Tips to Stay Stylish and Comfortable this summer

Summer always presents a whole new fashion challenge. From wardrobe to makeup to hair problems, there are many things that can go amiss. Your style can suffer at the very last moment, but there are always ways you can fix them. However, the best part is to use those tips and tricks that will require minimum effort and will last the longest. Here are some fashion tips for summer that will help you stay stylish and hot this summer season!

Chose the fabric wisely

We all know it’s hot and like it or not, your body will sweat! Many high end fashion brands produce clothes that are poly-mixtures and not breathable at all. Many hold on to stains and look bad at the wrong time. To avoid all of this, opt for fabrics like cotton, Pima and supima. These fabrics allow for ventilation, are light and quickly air dry so that no sweat stains are visible. Plus, you will feel much cooler in these fabrics and be able to tolerate the heat well.


It’s always best to opt for flat open toed shoes. You know that you will sweat and heels can become slippery and uncomfortable. Often the feet will simply slide and could end up in a fall. The best way to avoid it and also keep your feet aired and happy is by wearing open toed, flat, sandals or slippers. It’s summer after all!

Airy bottoms

Cargo shorts, wide legged pants, flared skirts and mini dresses are all the rage this summer. One reason is that they are extremely comfortable. The wider area allows the air to circulate and gives that relaxing feel that you crave in hot weather. Plus, it also looks very trendy and is one of the fashion statements at the moment. Why not opt for fashion that is stylish as well as comfortable, right?

Hats are your friends

The sun is out and blazing and this can tell on your face. Plus, most of the time, the direct heat causes the temperature of your body to increase to set off a stream of sweat. Large hats are in fashion and it’s the best time to take advantage of these iconic pieces to add some protection and style to your summer outfit. You can add some light embellishments on these hats to add flavor too. We are in love with these flappy head pieces and if you ask us, the bigger, and the better!

All these summer tips and tricks will help you survive the hot heat of the summer this season. Embrace these tips to stand out and live the fashion life comfortably. After all, fashion isn’t just about what looks good. It’s about what’s comfortable and stylish at the same time. Alter your fashion game to make it more summer oriented and enjoy the summer sun to the utmost!

Exploring the six most enchanting coastal towns in Axarquia

In many ways, the undeveloped nature of Axarquia is central to the appeal of this region on the southern tip of mainland Spain. Overflowing with rugged coastline and historical culture, it is also known for being a fascinating encounter where coastal towns are one of the true highlights on every visit. In the mountains there are charming towns like Competa and other “White Towns”. At the same time, there are many coastal towns in the region which can make the planning process a little tricky and so the following are the best coastal towns in Axarquia which should feature on every travel itinerary:

Six enchanting coastal towns to visit in Axarquia

  1. Benajarafe

This charming little coastal town is located just 45 kilometers from the center of Malaga and is a nice example of a quaint town in Spain. Although this town is known as a rather sleepy in the winter months, it  comes alive during the summer and features a long stretch of beach with watersports in the summer and white powdered sands. Along the seafront, there are also many tapas bars available for a bite to eat while inland from the town, the mountains offer a fast escape route from the tourist crowds which frequent the beach. It must also be noted that this mountainous region is worth the visit, for well marked hiking trails and beautiful surroundings offer the perfect excuse to get active.

  1. Torre Del Mar

Located just 28 kilometres from Malaga lies one of the most popular coastal resorts in the whole of Axarquia.  Torre del Mar is a major tourist hotspot, mainly due to its all-year-round warm climate, so it can get quite busy.  However, this is far from being a downside as the happy tourists create an excellent and vibrant atmosphere.  Along the beachfront, there are many bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and supermarkets which ensure there are more than enough reasons to enjoy an extended stay in this particular town. Furthermore, Torre del Mar also holds some historical significance as this town was believed to be part of an ancient Greek settlement called Manake, and while this is still to be confirmed, the remnants suggest this could easily be true.

