Monthly Archives: January 2017

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Granny prostitutes mirror South Korea&#039s issue of aged poverty

SOUTH KOREA – It is 10.30am and Madam Park (not her true title) is out prowling the streets of central Jongo district, Seoul, waiting around to make a fast sale.

This 78-calendar year-previous targets gray-haired gentlemen, in practising the world’s oldest profession.

At Seoul’s heart, next to the fast paced enterprise district, is a avenue wherever sexual intercourse is for sale by ladies previous more than enough to be grandmothers. These so-identified as ‘Bacchus ladies’ – named following a popular strength consume – are the matter of an investigation by Channel NewsAsia’s Get Rea! documentary on South Korea’s aged poor, which premieres on Jan 31.

At her age, Mdm Park must be at household, surrounded by her young children and grandchildren. In its place, she stands on the streets for at minimum 6 hours a working day, waiting around for shoppers.

“In order to endure, I just shut my eyes and get it in excess of with,” she reported in Korean. “In one particular working day, if there is fantastic luck, we meet a few to four gentlemen and acquire about a hundred,000 won (S$120).”

She does this so that she can pay for the US$250 (S$350) truly worth of arthritis medication a month. Her arthritis is so severe that she can scarcely walk.

When Channel NewsAsia approached her on the avenue, she reported: “You came to participate in? To meet someone? The room cost is US$10. The cost for the girl is US$thirty.”

Enjoy: Madam Park’s story (two:forty six)

Couldn’t Uncover ANY OTHER Task

Mdm Park reported that she married when she was 19. When she was in her late 20s, her spouse gambled away the family members household and remaining her alone to elevate four young children.

She was performing as a kitchen area helper and could not pay for to ship them to faculty. Currently they really don’t get paid more than enough to guidance her, and she promises that they do not care about her. She at present life with her family in a small house and they have scarcely more than enough to stay by.

Mdm Park reported that her knees gave way when she was in her early 70s and she could not find a occupation. Determined for food items and medicine, she turned a Bacchus girl.

“Even if I am likely to die, I need to have the medication. The working day following next, I will go to the clinic and get an injection for the bones. It is so distressing,” she reported.

Prostitution is illegal in South Korea and Mdm Park reported that she has been caught and fined numerous occasions by the law enforcement. On the other hand, determined occasions phone calls for determined measures.

“It is uncomfortable. I am ashamed because I am previous,” she reported. Aside from the eighty two-calendar year-previous grandmother who is the street’s oldest sexual intercourse-worker, “I am the next oldest. And next is sixty-moreover years previous. There is no one particular down below 50. All of them have grandchildren,” she reported.


South Korea has one particular of the world’s quickest ageing populations and virtually 50 % of its aged stay in poverty.

Its pension and welfare devices for the aged lag behind other produced international locations virtually 50 % of South Koreans aged sixty five and more mature stay on considerably less than 50 % the national median money.

A soup kitchen area in South Korea caters to the aged poor.

Professor Lee Ho-Solar, from the Korea Soongsil Cyber College in Seoul, who has been studying these ‘Bacchus ladies’ for years, reported that most only begun promoting sexual intercourse afterwards in daily life.

She reported that involving 2013 and 2014, the number of ‘Bacchus ladies’ peaked at about 300 to four hundred in the Jongno neighbourhood alone.

“I can not convey to when they (Bacchus women) begun but most of them were being neglected throughout the currency crisis in 1997. People could not really guidance their moms and dads as right before. So, the senior citizens turned homeless and… considering that they do not have substantially abilities, all they could do was develop into a prostitute,” she reported.

She explained the primary pension in South Korea – about two hundred,000 won a month – as inadequate.

Some of the aged are unwilling to load their young children with their economic challenges. Other individuals were being remaining behind in the countryside whilst their young children moved to the towns to look for work and education and learning.

Dr Lee reported: “Times are changing – in the previous, it was more than enough to get by on one particular person’s money. Now even a dual money is not ample.  Children are not in the place to get care of their moms and dads. The aged issue in South Korea is very shameful.

“Unless the younger adult’s complications are solved, we can not resolve the elderly’s complications.”

Enjoy the Get Rea! documentary on South Korea’s aged poor on Jan 31 at 8pm SG/HK.

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Muslims barred from flights to US, as others detained

TEHRAN: Iranians and Iraqis planning to fly to the United States were prevented from boarding on Saturday (Jan 28) after US President Donald Trump’s order to restrict arrivals from seven Muslim countries.

