Curse of Cybersex: The Lost Children of Cebu

Globally, it is estimated that some 750,000 people around the world subscribe to services that feature young girls abusing themselves sexually.

Cybersex is a big business in a city on the Filipino island of Cebu. To escape poverty, parents force their children to strip in front of webcams. City officials are fighting back in an attempt to prevent sexual exploitation from destroying a generation.

Behind the closed door of her office, Angeles Gairanod is sitting in front of her laptop, replaying the video that changed everything in her small city. The clip shows three girls lying naked on a bed in their hut. The girls are 11, 9 and three. What ensues is sexual abuse. Three minutes into it, their mother appears in the picture and also engages in acts of sexual abuse with her children. The video, shot in Gairanod’s city, not far from her office, is three years old.

It’s February 2014, she says after showing the video. “This sort of thing happens here every day.”

Gairanod, 53, is a petite woman with a bob hairstyle and pearl earrings, the deputy mayor of Cordova, a sleepy city on the eastern coast of the Filipino island of Cebu. The densely populated municipality of 53,000 also includes large numbers of children. Banana and mango trees grow along the roads. During the day, the men drive their rickshaws along gravel paths, and at night they go fishing in rowboats. The women do the laundry and cook rice over sooty fire pits. Scruffy dogs, some that hardly seem alive, lie beneath the trees. More than 40 percent of the population of Cordova lives below the poverty line. There are few cars and most of the homes here are wooden huts.

Gairanod says her city wasn’t a bad place before it gained worldwide notoriety as a production site for cybersex, and adults began selling their children on camera. Everything changed three years ago, when the children’s aunt, no longer able to stomach what was happening, brought a memory stick containing the film to her office.

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Afternoon Update April 20th, 2014 (10)

CANADA

#1 — CNews | Keystone delay increases greenhouse gases: Ambassador

OTTAWA — Canada’s ambassador in Washington says the U.S. State Department’s decision to indefinitely extend the Keystone XL approval process will exacerbate greenhouse gas emissions.

[...]

#2 — CTV | Visits to food banks in Toronto’s suburbs up almost 20% since 2008

More residents living in Toronto’s suburbs are having a hard time putting food on the table, turning to food banks in record numbers.

[...]

#3 — Globe | Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dead at 76

Rubin (Hurricane) Carter, a professional boxer who served nearly 20 years in prison in New Jersey after being wrongfully convicted of a 1966 triple murder, became an international figure after his release as an advocate for others jailed for crimes they did not commit.

[...]

#4 — NP | Kwantlen Polytechnic University near Vancouver mired in allegations of misused money

VANCOUVER — Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) looks like any other place of higher learning, but inside its main campus in Surrey, near Vancouver, controversies simmer and threaten to boil over.

[...]

#5 — WFP | Food for inmates in court inadequate, say some Ontario lawyers

TORONTO – A granola bar here, a cheese sandwich there — the lunches given to prisoners in Ontario courthouses don’t provide nearly enough nutrition to allow them to properly defend themselves, some lawyers say.

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WORLD

#6 — BBC | Ukraine unrest: Russian outrage at fatal Sloviansk shooting

Russia’s foreign ministry has expressed outrage at a fatal shooting incident in eastern Ukraine which it blamed on Ukrainian nationalists.

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#7 — CNS | Bozell: Pelosi’s Mimicry of Pope Is ‘Sickening and Shameful,’ ‘Sacrilegious’

Conservative leader and Catholic L. Brent Bozell III today blasted Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for mimicking the pope’s Holy Week foot-washing tradition while touting her immigration reform legislation:

[...]

#8 — Fox | Documents show GM waited years to recall Saturn Ions over power steering problem

DETROIT – General Motors waited years to recall nearly 335,000 Saturn Ions for power steering failures despite getting thousands of consumer complaints and more than 30,000 warranty repair claims, according to government documents released Saturday.

[...]

#9 — DM | Jews in Ukraine seeking escape to Israel

Jews in eastern Ukraine are so concerned over their safety after last week’s alleged anti-Semitic incidents that they are seeking advice on repatriation to Israel, it was claimed today.

[...]

