Archive for the ‘homeless’ Category

Myanmar Activists Sorry to Lose Laura Bush

November 2, 2008

First Lady has been a bright light for human rights; especially in Myanmar…

From the Associated Press

WASHINGTON —  Activists opposing the military-run junta will lose a powerful ally in January when first lady Laura Bush moves out of the White House.

Voter dissatisfaction with President George W. Bush’s Republican Party could also cost them Myanmar’s fiercest congressional critic in Mitch McConnell. The Senate’s top Republican is battling to retain his seat in the face of Democrats intent on bolstering their control of Congress with a strong showing in Tuesday’s elections.

 

US First Lady Laura Bush, seen here October 13, 2008 at the ...
Laura Bush (L) with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
(AFP/File/Mandel Ngan)

 

Laura Bush and McConnell — who heads the panel responsible for financing international programs — have used their high profiles to draw attention to human rights abuses in Myanmar and the 13-year detention of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. They also have won tough sanctions aimed at isolating Myanmar, also known as Burma.

Activists in the country say her support has been invaluable.

“The world takes an interest in Myanmar’s ethnic issues because of her,” said Han Tha Myint, a spokesman for Myanmar’s opposition National League for Democracy. “It is moral support for us even though we are not clear how much of the support can translate into change.”

Three Buddhist monks pray at a pagoda in Twantay, near the former ...
Three Buddhist monks pray at a pagoda in Twantay, near the former capital of Myanmar, Yangon, on October 19. Six months since Cyclone Nargis lashed the secretive state of Myanmar – killing 138,000 people – the initial despair over the ruling junta’s inaction has been replaced by cautious optimism that more aid is reaching the country’s needy, the UN has said.(AFP/File/Khin Maung Win)

Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,445969,00.html

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Pakistan: Red Cross Pleading For earthquake Help

November 2, 2008

The International Committee of the Red Cross on Sunday appealed for 7.8 million dollars in emergency funding to help victims of the powerful earthquake that rocked southwest Pakistan this week.

The ICRC said that the money would be used to step up the relief effort being carried out by its teams and those from the Pakistan Red Crescent Society.

Up to 300 people were killed and tens of thousands more left homeless when a 6.4-magnitude quake struck before dawn in mountainous Baluchistan province on Wednesday, flattening mud-brick houses as people slept.

Some local people in remote villages have complained that aid has been slow in reaching them, particularly protection from sub-zero night-time temperatures. Health officials have warned of the spread of deadly diseases among children.

The ICRC’s head of delegation in Islamabad, Pascal Cuttat, said: “Our priority will be to provide shelter as winter sets in.

“Because of continuing aftershocks, many people decided to sleep outdoors, at altitudes of 2,000 to 2,500 metres (6,500 to 8,200 feet).”

UNICEF on Friday appealed for five million dollars in donations to help its work providing shelter, clean water, food and medicine to vulnerable young children and women.

The United States has donated one million dollars to the relief effort, the US Agency for International Development said Thursday.

Among other foreign donations was a 100-million-dollar aid package from Saudi Arabia, the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan said.

AFP

Pakistani earthquake survivors sit next to a green apple farm ... 
Pakistani earthquake survivors sit next to a green apple farm in Wam. The International Committee of the Red Cross has appealed for $7.8 million in emergency funding to help victims of the powerful earthquake that rocked southwest Pakistan.(AFP/Banaras Khan)

China Defends Olympic Relocation Policy

February 20, 2008

By Maureen Fan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, February 20, 2008; Page A14

BEIJING, Feb. 19 — Beijing officials on Tuesday defended their relocation of nearly 15,000 people as part of the massive construction projects that have transformed the capital into a 31-venue showcase for this summer’s Olympic Games.

More than 6,000 households have voluntarily relocated from the venue sites over the past several years and all have been fairly compensated, Zhang Jiaming, vice chair of the Beijing Municipal Construction Committee, told reporters, outlining a policy that has been the focus of petition campaigns and protests, which the Communist Party has tried to suppress.

“The relocation project went very smoothly, so no one was forced out of their homes at any of the venues,” Zhang said. Families who could prove ownership were compensated, on average, about $87,500, enough to allow some displaced residents to pass up government-provided affordable housing, purchase an apartment and buy a new car, Zhang said.

