Bali’s Kuta Beach cleared of tons of plastic waste

Tons of trash have washed onto Bali’s famous Kuta Beach, prompting locals to spend the first day of the new year staging a cleanup. Residents on the Indonesian island cleared 30 tons of marine debris from the beach. “Some 70 percent of the marine debris is plastic waste,” the Udayana Regional Military Command explained. The trash was reportedly loaded onto …

Singapore reveals COVID privacy data available to police

Singapore admitted data from its COVID contact tracing program can also be accessed by police, reversing earlier privacy assurances. Officials previously explicitly ruled out the data would be used for anything other than virus tracking. But parliament was told it could also be used “for the purpose of criminal investigation.” Close to 80% of residents are signed up to the …

PSG to submit monthly reports on men who got COVID-19 vaccines

The Presidential Security Group will have to submit monthly reports on its personnel that have been vaccinated against COVID-19, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said as he emphasized that what the guards did was dangerous. Duque said PSG Commander Brigadier General Jesus Durante has agreed to turn over a list of the personnel who received the vaccine and adopt a “monitoring …

The history of vaccines

The first proper vaccination is said to have taken place in 1796, when English physician Edward Jenner injected an eight-year-old boy to protect him from smallpox. But as is so often the case, the story goes back much further – and farther away from Europe – than that. Evidence suggests that as far back as 1000 BC, Chinese medics practiced …

Fashion lookahead: Tie-dye

2020 was a year of facemasks, slippers and jogging bottoms as the country worked from home and social events were cancelled. Still, we’re feeling more confident about our predictions for 2021.Nothing is as stylish as looking like you’ve been sneezed on by a unicorn, and with so many people stuck at home in the past year, DIY tie-dyeing maintained its …

Scientists surprised to discover dwarf giraffes in Namibia and Uganda

Being one of the tallest in the animal kingdom is the giraffe’s competitive advantage, giving it the pick of leaves from the tallest trees, so scientists were stunned to find two giraffe dwarves on different sides of the African continent. Julian Fennessy, co-founder of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, said, “It’s fascinating what our researchers out in the field found. We …

Duterte finally signs anti-red tape bill into law

President Rodrigo Duterte finally signed into law a new anti-red tape bill that would allow him to “expedite” the processing and release of business permits “in times of national calamity.” Malacañang released a copy of Republic Act 11517, a piece of legislation that despite being a priority was only signed by Duterte last December 23, or three days before the …

US doctor forgives $650,000 in medical bills for cancer patients

A US oncologist has wiped out nearly 650,000 dollars worth of debts for 200 cancer patients after realizing that many of them were struggling to pay. Dr. Omar Atiq closed his cancer treatment center in Arkansas last year after nearly 30 years in business. He worked with a debt collection firm to gather outstanding payments, but then realized many families …

DOTr finalizing national standards for interoperable payment system

The Department of Transportation will release a nationwide standard specification for transit fare media and readers in line with plans for an interoperable automated fare collection system across all transport modes. The DOTr is formulating and finalizing the release of the AFCS National Standards “to ensure interoperability and mutual trust among multiple automatic fare collection players and systems.” The agency …