  1. Algarrobo

If you really want to step back in time and feel part of the local history, Algarrobo offers arguably the most unique experience amongst any of the coastal towns.  Set in the picturesque mountain regions of Axarquia, Algarrobo is a charming little whitewashed village that still retains an old Moorish charm.  The village is situated 3 kilometres from Torre de Mar is the ideal location for some rest and relaxation without being too far from the main attractions and places to see. Another highlight in town is the beach which also happens to be lined with restaurants and local bars for entertainment. And then there is the Route of Sun and Wine which begins in Algarrobo, a famous driving route which takes visitors through the local vineyards in Axarquia before ending in the coastal town of Nerja.

  1. Torrox

Torres is another quiet, peaceful, coastal town which offers an authentic insight into the life of locals. Located just a few kilometres inland and less than twenty minutes drive to the nearest town, Nerja, Torrox too has retained much of the Moorish appearance and culture.  With whitewashed houses and narrow streets, it hosts a sensational view of the coast while once upon a time it was also home to a Moorish castle which was sadly destroyed quite some time ago.  There is however an 18th century hospital and a 19th century sugar factory which are still standing and open for tourists.  One special event that’s hosted here each year is the Festival of Migas where thousands of visitors get together to eat migas, drink wine, and dance the night away.

  1. Nerja

Surrounded by the awe inspiring Sierra Almijara mountain range, Nerja is one on the main popular tourist locations of Axarquia and a must-have stop when planning any travel itinerary in Spain.  This coastal town is often referred to as the “Jewel of the Costa del Sol”, and is located around a half an hour drive from Granada.  Boasting some the best beaches in the area, including the very popular Burriana Beach, Nerja is a great place to visit as part of your trip.  The old part of town is still very much traditional with narrow streets, wrought iron terraces, and whitewashed houses.  Some visitors enjoy hiring a horse-drawn carriage to take them through the town for a truly magical experience.  With shops and restaurants a plenty, there is certainly something for everyone in Nerja.

  1. Rincon de la Victoria

Located in the southwest of Axarquia, just 12 kilometres east of Malaga, this peaceful little fishing village is a great place to soak up some of the culture on offer in southern Spain.  It is also a very laid back town, with several cultural monuments worth exploring, including the Casa Fuerte (Fort) which dates back to 1733 and has now been transformed into both an art gallery and a concert hall.  There are no shortage of shops, restaurants and bars to enjoy in this pretty village either. Furthermore, the Cuerva del Tesoro (Treasure Cave) is situated just outside the village that boasts a series of caverns packed with wonderous stalactites, stalagmites, Palaeolithic paintings, and underground pools for all to see.

Of course these are just a few of the best coastal towns in Axarquia and for the most part, you should find many more while traveling throughout this region.  In fact, this is often the best thing about travel in Axarquia in that the unexpected is often the most underrated and the very same can be said for the coastal towns. Whatever your reasons for wanting to get away, whether it be to relax, to learn about the culture of southern Spain, or just to have some fun, you can be certain that the coastal towns of Axarquia are just as memorable as the scenery in this beautiful part of the world.


How to Secure a Private Apartment

home-securityIn an open society your apartment should be the sanctuary for you and your family. Your apartment is the only environment where you have control over who can get close to you or your family. Protecting your apartment and family from criminal intrusion should be high on your list of priorities. But before you make a big purchase on a security system, take a good hard look around your home. A few simple, low- or no-cost measures will significantly deter thief away from targeting your home. “The goal in home security is to make it so that the casual burglar will be deterred”.


Make home security a habit, with every member of the household—including kids—agreeing to a routine that should include such simple rules as:

  • Use door and window locks. It costs nothing and takes little energy. Make it a habit to lock every door and window when leaving, after entering, and before bedtime.
  • Do not open the door to uninvited or unwelcome visitors.
  • Close and lock the garage door.
  • Secure your home even if you’re doing work around the house and yard.
  • Use your alarm system all the time, even when you take a quick trip to the store or visit next-door neighbors.



Having a security camera can be a deterrent for burglars and other intruders. Some of them are bold enough to try to enter the house when you are home while others lurk around and wait for you to leave. Having a security camera is a way to keep them away from your home. If they are bold enough to enter the house anyway, the security cameras can help law enforcement identify the intruders and find them.


