Daily Global Roundup

The Daily Roundup: 22 June 2011

Not ill-gotten

The Supreme Court (SC) Tuesday affirmed with finality its April 12, 2011, decision that declared the 20 percent shares of businessman Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. in the outstanding capital stocks of San Miguel Corp. (SMC) not part of the multi-billion-peso coconut levy funds and not ill-gotten wealth.

Erap may be included in Dacer probe – DOJ

Former President Joseph Estrada will be summoned to the new investigation on the 2000 murders of publicist Salvador Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito if evidence points to him as the “Bigote” implicated in the testimony of former police senior superintendent Cezar Mancao II.

Juan Manuel Marquez ‘now ready’ for Pacquiao

Hall of fame trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain believes he has devised a fight plan to finally shame Manny Pacquiao.

Noy seeks to allay Europeans’ fears

President Aquino yesterday said he is thinking of directing Foreign Secretary Alberto del Rosario to assure the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) that his administration will continue foreign projects that are beneficial to Filipinos as long as these are not anomalous.

BSP seen to further hike rates, banks’ required reserves

THE CENTRAL BANK is expected to resume raising key rates and banks’ mandated reserves in order to put the economy in a better position to weather any prospective “sizeable inflation shock.”

Philippine team wins HSBC award

Environment-friendly coffee cups and food boxes made from corn cobs and rice stalks produced by small-scale farmers won for a team of young Philippine entrepreneurs the “Best of the Best Award” at the 2011 Young Entrepreneur Awards (YEA) Regional Finals of the HSBC last Monday here.

P-Noy: No faulty projects in my administration

Amid concerns raised by the European Chamber of Commerce (ECC), President Aquino maintained yesterday that faulty projects could not be allowed even if they were foreign-funded so as not to waste government resources.

Chief Justice Corona allows webcast of Maguindanao massacre trial

Chief Justice Renato Corona has allowed the live video webcast of the Maguindanao massacre trial, a spokesman for the Supreme Court said Tuesday.

Philippine winners in Cannes Lions Festival bared

The Philippine Daily Inquirer, the official country representative to the Cannes Lions Festival has announced the preliminary metals of the Philippine delegates.

UN: Cancer, diabetes kill millions, cost trillions globally

Nearly two-thirds of deaths in the world are caused by noncommunicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart and lung disease which are rapidly increasing at a cost to the global economy of trillions of dollars, according to UN estimates and preliminary results of a new study.


British court approve Wikileaks' Assange extradition to Sweden

LONDON — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited to Sweden over sex crimes claims, a judge said Thursday. Assange’s lawyer said he would appeal against the ruling to the High Court.

Judge Howard Riddle ruled that the allegations of rape and sexual molestation by two women are extraditable offenses and a Swedish warrant was properly issued.

Read more at the Washington Post

Clashes in Tripoli, Libya

Emerging reports early Feb. 21 indicate the unrest in Libya is spreading from eastern Libya to the capital of Tripoli. According to initial reports, heavy gunfire was heard in central Tripoli and in other districts with Al Jazeera reporting 61 people killed in Tripoli on Feb. 21. Other unconfirmed reports say that protesters attacked the headquarters of Al-Jamahiriya Two television and Al-Shababia as well as other government buildings in Tripoli overnight.

Read more: Clashes In Tripoli | STRATFOR

From Reeds to Roads: Bamboo Bikes in Ghana

When Columbia University professor John Mutter went to Ghana in 2007, he noticed how necessary a reliable source of transportation was to people’s livelihoods and wellbeing.

“You can’t go to any of the poorer countries in Africa and not be struck by how many people get around by walking or bicycling,” said Mutter.

With roads in generally poor condition, it can take a long time to get from place to place, he said. Even the seemingly simple task of getting cash crops to market can be formidable.With roads in generally poor condition, it can take a long time to get from place to place, he said. Even the seemingly simple task of getting cash crops to market can be formidable.

“It’s pointless to grow vegetables for a market if you can’t get to the market” or keep track of market prices, he said. “Transportation can really be an inhibitor.”

So it made sense that many people got around by bike, but many of those bikes were meant for paved roads, and were very heavy and poorly made.

Bamboo was the natural solution, specifically a bike frame made of the sturdy shoots. Mutter was in Ghana as part of The Earth Institute at Columbia University’s Bamboo Bike Project.

Read more at pbs.org

Uninstalling dictator… 100 percent complete! Mubarak resigns

Triumph as Mubarak quits,” Al Jazeera proudly splashed on their homepage. “His resignation,” The Washington Post wrote, “sparked joyful pandemonium in Cairo and across the country, but the next steps for Egypt were unclear as the armed forces took control and gave little hint of how they intended to govern.”