Read the rest:
 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/19/AR2008021901612.html

Veterans make up 1 in 4 homeless in US

November 8, 2007

November  8, 2007– 

WASHINGTON From the New York Times and the Associates Press-

Veterans make up one in four homeless people in the United States, though they are only 11 percent of the general adult population, according to a report to be released Thursday.

And homelessness is not just a problem among middle-age and elderly veterans. Younger veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are trickling into shelters and soup kitchens seeking services, treatment or help with finding a job.

The Veterans Affairs Department has identified 1,500 homeless veterans from the current wars and says 400 of them have participated in its programs specifically targeting homelessness.

The Alliance to End Homelessness, a public education nonprofit, based the findings of its report on numbers from Veterans Affairs and the Census Bureau. 2005 data estimated that 194,254 homeless people out of 744,313 on any given night were veterans.

Read the rest:
And homelessness is not just a problem among middle-age and elderly veterans. Younger veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are trickling into shelters and soup kitchens seeking services, treatment or help with finding a job.

Stuff I can’t Explain: So Better to Laugh

July 27, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
Just for fun category

I noticed about an hour after my wife left for work that her glasses were on the kitchen counter. I called to ask her if she wanted me to bring them over. The answer perplexed me.

“No. Forget it. I only need them to drive.”

Many questions. If she “only needs them to drive” how in God’s name did she navigate the ten miles to work? And if she did drive to work why did she spend the money on glasses?

+++++++

I disturbed a homeless lady in the parking lot this morning. She was seated on the ground and leaning against my car.

When I approached she growled, “Can’t you see I’m reading my Wall Street Journal”?

“My” Wall Street Journal as if it was delivered to her daily near my car….

I cannot explain this one bit….

++++++++

Where I stop for newspapers and coffee in the morning a Korean man was buying a taco. I stupidly asked, “You eat Mexican food for breakfast”?

He said, “I’m South-American-Korean.”

In America you can be whomever you want.

+++++++++

I haven’t fallen asleep during a movie in five years or more. Last night I fell asleep during an airing of “The Passion of the Christ.”

I think you go to hell for that.

Have a great weekend!

China Planning a Surreal Facade for Summer Olympic Games: Beijing 2008

July 7, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
July 9, 2007

Few could have anticipated the run of bad publicity, crises and scandals that China has weathered since about last winter or spring.

First, pets in America became sick and many died. The illness was traced to Chinese-made pet food laced with a fertilizer component named melamine. Companies in China had illegally added melamine to wheat gluten and rice protein in a bid to meet the contractual demand for the amount of protein in the pet food products.

After that, the Food and Drug Administration in the United States began to take a harder look at a host of Chinese products imported into the U.S.

The FDA ended up barring most seafood from China (where we in the U.S. get about 1/3 of our shrimp, much of our catfish and other “farm raised” seafood products) because much of it contained drugs, bacteria or other suspicious or obviously harmful products.

Not only was imported seafood tainted, but the FDA began turning away tons of other food products – some of it contaminated, some filled with toxins and other products full of bacteria.

Products like toothpaste, chewing gum and even soy sauce were found to be made with toxic ingredients. Roughly 900,000 tubes of Chinese made toothpaste containing a poison used in some antifreeze products turned up in U.S. hospitals for the mentally ill, prisons, juvenile detention centers and even some hospitals serving the general population.

Then the Colgate-Palmolive Company announced that it had found counterfeit “Colgate” toothpaste containing the anti-freeze diethylene glycol, a syrupy poison.

Although tainted or poorly made and tested food from China was first noticed in the United States and other western nations, once China checked its own store shelves it found problems. 

Inspectors in southwest China’s Guangxi region found excessive additives and preservatives in nearly 40 percent of 100 children’s snacks sampled during the second quarter of 2007, according to a report on China’s central government Web site.

The snacks — including soft drinks, candied fruits, gelatin desserts and some types of crackers — were taken from 70 supermarkets, department stores and wholesale markets in seven cities in the region, it said.

Only 35 percent of gelatin desserts sampled met food standards, the report said, while two types of candied fruit contained 63 times the permitted amount of artificial sweetener.

