Items filtered by date: Thursday, 18 May 2017

Pornhub: Virtual reality porn popular among Filipinos

Filipinos are among those who watch virtual reality (VR) porn the most, according to figures from Pornhub. 

The porn site ranked the Philippines third among the areas where virtual reality is popular, just behind Thailand and Hong Kong. 

 

Exact data on how many Pinoy users watch VR porn daily was not revealed, but Pornhub said that its VR porn videos now average 500,000 views each day -- more than doubling the numbers it had when it first launched the service a year ago. 

The rise has been attributed to the increase in accessibility of VR headsets. In the Philippines, one can be bought for as low as P250. 

Pornhub

Additional figures showed that men are more likely to subscribe to VR content than women, and that most are from the 25 to 34 year old age group. 

Pornhub added that it experienced a 250 percent growth in VR porn viewing in Ireland and the United Kingdom over the past 12 months--the most worldwide. 

VR visitors also watch 2 more videos than the average Pornhub user, but their actual time spent remains about the same at just under 10 minutes. 

This isn't the first time the Philippines ranked high in a Pornhub chart. Last year, Filipinos were said to have spent the longest average time on the site at 12 minutes and 45 seconds. 

Many attributed it to "enviable stamina", but some say that it's because of the country's relatively slow internet speeds. 

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Filipino co-pilot killed in New Jersey plane crash

 

A Filipino pilot has been identified as one of two people killed in a small plane crash on Monday.

Authorities released frantic 911 calls on Wednesday, two days after the fiery crash.

 

Both people onboard were killed, including co-pilot Jeffrey Alino, a 33-year-old Fil-Am from Union, New Jersey.

The private Learjet Alino was co-piloting was trying to land at Teterboro airport when it crashed into a parking lot less than a quarter mile away on Monday afternoon.

The crash damaged three buildings and destroyed 13 cars. No one on the ground was injured.

The second victim has yet to be identified.

The National Transportation Security Board hopes to release a preliminary report on the cause of the crash sometime next week.

For now, authorities say the strong winds at that time was a concern.

Officials say Alino had about three to four years of experience as a pilot. He is described by loved-ones as a kind man who loved to fly.

ABS-CBN North America News Bureau
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Ex-narc walks free after DOJ drops drug raps

MANILA- Former anti-drug agent Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino was released from detention Thursday afternoon after the Department of Justice (DOJ) dropped drug charges against him and his Chinese asset Yan Yi Shou.

Wearing his military uniform, Marcelino was greeted by Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chie Persida Acosta upon his release from his detention cell in Camp Aguinaldo.

Speaking to reporters following his release, Marcelino said he has not yet thought about filing counter-charges as he maintained that there was something wrong with his arrest in the first place.

"Hindi pa namin kino-consider sa ngayon (filing of charges). I still have to consult eh," he said.

THE DOJ dropped the P380-million drug charges it earlier filed against Marcelino and Yan, setting aside the resolution issued on September 2016 by Assistant State Prosecutor Alexander Suarez. 

The case against Marcelino and Yan stemmed from their arrest on January 21, 2016 in an alleged “shabu” facility, a townhouse at Celadon Residences in Sta. Cruz, Manila.

The two said they were undertaking an intelligence operation at the time. 

ABS-CBN News

-with a report from Henry Atuelan, DZMM

 

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Russian Activists Say They’ve Been Told US Visas Are Out Of Reach For Gay Chechens

 

A Russian LGBT advocacy group says conversations with the US embassy have led it to believe that visas to the United States are out of reach for gay Chechens fleeing a wave of kidnappings, torture, and disappearances in the semi-autonomous Russian region.

A group of around 40 Chechens are now in hiding in other parts of Russia, said a spokesperson for the Russia LGBT Network, one of the primary groups supporting fleeing Chechens. Though they have escaped their region, they are having difficulty securing visas that would allow them to flee the country.

After initial publication of this story, the Russia LGBT Network spokesperson clarified that the US had not yet formally denied any visa applications. But the group was not facilitating applications to the United States because it was so discouraged by their conversations with the US embassy.

"We were informed there was no political will,” said the spokesperson, who asked her name be withheld because of security concerns. “They’re not going to provide visas. They’re going to support us in other ways, but not with visas."

