ToDo: Quitting smoking to get rid of back pain

Smokers, here is another reason to quit smoking! The terrible back pain you are suffering from may actually be one of the many negative aspects of smoking. A recent study* conducted by researchers at the British University of Rochester indicated that quitting smoking can reduce back pain for people who suffer from problems in their spine.

The association of back pain and nicotine

The study emphasized the importance of quitting smoking for patients suffering from spinal disorders, since the existence of a link between improved back pain and smoking cessation was proved. It also revealed that pain rates are significantly higher for smokers compared to non-smokers.

The study which lasted 8 months included 5,300 patients with back pain due to a problem in the spine. The researchers stressed the need to develop programs for those patients to quit smoking in order to get rid of their back pain. They found that among people who began receiving treatment, former smokers and non-smokers, the back pain was definitely better eased compared to current smokers who did not quit smoking during the study.

The researchers said that patients who quit smoking during treatment had the best improvement in pain compared to those who continued smoking as usual. Glenn R. Rechtine, M.D., a nationally recognized spinal surgeon and adjunct faculty at URMC, led the study and stressed that “nicotine increases the pain. The study showed that if he quits smoking during treatment, the patient feels better.”

Rechtine also pointed out that “This study emphasizes the importance of smoking cessation for patients suffering from spinal disorders because of the existence of a link between improved back pain and smoking cessation.” A previous study has been conducted on more than eight thousand people in Germany and showed that smokers were more likely to have chronic back pain than non-smokers.

Many people suffer from spinal disorders such as spine curvature disorders (the most common ones being lordosis, kyphosis and scoliosis). There are numerous reasons for the spread of these problems, mainly bad daily habits that most of us have adopted long time ago.

Spine harmful habits

There are several factors that can damage the spine, most notably:

– Sitting on the ground, which causes curvature of the back if it lasts for a long time.

– Back and neck banging which is a common habit among many people, but that can cause some serious damage of the spinal cord and the vertebrae.

– Charging the spine above what it can bear such as pushing a parked car, causing the back muscles to stretch more than what is allowed and possibly evolving to lead to a discal hernia and thus to sciatica.

– Fatigue at work.

– Lack of exercise and inactivity.

– Intense exercising.

– Sitting for long periods and bending in front of the computer, because it causes blood to flow to the legs and keeps the spine twisted for a long time.

Smoking in the Middle East

Trends have been varying since 1980 by country and gender. Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Yemen, Kuwait are still among the countries where smoking rates remain high.

Both Saudi Arabia and Yemen and Oman are among the ten countries that have a population of over one million and in which the daily consumption of cigarettes rate is the highest in 2012. Kuwait was one of the countries – including China and Russia – which suffered from a high health negative impact of the combined effects of the high prevalence of smoking and the consumption of cigarettes. Lebanon was one of the few countries in the world where smoking rates among women were higher than 20%.

Overall, the prevalence of smoking by age dropped by 42% among women and by 25% among men between 1980 and 2012. Despite the decline in the prevalence of smoking, high population growth contributed between 1980 and 2012 to increase by 41% the number of daily male smokers and a 7% increase of the number of daily female smokers. Lebanon is the only country in the Middle East in which the prevalence of smoking exceeded 20%.

Many Middle Eastern countries registered seriously high levels of daily cigarettes consumption. Smokers in Kuwait consumed an average of 22 cigarettes per day in 2012. The average daily consumption of cigarettes in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Oman was even higher. Saudi Arabia ranked sixth in the world according to cigarettes consumption with 35 cigarettes a day, while Oman ranked seventh with 33 cigarettes a day. Globally, the number of cigarettes smoked exceeded 6 trillion cigarettes in the world. The average consumption of cigarettes is higher than 20 cigarettes per day in 75 countries in 2012.

Read more:

http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/index.cfm?id=3695

Diabetes in the middle east, it is getting serious!

Head of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Medicine at the Medical College of the Arabian Gulf University, Dr. Faisal Al-Nasser said that the incidence of diabetes in the Arab Gulf “is one of the highest in the world”, and attributed this to the lifestyle and dietary habits in the Gulf region.

Dr. Al-Nasser gave a keynote paper at the International Conference of Family Physicians, which was held in Dubai, titled “Diabetes, the plague of our era”. During the conference, he explained that “the Arab Gulf is one of the top 10 countries in the world which are witnessing a steady increase in the proportion of patients with diabetes.”