Alarm systems definitely have a place in an apartment security plan and are effective, if used properly. The reason why alarms systems deter burglaries is because they increase the potential and fear of being captured and arrested by the police.  Apartment burglars will usually bypass a unit with visible alarm decals and will look for another property without such a decal. Some people, with alarm systems, feel that these signs and decals are unsightly and will not display them. The risk here is that an uninformed burglar might break a window or door and grab a few quick items before the police can respond. Also, don’t write your alarm passcode on or near the alarm keypad.

burglar alarmsAlarm systems need to be properly installed and maintained. All systems should have an audible horn or bell to be effective in case someone does break in. However, these audible alarms should be programmed to reset automatically after one minute. The criminal will get the message and will be long gone without your neighbors having to listen to your alarm siren for hours, until it is switched off. If you use a central station to monitor your alarm, make sure your response call list is up to date. You can also consider buying a GSM alarm. This will automatically alert you and the responders  However, if you have established and nurtured your neighborhood watch buddy system, you will experience a genuine concern by your neighbor. It is not unusual to have a neighbor wait for the police, allow them inside for an inspection, and secure the residence. A good neighbor can also call friends or relatives for you, if pre-authorized by you.


Post security-company signs or window stickers near all entryways—whether you have a security system or not. Maybe you have signs/stickers on hand from a previous contract with a security firm, or maybe you can get some from a friend. In addition, post a few warning like “Beware of Dog” signs in visible spots, say at the front of the house or on a gate to the backyard.


home-security-lightingIf you don’t have them already, buy and install outdoor lighting with infrared motion sensors and install one near each point of entry. Replace any burned-out light bulbs and put your porch lights on timers. Find the best bulbs for outdoor uses.


Are the window locks operable? If not, get them fixed or replace them. Also consider installing aftermarket window locks, which let you open the window a few inches while still keeping it secure. Another alternative is to use inexpensive window-break alarms


Be a Good Neighbor

Good neighbors should look out for each other. Get to know your neighbors on each side of your apartment and the three directly across from you. Invite them into your apartment, communicate often, and establish trust. Good neighbors will watch out for your apartment and vehicle when you are away, if you ask them. They can report suspicious activity to management, to the police, or to you while you are away. Between them, good neighbors can see to it that normal services continue in your absence by allowing authorized vendors to enter your apartment.

Good neighbors can pick up your mail, newspapers, handbills, and can inspect the inside of your apartment periodically to see that all is well. Allowing a neighbor or management to have a key solves the problem of hiding a key outside the door. Experienced burglars know how to look for hidden keys in planter boxes, under doormats, and above the ledge. Requiring a service vendor to contact your neighbor to gain access will send the message that someone is watching. This neighborhood watch technique sets up what is called ‘territoriality.’ This means that your neighbors will take ownership and responsibility for what occurs in your mini-neighborhood. This concept works great in apartment communities. This practice helps deter burglaries and other crimes in a big way. Of course for this to work, you must reciprocate and offer the same services.

The biggest difficulty getting to this level of oversight is taking the first step. You can take it by calling your local crime prevention unit at the police department. Most police departments in large cities have neighborhood watch coordinators to help you set this up. You should invite your adjacent neighbors over to your home for coffee and begin the information exchange. You’ll be amazed how the process runs on automatic from there.

Winter Tyres Tips

wintertiresAs the winter is knocking on your door, it’s time to dress your car with proper winter tyres so it won’t skid away on a snowy or icy road. Here are a few tips on how to choose and maintain winter tyres in order to get maximum efficiency.

Choosing winter tyres

If you are looking for new tyres, you’re about to drown in a sea full of brands, models and technologies, all promising utmost performance for the cold season to come. Let’s face it; tyres aren’t really cheap, so budget has a say in your choice. On the other hand, remember that a quality set of tyres should last around three years, in normal usage conditions. Thus, making a proper investment now will keep you worry free for the next two or three seasons.

Usually, brands like Continental, Dunlop and Michelin provide premium quality tyres that perform well on snow. They do, however, come at a premium price, depending on your wheels’ characteristics.

The rule of the thumb is that more expensive tyres usually perform better, so try to go as high as your budget allows and always choose products from a renowned producer. Don’t get fooled by Chinese or Turkish no-name brands providing cheap alternatives; they are likely to fail when you need them most.