Hosni Mubarak resigned as Egypt’s President, Friday, handling power to the Military. Egypt’s Vice President Omar Suleiman addressed his people, Friday. “In these grave circumstances that the country is passing through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave his position as president of the republic. He has mandated the Armed Forces Supreme Council to run the state. God is our protector and succor.”

There is a lot of awesome images coming from Tahrir Square. Thousands of protesters celebrated in Cairo and Alexandria as soldiers look on.

BBC’s John Leyne reports: “Around Cairo, drivers are honking their horns in celebration and guns are being fired into the air. The huge crowds are rejoicing. However, the army takeover looks very much like a coup. The constitution has been breached. Officially, the speaker of parliament should be taking over. Instead it is the army leadership. Egypt moves into a very uncertain future.”

Egyptian defense minister, field marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi heads the military council, a military source tells Reuters. The military will suspend upper and lower house of Egypt’s parliament.

On Twitter, the Uninstalling Dictator meme finally stopped stalling and reached 100 percent.

The New York Times described it as, “History upends icon of stability.”

“There are very few moments in our lives where we have the privilege to witness history taking place,” The American President Barack Obama remarked from the Grand Foyer at the White House. “This is one of those moments. This is one of those times. The people of Egypt have spoken, their voices have been heard, and Egypt will never be the same.”

Photo credit: Huffington Post/AP, Videos by Al Jazeera
Original version of this report, “Mubarak finally steps down.”

Mubarak finally steps down (Updated)

Hosni Mubarak has finally stepped down as President of Egypt and has handed the power over to the Armed Forces. This was announced by Vice President Omar Suleiman.


“In the name of God the merciful, the compassionate, citizens, during these very difficult circumstances Egypt is going through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down from the office of president of the republic and has charged the high council of the armed forces to administer the affairs of the country,” he said.

Thousands of protesters are now celebrating in Cairo and Alexandria as soldiers look on.


BBC’s John Leyne reports: “Around Cairo, drivers are honking their horns in celebration and guns are being fired into the air. The huge crowds are rejoicing. However, the army takeover looks very much like a coup. The constitution has been breached. Officially, the speaker of parliament should be taking over. Instead it is the army leadership. Egypt moves into a very uncertain future.”

Egyptian defense minister, field marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi heads the military council, a military source tells Reuters. The military will suspend upper and lower house of Egypt’s parliament.

Daily Global Roundup: 2 February 2011

President Mubarak’s speech after mass protest

Following is the text of a televised speech delivered by President Hosni Mubarak on Tuesday after a million Egyptians took to the streets demanding he leave office:

“I talk to you during critical times that are testing Egypt and its people which could sweep them into the unknown. The country is passing through difficult times and tough experiences which began with noble youths and citizens who practise their rights to peaceful demonstrations and protests, expressing their concerns and aspirations but they were quickly exploited by those who sought to spread chaos and violence, confrontation and to violate the constitutional legitimacy and to attack it.

“Those protests were transformed from a noble and civilised phenomenon of practising freedom of expression to unfortunate clashes, mobilised and controlled by political forces that wanted to escalate and worsen the situation. They targeted the nation’s security and stability through acts of provocation theft and looting and setting fires and blocking roads and attacking vital installations and public and private properties and storming some diplomatic missions.

“We are living together painful days and the most painful thing is the fear that affected the huge majority of Egyptians and caused concern and anxiety over what tomorrow could bring them and their families and the future of their country.

“The events of the last few days require us all as a people and as a leadership to chose between chaos and stability and to set in front of us new circumstances and a new Egyptian reality which our people and armed forces must work with wisely and in the interest of Egypt and its citizens.

“Dear bothers and citizens, I took the initiative of forming a new government with new priorities and duties that respond to the demand of our youth and their mission. I entrusted the vice president with the task of holding dialogue with all the political forces and factions about all the issues that have been raised concerning political and democratic reform and the constitutional and legislative amendments required to realise these legitimate demands and to restore law and order but there are some political forces who have refused this call to dialogue, sticking to their particular agendas without concern for the current delicate circumstances of Egypt and its people.

“In light of this refusal to the call for dialogue and this is a call which remains standing, I direct my speech today directly to the people, its Muslims and Christians, old and young, peasants and workers, and all Egyptian men and women in the countryside and city over the whole country.

“I have never, ever been seeking power and the people know the difficult circumstances that I shouldered my responsibility and what I offered this country in war and peace, just as I am a man from the armed forces and it is not in my nature to betray the trust or give up my responsibilities and duties.

“My primary responsibility now is security and independence of the nation to ensure a peaceful transfer of power in circumstances that protect Egypt and the Egyptians and allow handing over responsibility to whoever the people choose in the coming presidential election.

