"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Links - 21st June 2016

EU Vote 'Fuelling UK Rush For Irish Passports' - "Figures obtained by Sky News reveal a 25% increase in the number of applications from England, Scotland and Wales."

Games of Thrones season 6, episode 8: 4 winners and 3 losers from “No One" - "if there were fans of the Dorne plot, they would be wondering how on earth the show managed to entirely forget about it. In case you, too, have forgotten, when last we saw Dorne, Ellaria Sand and her daughters pulled off a rather stunning coup d’état in which they killed Prince Doran Martell, his only son, Trystane, and Princess Marcella. That unquestionably means open warfare with House Lannister. Except instead of sending their army south to avenge their daughter and fight the inevitable war, Cersei and Jaime sent their army north to Riverrun and just forgot all about Dorne. And nobody else seems interested in these momentous events either — it doesn’t come up for conversation in Meereen among the Tullys or anywhere else. Perhaps the ravens all found this plot line too boring and incoherent to keep up with."

Chitchat Update on Civil Service Internet Block of its Network - "For those interested on the reasons behind the separation of the Govt Network and the internet.
1. Ministry for Foreign Affairs was successfully penetrated in 2014.
2. In 2009, delegates to APEC conference held in Singapore became targets of spear phishing and I understand that it was came in multiple waves which is usually the case for spear phishing
3. Both attacks believed to be have originated from the same entity.
4. Focus and target of this entity is South East Asia and India and its associated and linked political bodies such as Asean and Apec.
5. In view of the regional target focus, capability used and forensics assessments behind these attacks, it is clearly a nation state attack and China is the likely candidate.
6. Issues in the South China Sea has raised the level of concern coupled with Singapore's link to known adversaries of China. These includes the positions taken by countries at such meetings and also includes countries dealing with he Singapore government with assets here such subs and littoral military assets.
7. Following review of the MFA breach, CSA (Cyber Security Agency) formed and the decision to move towards Air-Gap separation of government networks and the outside online world in April 2015. Limited pilot on Air-Gap separation commences that same month"

Imtiaz Mahmood - Omar Mateen may have pulled the trigger. But make... - "Omar Mateen may have pulled the trigger. But make no mistake, it was religion that loaded the gun. Every time the priest, bishop or cleric said that homosexuality was a sin and you nodded without questioning, you loaded one bullet. Then when you repeated to your kids that a relationship between two men was wrong, you loaded one more. And when your kids went on to make fun of the gay boy in college, you loaded yet another"
If a priest, bishop or cleric says adultery is a sin, you tell your kids adultery is wrong, and they crack a joke about a friend's affair, and someone then shoots adulterers, does everyone have blood on their hands?

BBC Radio 4 - Today, 05/11/2014, The unintentional humour of newspaper comment sections - "'There're certain kind of characters that crop up again and again... there are sort of 5 broad categories which I think we probably both familiar with. The pointless, which is basically morons, illiterates, ranters and bland staters of the obvious. Pompous Pontificators. The kind of blogging type who think the world is hanging on their every word. Paranoids - people worried about child safety and whatever the sort of scare of the day is. And then sort of Hobbyists-obsessives whose whole purpose in life is to explain their world to people and correct perceived wrongs and misconceptions. And finally... what used to be called the green ink brigade which are the real sort of conspiracy theorists and nutcases who used to write in green ink to newspapers'...
'Nutcase internet commenters are as old as the Internet itself. They'll always be around'"

Ray Mancini - Years of meditation and enlightenment... And then... - "Years of meditation and enlightenment... And then you see the boobies, and everything is falling apart."