WT | Ukraine PM vows to find ‘bastards’ behind anti-Semitic fliers

#10 — WT | The tax man scoffs at genocide: Amsterdam Holocaust survivors were forced to pay back taxes

AMSTERDAM — Charlotte van den Berg was a 20-year-old college student working part-time in Amsterdam‘s city archives when she and other interns came across a shocking find: letters from Jewish Holocaust survivors complaining that the city was forcing them to pay back taxes and late payment fines on property seized after they were deported to Nazi death camps.

[...]

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Carswell: The EU ‘single market’ enforces protectionism, not free trade (10)

I doubt you’ve heard of gallium arsenide. It’s a compound semi conductor used in microelectronics to make smart phones, integrated circuits and all sorts of other digital wizardry.

It’s not just what gallium arsenide can already do that matters. Scientists in Germany, the United States, Israel and elsewhere are using gallium arsenide in clever new ways. It’s a key component behind some of the dramatic advances in solar technology. It is used in the new 30 second phone charger technology.

But here’s the extraordinary thing. The EU, according to a German entrepreneur I was speaking to, wants it banned.

Or, to be more specific, various French corporatist interests are apparently seeking to have gallium arsenide banned throughout the EU because the new technology is a threat to their interests.

Perhaps you think this sounds ridiculous? French protectionist interests should not be allowed to get their way.

History, tragically for those who were around at the time, is littered with instances where vested interests in society were able to halt innovation even if doing so was against the wider interest of that society.

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See Also:

#1 — Croatia extradites former spy chief to Germany

#2 — EU market on recovery course as new registrations rise

#3 — Greece startup leaders say they can’t break jobless cycle alone

#4 — Nothing should impede normalisation of Russia-West relations: Putin

#5 — Europe faces worst human rights ‘crisis’ in decades

Afternoon Update:

#6 — SAP thrives on cloud business, but strong euro a worry

#7 — RBS cleared of allegations it ripped off business customers

#8 — RBS may sue over claims bank deliberately undermined SMEs

#9 — How UU fuels cars off fat of the land

#10 — Fracking to deliver tens of billions to UK supply chain

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MH370 flight recorders search to be completed within seven days

The underwater search for the flight recorders from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 could be completed in five to seven days, Australian officials said on Saturday.

A US navy deep-sea autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), Bluefin-21, is scouring a remote stretch of the Indian Ocean floor for signs of the plane, which disappeared from radars on 8 March with 239 people on board and is believed to have crashed in the area.

The underwater search has been narrowed to a circular area with a radius of 10km (6.2 miles) around the location from which one of four pings believed to have come from the recorders was detected on 8 April, officials said.

The huge international search-and-rescue effort for any physical evidence of the plane’s wreckage, now in its seventh week, had so far proved fruitless.

“Provided the weather is favourable for launch and recovery of the AUV and we have a good run with the serviceability of the AUV, we should complete the search of the focused underwater area in five to seven days,” the Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre said.

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Labash: Through a Google Glass, Darkly

“Just because something bears the aspect of the inevitable one should not, therefore, go along willingly with it.” ​—​Philip K. Dick

The first time I saw someone wearing Google Glass in the wild, I was standing at a friend’s party at South by Southwest Interactive in Austin​—​the place where the tech world gathers each year to gleefully discover what next big “innovation” will eventually displace you. The party hotel was trendily down-market, a retro motor-court, but one where the house marinates its own cocktail olives while serving pepper-glazed bacon at Saturday jazz brunch.

As I stood there among media types and Nerd-World machers, draining my fourth Lone Star beer, trying to drown out the sound of all the buzzwords​—​disruption! .  .  . big data! .  .  . The Cloud!​—​that’s when I saw him, with the future sitting on his face, or at least what will become the future if Google has its way. And with $59.8 billion in annual revenue and 70 percent of the world’s advertising-optimized Internet search market in its back pocket (figures I just Googled), Google often has its way.

There he was in his Google Glass, which, if you’re a shut-in who’s escaped the last two years of unremitting hype, is Google’s foray into wearable face computers. Not yet released to the public (it’s currently in its beta phase, and is in the hands of developers, “Glass Explorers,” and tech-world beautiful people, such as they are), Glass essentially puts a smartphone, including camera, videorecorder, and Internet, on your eye. The Glasshole, as the Glass-wearing elect are now commonly called, stood there in his lensless frames. Or not so much frames, as a titanium bar draped across his brow, to which is affixed a rectangular three-quarter-inch LED display over one eye, and a colorful plastic “touchpad” arm that rests over one ear and also holds the circuitry. Curiosity-seekers, ooohing-and-ahhhing, thronged like he was a carnival exhibit. A Glassholier-than-thou shadow crept over his countenance, his facial muscles toggling between smugness and self-consciousness. As with most Glassholes, it wasn’t entirely clear if he was wearing Glass, or Glass was wearing him.