On Friday Trump signed a sweeping executive order to suspend the arrival of refugees and impose tough new controls on travellers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

His move sparked widespread criticism and concern across the world.

Travellers from the Middle East were stopped from boarding US-bound planes and some already in the air when Trump signed the executive order were detained on arrival, the New York Times reported.

In Tehran, two travel agencies told AFP they had been instructed by Etihad Airways, Emirates and Turkish Airlines not to sell US tickets or allow Iranians holding American visas to board US-bound flights.

An Iranian studying in California visiting her home country said Saturday that she could not return because her ticket had been cancelled under the new restrictions.

“I had a ticket for Turkish Airlines on February 4, but it has been cancelled,” the girl who did not wish to be identified told AFP. “I’ve informed the university officials by mail and they were surprised. They are going to send me a letter so I can try fly from Europe.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani did not comment directly on the visa ban Saturday, but did criticise Trump, saying that now was “not the time to build walls between nations”.


“They have forgotten that the Berlin Wall collapsed many years ago. Even if there are walls between nations, they must be removed,” Rouhani said.

More than a million Iranians live in the United States.

On Saturday in Egypt, a country not included in the new restrictions, an Iraqi couple and their two children were told they could not board an EgyptAir flight from Cairo to New York.

Airport officials said the four Iraqis all had American visas.

The New York Times reported that two Iraqi refugees who landed at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport hours after Trump signed the tough new measures were detained by authorities.

On Saturday, the American Civil Liberties Union and other advocacy groups filed a legal challenge to Trump’s order after the two Iraqi men were detained.

Lawyers representing the pair also filed a court appeal for their release, saying they were being unlawfully detained.

Reacting to Trump’s move, the United Nations urged him to continue his country’s “long tradition” of welcoming refugees and to ensure their equal treatment, regardless of race, nationality or religion.

French President Francois Hollande said Europe must have a “firm response” to Trump, and “when he refuses the arrival of refugees, while Europe has done its duty, we have to respond”.

Hollande was due to speak with Trump later Saturday.

In Lebanon, Syrian refugees struggling to get by in makeshift camps shivered as temperatures dipped close to freezing and bemoaned their fate.


“What on earth have the Syrian people done to deserve this?” asked Abu Mahmoud al-Ghol, at one informal camp in the Marj area. “And to think it’s a democratic country doing it,” said the 44-year-old.

Nearly six years of conflict in Syria have driven more than half the population from their homes, with many fleeing abroad and dreaming of new lives in the West.

Trump’s executive order specifically says no visas will be issued for 90 days to migrants or visitors from the seven Muslim-majority countries.

It also specifically bars Syrian refugees from the United States indefinitely, or until Trump himself decides that they no longer pose a threat. His decree suspends the entire US refugee resettlement programme for at least 120 days while tough new vetting rules are established.

Qatar Airways, which flies to around 15 American cities, said it would abide by the new regulations, adding however that passengers who have “the proper documentation” will be able fly.

A travel alert on its website said citizens of the seven barred countries could travel to the US if they have permanent residency there, or the so-called Green Card.

Government officials and their immediate family and international organisation representatives are exempt from the travel restrictions, the Gulf carrier said.

Trump’s move has also angered one of Iran’s most popular actresses, Taraneh Alidoosti who stars in the Oscar-nominated “The Salesman”.

In a tweet the actress said she would boycott next month’s Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, saying: “Trump’s visa ban for Iranians is racist. Whether this will include a cultural event or not, I won’t attend the #AcademyAwards 2017.”

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PM Lee visits Senoko Electrical power for Chinese New Calendar year

SINGAPORE: Primary Minister Lee Hsien Loong and vital union leaders greeted employees at Senoko Electrical power at their Plant in Woodlands on Saturday (Jan 28), on the to start with day of the Chinese New Calendar year.

Because 1999, vital leaders from the Labour Movement have visited functioning folks in the essential companies sector all through Chinese New Calendar year to thank them for placing their get the job done and responsibilities ahead of holiday seasons and personalized celebrations. Mr Lee was accompanied by his spouse, Ho Ching, as perfectly NTUC President Mary Liew, NTUC Secretary-Normal Chan Chun Sing and other customers of the NTUC Central Committee.

Mr Lee gave out pink packets and mandarin oranges as perfectly as presents furnished by Mrs Lee to some 30 employees. They comprise of shift administrators, engineers and complex officers who get the job done to hold Singapore’s electric power jogging. The take a look at ended with a traditional Lo Hei session.