Equipping winter tyres

Now that you’ve chosen a proper winter set for your vehicle, it’s time to put them on. Take your car to a local wheel shop to have them applied. Unless you acquired winter tyres along with rims, you do have to let a technician do the switch. Once the work’s done, make sure that the tyres are equipped according to their direction of rotation. Uni-directional tyres feature an arrow on the tyre sidewall indicating the mounting direction. Equipping them the other way around results in poor performance of the wheels.

There’s a common misconception regarding the pressure required in the tyre. Normally, each tyre producer offers a maximum and minimum pressure value that must be respected when inflating the tyre. During the summer, you should apply a pressure tending towards the upper value, however winter conditions require a lower tyre pressure. A lower pressure creates a larger contact patch resulting in better grip.Take care though not to achieve just minimum tyre pressure. But there are different opinions about that; certified wheel technician should provide accurate insight on the matter.

Final considerations

You have gotten to the point where your car is equipped and ready to overcome the snowy slopes and straights. Or, is it? Always before leaving for a drive on winter roads, remember that not even the best tyres can provide grip similar to dry conditions. It is up to you, the driver, to maintain a speed from which you can safely get the car to a complete halt. Furthermore, in some heavy-snow conditions, it may be required to use snow chains to improve grip even more.


A Guide to Car and Motor Insurance

motor-insuranceHuntington News will in a string of articles focus on insurances. Insurances are important to have if things go wrong. But at the same time the wrong insurance will be a waste of money and may be useless when you need it. Our first article will be on how to find the right auto insurance. This article is written for both our US and international readers. Insurances differ in some ways from country to country, so we will try to highlight these differences when they are relevant.

How to Shop for Motor Insurance

For the most ideal transaction, shop around. Obtain numerous car insurance quotes from varied insurance firms prior to you purchasing or renewing your policy. Insurance firms are different; therefore, you can obtain a better transaction elsewhere.

Avoid being scared of changing. You can change insurance firms any time you desire; even at the middle of your car insurance policy period. If you get an improved rate, change and save.

Three kinds of car insurance exist:

  • Third party, that caters for your legal liability in case you destroy another individual’s physical belongings such as (walls, cars, gates, etc.) because of a driving accident.
  • Third Party, Fire and Theft, presents third party cover and includes a couple of helpful sections of cover – fire damage to your vehicle and theft, as well as destruction caused by stealing or attempted stealing.
  • A totally comprehensive policy is inclusive of Third Party, Fire and Theft and shall additionally pay for destruction to your personal car in case of an accident. A lot of perks are available also; for instance, it shall also offer you cover when you drive vehicles belonging to other individuals. This is helpful if you borrow another person’s vehicle and you are not covered by their insurance.

The elements below have an impact on the payment you submit for your premiums

  1. Your work
  1. Your age
  1. Your driving record

The vehicle you drive: The more expensive the car, the higher the premium. Cars of top performance are also more costly to insure, compared to their stock standard counterparts.

Vehicle Location: You shall pay extra if you keep the vehicle in a location where crime is rife or park it at night on the street.

Purpose you utilize the car for: You will pay extra, for instance if you intend to utilize the car for business delivery intents.

The excess set-up you select: The more the excess, the less the premiums.

Satellite Tracking and Gear Locks: Shall assist to lower your premiums.

In case you are purchasing another vehicle, do not overlook to shop around for insurance!

For someone who is purchasing a vehicle for the first time, the procedure can be a hard decision. A lot of purchasers do not know that they should have insurance prior to driving their latest vehicle from the showroom floor.  The financial institutions offering the funds for the purchase shall be adamant about this so as to facilitate the safety of their latest asset.

auto-insuranceDo not simply give in to the initial offer presented to you; obtain a minimum of 3 quotes prior to reaching a decision. Sites like DurchblickerBilforsikring, Chill, and Money Supermarket provide insurance comparison services. But do not forget to contact insurers directly to get quotes from them too. But remember: ‘A lot of finance institutions or banks are associated with an insurance firm or brokerage company. So, new purchasers might experience pressure to obtain insurance cover via the supplier the bank prefers.’

It is vital to be aware that it is not possible to implement this and the client is the one who should decide. This makes it necessary to shop around for quotes that are competitive to make sure you are presented with the most ideal transaction; in regard to cover as well as cost.