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F-35 remains top military replacement option

Ottawa is considering two main options for its plans to commit $45-billion to controversial new fighter jets – and both point back to the Lockheed-Martin F35 as the clear front-runner, sources said.

The future of the single biggest military procurement in Canadian history gained more urgency on Thursday as the government announced the file is being sent back to cabinet. Shortly after, Prime Minister Stephen Harper used a high-profile new deployment of CF-18 fighters to Eastern Europe to underline the need for this hardware.

Nearly 18 months ago, Ottawa vowed to start from scratch after it received a damning audit of its plans for the sole-sourced purchase of new fighter jets, promising to scour the world market for rival jets.

Government and outside sources said the process is nearing completion, and the government is facing two main options: continue with its sole-source plans to buy a fleet of 65 F-35 Lighting IIs, or launch a competition that, based on technical and financial data obtained by the government, would lead to the selection of the same aircraft.

A third option would entail starting over – including rewriting the government’s specs – but the process would take years and is facing resistance from the Canadian Forces.

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PMO ‘disappointed politics continue to delay a decision on Keystone XL’

WASHINGTON – Much to the disappointment of the Harper government, the U.S. State Department announced Friday it is extending the government comment period on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, a move that likely postpones a final decision on the controversial project until after the Nov. 4 mid-term elections.

The Prime Minister’s Office expressed disappointment that “politics continue to delay a decision on Keystone XL.”

“This project will create tens of thousands of jobs on both sides of the border, will enhance the energy security of North America, has strong public support, and the U.S. State Department has, on multiple occasions, acknowledged it will be environmentally sound,” PMO spokesman Jason MacDonald said in a statement.

President Barack Obama has said he will make a final decision on whether to allow the pipeline connecting Canada’s oilsands to Texas refiners and several government agencies had been given until the end of May to weigh in. This had raised expectations of a final decision by mid-year.

However on Friday officials cited uncertainty stemming from a dispute in Nebraska over the proposed route of the pipeline as reason to keep the federal agency comment period open longer, throwing into doubt the timing of a project that has been awaiting a U.S. permit for more than five years.

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Despite serious public safety concerns, railway car manufacturers won’t even talk about their business

OTTAWA – The manufacturing of railway oil tanker cars in North America is a closely guarded secret.

The five companies that control the market refused to talk to QMI Agency about how many cars they can make in one year and how much production would cost.

Despite the fact it’s been almost a year since the derailment disaster at Lac-Megantic Que., there is still no concrete timeline to replace the dangerous and aging fleet of DOT-111 tankers that transport millions of litres of crude across the country every year.

The vast majority of DOT-111 tankers on North American railroads have been called ticking time bombs because they puncture and explode more easily than the DOT-111s made after 2011.

Thomas Simpson, president of the Washington D.C.-based Railway Supply Institute, said there are five companies that make more than 95% of the North American oil tanker fleet.

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Street: Obama is the Deer in Putin’s Headlights

The crisis in the Ukraine was always a confrontation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama. In the opening round, Russia won a huge psychological victory by humiliating America’s NATO alliance as a military paper tiger, annexing the Crimea, and gaining amnesty for their supporters. In the next round, Putin will use diplomacy and economic warfare as tools to strengthen his position. In this war by other means, Obama is the deer in Putin’s headlights.

Russia added 2 million citizens, recovered strategic Black Sea naval bases and gained access to vast offshore deposits of oil and natural gas by annexing the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine. The U.S. and its NATO allies are now left with the “booby prize” of having to subsidize 42 million Ukrainians that are $72 billion in debt and overwhelmed by a $27 billion annual cash shortfall. Unfortunately, it is getting worse.

