Old School Is No School

Posted: March 29th, 2023 by Admin

Old School is No School


Chris Hall

Bridgehampton – Real Estate professionals continue learning their craft well beyond their first years in the business. Brokers keep up with the latest changes in zoning, mortgage rates, comps, and market trends. Imagine if you represented a client who was buying a home and quoted information from 1995? Believe it or not, many swimming pool builders operate this way. The old school builder operates this way. While it is a challenge to find an experienced professional who has kept up on the many advances in the industry; doing so is time well spent.


When you are choosing a swimming pool builder, or advising your client, ask about certifications. Ask about continuing education. Ask what the pool professional did last winter. Winter, the off season for many pool builders, can be a very busy time of year for the best of the best. This off season there were at least three trade shows of interest. Before you jump to any conclusions about a fun in the sun getaway; Atlantic City and Chicago play host to two of the top shows (Vegas is the other one). Honing your craft in 2012 is a necessary component to compete in the high end market. A brief explanation below of this year\’s shows will provide a taste of where the top pool professionals spent this winter. Since 1975, World of Concrete has been the industry\’s only annual international event dedicated to the commercial concrete and masonry construction industries. The show featured indoor and outdoor exhibits, leading suppliers showcasing innovative products and technologies, demonstrations and competitions, a world-class education program, and the information needed to stay competitive. Chicago played host to the Mid America Pool and Spa Show. The Mid America Show began in 1985 and continues to be the largest event of its kind in the Midwest. The show offers pool professionals the opportunity to learn about new products and services, network one on one with industry suppliers, and receive industry leading education programs tailored to business owners, managers and service technicians. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the Northeast Swimming Pool Association (the forerunner of the Northeast Spa & Pool Association) held various seminars and tabletop trade shows as a member benefit in New York. The Atlantic City Pool & Spa Show is a four day conference and exhibit event where the industry meets with and does business with over 500 exhibitors and over 10,000 attendees yearly. Industry professionals from all over the country attend the show to see all the latest pool and spa trends, cutting-edge design and product technology and to attend over 75 educational seminars. The educational seminars at each trade show build upon knowledge and certifications that come with years of study. Although the subject matter might not be as fascinating to you as it is to swimming pool veterans, it can be appreciated by all as a requirement when considering an investment as large as a luxury gunite pool. After all is said and done, you may say to your new pool builder \”I know what you did last winter.\” And, if you do, you can rest easy knowing that you have made the right choice.

Chris Hall began his career in the swimming pool industry over 30 years ago. He is currently a consultant to Casual Water; the premiere swimming pool construction and service company in the Hamptons.

Casual Water

has locations in Bridgehampton and Southampton. To learn more about Casual Water and the importance of choosing the best gunite swimming pool construction, please contact Chris at chris@casualwater.com and 1-631-537-5475

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Category:August 3, 2010

Category:August 3, 2010

Posted: March 29th, 2023 by Admin

? August 2, 2010
August 4, 2010 ?
August 3

Pages in category “August 3, 2010”

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Asbestos controversy aboard Scientology ship Freewinds

Asbestos controversy aboard Scientology ship Freewinds

Posted: March 24th, 2023 by Admin

Friday, May 16, 2008

Controversy has arisen over the reported presence of blue asbestos on the MV Freewinds, a cruise ship owned by the Church of Scientology. According to the Saint Martin newspaper The Daily Herald and the shipping news journal Lloyd’s List, the Freewinds was sealed in April and local public health officials on the Caribbean island of Curaçao where the ship is docked began an investigation into the presence of asbestos dust on the ship. Former Scientologist Lawrence Woodcraft supervised work on the ship in 1987, and attested to the presence of blue asbestos on the Freewinds in an affidavit posted to the Internet in 2001. Woodcraft, a licensed architect by profession, gave a statement to Wikinews and commented on the recent events.

Starboard side of the Scientology cruise ship Freewinds, berthed at Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles (2004) Image: Echo29.

According to The Daily Herald, the Freewinds was in the process of being renovated by the Curaçao Drydock Company. The article states that samples taken from paneling in the ship were sent to the Netherlands, where an analysis revealed that they “contained significant levels of blue asbestos”. An employee of the Curaçao Drydock Company told Radar Online in an April 30 article that the Freewinds has been docked and sealed, and confirmed that an article about asbestos ran in the local paper.