He pointed out that the prevalence of diabetes in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), is ranging currently from 15 percent to 20 percent but is definitely expected to increase in the coming years.

He also pointed out “the beginning of the emergence of a strange phenomenon, a proliferation of type II diabetes of children in the Arab Gulf states,” while the illness used to be confined to the first type.

Diabetes is classified into three main types which are similar in the general characteristics but differ in their causes : Type I diabetes, Type II diabetes and gestational diabetes.

It is known that the second type of diabetes is spreading due to dietary habits and lifestyle, while the first type of diabetes is caused by genetic factors.

Dr. Al-Nasser predicted the increasing of the prevalence of diabetes in the Middle East up to twofold by the year 2030, bringing the total to 60 million ill patients.

About the recommendations that should limit the spread of this disease, Dr. Al-Nasser launched an initiative to establish a coalition of Euro-Arabic family doctors. He believes that this cooperation “will strengthen the role of family medicine in improving the health of the individuals and the society,” pointing out that the coalition will be organizing regular conferences to highlight the health and social problems encountered by the public communities in the Arab Gulf states in particular.

The British newspaper “Financial Times” highlighted on November 14, 2014 the high prevalence of diabetes among the population throughout the Middle East and North Africa and reported expectations of an increase of the burden on health care systems in the region unless governments take further action to change the life pattern there.

According to the newspaper, in a report posted on its website, one out of every 10 adults suffer from diabetes, half of whom are actually undiagnosed. The report invokes the quick increase of type II diabetes cases in the region, and without a true lifestyle change, a quarter of the population of the Middle East would be affected with diabetes by 2035, according to the International Diabetes Federation.

The newspaper report explained that overeating and junk food, in addition to the lack of physical exercise, undermines the attempts to control the spread of diabetes, which is associated with obesity, and with the increased incidence of obesity, particularly among children, the increase of diabetes is currently one of the most pressing health issues in the region.

The British newspaper quoted Mr. Adel, Regional President of the International Diabetes Federation, who said: “We have the highest prevalence of diabetes in the world, due to our habits in eating and lack of exercise.”

The federation expects to see the prevalence of diabetes double in the region during the next two decades, with the number of cases rising from 37 million (10% of the population) to 68 million (about 25% of the population forecast in 2035).

The newspaper pointed out that the disease has already caused 363 thousand deaths in 2014, half of whom are under the age of 60. Throughout the region, Egypt is one of the states with the highest population density and also the largest number of cases of diabetes, about 7.6 million, but the implications of diabetes are relatively higher in the wealthy states of the Gulf region.

International Diabetes Federation says that up to 70% of cases of Type II diabetes can be prevented or delayed through the adoption of healthy lifestyles, calling on governments to implement more regulations to encourage citizens to eat different foods and get used to exercising.

For sale by owner on the rise in Denmark

Danish real estate is increasingly sold without the involvement of a real estate agent.

Especially the cooperative housing market sees a large share of the real estate sales being sold as “For sale by owner”.

According to a report in september 2014 6,6% of all new real estate listings were done as “For sale by owner”. The same number from the year before was 4,4%.

The rise is predominately due to a larger number of real estate in the cooperative housing sector is sold by the owners without engaging a real estate agent. In Copenhagen 41,9% if all new real estate listings with cooperative housing was done as “For sale by owner”.

There has been a rise in the number of websites assisting the owners with advertising there real estate online on a “For sale by owner” basis. The most popular are Boliga.dk and Selvsalg. Especially Bolig.com has been increasingly popular due to it being free.

The traditional real estate agents normally take a fee of around between 3.000 to 5.000 USD. Therefore many sellers would try to avoid using the traditional real estate agents.

 

Bassem Youssef; who is he and what is happening in Egypt?

Bassem Youssef is a man who has had a handle on the pulse of the Egyptian people, both in the literal sense during his time as a cardiac surgeon and in a more figurative sense as a host of a popular Egyptian political satire show. Bassem attended Cairo University where he studied to be a surgeon, specializing in cardiovascular.

However, Bassem moved away from surgically cutting heart and stepped into the role of getting into the heart of the matter when he entered the realm of journalism.