‘This is mandatory for youthful drivers, since they are regularly fined for their age and absence of driving experience, leading to increased premiums and excesses.’

Cash purchases are not excluded from the requirement of insuring their latest car. Hijackings and thefts remain a reality and the increasing number of vehicles on the road places all drivers at increased danger of getting into an accident.

Selecting an insurance product which is appropriate in regard to value adds, budget and excess to be paid is a meticulous decision. With the correct advice, it can be made logically and safely.

A lot of youthful, first-time purchasers discover that buying insurance via a direct insurer is in reality, an easy procedure.

It is possible for them to attain a customized insurance solution which meets their particular requirements. Using direct insurance, extra charges are not paid by clients to obtain what they require.

Any driver on the verge of going to buy a new car would be advised to think of the direct insurance advantages, which entail saving time and cost.

Fall Fashion 2016

Fall is an absolutely ideal season for fashionistas to experiment with their fashion tastes and try new and bold trends. This is because fall is all about wearing different trends and trying on different colors. Fashionistas do not play it safe in fall when it comes to experimenting with color schemes, designs, trends etc. Unlike summers and winters, fall does not require you to carry either really summery or heavy clothes. The weather is moderate and therefore you can dress whatever way you want. This is a great perk when it comes to fashion in fall. This gives you the liberty to try different things and colors. Fall fashion this year is full of surprises and fresh trends. In our article today, we will look at some of our favorite fall trends for 2016.

Pumpkin Spice:

Brownish orange color is really trending high for fall fashion 2016. This color totally complements the season and goes with the vibe of it. Brownish orange looks great on all skin tones and complements every body type. From formal or casual clothing, pumpkin color – as we will like to nickname it – looks absolutely breathtaking. A lot of women usually wear colors like black, navy blue, burgundy etc. in this season. Therefore, this color is a breeze of fresh air and a unique touch to the season’s fashion feel.

Pumpkin SpicceSkirt Suits:

Pant suits for women made a lot of waves in the fashion world. They were the perfect corporate wear attire. However, for fall this year, skirt suit has taken the place for pant suits. Skirt suit consists of a three piece attire with a midi skirt, collar shirt (or any other type of shirt) and a blazer/coat, completed with a bow, tie or bow-tie or none. This look is perfect for formal get-togethers and corporate events. It looks effortless and sharp.


Bohemian Chic

Boho fashion has been on top of the fashion charts for a lot of time now and it is not going away any time soon. Bohemian fashion has to do with flowy and feathery looks, floral prints, amazing cuts etc. Bohemian fashion is basically inspired from gypsies and hippies and looks really amazing. Boho fashion is also hot this fall 2016. Flowy skirts with floral printing and other intricate designs and unique cuts is trending. Bohemian fashion is not just restricted to clothing; it also looks great when it comes to hair, jewelry, shoes and even makeup.

Over-the-Ankle Boots:

When Kim Kardashian wears it, it is definitely a style statement already. Over-the-ankle boots are a big hit in the fashion world this fall. Mule heels and peep toed over-the-ankle boots looks especially chic and can be worn with jeans or even with shorts or a dress. Wear this hot trend this season and add a spark to your style quotient.











Basic Leggings:

Yes, you are reading it right. Leggings too are a style statement this fall. You can pair a nice and comfy pair of black legging with absolutely anything. You can wear it with a crop-top, a duster coat, a denim jacket, a kimono, anything; the possibilities are endless.


Unlicensed Travel Agents at Work

A standardized law that basically allows agents to sell travel insurance without having the need to flash a license has just been adopted by 31 states in the U.S., after five years of effort by the United States Travel Insurance Association (USTIA) and American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) to simplify all state laws and regulations about the sale of travel insurance. This so-called standardized law is a model law adopted by the entire NAIC or National Association of Insurance Commissioners that aims to give unlicensed agents the right to do basic sale of travl insurance plans.

The most recent state to adopt the said law is Delaware. It was able to adopt the brand new law last summer, which was officially used on January 2015. The said law allows travel agents to offer insurance to eager travelers who desire to have a reliable travel insurance plan before they leave the country or their hometown.