Lloyd’s List reported that work on the interior of the Freewinds was suspended on April 27 after health inspectors found traces of blue asbestos on the ship. According to Lloyd’s List, Frank Esser, Curaçao Drydock Company’s interim director, joined Curaçao’s head of the department of labor affairs Christiene van der Biezen along with the head of the local health department Tico Ras and two inspectors in an April 25 inspection of the ship. “We are sending someone so that they can tell us what happened, where it came from, since when it has been there,” said Panama Maritime Authority’s director of merchant marine Alfonso Castillero in a statement to Lloyd’s List.

The Church of Scientology purchased the ship, then known as the Bohème, in 1987, through an organization called Flag Ship Trust. After being renovated and refitted, it was put into service in June 1988. The ship is used by the Church of Scientology for advanced Scientology training in “Operating Thetan” levels, as well as for spiritual retreats for its members. Curaçao has been the ship’s homeport since it was purchased by the Church of Scientology.

According to his 2001 statement, Lawrence Woodcraft had been an architect in London, England since 1975, and joined Scientology’s elite “Sea Organization” (Sea Org) in 1986. He wrote that he was asked by the Sea Org to work on the Freewinds in 1987, and during his work on the ship “noticed a powdery blue fibrous substance approximately 1 ½” thick between the paint and the steel wall,” which he believed to be asbestos. He also discovered what he thought was blue asbestos in other parts of the ship, and reported his findings to Church of Scientology executives. Woodcraft discussed his experiences in a 2001 interview published online by the Lisa McPherson Trust, a now-defunct organization which was critical of the Church of Scientology.

The Freewinds regularly inspects the air quality on board and always meets or exceeds US standards.

Church of Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw responded to Radar Online about the asbestos reports, in an email published in an article in Radar on May 1. “The Freewinds regularly inspects the air quality on board and always meets or exceeds US standards,” said Pouw. She stated that two inspections performed in April “confirmed that the air quality is safe,” and asserted that the inspections revealed the Freewinds satisfies standards set by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Clean Air Act.

Pouw told Radar that “The Freewinds will be completing its refit on schedule.” The Church of Scientology-affiliated organization Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) had been planning a cruise aboard the Freewinds scheduled for May 8, but according to Radar an individual who called the booking number for the cruise received a message that the cruise had been delayed due to ongoing work on the ship. Citing an article in the Netherlands Antilles newspaper Amigoe, Radar reported on May 6 that a team from the United States and supervised by an independent bureau from the Netherlands traveled to Curaçao in order to remove asbestos from the Freewinds.

…if the Church of Scientology claims to have removed the blue asbestos, I just don’t see how, it’s everywhere. You would first have to remove all the pipes, plumbing, a/c ducts, electrical wiring etc. etc. just a maze of stuff.

“I stand by everything I wrote in my 2001 affidavit,” said Lawrence Woodcraft in an exclusive statement given to Wikinews. Woodcraft went on to state: “I would also comment that if the Church of Scientology claims to have removed the blue asbestos, I just don’t see how, it’s everywhere. You would first have to remove all the pipes, plumbing, a/c ducts, electrical wiring etc. etc. just a maze of stuff. Also panelling as well, basically strip the ship back to a steel hull. Also blue asbestos is sprayed onto the outer walls and then covered in paint. It’s in every nook and cranny.”

Many Scientologist celebrities have spent time aboard the Freewinds, including Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Chick Corea, Lisa Marie Presley, Catherine Bell, Kate Ceberano, and Juliette Lewis. Now magazine reported that Tom Cruise has been urged to seek medical attention regarding potential asbestos exposure, however a representative for Cruise stated he has “absolutely no knowledge” of the recent asbestos controversy. Cruise, Holmes, Travolta and Preston have celebrated birthdays and other events on the Freewinds.

There is not now and never has been a situation of asbestos exposure on the Freewinds.

In a May 15 statement to the United Kingdom daily newspaper Metro, a representative for the Church of Scientology said that “There is not now and never has been a situation of asbestos exposure on the Freewinds.” The Asbestos and Mesothelioma Center notes that agencies have recommended anyone who has spent time on the Freewinds consult with their physician to determine if possible asbestos exposure may have affected their health.

Raw blue asbestos is the most hazardous form of asbestos, and has been banned in the United Kingdom since 1970. Blue asbestos fibers are very narrow and thus easily inhaled, and are a major cause of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer which can develop in the lining of the lungs and chest cavity, the lining of the abdominal cavity, or the pericardium sac surrounding the heart. The cancer is incurable, and can manifest over 40 years after the initial exposure to asbestos.