His time as a satirical political commentator earned him many accolades and unique praise, including being listed in 2013 as one of Time magazine’s ‘top 100 most influential people in the world’, awarded the ‘international press freedom award’ again in 2013 and being called a friend of the American TV talk show host Jon Stewart.

Bassem: Egypt’s Jon Stewart

His entry into political commentary had quite humble beginnings, starting off with short five minute webisodes called B+, Bassem’s blood type, which were posted on the video sharing platform Youtube. The videos, despite being filmed in a laundry room and far from the glamour of a typical TV show studio as you can get, became immensely popular and in only three months gained over 5 million views. This popularity resulted in Bassem and his fellow creators being offered by ONTV the opportunity of moving their satirical and cutting political talk to Egyptian television, with a TV show titled ‘Al-Bernameg’. This show tackled pressing issues in a daring blunt yet still humorous manner. Jon Stewart, who was an inspiration for Bassem in his own media endeavours, praised the show, describing it as sharp, smart and very well executed.

However, despite being praised and watched by many; the show garnered heavy criticism primarily from Egyptian authorities. In 2012 the show was lampooned for alleged insults towards Islam, former president Mohamed Morsi and for a general cause of disruption to public peace. Criticism reached an all-time high in October 2013 with numerous complaints put forth regarding the show, including accusations that Bassem had insulted the armed forces and the acting president, Adly Mansour. This censure resulted in strife with CBC, Al-Bernameg’s broadcaster, which eventually resulted in the show being pulled from its channels. Following this cancellation, Bassem was suspended from his next channel due to continuing controversy and widespread criticism. This second disruption to the airing of the show, alongside the constant controversy and criticism, seemed to be the straw that broke the long labouring camel’s back, resulting in Bassem terminating the Al-Bernameg show. When asked on his actions, Bassem said he felt that his safety and the safety of his family mattered more than a TV show.

 

Silence in Egypt

This act of succumbing to national pressure and the forsaking of freedom of speech has unfortunately been a regular occurrence in Egypt, especially since its military takeover. This was starkly evident during Mohamed Morsi 2012-2013 leadership, who issued cease and desist notices to private media organizations and threatened to have them shut down if they did not cease their criticism of him.

Even though the current Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has declared that his ‘new’ Egypt would have ‘no limitation on freedom of expression’. He went on to say that anyone could be criticized, even himself, without any fear of consequence. This though has been far from the reality of the situation. As it is frequently cited, actions speak louder than words, and the actions of Egyptian officials in relation to the media and freedom of speech have caused these to be nothing more than empty pretty declarations. There are threats and intimidation tactics regularly enacted towards journalists from authority figures, a constant censoring of articles and the removal of issues of newspapers from circulation due to dissatisfaction with content. Just late last year, an issue of the private newspaper, ‘Al Masry Al Youm’ was removed due to it having presented a posthumous interview with the former intelligence agent Refaat Jibril. This article then was ordered to be removed from the paper by security officials without any kind of explanation.

There is a perceived imperative need to conduct this careful control of speech for the stability of their government, a sentiment which even some journalists seem to be adhering to of late. In October 2014, editors from 17 newspapers issued a shared declaration not to criticize the state or the army in their publications. It was felt that a united front is needed and that journalists have a responsibility to aid in the stability of their country.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bassem_Youssef

http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2014/10/23/media-advisory-bassem-youssef/

http://egyptianstreets.com/2014/12/24/egypts-most-popular-satirist-bassem-youssef-fined-egp100-million/

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/03/world/middleeast/egyptian-journalists-protest-editors-pledge-not-to-criticize-state.html?_r=0

 

Is Yemen Ruled By Law Of Emergency?

‘’He was shopping one day at the center and gunmen kidnapped him, ‘said Khaled al-Anesi, the popular Yemen layer for human rights, of his young client Mobley Sharif, a US citizen. He claims that he was tortured and beaten in jail. Here’s where it gets suspicious. His own government was aware that he was tortured and missing for a year, according to the young man. ‘’They arrived in civilian clothes and he mistook them for tribal gunmen and tried to save his dear life by running. He was shot and arrested. He was brought to the cells by US investigators that threatened to kill him then rape his dear wife. The young man was beaten and his leg broken.’’

It is not clear whether Mr. Mobley who became a Yemen citizen in 2008 to learn Arabic was in any way involved with the number one terrorist group, Al-Qaeda in the Peninsula. This is the most feared terrorist group in Yemen. In fact, no evidence shows he was involved in Al-Qaeda.

