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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu Alert - Now Level Five.

The UN's World Health Organization has raised the alert over swine flu to level five - indicating human-to-human transmission in at least two countries.

It is a "strong signal that a pandemic is imminent", the WHO says.

After Mexico, the US has recorded the next highest number of confirmed cases, with 91.


Mexico: 168 suspected deaths - eight confirmed
US: one death, at least 91 confirmed cases
New Zealand: 13 confirmed cases
Canada: 19 confirmed cases
UK: 5 confirmed cases
Spain: 10 confirmed cases
Germany: 3 confirmed cases
Israel, Costa Rica: 2 confirmed cases each
Switzerland, Austria, Peru: 1 confirmed case each

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wall Street Investment Banking Explained

Young Chuck moved to Texas and bought a donkey from a farmer for $100. The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day. 

The next day the farmer drove up and said, 'Sorry Chuck, but I have some bad news, the donkey died.'

Chuck replied, 'Well, then just give me my money back.'   The farmer said, 'Can't do that. went and spent it already.' 

Chuck said, 'OK, then, just bring me the dead donkey.'  

The farmer asked, 'What ya gonna do with a dead donkey?  

Chuck said, 'I'm going to raffle him off.'  

The farmer said 'You can't raffle off a dead donkey!'  

Chuck said, 'Sure I can. Watch me. I just won't tell anybody he's dead.'

 A month later, the farmer met up with Chuck and asked, 'What happened with that dead donkey?' 

Chuck said, 'I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at two dollars apiece and made a profit of $898.00.' 

The farmer said, 'Didn't anyone complain?' 

Chuck said, 'Just the guy who won. So I gave him his two dollars back.'

Chuck now works for Morgan Stanley.

Someone else may need it.

Jim Castle was tired when he boarded his plane in Cincinnati, Ohio, that night in 1981. The 45-year-old management consultant had put on a week-long series of business meetings and seminars, and now he sank gratefully into his seat ready for the flight home to Kansas City, Kansas

As more passengers entered, the place hummed with conversation, mixed with the sound of bags being stowed. Then, suddenly, people fell silent. The quiet moved slowly up the aisle like an invisible wake behind a boat. Jim craned his head to see what was happening, and his mouth dropped open.

Walking up the aisle were two nuns clad in simple white habits bordered in blue. He recognized the familiar face of one at once, the wrinkled skin, and the eyes warmly intent. This was a face he'd seen in newscasts and on the cover of TIME. The two nuns halted, and Jim realized that his seat companion was going to be Mother Teresa!

As the last few passengers settled in, Mother Teresa and her companion pulled out rosaries. Each decade of the beads was a different color, Jim noticed. The decades represented various areas of the world,

Mother Teresa told him later, and added, 'I pray for the poor and dying on each continent..'
The airplane taxied to the runway and the two women began to pray, their voices a low murmur. Though Jim considered himself not a very religious Catholic who went to church mostly out of habit inexplicably he found himself joining in.

By the time they murmured the final prayer, the plane had reached cruising altitude. Mother Teresa turned toward him. For the first time in his life Jim understood what people meant when they spoke of a person possessing an 'aura'. As she gazed at him, a sense of peace filled him; he could no more see it than he could see the wind but he felt it, just as surely as he felt a warm summer breeze.

 'Young man,' she inquired, 'do you say the rosary often?' 'No, not really,' Jim admitted.

She took his hand, while her eyes probed his. Then she smiled. 'Well, you will now.' And she dropped her rosary into his palm.
An hour later Jim entered the Kansas City airport where he was met by his wife, Ruth.

'What in the world?' Ruth asked when she noticed the rosary in his hand. They kissed and Jim described his encounter.
Driving home, he said. 'I feel as if I met a true sister of God.'
Nine months later Jim and Ruth visited Connie, a friend of theirs for several years. Connie confessed that she'd been told she had ovarian cancer. The doctor says it's a tough case,' said Connie, 'but I'm going to fight it. I won't give up.' Jim clasped her hand.

Then, after reaching into his pocket, he gently twined Mother Teresa's rosary around her fingers. He told her the story and said, 'Keep it with you, Connie. It may help.'
Although Connie wasn't a Catholic, her hand closed willingly around the small plastic beads. 'Thank you,' she whispered. 'I hope I can return it.'
More than a year passed before Jim saw Connie again. This time her face was glowing, she hurried toward him and handed him the rosary.
 'I carried it with me all year,' she said. 'I've had surgery and have been on chemotherapy, too. Last month, the doctors did second-look surgery, and the tumor is gone... completely!' Her eyes met Jim's. 'I knew it was time to give the rosary back.'