“This is the most dangerous type of asbestos because the fibres are smaller than the white asbestos and can penetrate the lung more easily,” said toxicologist Dr. Chris Coggins in a statement published in OK! Magazine. Dr. Coggins went on to note that “Once diagnosed with mesothelioma, the victim has six months to a year to live. It gradually reduces lung function until the victim is no longer able to breathe and dies.”

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Benefits And Drawbacks Associated With Winning A National Lottery

Posted: March 24th, 2023 by Admin

By Simon Volkov

Winning the national lottery would certainly be an exciting event for nearly anyone. Every year, millions of dollars are amassed through the sale of lottery tickets purchased by people that dream of striking it rich.

In the U.S., the national lottery refers to games like Mega Millions and Powerball. Part of the ticket sales in each state is used to improve education while the rest accumulates until someone selects the winning lotto numbers.

Along with national lotto games, most states also offer lottery tickets through their state system. National lotteries have significantly higher jackpots than state games, but the odds of winning are also much higher with the average odds of 1 in 18 million.

To date, the biggest Mega Millions jackpot ever paid out was $380 million, while the biggest Powerball jackpot was $340 million.


There is little question that amount of cash would forever change a person’s life. Winning a multi-million dollar lotto jackpot would provide financial freedom that most people can’t even imagine. Nonetheless, there are drawbacks associated with suddenly acquiring large amounts of money.

One of the more significant problems is managing undesirable fame. There have been many reports of lottery winners being inundated with uninvited guests and long-lost relatives arriving on doorsteps. One ways to keep newfound wealth private is to hire a personal representative, such as a lawyer or financial consultant, to claim lottery winnings.

Another consideration is the amount of taxes due on lotto winnings. Winners are responsible for paying federal and state income taxes, which often amount to about half of total winnings. One of the best approaches is to hire a financial planner. Professionals can help winners engage in methods to lessen taxes, along with strategies to increase earnings through investing.

Winners can elect to receive their money as lump sum cash or annual installments. People that win millions of dollars are placed into a different tax bracket and may be subjected to higher tax rates. Accepting installments typically provides more money in the long run and can also lessen payable taxes.

Financial planners can help winners develop investment plans that reduce taxes and expand winnings. These could include transferring funds to tax-sheltered retirement accounts like a Roth IRA or placing money into an irrevocable life insurance trust.

In addition to national lotteries, state games also provide large cash prizes and valuable items such as cars and vacations. All prizes obtained from legal gambling are subject to state and federal income taxation. Cash and prize values have to be reported on personal income tax returns. These include money and prizes won through contests, sweepstakes, dog and horse racing, raffles, lotteries, and casinos.

To offset lotto winnings, taxpayers are allowed to deduct gambling losses from tax returns as long as adequate documentation is provided. Anyone that gambles regularly needs to setup accounting practices to track losses and winnings.

Lotto jackpot winners should think about hiring an estate planner to protect money for future generations. Estate planners can make use of different methods that reduce estate and inheritance taxes and broaden financial investments.

Sadly, more than one person has invested their life savings in hopes of winning the national lottery. Gambling can quickly turn into an addiction that drains bank accounts and ruins relationships. It is crucial to retain control over personal finances and never spend more cash than you can afford to lose.

About the Author: Anyone that is fortunate enough to win the

national lottery

needs to become educated about ways to maximize their newfound wealth. Financial expert and real estate investor, Simon Volkov provides estate planning and investing strategies to reduce lottery taxes at





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Ex-Thai PM Thaksin’s assets are frozen

Ex-Thai PM Thaksin’s assets are frozen

Posted: March 24th, 2023 by Admin

Monday, June 11, 2007

Ousted prime minister and former Thai Rak Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra had his cash assets in Thailand frozen.

Ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra had about US$1.5 billion in cash assets in Thailand seized today by the Assets Examination Committee.

Calling Thaksin “unusually rich,” the committee said Thaksin had obtained the money through corrupt means.

Thaksin’s spokesman and lawyer Noppadol Pattama issued a statement, saying Thaksin would “fight until the end.”

“I will bring the case to both the criminal and civil courts. This is not fair. The aim is to prevent the ex-PM and his wife from running their own normal lives,” Noppadol said, adding that the move was politically motivated.

Thaksin, a billionaire tycoon who headed the Shin Corp. telecommunications firm, was elected prime minister in 2001 as leader of the populist Thai Rak Thai party.