In large part, through the said law, travel agents are given the opportunity, despite their lack of license, to provide generational information, collect premiums, and process applications filed by clients who want to purchase a reliable insurance plan. This tactic is entirely different from what the law states regarding the role of licensed insurance agents who get to do the following activities: sell, solicit, and negotiate.

In summary, the model law specifies that agents can sell travel insurance to their customers for as long as travel insurance company administrators commit to doing their jobs by ensuring that all of the unlicensed travel agents under its wing are trained to a certain extent. More importantly, administrators are also practically obliged to keep a list of their official agents that are allowed to sell insurance plans in an attempt to disseminate valuable information about travel insurances.

The Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Allianz Global Assistance, Jack Zemp, had once confirmed that travel agents’ job do not, at all, entail any professional acts that can only be performed by a real insurance agent. Instead, it is a profession primarily focused on organizing quality trips and highlighting the role of travel insurance as an element of any type of trip worthy of purchase. ASTA’s senior, John Pittman, believes that even though unlicensed agents can enjoy a lot of time on their own, they still have to wait for the participation of the insurance provider whenever specific questions about the coverage of the travel insurance has been asked by a customer.

As of now, there are still nineteen states that are not yet adopting the model act of granting unlicensed travel agents the freedom to sell travel insurance plans. Because of this, the aforementioned model act shall not be applicable to any other locations outside the thirty one states any time soon. Thus, an agent has to have a license and retain that same license as he stays on a state where unlicensed travel agents are not allowed to sell anything. According to USTIA’s committee, all those who have purchased travel insurance from unlicensed agents basically have the same benefits as those who have acquired one through the help of licensed travel agents.

In countries such as Denmark car insurances (bilforsikringer), are mandatory. But trave insurances are not. This means that every year people who are not insured get to pay large amounts for treatment if they get injurued on their holiday.

Read more here:

Travel Weekly

The State of Journalism in Yemen

yemenThe wave of unrest that began in January 2011 to the transition of power in Yemen from former President Ali Abdullah Saleh to newly-elected President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in 2012 signified the people’s dream for freedom from a 33-year dictatorship. But hopes for a better Yemen have been crushed by the atmosphere of anarchy, total lawlessness and violence which has claimed the lives of 25 journalists in 2015 alone, following the resignation of Hadi on January 22, 2015 after Shiite Houthi rebels stormed his home, forcing him to flee Yemen.

The attempted assassination of Mansour Nour, the continued imprisonment of prominent Yemeni journalist Abdul Elah Haider Shaye and the recent kidnapping of Yemeni journalist Waheed al-Sufi are just a few examples of the true state of security which mirrors the decrepit conditions of press freedom in Yemen. Air strikes spearheaded by a Saudi Arabia-led coalition of 10 countries directed towards Houthi-controlled territory in an attempt to restore President Hadi to office, as well as public protest calls addressed to Houthi militants calling for the release of imprisoned journalists have fallen on deaf ears. Instead, extremists are responding with journalist- centered violence in an attempt to put a cap on press freedom and objective reporting in Yemen.

Even now, journalists in Yemen are living with intimidation, threat, and fear of violent reprisal which not only affect them, but are also carried to family, friends and colleagues. Questions to which they have no answers are raised in their minds, foremost of which is, how they can remain safe and still perform their civilian duty of truthful conflict reporting. Another question is, whether this stressful day-to-day living under threat would negatively affect future generations of journalists operating in war-torn countries and cause them to be content with watered-down facts in exchange for their safety. They have seen too many examples of colleagues who continue the work in spite of the risks, out of love for the job. Yet, they see the very same people eventually buckle down from the psychological toll of living under constant threat, leading them to realize that being a journalist in Yemen is a real challenge, and it is no longer enough to have courage and experience because war could kill.

The four greatest risks to journalists today in the order of importance are: Surveillance (33%), Imprisonment (29%), Murder (22%) and Kidnapping (16%). The risks are evenly distributed and not confined to well-known international media personnel or foreign correspondents; the reality is that nine out of ten are local media men covering local news.