Moscow was Ukraine’s largest trading partner last year. The Ukraine exported $19.8 billion to Russia, but imported $30.1 billion from Russia. Over half of Ukraine’s imports from Russia are hard to substitute oil and gas, but its top three exports to Moscow are easily replaceable semi-finished Iron, hot-rolled iron and iron ore. Moscow can further undermine the Ukraine by restricting imports. Regardless, the Obama Administration through the IMF or its allies are now funding Ukraine’s purchases of Russian energy.

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Kheiriddin: Peladeau and the PQ — bravely marching backwards

Former Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois had barely finished singing her swan song after thirty years in politics when rookie MNA Pierre Karl Peladeau deployed yet another attention-grabbing stunt. And even though he was thousands of miles away in Europe, his words managed to make waves back home.

In a letter published in La Presse on April 17 (emailed, curiously, from his Quebecor account), Peladeau lamented the 32nd anniversary of the signing of the proclamation of the Canadian Constitution by Queen Elizabeth II — and said that the Quebec government should fly the fleur-de-lis at half-mast every year on April 17 to mark this “disastrous” day.

“This signature was in response to an agreement between Pierre Trudeau and nine premiers of the Canadian federation, except René Lévesque,” he writes. He was evoking what the late premier dubbed the “night of the long knives” — when, during constitutional negotiations, Trudeau and the other nine premiers met in Ottawa while Levesque slept across the river in Hull. They drafted a new agreement, which dropped key Quebec demands, including an opting-out clause — and didn’t call Levesque, as they had promised, to notify him of changes.

Proclamation also brought into force the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which Peladeau claims “opened the door to systematic attacks against two fundamental achievements of the Quiet Revolution: the affirmation of the French fact and secularism.” He laments the fact that the Supreme Court had the power to invalidate sections of Bill 101 (conveniently ignoring the fact that when it did so, the Quebec government invoked the notwithstanding clause in response).

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Morning Update April 20th, 2014 (10)

CANADA

#1 — CNews | Heartbleed hack did government a favour, hackers say

LONDON, Ont. — Hackers say whoever used the infamous Heartbleed bug to siphon social insurance numbers from Canada’s tax-collection agency did the federal government and Canadian taxpayers a favour.

[...]

#2 — CTV | Man arrested in Amanda Todd case may have exploited 10 Canadians

Amanda Todd was one of 10 Canadians, and about 100 worldwide, who police believe were targeted by a man who’s been arrested in connection with the 15-year-old British Columbia girl’s death, CTV News has learned.

[...]

Global | Suspect in Amanda Todd case could have been hacked: lawyer

#3 — LFP | Holes abound in school vaccine defences

Ugly truths lurk behind a plan by Ontario’s health minister to expand the number of vaccines kids must get to attend school.

[...]

#4 — Global | What’s behind the recent surge in gas prices?

A return to near-all time highs for gas prices this week is creating grief for motorists and commuters.

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#5 — WFP | Man poised to become Newfoundland premier defends anti-abortion beliefs

CORNER BROOK, N.L. – The man set to become Newfoundland and Labrador’s next premier said Friday he attends an anti-abortion rally every year in Corner Brook because he believes in “the value of every human life.”

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WORLD

#6 — BBC | Obama signs into law ‘terrorist’ UN envoy visa ban

President Barack Obama has signed into law a measure that would bar entry to any UN ambassador whom the US says has engaged in “terrorist activity”.

[...]

#7 — CNN | GM’s recalled Cobalt was a failure from the start

The Chevrolet Cobalt, the car at the center of the General Motors recall crisis, was a losing bet from the start.

[...]

#8 — Fox | ‘Ridiculous’: Administration punts on Keystone, Obama faces Dem revolt

The Obama administration once again has punted on a final decision for the Keystone XL pipeline, announcing ahead of the holiday weekend it is extending a key review period indefinitely — a move that could push off a determination until after the midterm elections.

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#9 — DM | The Google Glass DETECTOR

To some, Google Glass is a revolution – a game-changing concept that’s opening up an enormous window of opportunity in the world of technology.

Others, however, are concerned that the smart spectacles are putting people’s privacy and personal details at risk.

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#10 — WT | Special Forces’ suicide rates hit record levels — casualties of ‘hard combat’

The suicide rates for U.S. military members who serve in special forces, like the Navy SEALs and the Army Rangers, have hit all-time highs, said Adm. William McRaven, the head of Special Operations Command.

[...]

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