October 11, 2015

An Apple A Day

Eastern Visayas Mail News

Our office is conveniently located at Hermosilla Drive, District 28, Ormoc City, Ormoc 6541 Leyte, Philippines

For feedback & inquiries call or fax us at +1 63 (053) 561-0809

Or send us an email and use any of the following e-addresses

To get in touch with our friendly news staff you may contact our

  • Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Lalaine Jimenea: +1 63 (918) 923 4408
  • Administrative Assistants
  • Rosenda Celiz: +1 63 (921) 211 9603
  • Elvie: +1 63 (916) 493 8704
  • Henry Gaspay: +1 63 (926) 520 6984

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service - if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at http://ift.tt/jcXqJW.

Source: EV Mail News http://ift.tt/WbKhRf

Sunday, October 11, 2015 by Ridgid Sparrow · 0

September 21, 2015

Why Japan won’t build a nuclear weapon

Story highlights

  • Japan’s neighbors have raised concerns that it could become more aggressive, writes Andrea Berger
  • But she says the Japanese public have become increasingly wary of nuclear technology
  • Seventy years after WWII, Japan’s nuclear history will not be forgotten any time soon, Berger says

Japan’s upper house of parliament approved a controversial security bill that would allow it to engage in defensive military action overseas in the event that the national security of its allies is severely threatened.

For the first time since the end of World War II, Japanese troops can deploy in overseas operations in a combat role in support of its allies; in other words, for collective self-defense.

Andrea Berger

Andrea Berger

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s attempts to explain the change to domestic and international audiences have not gone smoothly.

He has faced opposition at home, with fist fights breaking out between lawmakers debating the bill.

In the wider region, China, which Japan perceives to be one of its greatest security threats, has raised the specter of a less-restrained Japan with possible nuclear weapons ambitions. China itself has nuclear weapons, making its first test 1964.

Chinese officials and experts have periodically tied Japan’s reinterpretation of its military posture to the country’s domestic nuclear capability in order to raise concerns that Japan could in future become more aggressive.

While it is reasonable to debate the new security bill, such insinuations are unwarranted. Here’s why Japan is unlikely to ever build a nuclear bomb.

Since the 1960s, Tokyo has developed one of the most advanced civilian nuclear energy programs that exists amongst the international community.

That program generates approximately one third of the country’s electricity at present, but could in theory also be used to produce material for use in a nuclear weapon.

Some assess that the scale and sophistication of Japan’s nuclear infrastructure would enable it to build a nuclear weapon in a matter of months, should the unlikely political decision be taken to do so.

Strategic rival China has sought to draw attention to this fact, issuing loud warnings over Japan’s stocks of nuclear material, for example.

But it should be noted that under the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty — which Japan ratified in 1976 — states are entitled to peaceful nuclear technology for energy purposes if they forswear nuclear weapons.

To ensure that the country’s nuclear sites remain exclusively for peaceful use, they are subjected to intensive scrutiny by the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.

The Agency consistently verifies the accuracy and completeness of Japan’s declarations regarding its nuclear facilities, material, and activities and conducts monitoring and inspections at relevant facilities.

Its role in Japan will continue to be particularly important in order to dispel any fears that the country may harbor nuclear weapons intentions.

China and the International Atomic Energy Agency are not the only ones following Japan’s nuclear activity closely.

Two other audiences are noteworthy.

The first is Japan’s public, who have become increasingly wary of the risks and dangers associated with nuclear technology — whether for civilian or military applications — following the disaster at Fukushima in 2011.

The second is the country’s closest ally, the United States, who is similarly attentive to the state of Japan’s nuclear program.

In fact, it is because of Japan’s alliance with the United States that the former has even less of an incentive to build a nuclear weapon.

In order to guarantee the security of Japan against major threats in its region, whether a militarily assertive China or a belligerent and nuclear-armed North Korea, Washington has vowed to respond to any serious armed aggression against Japan using whatever means necessary, including nuclear weapons.

By demonstrating the depth of its resolve to defend Japan, the U.S. hopes to deter any potential aggressors from attacking in the first place. U.S. troops stationed in Okinawa are a visible reminder of the alliance and the commitment that underpins it.

As long as Japan believes in the strength of the U.S.’s so-called “extended deterrence” guarantee it is unlikely to see any merit in having its own nuclear weapons capability.

For this reason, both countries work tirelessly to ensure the credibility and durability of their defence partnership — an immeasurably important aim.