Even if they have learned to live with the hazards of competent journalism, phone tapping, roving bugs, surveillance cameras, cell-site location information, call and email records still remain a stark reality the moment they enter into a conflict area. If journalists intend to protect themselves, they have to adopt stringent measures to protect the identity of their sources through secure and untraceable tip lines, surveillance-resistant equipment such as state-of-the-art encryption software, cell-site location information and gap computers, blending into the local population to stay out of the discerning eye of government surveillance. Journalists traveling to Yemen ofte do hostile environment awareness training before arriving.

Despite previous indications of radical changes in Yemen’s government information mouthpiece in the form of news and television channels, the journalists’ high hopes that media is going in the right direction has been squelched. Journalists and cameramen covering military operations, indiscriminate filming of bombing sites, reporting demonstrations protesting issues that affect the Yemeni population and documenting politically sensitive issues such as terrorist networks, corruption, civilian conflicts and anything which would put the government in a bad light, all meet the same fate.

Abdul Elah Haider Shaye, who attracted international renown for reporting the true circumstances of the 2009 bombing of Al Majallah village in southern Yemen, and his exclusive interview with a top Al Quaeda official, put him in bad graces of the Yemeni government, resulting in his imprisonment. He was convicted by the Specialized Criminal Court for Terrorism in January 2011 and sentenced to up to five years in prison. He would have been released by virtue of a presidential pardon a month after his conviction, but former Yemeni President Saleh recanted his decision following intervention from U.S. President Barack Obama, and to this day, concerted action to demand his release have been unsuccessful. Just barely 8 months before Shaye will have served the full 5-year sentence, the journalist community watches with apprehension the final outcome of Shaye’s ordeal when someone else is holding the key.

This is the reality of the plight of journalists in Yemen, and in any other conflict area for that matter. Their profession, albeit a noble one is not without its hazards, but each one can provide a support system for another and adopt measures to lessen the risks and ensure their safety.

UN fight against ISIS Funding Resources

The financial reports about the funding of the terrorist group ISIS suggest an unprecedented magnitude of wealth that has been accumulated by the group. Apart from its illegal oil trafficking revenues, which generates 30 to 60 million dollars each month, the militant group has added about 25 million dollars to its financial reserves in the form of ransoms. The group continues to grow in number with supporters from over 80 countries joining the cause.
Most of the resources are generated by the ISIS held regions and this significantly compounds the problem of stemming the inflow of financial resources to ISIS. The most important one being the illegal trafficking of oil from ISIS captured territory, across the Syrian and the Iraqi borders.
The biggest market of oil is presently in Turkey due to the countries incredibly high oil prices. Many reports have suggested that the oil is smuggled through the Turkish/Syrian border. ISIS is thought to be in control of approximately a dozen oil producing wells in the regions it has captured. The revenues being generated from this illegal oil trafficking of the oil has been assessed in value of up to two million dollars per day.
These figures have dropped as of result of the US leading an air strike on the oil fields being controlled by ISIS in an effort to curb the financial resources flowing to the extremist militant group. These attacks have, however, not been very effective against ISIS while the people in the region continue to suffer.
Oil trafficking is not the only source of income for the extremist group. ISIS receives substantial amounts in donations from its supporters all over the world. They have also resorted to the use of social media to appeal for funds from their supporters, which has also led to recruitment of many devotees. These believers in the ISIS cause are strategically placed worldwide in an effort to generate more funds.
Though they deny it vehemently, the group is also involved in criminal activities like looting in its captured territories, which is another source of income for the group. The looting of banks in Iraq and Syrian occupied territories has added millions of dollars to the ISIS’ funding reservoirs, according to financial analysts.
From withdrawal of money from the banks to toll tax collection from the local residents of the ISIS controlled territories are taxed heavily which further adds to their funding resources. Together these funding resources have made ISIS one of the most resourceful, extremist militant groups of all time, allowing them to increase the scope of their activities.
In the middle of last year, the United Nations Security council unanimously reached the decision of imposing resolution 2170 whereby the extensive abuse of human rights in the ISIS held territories was condemned and the countries were called upon to play an effective role in curbing the financial, as well as social media support of ISIS originating from these regions.
In its efforts to isolate the ISIS terrorists, earlier this year UN Security Council took significant steps whereby the financial resources of the group were to be targeted. The condemned funding methods included black market oil trafficking, international donations and looted resources from the occupied territories.