Last year, the Shinawatra family sold their interest in Shin Corp. to Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, in a deal that prompted street protests in Bangkok, and was a key factor in the coup that removed Thaksin from power. Thaksin, his wife, Potjaman Shinawatra, and children, are facing charges of tax evasion as well.

The Assets Examination Committee said their decision came after months of investigation into corruption allegations made during Thaksin’s five years in office.

The committee has frozen 21 bank accounts containing 52.9 billion baht (about $1.5 billion), money the committee says was made in the Temasek deal.

“The committee found evidence that Thaksin during his time as prime minister committed corruption and illegal acts as well as being unusually rich,” the committee said in a statement. “[The Shinawatra family] have illegally obtained wealth through abuses of power to benefit Shin Corp.”

Two weeks ago, Thaksin’s former party, Thai Rak Thai, was ordered dissolved by a Constitutional Tribunal, based on corruption charges in the April 2006 general election, and Thaksin and 110 other party leaders were banned from politics for five years.

Since being removed from the premiership in the September coup last year, Thaksin has remained in voluntary exile, mainly in London, where he has tendered a bid for the Manchester City football club.

Last week, Thaksin was in Japan, guest lecturing at a Tokyo university, where he expressed a desire to return to Thailand when democracy is restored.

“When democracy returns to Thailand, Thailand will prosper again and I will go back to contribute to the country as a normal citizen,” he was quoted as saying by Reuters.

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Wikimania 2008: MediaWiki use in the U.S. Department of State

Wikimania 2008: MediaWiki use in the U.S. Department of State

Posted: March 23rd, 2023 by Admin

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The last day of the Wikimania 2008 conference saw Saturday morning sessions on a variety of topics. Wikinews attended a presentation by Eric M. Johnson from the United States Department of State. Eric, a former NCO in the U.S. Marines, is the lead for the Knowledge Management Action team in the department’s Office of eDiplomacy, and involved in department’s use of Web 2.0 technologies for knowledge management. This includes blogs, and the key focus of his talk, Wiki culture in the U.S. Department of State.

Diplopedia logo Image: United States Department of State Office of eDiplomacy.

Eric opened his presentation with an introduction to the U.S. State Department, one of the oldest agencies of the American government, which today has around 57,000 employees worldwide. When formed in the 18th century their offices and diplomatic staff operated largely autonomously due to lack of ability to communicate rapidly. By the mid-20th century this had changed with the advent of telegraph lines, and changed again with the Cold War and security concerns bringing to the fore the well-known term, “need to know”.

Now, in the 21st century, the volume of internal communication generated by the department is a staggering 1,800,000 cables a year, 1.5 billion emails, production of around 500,000 print volumes, and maintenance of approximately one thousand websites. Both internal and externally facing.

A pilot project was set up, Diplopedia, a MediaWiki wiki running on the department’s internal network, which outside of the department of defence is one of the largest private networks operated by the U.S. government.

A grassroots effort, this project to promote knowledge sharing differs from the well-known Wikipedia in that it does not allow anonymous edits. There are around 1,000 registered users who have contributed over 4,400 pages. Integration with the Department of State’s internal search engine prioritises results from the wiki, increasing the popularity of the site such that it has received over 650,000 page views. Like Wikipedia, users are required to provide sources for entered information at the foot of the article, and users are warned that it is a starting point and not an authoritative source of information. Data on visa requirements and information from other static department sites has been incorporated into the wiki.

Seal of the United States Department of State Image: United States government.

Eric described the project as just reaching critical mass and attracting increasing interest from other departments. Among the ingredients leading to the success of the project were the cultural change with increasing awareness of the technology from Wikipedia, the formation by the community of a welcoming committee, and the taking on of roles to carry out tasks such as drafting. A number of staff act as “gardeners” tending to the wiki content, keeping it fresh, and well cross-referenced. The continual updating is a novel concept to many of their employees.

Unlike Wikipedia, and many other projects using MediaWiki, none of the Diplopedia pages are locked or protected. This even includes their main page. To date there have been none of the content disputes that have been an issue on Wikipedia, and the use of the wiki to replace traditional websites which are far more time consuming to maintain is seen as a logical extension of the project.

Carried out with no outside help, and by learning from others’ mistakes, the department has adopted mechanisms for assuming that contributions are well-intentioned, and has a body for oversight in the event of a dispute.