Despite what many may think, the Abe administration sees the new security bill as part of this broader effort to contribute to a two-way military relationship — not as a legal green light for offensive action.

The bill creates the framework for Japan to give as much to the relationship as it receives, by enabling it to come to the aid of the United States if necessary.

More than anything else, history is likely to undermine any temptation Japan might have to build a bomb.

Japan was the first and only country to ever be attacked with nuclear weapons.

Over 100,000 Japanese citizens were killed in the August 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Seventy years on, Japan’s nuclear history will not be forgotten any time soon.

Indeed, it is because of that history that Japan has become one of the most active signatories of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Tokyo has invested significant resources into preventing the illegal spread of nuclear weapons-relevant materials and technology, promoting the conditions needed for nuclear disarmament, and reminding the world of the grotesque effects of the use of an atomic bomb.

The non-proliferation norm is one that Japan will have little incentive to abandon in the short, medium, or likely even in the long-term.

Contrary to the suggestions of some watching legislative developments in Japan, the new security bill is not going to change that.

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service - if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at http://ift.tt/jcXqJW.

Source: EV Mail News http://ift.tt/WbKhRf

Monday, September 21, 2015 by Ridgid Sparrow · 0

Escaping ISIS and healing through photography

Story highlights

  • Yazidis forced from their homes by ISIS advance learn photography at UNICEF refugee camp
  • UNICEF says the lessons aimed to empower the young women to tell their own stories
  • The women documented life inside the camp, taking photos of fellow refugees, as part of the workshop

Now some Yazidi girls who had to abandon their old lives to escape the militants’ clutches have been given a new chance, thanks to a photography workshop in their refugee camp.

Some of those taking part in the classes were captured when ISIS militants laid siege to Iraq’s Mount Sinjar in August 2014. Abused by the fighters, they are now trying to heal, and rebuild their lives.

The project, run by UNICEF and funded by the Italian government, helps empower the displaced young women to express themselves, using pictures they’ve taken in their new home.

Meeting every day for two months, they were taught photography techniques by two Kurdish photographers before exploring the camp, cameras in hand.

The resulting images tell stories of tragedy and sadness, but also of resilience and strength.

Nisreen, 19, says she chose to photograph a model of “a sacred place” of huge importance to Yazidi people: Lalesh, in Iraq’s Nineveh province — a place of pilgrimage, and home to the Yazidis’ holiest temple.

“This place is called Lalesh — there are sacred Yazidi graves here that people visit,” she explains.

Others chose to focus on the people living inside the camp.

In a nod to their shared heritage, Barfe, 18, trained her lens on a woman in Yazidi dress — white robes and a colorful head covering.

“The clothes she is wearing are traditional Yazidi clothes and that is why I chose to take a photo of her,” she explains.

Safiya, 14, picked out an image of a fellow refugee with a “sad facial expression” as her favorite. “She had been carrying water and was tired so I took a photo of her — there is fatigue in her face,” she says.

While 19-year-old Zina snapped a photograph to illustrate the resilience of the refugees: A woman determined to keep working, despite being forced out of her home.

“I took it in a dressmaking course; this woman was working as a tailor, [and] she hasn’t given up.”

The workshop’s organizers say it has made a huge difference to the participants, motivating them and boosting their confidence.

“Bushra is an entirely different person,” says Nuha Serrac, coordinator for the workshop, talking of another girl in the class. “At first, if we asked her a question, her face would go red as a tomato.

“She wouldn’t even lift her head to give a response. Now look at her, she’s walking up to people on her own and taking their picture.”

When Safiya confided to her photography instructor that she wasn’t going to the UNICEF-supported school, she was told she couldn’t take part if she wasn’t in lessons. The ultimatum helped convince her father to let her attend the school, which is housed in a tent in the camp.

The camp — CNN is not naming it or revealing its location, to protect those living there — is home to almost 20,000 people. More than half of the residents are children up to the aged of 17.

The United Nations estimates that hundreds of girls and women are still missing, and presumed to be being held by ISIS as sex slaves.

But for these lucky few, there is hope — and a possible career path — in the future.

“I am Nisreen. I am a photojournalist,” the teenager says proudly.

“My name is Barfi. I am a photojournalist,” her classmate echoes.

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service - if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at http://ift.tt/jcXqJW.

Source: EV Mail News http://ift.tt/WbKhRf

Monday, September 21, 2015 by Ridgid Sparrow · 0