The Council has declared that any country that has trade involvement with ISIS will be considered support for the terrorist organization. Thus measures have been taken to ensure that the ISIS funds and accounts have been frozen all over the world. In addition, adding the leaders of ISIS to the terrorist watch list significantly limits their free movement across the globe.
The Council has also expressed its concern over the looting of items that hold cultural heritage from the occupied regions and have strictly advised the countries not to participate in the trade of these items.
The council has developed a policy that it is a breach of international law for anyone who funds ISIS with foreign private donations, in addition to anyone who pays a ransom for an individual that has been kidnapped.
ISIS is one of the most dangerous and calculating terrorist groups that the world has ever witnessed. Defeating them will require all countries to work together, concentrating their efforts on this important cause, albeit time consuming, it will ultimately result in the restoration of peace to the Middle East and the world at large.

Polio in the Middle East, the vaccination campaigns are working

Preventive vaccination campaign against polio that was conducted for twelve months in eight countries of the Middle East was able to stop the progression of the disease in this region of the world, after the appearance of more than thirty-eight cases in Syria and Iraq.

According to experts from the World Health Organization and UNICEF, other preventive vaccination campaigns against polio have yet to be conducted over the coming months.

The disease appears to be limited according to the experts who met recently in Beirut. In a statement released by UNICEF and the World Health Organization, they explain that following the diagnosis of the cases mentioned above, a wide vaccination campaign was conducted in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Gaza and the West Bank, targeting some 27 million children aged between 0 and 5 years. More than a year has passed since the onset of the last case in Syria and nine months since the last case in Iraq.

“Under normal circumstances, we would have said that the epidemic was stopped”, said Maria Calivis, Regional Director of UNICEF in the Middle East and North Africa. “But since the conflicts continue in the area, UNICEF and its partners will spare no effort to ensure the protection the children need against this terrible disease.”

According to the experts gathered in Lebanon, many children could not receive regular vaccine, because of fighting in Syria and Iraq. This is the reason why other vaccination campaigns have yet to be conducted over the next few months, they said.

According to Chris Maher, head of department of eradication of the disease at WHO, the next step is to “reach all children in the region, even those living in the most conflict-affected areas.”

It should be recalled that WHO had confirmed the outbreak of the disease in Syria in late 2013, reporting at least ten cases of paralysis, that is to say, almost fourteen years after the disappearance of the disease in 1999. The resurgence of polio is mainly due to the deterioration of health facilities and lack of vaccination campaigns. The WHO said that the virus came from Pakistan. The disease also affected Iraq where vaccination has sometimes been hampered in some places because of the war.

Polio is a highly contagious disease that results in flu-like symptoms with fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, neck stiffness and pain in the limbs of the body. The disease is caused by poliovirus that multiplies in the intestine and is transmitted primarily through fecal-oral route. Not everyone develops the disease. Nevertheless, when mention of a reported case of polio, that is to say a case of paralysis due to the virus, this means that 200 people are already infected.

Preventive vaccination campaign aims to create this intestinal immunity. According to the national immunization schedules worldwide, every child should receive the injectable vaccine. But it provides individual protection to the child, and does not prevent it from being a carrier of the virus, hence the importance of these massive campaigns within which the oral vaccine is administered to children. This actually allows creating the intestinal immunity, preventing the virus to multiply. There is a catch, however. The oral vaccine may represent a risk for people with severe immune deficiency (cancer, AIDS…), since it is composed of attenuated viral strains. If they receive the vaccine, these children will develop a vaccine-associated paralysis, that is to say, they will develop the disease in response to the vaccine. That is why this category of children was excluded from the vaccination campaigns against polio that were conducted to date in Lebanon.

There is no treatment against polio. It is only possible to prevent it through vaccination. Some symptoms may nevertheless be relieved with medication (such as antispasmodics to relax the muscles). The WHO says, “Polio does not respect borders – every unvaccinated child is exposed. For every case of paralysis, between 200 and 1,000 children are infected without symptoms. It is therefore difficult to detect polio and also difficult to prevent the virus from traveling. Children living in areas with low levels of immunity are particularly vulnerable. Eradication of the virus is the best defense against polio imports. It is only once this goal is achieved that all children are protected.”