With the success of the project, eDiplomacy plans to introduce a separate, classified wiki. They will also expand the effort to compile biographies of foreign leaders, which was pioneered by the U.S. missions in Italy and Germany. This effort has proven valuable when combined with a version of the site available on portable devices such as the Blackberry.

The future holds moves to seek more support from management and integration with their primary authentication system. Among the features on the main page to keep the project interesting to staff is a “Diploquiz” which poses a weekly trivia question which can be answered from somewhere within the wiki.

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Work And Live Legally In Canada Ways To Make It Happen

Posted: March 22nd, 2023 by Admin


It is a known fact that traveling to western countries for greener pastures is the dream of so many people. But the problem is that people go about it the wrong way. Some people have gone to the extent of paying dubious agents as much as six thousand dollars to secure Canadian visa for them whereas they should have availed themselves of the so many programs being offered by the Canadian Government to assist people from developing countries enter Canada and work legally.

One of them is by securing employment and work permit. There are so many companies in Canada that are willing to hire foreigners to work for them. You send your curriculum vitae (c.v) or resume to the company when they have job openings. You can apply online on their web site,e-mail them your resume, fax or post it directly to their office in Canada. If you are lucky to be selected the company issues you a letter of employment and with this you can go to the Canadian Embassy/high Commission to secure your visa and work permit stress free. The embassy will give you visa and allow you to travel and stay in Canada legally because the company must have conferred with human resources and skills development centre (H.R.S.D.C) Canada and they must have instructed the embassy to honour your visa application. With this there is no fear of your visa being rejected. Whether you are a professional in any field, a graduate or even a school certificate holder or that you are skilled in a certain area, for example information technology, nursing, pipeline welding, etc., or perhaps you have wonderful job experience. You might be lucky to apply for a job and be considered, and you travel to Canada stress free. There are working holiday programs etc. in Canada which are also helpful.


There is this wonderful program that enables people from developing countries immigrate to Canada with their permanent residency card (PR CARD) right from their country. Thousands of people have traveled to Canada successfully through this program and it is being offered every year. As long as you went to secondary school and know how to speak either English or French you are qualified to apply for this program. Some thriving communities in Canada like Quebec, Manitoba etc, also nominate people to come to their city to live and work but you first of all have to file an application with them and wait to be considered. Once you are considered you are 100% sure of moving to Canada legally even with your family. Not only that you can get a very good job and not depend on odd jobs because your traveling documents (e.g work permit) are okay.

CANADA is one of the most economically viable countries to live in. Traveling or immigrating to Canada to live and work can be as simple as ABC if one is actually guided on the right steps to take.

About the Author: Fidelis Anene is a successful travel consultant and gives people reliable information and direction about working, schooling and immigrating to Canada on his website.His ebook has sold thousands of copies and has helped people worldwide.Visit here to get his best seller ebook “HOW TO TRAVEL AND WORK IN CANADA LEGALLY”

Source: isnare.com

Permanent Link: isnare.com/?aid=834102&ca=Travel

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Wikinews interviews Steve Burke, U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate

Wikinews interviews Steve Burke, U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate

Posted: March 22nd, 2023 by Admin

Sunday, December 13, 2015

This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.
Steve Burke Image: Steve Burke.

Macomb, New York Councilman Steve Burke took some time to speak with Wikinews about his campaign for the U.S. Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

Burke, an insurance adjuster and farmer, was elected councilman in Brookhaven, New York in 1979. He left the town after being accused and found not guilty of bribery in the 1980s. Since 1987 he has served as Macomb councilman off-and-on and currently holds the post. From 1993 to 1996 and 1999 to 2002 he worked as chairman of the Democratic Party of St. Lawrence County, New York. Among his many political campaigns, Burke unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 1992 and recently attempted to run for U.S. Congress in 2014 but too many of his ballot petition signatures were found invalid. Burke filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for president in the 2016 election on September 18, 2015 and has qualified for the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire Primary.

With Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn?, Burke discusses his political background, his 2016 presidential campaign, and his policy proposals.

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New Zealand prisoners do nothing says National party

New Zealand prisoners do nothing says National party

Posted: March 21st, 2023 by Admin

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Figures released by Simon Power, law and order spokesman for the National party, show that the New Zealand Labour led government lets 81% of all prisoners not do any work while in prison. Newspaper, Sunday News says that some Christchurch prisoners have been given a barbecue for good behavior.