Anwar al-Alwaki had regular contact with Mr. Mobley. He was the group’s spiritual leader. The United States says he was the master propagandist in the terrorist cell and was later killed in a U.S. drone strike. According to official reports, Mr. Mobley met the spiritual leader in 2000 in New York. Awlaki was emailed by Mobley, whose wife was pregnant. He wanted recommendations on where to take her wife.

On March 2020, Mobley tried to escape from the hospital he was in. According to official reports, Mobley shot and fatally injured a guard and all terrorism charges he had were dropped and now he is in jail waiting to be tried for murder. His lawyer has not seen him for months and Mobley says that he has missed more than four trial hearing because those who took him failed to take him to court. ‘’They did not have a right to detain him according to Yemeni law,’’ said his lawyer, Mr. Anesi.

The lawyer claims that Mr. Mobley’s case was delayed indefinitely due to inconsistencies in Yemen judicial system. As Anesi argues, the government has been ready to proceed with his case but for unknown reasons, Mr. Mobley still remains a captive. ‘’The hearing process will move faster soon, said an official who doesn’t with to be named for safety reasons.

An American told Mr. Mobley that Yemen has no constitutional jurisdiction. We are able to do as we please.’’ Well, they did exactly that, said his lawyer.’’ His story has a large audience because Mr. Mobley has his roots in American not a Yemen citizen. He belongs to a group of people who share the same story, said Belkis Wille, a Kuwait and Yemen research for Human rights.
A popular Yemen judge says that Yemen will slowly become disintegrated because the law is never followed even by government officials. For instance,’’ Yemen constitutional law prohibits anyone from killing someone, he said.’’ ‘’It is unfair and unconstitutional to kill anyone without due process, a fair trial so to speak.’’ He further claims that Yemen by law of emergency, not by constitution. America made dozens rules and Yemen abides by those rules.

According to rules enacted by the United States on 2011, a law was passed in the wake of the Twin Towers bombing and offers a legal framework for a ‘’bloody war without end in near’’ This act is widely used and seems to disown United States human rights protocol and has a dire impact that affect Yemen when it comes to legal matters.

‘’It is sad that Americans comes here and do whatever they want’’ said Mawri. It weakens the government’s judicial jurisdiction. ‘’The citizens feel that if the judges cannot protect their reputation, who else will help them, a great state of shame,’’

Five Beheaded By Al-Shabaab Militants: When Will This End?

Al-Shabaab militants beheaded their fifth victim, a Quran school instructor in Mogadishu, Somalia, according to recent reports. The Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group claimed responsibility for the killings. ‘’On Friday, the school instructor was kidnapped from his home in Qandho and they dumped his headless body near his home on early Saturday morning,’’ said a local spokesman who asked not to be named for fear of his life. The teacher, identified as Hussein Mohamed was a resident of Qandho in central Somalia. He was 45 years old. The reason Mr. Hussein was killed was that he refused to follow orders by the militants to leave the village that was seized by AU and Somali troops. According to the militants, all local residents were supposed to leave their homes once they seized their town.

Early last week, Al-shabaab militants kidnapped and killed two policewoman of Somali origin by beheading in the remote city of Teyeglow, in southwest Somalia. A government soldier whose dear wife was among the victims who were beheaded then sought revenge and killed five Al-shabaab wives. In the town of Bur Hakab near south Somalia, the militants also killed two army guys. This is a group that was declared a terrorist organization in early March 2008 by the United States of America. Al-shabaab seeks to Somaliland into an Islamic state. The militants are linked to hundreds of deaths from attacks that target civilians, workers, journalists and AU peacekeepers.

In other news, U.S official intelligence personnel are in the process of confirming the death of Omar Hammami, who was beheaded in Somalia by Al-shabaab militants. According to Somalia media, the no-nonsense jihadist known as ‘the American’ met his death on orders carried out by his rival within their group. Reports claim that Hammami was born in Alabama and was a recruiter based in U.S. on the verge of recruiting western Europeans and Americans to the terrorist group, one of the most dangerous militants in Africa.