Mr Lee said the group on responsibility was in superior spirits this morning, and it was superior to be again to see the group functioning perfectly and adopting new technologies. He said the electric power industry is 1 that has been restructuring and upgrading by itself to hold up with transforming times.

“From staying PUB, SingPower to breaking up into the gencos and engineering has changed from steam to gas oil to fuel to merge cycle. Each time, additional efficient. Each time, improved for Singaporeans. Each time it usually means alter and disruption for the employees. And from time to time there have been occupation losses.

“Usually, there would be retraining and deployment. But by functioning intently together with UPage (Union of Electrical power and Gasoline Staff members), with the union leaders, successive generations of union we have been ready to make the restructuring and advance on this journey.” said Mr Lee.

Primary Minister Lee Hsien Loong staying briefed on some of the get the job done procedures at Senoko Electrical power Plant in Woodlands. (Picture: Afifah Ariffin)

Mr Lee said Singapore’s financial expansion of one.eight for each cent in 2016 was significantly less than the government had hoped for, but additional than it had expected.

He added that there was some select up toward the stop of the yr, specially in the producing industry, and hopes that it will proceed into this yr. He also said the government is not just checking retrenchment numbers, but also the variety of folks getting reemployed.

“I imagine it’s as perfectly as not so undesirable. Over-all, we’re obtaining new employment made. Not as quite a few as in advance of, but ample so that Singaporeans are absolutely used and folks who arrive out of Poly, or ITE or College, they discover employment really quickly,” said Mr Lee.  

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Philippine zoo launches rooster exhibition to mark Chinese New Yr

MANILA: A zoo in Manila has established up a special exhibit to mark the start off of the Chinese Yr of the Rooster.

Malabon Zoo in the Philippine cash launched the “Roosters of the Entire world” exhibition, which showcases roosters from Japan, England, the US, Poland, China, Malaysia and a .75m, 7kg giant purple rooster from France named Mr Universe.

The zoo has a personal collection of exotic and Philippine endemic animals, according to AP.

Malabon Zoo operator Manny Tangco holds a full-grown but pretty little rooster named “Compact But Awful” from Malaysia to compare it with the giant purple rooster from France named “Mr. Universe”. (Image: AP/Bullit Marquez)

Malabon Zoo is a personal collection of exotic and Philippine endemic animals.

Its operator Manny Tangco is explained to have been inspired to established up the zoo just after finding out about the destruction of forests in the Philippines and examining the tale of Noah’s Ark.

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Alleged PIC promoter billed in excess of wrong claims value much more than S$1m

SINGAPORE: S Chandran, sole proprietor of Paradize Consultancy, was on Friday (Jan 27) billed for his alleged role in making fraudulent Productiveness and Innovation Credit rating (PIC) claims amounting to S$one,097,694.

The 35-calendar year-previous, who is also a magician, was slapped with 58 expenses of aiding 49 claimants to fraudulently attain PIC income spend-outs and bonuses.

Bail was despatched at S$two hundred,000, and the 2nd mention of the circumstance will be on Feb three.

The Inland Income Authority of Singapore (IRAS) on Thursday claimed it experienced performed investigations into a amount of suspicious PIC claims in excess of the past calendar year, and claimed these revealed that lots of of the suspicious claims ended up connected to this PIC promoter. It added that will get enforcement action towards the claimants, wherever proper, after investigations are concluded. 

The PIC plan was released to motivate competent firms to spend in productivity and innovation actions, by offering them incentives like income tax deductions for the costs concerned.

IRAS claimed in a regular PIC fraud, the promoter may possibly aid claimants by furnishing faux documentation to aid help the expenditures declared in their PIC income payout apps. These documentations may possibly include false employment contracts, performing timesheets, payment vouchers, solution flyers or brochures, quotations and invoices.

Wherever the claimants do not fulfil the PIC application situation of 3 neighborhood personnel, the promoter would provide the names and particulars of up to 3 unrelated folks for the objective of falsely representing to IRAS that the claimants have fulfilled the prerequisite of 3 neighborhood personnel.

These wrong personnel could involve pals, family, retirees and unemployed people, and some of them may possibly not know that their names experienced been used in the claims, it added.

In return for facilitating the wrong PIC claims, the promoter will get a lower from the PIC income payouts specified to the claimants, IRAS claimed.

Any one who commits PIC offences with wilful intent may well be topic to penalties of up to 4 instances the amount of PIC income payout and reward fraudulently obtained (or which would have been obtained if the offence experienced not been detected), and a fantastic of up to $fifty,000 or imprisonment of up to 5 many years. 

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