Images reveal Vietnam′s expansion in the South China Sea - "the scale and pace of construction on these two sites is dwarfed by that of China... China contends that it is simply doing what other countries are doing, and in that regard, experts argue Vietnam's land reclamation projects undermine its protests against ongoing Chinese reclamation efforts. However, as analyst Abuza pointed out there are a number of key differences. While Vietnam's latest reclamation efforts are of a much slower pace - Vietnam has added roughly 8.5 hectares (21 acres) to two features, less than 2 percent of China - Hanoi is also not using the islands or features it controls to change the status quo in the region, argues Abuza. "Vietnam is not using them to claim 12 nautical miles of territorial seas, or 200 nautical miles of exclusive economic zones and it is not using its position to force other claimants out, despite claiming all of the Spratly Islands." Hanoi is also not seeking to reinterpret international law, the expert stressed. China, on the other hand, is building two large airstrips, including one with enough prospective flights to require a taxiway. The analyst points to the possibility that China may use its artificial islands in an attempt to declare an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the entire South China Sea."

More Muslims practising stricter Islam - "Islamic Renaissance Front Director Farouk Musa has urged the government to open doors for dialogue between Muslim conservatives, moderates and a third group he called “revisionists”. “If there is no dialogue between these groups, we might eventually fall into practising the stricter version of Islam in politics and economics,” Farouk said in an interview with FMT. He defines conservative Muslims as those who believe their life is predetermined and are therefore not keen to participate in economic competition. The revisionists, he said, were those wanting to follow an unreasonably strict Islamic code... the ideological gap between Muslims in Malaysia was becoming more and more noticeable since the turn of the millennium, with more people taking the revisionist path."

Southeast Asian Muslims should appreciate own culture: Islamic studies scholar - "Muslims in Southeast Asia should embrace their unique cultural traditions instead of adopting Arabic customs, according to Libya’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Dr Aref Ali Nayed... Dr Nayed, who has been ranked as one of the top 50 most influential Muslims in the world by Jordanian think-tank The Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, made his remarks as the “Arabisation” of Islam and cultural practices in Southeast Asia stir controversy. In similar comments made recently in an interview with Malaysia’s The Star, the Sultan of Johor last week warned Malays to stick to their own culture instead of imitating Arab trends. The ruler was responding to the tendency for some Malaysian Malays to lean towards Arab culture amid growing conservatism. Dr Nayed - an Islamic studies scholar who has lectured on Islamic theology, logic, and spirituality at universities around the world - also warned against mindlessly accepting religious teachings from Arabic theologians."
So Lee Kuan Yew was right that Muslims should be less strict?

Copenhagen bar owners call for government to tackle Muslim 'Sharia patrols' - "A group of bar owners from a Copenhagen suburb claim they are being harassed by local Muslim youth activists from immigrant backgrounds attempting to impose a 'Sharia zone', and have appealed to the government for help... The bar owners claim that despite repeated requests police have failed to take action... Two young women were detained by police after shouting "fascist" and "Nazi" at the minister. Under Danish laws banning insults against public officials, they could be fined or imprisoned for up to six months if charged."
When in Denmark, do as the immigrants do - or you're fascist, a Nazi and Islamophobic

BBC Radio 4 - Today, 20/01/2015, Jewish school pupils trained to respond to armed attack - "One 11 year old told me he'd been shouted at on his way to school. The headmaster said on several school trips, pupils have been verbally abused by people who were angry about Israeli government policy and unfairly blamed British Jewish children. One child was threatened
Why is it okay to blame Jews for Israeli government policy? Often by people who would fume at blaming Muslims for Islamic terrorism (even though the link between a random Jew and the Israeli government is weaker than that between a random Muslim and his community if it produced terrorists)