A U.S Special Forces officer confirmed that they are yet to make sure the reports of his death are true and if they are, it would be a turning point to the group’s operations overseas. ‘Our people have been following this report keenly. We are yet to confirm the report is true, ‘said the official. According to Somalia medial, Al-shabaab leader known as Ahmed Abdi Godane ordered the execution of Hammami and jihadist forums were quick to post the alleged beheading on Hammami.
Hammami had released a video last month admitting to feeling that Al-shabab were going to kill him due to difference of opinion. In the video which could not be verified, he says he disagreed with the Jihadist’s strategy and Islam’s Sharia Law. This is not the first time the group executed their foreign fighters, according to recent reports. Hammami was believed to have been killed in February after heavy shelling in Mogadishu by anti-insurgent soldiers. He joined the group in 2007 October when he was only in his twenties.

The Al-Jazeera reports describe him as a ‘military instructor’ and a ‘fighter’ and he hid his face when filming videos. Nobody knows what triggered Hammami to change from a talented student who dated a popular girl in college, to an influential figure in today’s world’s inhumane Islamist group. He was born in 1884 and was brought up in a Christian family and went to Bible camp when he was young. His mother had an Alabama Accent and he learned this in elementary school. His father who was strict, and was from Syria and later moved to America as an engineer.

His was raised in the American way of life but he remained a cultural Muslim where shoes were always left outside the door and pork was strictly forbidden, and their household was decorated with Koranic inscriptions. In his youthful years, he loved soccer and Shakespeare and had dreams of studying surgery. His friends say Hammami was a good leader. ‘It felt nice just to be around him, a friend reported to the New York Times. He was a fun person to have around and we knew he had strong leadership skills. In his early thirties, Hammami was a leader in one of the worst terrorist group in the world.

The Boko Haram Menace Continues: Kidnaps 100 Children and Women and Kills 30 People

Boko Haram menace: Kills 32 people, kidnaps over 100 children and women

Recently, Boko Haram terrorists killed 30 people and kidnapped over 180 children and women in Northeastern Nigeria in a planned raid, said local residents and officials. They arrived in many pick up tracks and attacked the remote village in a place called Gumsuri on Sunday and show down men who were working and grouped children and women and killed them. ‘’They then gathered the children and women and carried them in their trucks and burned their homes with bombs’’ said a government official who asked for anonymity for his safety. Due to lack of proper communication, the news of this hostile attack surfaced after four days. Boko Haram had disabled telecommunication towers before they attacked. In fact, local government officials only received news of the attack from locals who had fled for their dear life to Borno state where most officials had migrated to for fear of being attacked.

According to witness reports, the insurgents stormed their homes from two main directions, overwhelming the local vigilantes that worked tirelessly in vain to repel Boko Haram to other areas, said Umar, a Gumisuri agent. He says he walked for four good days to save his dear life. ‘’They burned down our village and kidnapped our women and children, ‘’ said Ari. Another witness claims that the militants used heavy guns to kill the residents and used gasoline canisters to torch down their houses.

 

We lost our loved ones in the horrific attack. I did not manage to escape with my valuables except the clothes I am wearing, said Kalli. Thousands of residents fled to Gumsuri and continue to travel to Maiduguri – a place struggling to accommodate the large number of residents fleeing from the chaos since their homes have been destroyed. In

In other news, the Cameroonian army says that they managed to kill more than 100 Boko Haram insurgents in a boarder in northeastern on Wednesday. This happened when the insurgents tried to invade Amchide, a busy town in Cameroon, said Lt. Col. Didier Badjeck. They managed to gun down one soldier and another is still missing after they managed to evade the attack, according to statements made by Badjeck. The insurgents managed to steal a truck and destroyed two military trucks, said Badjeck. According to Badjeck, the military caused unspecified harm to the insurgents that manned the northeastern Nigeria boarder. ‘’Our men meticulously fought away the insurgents and forced them to retreat, said the Cameroonian state official spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary.

“The group has only one clear objective; to ensure they spread uncertainty and fear among the population. But you can trust us that we shall do our best to eliminate their stronghold till they are crushed down.” said Bakary. According to official reports, the Cameroonian government officials clashed with Boko Haram in Limani, Cameroon two months ago. Five Cameroonian forces and over 100 Boko Haram insurgents were killed in the deadly clash, the Cameroon State broadcaster reported.