“I say in all honesty and regardless of the current situation that I did not intend to nominate myself for a new presidential term. I have spent enough years of my life in the service of Egypt and its people.

“I am now absolutely determined to finish my work for the nation in a way that ensures handing over its safe-keeping and banner … preserving its legitimacy and respecting the constitution.

“I will work in the remaining months of my term to take the steps to ensure a peaceful transfer of power.

“According to my constitutional powers, I call on parliament in both its houses to discuss amending article 76 and 77 of the constitution concerning the conditions on running for presidency of the republic and it sets specific a period for the presidential term. In order for the current parliament in both houses to be able to discuss these constitutional amendments and the legislative amendments linked to it for laws that complement the constitution and to ensure the participation of all the political forces in these discussions, I demand parliament to adhere to the word of the judiciary and its verdicts concerning the latest cases which have been legally challenged.

“I will entrust the new government to perform in ways that will achieve the legitimate rights of the people and that its performance should express the people and their aspirations of political, social and economic reform and to allow job opportunities and combating poverty, realising social justice.

“In this context, I charge the police apparatus to carry out its duty in serving the people, protecting the citizens with integrity and honour with complete respect for their rights, freedom and dignity.

“I also demand the judicial and supervisory authorities to take immediately the necessary measures to continue pursuing outlaws and to investigate those who caused the security disarray and those who undertook acts of theft, looting and setting fires and terrorising citizens.

“This is my pledge to the people during the last remaining months of my current term:

“I ask God to help me to honour this pledge to complete my vocation to Egypt and its people in what satisfies God, the nation and its people.

“Dear citizens, Egypt will emerge from these current circumstances stronger, more confident and unified and stable. And our people will emerge with more awareness of how to achieve reconciliation and be more determined not to undermine its future and destiny.

“Hosni Mubarak who speaks to you today is proud of the long years he spent in the service of Egypt and its people. This dear nation is my country, it is the country of all Egyptians, here I have lived and fought for its sake and I defended its land, its sovereignty and interests and on this land I will die and history will judge me and others for our merits and faults.

“The nation remains. Visitors come and go but ancient Egypt will remain eternal, its banner and safekeeping will pass from one generation to the next. It is up to us to ensure this in pride and dignity.” (Translating by Samia Nakhoul and Andrew Hammond)

Source: Reuters

Daily Global Roundup: 1 February 2011

Switzerland blocks funds of Haiti ex-leader Duvalier

Switzerland has blocked funds held in Swiss bank accounts by Haiti’s former leader Jean-Claude Duvalier under a law that has just come into force.

The funds of some $6m (£3.7m) were frozen in 1986 after Mr Duvalier was ousted as Haitian president.

Last year, a Swiss court ruled that the money be returned to him but the Bern government sought a new law covering the restitution of the money to Haiti.

Mr Duvalier last month made a surprise return to Haiti from exile.

He has been charged with theft and misappropriation of funds during his 1971-1986 rule and is also being sued for torture and other crimes against humanity.

Read more at BBC News

Daily Global Roundup: 25 January 2011

Danger: America Is Losing Its Edge in Innovation” by Norm Agustine

I’ve visited more than 100 countries in the past several years, meeting people from all walks of life, from impoverished children in India to heads of state. Almost every adult I’ve talked with in these countries shares a belief that the path to success is paved with science and engineering.

In fact, scientists and engineers are celebrities in most countries. They’re not seen as geeks or misfits, as they too often are in the U.S., but rather as society’s leaders and innovators. In China, eight of the top nine political posts are held by engineers. In the U.S., almost no engineers or scientists are engaged in high-level politics, and there is a virtual absence of engineers in our public policy debates.

Why does this matter? Because if American students have a negative impression – or no impression at all – of science and engineering, then they’re hardly likely to choose them as professions. Already, 70% of engineers with PhD’s who graduate from U.S. universities are foreign-born. Increasingly, these talented individuals are not staying in the U.S – instead, they’re returning home, where they find greater opportunities.

Read more at Forbes

Daily Global Roundup: 24 January 2011

Thai Navy plans to buy submarines from Germany” by Saksith Saiyasombut

Thai Navy plans to buy submarines from Germany

The Bangkok Post reports

The Royal Thai Navy wants to buy two second-hand submarines at a cost of 6-7 billion baht [$195m – $228m].  […]

The specifications of the submarines have not been determined but the navy is expected to buy them from European suppliers, probably Germany.

The navy has stressed the need to acquire submarines because Thai sailors have little knowledge of submarine technology, which is constantly upgraded.

Read more at Asian Correspondent