In the fall of 1987, Ruth's sister, Liz, fell into a deep depression after her divorce. She asked Jim if she could borrow the rosary, and when he sent it, she hung it over her bedpost in a small velvet bag. At night I held on to it, just physically held on. I was so lonely and afraid,' she says, 'yet when I gripped that rosary, I felt as if I held a loving hand.'
Gradually, Liz pulled her life together, and she mailed the rosary back. 'Someone else may need it,' she said.
Then one night in 1988, a stranger telephoned Ruth. She'd heard about the rosary from a neighbour and asked if she could borrow it to take to the hospital where her mother lay in a coma. The family hoped the rosary might help their mother die peacefully.

A few days later, the woman returned the beads. 'The nurses told me a coma patient can still hear,' she said, 'so I explained to my mother that I had Mother Teresa's rosary and that when I gave it to her she could let go; it would be all rosary in her hand. Right away, we saw her face relax. The lines smoothed out until she looked so peaceful, so young.' 
The woman's voice was caught saying, 'Thank You' as she gripped Ruth's hand fervently. 'A few minutes later she was gone.'
Is there special power in those humble beads? Or is the power of the human spirit simply renewed in each person who borrows the rosary? Jim only knows that requests continue to come, often unexpectedly. He always responds though, whenever he lends the rosary, 'When you're through needing it, send it back. Someone else may need it.'
Jim's own life has changed, too, since his unexpected meeting on the airplane. When he realized Mother Teresa carries everything she owns in a small bag, he made an effort to simplify his own life.
'I try to remember what really counts - not money or titles or possessions, but the way we love others,' he says.
Please feel free to pass this mail on, especially to all those in despair so that they might know that they are not alone in their hour of need, by subscribing your friends’ via email. Just type their email addresses on the top right hand bar to subscribe for them. - LINUNDUS.

The reason I posted this article which I received from DJJG is because I know the power of the prayers of these simple beads and I wanted to share it with you.
Every sacrifice has a fruitful reward. Every failure has a second chance. We only have to be strong through God's grace and persevere in life's many tests! May GOD bless you all

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine Influenza FAQ.

Swine influenza frequently asked questions issued by WHO.
27 April 2009
• What is swine influenza?
• What are the implications for human health?
• Where have human cases occurred?
• How do people become infected?
• Is it safe to eat pork meat and products?
• What about the pandemic risk?
• Is there a human vaccine to protect swine influenza?
• What drugs are available for treatment?
• What should I do if I am in regular contact with pigs?
• How can I protect myself from getting swine influenza from infected people?
• What should I do if I think I have swine influenza?
For more information please READ HERE

Illustrating Recession

I found this most decriptive drawing from NYtimes illustrating the current recessionary period. This situation is now happening in the US and I doubt if it doesn't happen here in our own country - at the rate we are going. Or is it happening now? 

Swine Flu - Dr Keiji Fukuda: "Containment not feasible operation"

A deadly swine flu virus first detected in Mexico can no longer be contained, a World Health Organization (WHO) official has said. The WHO flu expert Dr. Keiji Fukuda said, “Containment is not a feasible operation."


“Countries should now focus on mitigating the effects of the virus,” Fukuda added.


The WHO has raised its alert level from three to four, two steps short of declaring a full pandemic. It signalled a "significant step towards pandemic influenza", but Fukuda added "we are not there yet".


The WHO's decision to raise the alert level to four came after an emergency meeting of experts, brought forward by a day because of concerns over the outbreak.

Level four means the virus is showing a sustained ability to pass from human to human, and is able to cause community-level outbreaks.


"What this can really be interpreted as is a significant step towards pandemic influenza. But also, it is a phase that says we are not there yet," Mr Fukuda said.


"In other words, at this time we think we have taken a step in that direction, but a pandemic is not considered inevitable."


He said the virus had become too widespread to make containment a feasible option, and said countries must focus on trying to put measures in place to protect the population.

Meanwhile, the EU health commissioner had already warned UK tourists against travelling to Mexico and other directly affected areas.

But the UK Foreign Office changed its travel advice on Monday after the WHO raised its alert level.


Prince Charles and his second wife, Camilla, who flew to Rome on Sunday night, were granted a private audience with the pontiff.

It was Charles's first audience at the Vatican since his divorce from the late Princess Diana.

Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, met Pope John Paul II in 1985

Prior to the Vatican meeting the prince made a speech on climate change to Italian MPs and business leaders.

The royal couple will spend two days in Italy as part of an official tour before travelling to Germany.

As they arrived at the Chamber of Deputies for the climate change speech on Monday, the couple waved to several hundred onlookers.




Pope Benedict XVI met briefly on April 27 with Britain's Prince Charles and his second wife, Camilla. After the meeting the Vatican issued a short statement saying that the Holy Father had spoken with the Prince of Wales "on certain questions of mutual interest" including environmental issues and inter-religious dialogue.

In advance of the meeting the London Times had caused some outrage with an inaccurate report that Prince Charles would present the Pontiff with a copy of the 1530 petition by English Catholic peers seeking the annulment of the marriage between King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. 

Such a gift could have been perceived as a deliberate affront, especially in light of the fact that Prince Charles divorced his own wife, the late Princess Diana, and his current wife is also a divorcee. 

Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, wrote to the Times seeking an "immediate and unambiguous denial" of the sensational story. In fact, the Prince presented the Pope with a set of commemorative plates.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Study Grant Available at INTI College

KOTA KINABALU Sunday April 26. 2009: INTI College Sabah (ICS), a leading institution of tertiary education in the state, is offering a special study grant for the May 2009 intake.

The grant – in aid of parents and students affected by the current economic climate – is for students pursuing Foundation in Business IT, Diploma in Accounting / Business Administration / Hotel Management / Tourism Management, and Bachelor (Hons) in Business Administration / Business & Accounting / Business & Marketing programmes at ICS.

Successful applicants will receive a 20% waiver of their tuition fee each semester, subject to their maintaining a CGPA of 2.0 and above.

To be eligible for the grant, parents and students must meet the following criteria: Parents’ combined monthly income must not exceed RM3,500; Students must have at least 3 As in SPM / CGPA of 2.5 in STPM; Students must be recommended by their school principal.

Today, ICS is one of the top choices for students pursuing education in business and Hospitality & Tourism. 

(Further details read here).

Get-together Far From the Madding Crowd. 

Meanwhile, three of the graduating students of Tourism Management of INTI College Sabah, namely, Ms Mary Sherlynn; Ms Pang Fui San and Ms Mitchelle Ong are waiting for their final examination results which they expect to know by this Wednesday, 29th April, 2009.

They had successfully carried out a Fund Raising Project recently, together with the other 13 students from the same discipline and who are expected to graduate later this year. The project was part of the course requirements in order to qualify them to obtain their Diploma of Tourism Management from ICS.

In order to give themselves a pat on the back for having successfully carried out the project, they decided to get-together to a thanks giving celebration held at a place where the location is ‘far from the madding crowd’ at James Binaji’s residence at Kg. Ganang, Kondundungan, Penampang on 19th April.

Various games, including the ever popular “Fear Factor” TV series, were held near the Ganang river - the most feared river in Penampang District due to the ever presence of crocodiles there!

“We played few games called "Fear Factor" which Mr. Sylvester Motulis (our Head of Program) and Ms. Jennifer Ho (our Financial Management lecturer) also participated in the game” said Mary Sherlynn who was the organizing Chairperson.

“The game was initiated by the emcee Mr. Uyug and was basically to transfer the 2 eels (hindung) from one basin to another,” she added. 

According to Sherlynn, the party was again a success because, after the function was over late in the afternoon, her friends told her that “they had a blast!”

They are planning to organize another party come June after Sherlynn is back from Singapore.” It is going to be “Ka’amatan” celebration this time,” she announced.

The party was organized with the courtesy ICS Academic Dean, Dr. Alan Lim, whilst Sherlynn’s cousins, friends and relatives also chipped in financially; and the food was catered by her parents. Her brother Uyug satisfactorily emceed the occasion and also sponsored the Karaoke set. (I also sang my evergreen songs).

The function was attended by the President of Kadazan Society Sabah (KSS) DatuK Marcel Leiking, KSS VP Dr. Jiloris, other KSS members and yours truly.


World 'well prepared' for virus

The BBC talks to people in Mexico City about the flu outbreak.

"The world is said to be better prepared than ever for a possible pandemic of Mexican swine flu, which has killed as many as 81". - WHO

The international community is better prepared than ever to deal with the threatened spread of a new swine flu virus, a top UN health chief has said.

As the UN warned the outbreak might become a pandemic, Dr Keiji Fukuda said years of preparing for bird flu had boosted world stocks of anti-virals.

Canada is the latest country to confirm cases after as many as 103 deaths in Mexico and 20 cases in the US.

Washington has warned the flu may yet claim American lives.

"I do fear that we will have deaths," Dr Anne Schuchat of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told reporters.

Eight cases have been confirmed among New York students, seven in California, two in Texas, two in Kansas and one in Ohio.

Several countries in Asia and Latin America have begun screening airport passengers for symptoms.

There is currently no vaccine for the new strain of flu but severe cases can be treated with antiviral medication.

Officials said most of those killed so far in Mexico were young adults - rather than more vulnerable children and the elderly.

It is unclear how effective currently available flu vaccines would be at offering protection against the new strain, as it is genetically distinct from other flu strains.

WHO experts will meet again in Geneva on Tuesday to discuss whether to raise the pandemic alert phase.

1918: The Spanish flu pandemic remains the most devastating outbreak of modern times - infecting up to 40% of the world's population and killing more than 50m people, with young adults particularly badly affected
1957: Asian flu killed two million people. Caused by a human form of the virus, H2N2, combining with a mutated strain found in wild ducks. The elderly were particularly vulnerable
1968: An outbreak first detected in Hong Kong, and caused by a strain known as H3N2, killed up to one million people globally, with those over 65 most likely to die.

We hope that our Country Malaysia (or Malaysian Government) is taking every precautionary measure to prevent this 'Virus'  from reaching our soil.  - Linundus.