Private school

Both schools offer the good education to the dearest of a parent’s heart, their children. Private schools on one hand would cost about $5,000 dollars a year. Unlike the public school, no weapons were ever found on any students of the private school, but if there ever were, students would be axiomatically thrown out with no refund of their money. Some parents may think it’s worth the cost of a private school to keep there children safe. These numbers will too, affect the ability for students to focus and become undistracted on their education and extra curricular activities. Private schools would give all that to students as long as they receive their monthly payment of upto $483 dollars. With uniforms, the students can go to school unafraid of being made fun of with what they are wearing because everyone looks the same. Others may believe there is plenty of authority and security in public schools to keep their children out of danger. The Students might feel like they should be going to school to impress and express them selves with what their wearing. In the private school, uniforms are strictly enforced and required. Although, the public school in Middletown does not enforce uniforms which can become a major distraction to the adolescent minds of the students.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


All forms of life interact with the environment in which they exist, and also with other life forms. In the 20th century this premise gave rise to the concept of ecosystems, which can be defined as any situation where there is interaction between organisms and their environment.

Ecosystems are composed of a variety of abiotic and biotic components that function in an interrelated way. The structure and composition is determined by various environmental factors that are interrelated. Variations of these factors will initiate dynamic modifications to the ecosystem. Some of the more significant components are: soil, atmosphere, radiation from the sun, water, and living organisms.

Each living organism has a continual relationship with every other element that makes up its environment. Within the ecosystem, species are connected and dependent upon one another in the food chain, and exchange energy and matter between themselves as well as with their environment.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Earth is the fifth largest planet in the solar system, third in order of distance from the Sun. It is the largest of its planetary system's terrestrial planets and the only place in the universe known to support life.

The most prominent features of the earth's climate are its two large polar regions, two relatively narrow temperate zones, and a wide equatorial tropical to subtropical region. Precipitation patterns vary widely according to location, ranging from several meters of water per year to less than a millimeter. About 70 percent of the surface is covered by salt-water oceans. The remainder consists of continents and islands, with the vast majority of the inhabited land in the Northern Hemisphere.

Earth has evolved through geological and biological processes that have left traces of the original conditions. The outer surface is divided into several tectonic plates that gradually migrate across the surface over geologic time spans, which at least several times have changed relatively quickly. The interior of the planet remains active, with a thick layer of molten Earth mantle and an iron-filled core that generates a magnetic field