McDonald's 'transformed our palates' - "'[The] 70s and people might've eaten out once or twice a year and it was a massive treat. Along came this new kind of restaurant which broke down the sort of times of day you could eat because you could eat at any time. It made it less of a treat. You know. You could take your family there. You could eat for a very little amount of money... it revolutionised the way that, the mealtimes that we have, it democratised the idea of eating out. Because it made it much easier for you to go out and it meant that kids could go to McDonald's on the way home so that stressed out moms and dads didn't have to cook for them... it enabled people to eat things that they wanted when they wanted'...
'It's been part of a transformation in our palates. Traditionally in Britain we had plenty of fast food, but it had a salty-sour note. If you think of fish and chips, if you think of jellied eels with vinegar, if you think of salt and vinegar crisps, and McDonald's changed this to salty-sweet. And if I think back to those first visits, that salt-sweetness was quite weird, it seemed very exotic, almost Scandinavian if you couple it with the dill pickles and then hose mouth-burningly hot apple pies which were so cinammony, totally unlike a British apple pie. But now it doesn't seem exotic at all because we've changed along with McDonald's. This change to our palates has huge consequences which we don't analyse enough and some dieticians now speak of the SFS palate - Salt, Fat, Sugar... everything now from the dessert to the main course, whether it's salted caramel ice cream, whether it's very sweet barbecue pulled pork, aspires to that sweet saltiness of a Big Mac'"

BBC Radio 4 - Today, 03/07/2014, Bacteria or bacterium? The use of Latin grammar - "'I think everyone's right actually, to be honest... you've got three issues. One is: what's correct Latin? The next is what is correct English? And the third would be: what is the relationship between those two?'...
'We don't use bacterium any longer because even scientists themselves say it sounds rather pedantic and dated so why bother?... when we get into referendums and all that sort of thing, and stadiums, again, where do we go? Because it depends whether it's a Latin word or not?'
'I think for me it depends whether you're using it as a Latin word you've borrowed, in which case you might want to put the Latin ending on it, or whether you're choosing to use it as a Latin word that's become an English word... the more Latin you do at school, university whatever, the more you realise how quickly linguistic change happens and how dynamic languages are... there's no strict rulebook that says in English this is how you have to do things
Take an example like say syllabus. The Latin plural would also end in us... because everyone in English has said, oh we know this rule that Latin plurals end in i, so we'll apply it to a word where it doesn't apply, it's become an extra category of English plural ending. We've made it up'
'But then if we use it for the next 500 years or something that would be alright would it?'...
'The word bacteria is itself a Greek word, and a singular.'
'Ah. You've silenced me'...
'I took an Italian friend to lunch on Saturday and she totally unselfconsciously ordered a panino because she's Italian and that's the singular. But of course every menu in the UK will have panini, plural paninis'"

BBC Radio 4 - Today, 14/01/2015, Charlie Hebdo reaction: "Why are they doing a picture again of our prophet?" - "'What would you say to those people who say we live in a society where you are allowed to offend in certain respects'
'That's fine, thats fair enough but then at the same time they can't get upset when things happen as consequences of that... something needs to be done to stop people from disrespecting our prophet'...
Some moderate believers say they're frightened to defend the argument for free speech because they fear it could aggravate Islamic extremists as this woman who was too afraid to give her name explains
Freedom of speech doesn't mean there're no consequences of speech. So North Korea has freedom of speech too; if defending free speech aggravates Islamic extremists doesn't it show that they "hate our freedoms"?

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Bottled Water: Do We Really Need It? - "[From Nestle person] There is research to show that when consumers go to purchase bottled water and they find that they can't, 63% of them will turn to sugar-sweetened beverages rather than tap water... If we talk about the water that you need every day... bottled water is a fraction of the water that people need. It's for drinking and hydration, health. You need to have absolutely clean portable water. In many of those region, unfortunately, for structural issues, there is not enough good quality for the kids and for themselves. So that's why in those places we can help to do that. But we never, never replace the work that the local authorities must do in order to provide good quantity and quality of water of people... in reality if you just think about making lots of money probably we should do a sugary drinks or other beverages I can tell you I can sell a sugary drink or a beer or a wine at 5 times, 10 times, 100 times more than a bottle of water. If we make choices in terms of purely business and profit, I can tell you water will not be the primary choice... public numbers, you see that the water division is not the most profitable division for Nestle"
If governments won't do the job, why blame the private sector for stepping up?
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