Campaign of fear and uncertainty

The insurgents have been terrorizing northern Nigeria since early 2009, attacking churches, civilians, police, government buildings and even the police. This month along, a female insurgent killed 6 people in Maiduguri and last month, suicide bombers killed more than 200 people. They attacked a mosque and killed many civilians who were worshipping. The insurgents basically targeted mainstream Islam followers, saying that they don’t represent the 80 million Muslim population in Nigeria. They say that mainstream Islam perverts the religion, said an official who asked for anonymity to protect his identity.

In April this year, the insurgents drew international criticism after they kidnapped schoolchildren, mostly girls who where then sold into inhuman slavery. The insurgents have killed at least 4,000 people since they started killing innocent women and children. This is a report according to a U.S. based congressional report, hence makes it the world’s most wanted terrorist organization. Many people wonder why the insurgent attack mosques and yet they claim that they are religious fighters. The insurgents attacked many establishments, accusing them of perverting the religion and not defending their interests. A prominent member of one establishment is a former governor, who often preaches at the mosque on the weekends. The governor was outside the country when the mosque was attacked by the insurgents, but earlier on he had urged the people of Nigeria to fight of the insurgent in any way they can.

 

SINGAPOREANS’ TOP PICKS

Picking a college is something very crucial in preparing one’s future, but picking a company to work in is a whole new level of preparation for the rest of a person’s life. Singapore is one of the most competitive and successful countries in Southeast Asia. When it comes to business, Singaporeans are very well known for their ‘think globally’ attitude. By the same vein, ordinary Singaporean workers are also big fans of observing an international type of approach when dealing with their tasks at work. They are not limited by thinking solely of the money that they could potentially earn from the company of their choice. What they value more is their top pick’s reputation. In so many levels, it makes a lot of sense; for who would ever want to be associated with an incredibly wealthy company with a bad reputation?

According to Job Street’s recent poll, the top five companies Singapore graduates and workers would like to work in are the following: Google, Shell, Singapore Airlines, Exxon Mobil, and Keppel Corp. These companies were not chosen by the poll’s participants just because of the high salaries they offer but mainly because of their excellent reputation.

Google has always been known for being an incredible employer. It is a legend for the extraordinary perks it offers and its high pay. In fact, among all the surveys that have surfaced on the internet over the years, it remains number one. According to one of Google’s employees, Google also has its issues, but the issues are things that are related to the fact that there are too many geniuses and extremely talented workers in Google that it is sometimes hard for an ordinary employee to distinguish himself. In addition, although employees are not required to work all the time, there is a lot of pressure on the shoulders of its employees who would like to contribute something new for the entire company. Ultimately, for several Google employees who have been working in the company for many years, their job at the said company is the job they would like to have as their last occupation for the rest of their lives.

Singapore is widely famous for its 1.9% unemployment rate, and by next year, it is to be expected that Singapore’s workforce development will undergo great transformations in order for several Singaporean companies to reach new heights. Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, with the aid of the Skills Future Council members, aims to develop a more integrated system of education and training in order to improve the career progression in Singapore. The officials involved in the said planning firmly believe that the planned manpower development will affect several sectors’ manpower strategy and the country’s overall economic development in the years to come. In addition to this, internships will also be given much attention by 2015. Hence, better coordination is more likely to take place among interns and companies.

Because of the aforementioned developments that will take place in Singapore by next year, those who find it hard to survive in their own country are considering going to Singapore to work since it allows foreign workers to enjoy the same benefits Singapore citizens do without having the need to attend two years of mandatory service in the army. Moreover, Singapore is an expensive city-state known for having a rich culture which is easily to adjust to – a fact which is highly appealing to people seeking for solid ongoing jobs overseas.

 

 

UNIQLO LAUNCHES FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM FOR JAPANESE STUDENTS

It does not matter what your nationality and ethnic group is, Uniqlo Co. Ltd. is a powerful leader in the fashion industry which can make clothes that surpass all cultural and racial barriers.

Uniqlo which stands for “Unique Clothing” is a store which creates noncomplex and universal designs that its customers can freely blend and combine in order to create their own unique style. Like any other successful retail store, Uniqlo has an array of projects that aims to promote their brand while helping those who are less fortunate, especially those who are in desperate need for financial support.

At present, there are many students who are not given the opportunity to finish their studies mainly because of financial problems. They often get blockaded by their family’s lack of enough funds and resources, making them settle for low quality type of education instead of a world-class one.