Simon Power’s figures show that of the 7,612 prisoners only 19% (1,470) of them took part in Corrections Inmate Employment during 2006. But in 2005 it was at 23% and in 2004 it was at 26%. He says that the prisons with the least amount of inmates working are: Rolleston with 8.6%, Mount Eden with 8.7%, Rimutaka with 11%, Christchurch Women’s with 13.5% and Dunedin with 13.8%. Mr Power said: “These figures are an appalling indictment on this Government’s approach to prisoner rehabilitation and preparing them for release.”

“In May, Corrections Minister Damien O’Connor announced a strategy that he said would help in ‘significantly increasing the number of prisoners in work and training. But a week later this was shown to be nothing more than window dressing when the Budget increased funding for prisoner employment by a measly $336,000 – up 1%.”

“They have cut funding [on the Corrections Department] by 27% since 2001/02, from $46.5 million to $34 million.”

Mr Power blames the low work rate on the big prison construction budget of $490 million. “There would have been more than a miserable $336,000 extra to spend on effective rehabilitation and work schemes,” he said.

“[Mr O’Conner] seems happier to spend $11 million on landscaping four new prisons and allow prisoners to sit around playing Playstations and Xboxes on their flat-screen TVs than he is about helping them get better prepared for when they are released.”

“Prisoners should be doing meaningful work, training or study while they are in prisons, and I imagine the public would agree,” Mr Power added.

Mr Power, commenting on the barbecue, said: “These people are in prison because they were found to be in serious breach of the law. The victims of their crimes will be grossly offended by the idea that they are being rewarded for anything. This is the just the latest in a long line of incredibly bad decisions made by the Corrections Department over the past year and taxpayers have had enough.”

Bevan Hanlon, president for the Corrections Officers Association, said: “The Mobsters getting a BBQ was a “joke”. (Christchurch Prison) staff are reporting the smell of dope every day. Mobsters are threatening staff on a daily basis and there appears to be high cellphone use (mobile phones are banned in jail). So what happens? They are given a BBQ.”

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Bombs kill at least 20 at cathedral in Mindanao, Philippines

Bombs kill at least 20 at cathedral in Mindanao, Philippines

Posted: March 21st, 2023 by Admin

Monday, January 28, 2019

Twin bombings yesterday struck the Jolo Cathedral in Mindanao, Philippines. The second blast affected first responders following the first; between the two blasts, at least 20 were killed.

The interior of the cathedral after the bombings.Image: Albert Alcainon behalf of the Office of the President.

According to Chief Superintendent Graciano Mijares of the police of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the confirmed deaths are fourteen civilians, five Armed Forces personnel, and one member of the Coast Guard. This revised downwards an earlier toll of 27 dead. Mijares further claimed 90 civilians were wounded, as were seventeen from the Armed Forces, and two each from the Coast Guard and the National Police. Some victims were airlifted to nearby Zamboanga.

“We will use the full force of the law to bring to justice the perpetrators behind this incident,” said Delfin Lorenzana, the Defence Secretary; he described the attacks as a “dastardly act” and urged vigilant locals to assist authorities and “deny terrorism any victory”. The first bomb went off within the Roman Catholic cathedral; the second in its car park. Lorenzana said he had ordered ‘heightened alert’ from troops, and that the army protect places of worship.

The Philippines is a Catholic majority nation. This week saw a referendum seeking to create a new autonomous, self-administered region in Muslim-majority Mindanao, potentially ending decades of conflict with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Of the 2.8 million who voted, 85% were in favour and on Friday the government announced the new region, to be called Bangsamoro, would be governing itself from 2022.

Jolo, and the Sulu region it is within, were among the areas to vote against the measure. Bangsamoro is nevertheless to include them within it.

Arnel dela Vega of the army’s Western Mindanao Command said the Abu Sayyaf Group are the suspected perpetrators. The first bomb went off during Mass; video footage from the scene shows wooden pews broken and scattered within the building. Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman agreed, saying only this organisation appeared capable of the double bombing. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which is linked to the Abu Sayyaf Group, subsequently claimed responsibility.

The Coast Guard said their casualties were attending mass. The deceased seaman was identified as Jaypee Galicha by a Coast Guard spokesperson. The Coast Guard has announced an order by Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Elson Hermogino directing Coast Guard units nearby to “join personnel from the [army and police] in the investigation and pursuit of the perpetrators.”

Statements of condemnation have come from Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) head Yousef Al-Othaimeen, Pope Francis, and a spokesperson for President Rodrigo Duterte. The OIC is the largest group representing nations with mainly Muslim populations.

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