And if substandard children’s snacks weren’t bad enough, China and the U.S. FDA uncovered a huge racket in substandard medicines. One manufacturer of medicines was implicated in 11 deaths.  Five manufactures lost the ability to continue in the business.  And 128 drug makers lost their Chinese government Good Manufacturing Practice certificates, a symbol of favorable performance, the China Daily newspaper reported on its Web site.

We also saw, thanks to an aroused international media, child laborers illegally producing Beijing Olympics 2008 memorabilia. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for China, a slavery scandal erupted. Slaves were found mining materials and making bricks inside China.

The United Nations condemned China for the worst pollution in the world. China also produces more greenhouse gases than any other nation by far.

Despite China’s long history for managing its media and controlling what the world learned about the People’s Republic, stories surfaced and were verified that showed an illegal trade in “harvested” human organs from inside China. Unscrupulous doctors and businessmen teamed up to create a thriving business in human organs. The problem was that the organs came from prisoners and the mentally ill, who had no say in the matter and died before they could become witnesses to this atrocity.

Add to this a long and unresolved dispute about the way China controls its currency and a thriving business inside China in counterfeit goods: everything from U.S. music and motion pictures to Rolex watches, books and, well, you name it.

China tried to market a new Chinese made automobile to the upscale European buyer but the vehicle disintegrated in a 40 MPH crash test. Now Europeans wouldn’t be, well, caught dead in the thing.

So from May until July 2007, despite the Chinese News Spin Machine going full tilt the bad news about China seemed to be spinning out of control.

Just today, July 7, 2007, the Central Committee of the Communist Party seemed to be threatening local leaders who allow social unrest.  “Officials who perform poorly in maintaining social stability in rural areas will not be qualified for promotion,” Ouyang Song, a senior party official in charge of personnel matters said, according to China’s Official Communist News media.

All these problems don’t even trump China’s most horrible foreign policy disaster: Suport for Sudan without taking action on Darfur.  The U.N. and others have referred to Sudan’s conduct in Darfur as genocide.  And Hollywood big shots are already calling next summer’s Olympics in Beijing the “genocide games.” 

Not to worry, though. China’s communist leadership still plans a masterful and error free Beijing Olympics 2008.

The communist government of China is taking action to streamline what the western media sees next summer. Smokey, coal-fired factories are even being moved out of Beijing and into the countryside because their effluent looks so disgusting there was fear these factories alone could cause a major embarrassment.

Beijing’s population had a practice “No Spiting Day” in an effort to reduce this disgusting habit common in the city. The test was a disastrous failure and a new training approach is planned. Beijing also had a day devoted to polite lining up for buses and trains. This worked out a little better with the obedient and terrified city workers not taking any chances.

During the Olympics, communist leaders in Beijing plan to remove from the city the hordes of vagrants, homeless people and orphaned children who live on Beijing’s streets. Some estimate that as many as 2 million orphaned or homeless children live in Beijing alone.

In order to assess what can be done about Beijing’s choked streets overwhelmed by traffic; and to see if a dent can be made in the choking air pollution, one million Beijing automobile drivers will have to stay at home or use mass transit on a day scheduled to test the impact of all of this. Beijing only has 3 million registered automobiles so inconveniencing one-third of them for one day should hardly impact the economy, right? But if the test is a success, one would have to remind China that the Olympics is not a one day event.

When all this is assessed together, one might ask, when we get to Beijing next summer for the Olympic Games, how much of what we see will be real? And how much is a product of the smoke and mirrors China often employs to produce the desired result.

Related:

Pollution Dangers Cast Shadow over 2008 Olympics

Chinese Government Staff: “Happy News President Hu Jintao; We Ready For Happy Time Olympics!”

Some National Cultures More Tolerant of Death?

Tricky Vietnamese Truth About Catfish
The Chinese are just as smart as the Vietnamese on how to work the American system….

China says food safety scares threaten stability

China’s “Drug Abuse” Problem: Below Standard Pharmaceuticals Have Been Deadly

China may need a fresh approach to regulating its often unruly economy

China tells local authorities to address social instability

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From John Carey: A friend sent us this:

Friend:

I was in a Beijing hotel last year… A very upscale American style one near the Olympic area.Inside the hotel, it seemed identical to any nice hotel you’d see in New York, Dallas or LA… except for the big sign next to the faucet in the bathroom.

From John Carey: I had the same experience in Moscow.  Superior 4-star hotel  Water out of the tap was brown.