This year, Uniqlo Co., Ltd. had established a fellowship program which aims to support graduates who will take up business or design either in Harvard Business School or the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Harvard students who are left unsponsored by corporations are those who will be eligible to apply for Uniqlo’s newly launched fellowship program. According to the announcement, fellowship applicants would have to undergo a selection process which involves a series of interviews. The final stage is a one-on-one interview conducted by Uniqlo’s Chief Executive Officer, Tadashi Yanai. For the initial stages of the selection process, it has been revealed that Hirotaka Takeuchi, a Harvard Business School professor, will be interviewing the candidates from the Harvard Business School while aspiring fellowship recipients from GSD shall be interviewed by Graduate School of Design’s visiting professor, Toyo Ito.

Students who are interested to apply for the program can start sending in their requirements from September 2015 onwards. Every year, two students from each graduate school will be entitled to the benefits Uniqlo’s fellowship program offers. It has been announced that each of the two fellowship awardees who will be chosen at the end of the process will receive an academic grant worth $200,000 from Uniqlo. This program is expected to run for the next three years. In total, six Japanese students will be receiving $1.2M as a form of an academic financial support from the leading retail store. CEO Tadashi Yanai believes that helping students reach their goal of experiencing a world-class level of education shall further enhance their talents and turn them into international professionals that will be capable of becoming assets in either the business or design industry. Moreover, those who will be chosen shall be accepted in Uniqlo Co., Ltd.’s internship program.

With the scholarships Uniqlo generously offers, it is very likely that aspiring designers and businessmen will be given more opportunity to hone their talents, skills, and knowledge on a global level. In addition to this, Uniqlo will be able to get more attention as a fashion store from Harvard students since the fast retailing store plans to unveil a number of Boston stores near the Harvard campus next fall.

 

MALAYSIA DEPORTS INDONESIAN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

Illegal immigration is a major concern which is often deemed by majority as a fruit of people’s main motivation to seek better quality of life and economic opportunities in other countries that are far more capable of providing what their own home country cannot.

Contrary to popular belief, illegal immigration is not purely problematic for it also has its own upsides. Some of its benefits are the following: First, illegal immigrants who pay sales taxes automatically become part of a country’s tax system, since they contribute a part of what they have earned to pay taxes. Next, a country’s demand for low wage workers is, most often than not, fulfilled because of the illegal immigrants who are willing to work for lower salary rates and zero benefits. Lastly, immigrants who make use of traditional banking services pay dividends to said banks. On the other side of the argument, there is also a list of cons that people need to take note of in order to fully understand the issue. As what many people may already know, illegal immigration gives rise to problems involving ethnic variation, overcrowding, human trafficking, exploitation, judicial issues, overpopulation, and so on. To make things worse, illegal immigration also adds burden on the nation involved.

Malaysia’s Immigration Department has recently decided to deport 494 illegal immigrants by boarding them onto a C-130 military aircraft and flying them back to Indonesia. At present, there are approximately more than 6 million foreign migrants in Malaysia, and most of them went over national borders without legal documents. Most of these individuals are low wage workers that illegally work in factories, restaurants, plantations, construction sites, etc. (Cheng, 2014). This joint immigration correspondence between Indonesia and Malaysia is expected to ensure the deportation of more Indonesian illegal immigrants in the future. As of the moment, hundreds of illegal immigrants are kept in detentions centres in Malaysia, and are waiting to be flown back to Indonesia.

It has been reported that Indonesia will shoulder all the travel costs and document processing of the deportation of the illegal immigrants, while Malaysia imposes a cooling period that will most likely last for three to six months. This cooling period will not allow any illegal immigrant to return to Malaysia after the deportation; however, they can still go back to the said country once the cooling period is over given that they have prepared legal documents to use in order to work again in Malaysia. Because of this joint action of the Indonesian and Malaysian government, Malaysia was able to save money and effort from deporting nearly five hundred illegal immigrants and clamping down illegal labour as the country’s economy starts to slow.

Illegally crossing international political borders, may it be through land, water, or air, is a major issue which will perhaps never become acceptable for most people mainly because it is an act which usually leads to the rise in the rate of criminal activities, trafficking, exploitation, spread of diseases, and unfair competition between illegal immigrants and a country’s native citizens who constantly seek job opportunities. While it cannot be denied that finding a solution for illegal immigration is extremely difficult, it is not impossible to employ efficient methods that can gradually reduce its negative effects.