Since the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta first reported the abuse of dozens of gay Chechens in April, just two have managed to secure visas to safe countries, despite the European Union and the United States expressing concern about the allegations, the spokesperson said. A handful of gay Chechens have fled without visas because they believed the danger of staying in Russia was too great.

The gay men seeking visas continue to fear for their lives in Russia. The strongman who rules Chechnya with near impunity, Ramzan Kadyrov, is accused of having his critics hunted downboth in other parts of Russia and outside Russia's borders.

A US State Department spokesperson said on background that all visa applications are considered on a case-by-case basis and the Chechens are eligible to apply. But US law does not have a visa category that allows someone to come directly to the US because of threats in their home country. Unless their situation fell into an unrelated category — like if they had a job offer in the US or were being reunited with a family member — they would only be eligible for tourist visas that would require them to prove they would return to Russia.

“Nonimmigrant visa classifications and qualifications are set by U.S. law, as passed by Congress,” the spokesperson said. “There is no visa classification designated specifically for humanitarian relief.”

The Chechens are not eligible to apply to come to the US as refugees because they are still inside their native country — someone fleeing persecution generally can only be considered a refugee once they’ve left their country of origin. A Russia LGBT Network official said US diplomats recommended Chechens try applying to the US after leaving Russia, but he worried that this could jeopardize their ability to ultimately reach a safe country legally if that route failed. There is also a risk they could be returned to Russia on trumped up charges. Many of the foreign fighters who have joined groups like ISIS have come from Chechnya, leading to concerns about Chechen asylum seekers.

“They need refuge,” he said. “Not once did officials offer any specific solutions.”

The Council for Global Equality, which advocates for LGBT rights in US foreign policy, said in a statement to BuzzFeed News that the organization was still hopeful an avenue could be found for the Chechens to come to the US despite the fact that the “Russian LGBT Network has been discouraged by their interactions with U.S. officials.”

“We believe there are still options available in extreme cases like this and we are in contact with Russian LGBT activists and US government officials to continue to explore those options,” the statement said. “We hope there is political will on the Hill and within the Administration to provide a safe haven in the United States for carefully vetted claims. As advocates, it's our job to try to make that case here in Washington.”

Kadyrov has responded to the Novaya Gazeta reports — which have since been confirmed by human rights organizations and international news outlets — by denying such a crackdown could have taken place because Chechnya "does not have this phenomenon called non-traditional sexual orientation." Several of the reporters involved in breaking the story left Russiain fear for their safety after a Kadyrov adviser called them "enemies of our faith and of our country" in a televised rally in April.

The Russia LGBT Network spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that "negotiations have been difficult" with representatives of countries that could provide safe refuge for survivors of the violence. She would not name the countries the organization was still trying to secure visas from because this could put any Chechens whose applications ultimately succeeded in danger.

The US State Department called on Russian authorities to investigate the allegations after they were first reported, including a statement from the US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who said, “If true, this violation of human rights cannot be ignored."

"The United States continues to be concerned about the situation in the Republic of Chechnya, where credible reports indicate at least 100 men have been detained on the basis of their sexual orientation," the State Department spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.

Under mounting international pressure, Vladimir Putin agreed earlier this month to back an investigation, but a letter to Israel's Haaretz newspaper last week by the Russian Embassy to Israel suggested that investigation was concluded almost immediately and found "there are no victims of persecution, threats or violence.”

 

J. Lester Feder
J. Lester Feder

Jane Lytvynenko contributed to this report.

 

 
  • Published in U.S.
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Mariel de Leon blasts Mocha Uson’s appointment, vows to use her voice for change

Binibining Pilipinas International 2017 Mariel De Leon is not afraid to speak up.

The beauty queen engaged in a debate with her Twitter followers after she criticized the appointment of Mocha Uson as the assistant secretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).

According to the report by Arniel Serato of Pep.Ph, de Leon called the appointment “biased and disrespectful.”

“I love my country so it breaks my heart to know someone like her got a position in the govt,” she added.

Her statements didn’t sit well with the supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte. Some of them even campaigned against de Leon in the online voting of the upcoming Miss International pageant.

Though her controversial tweets have been deleted, de Leon is firm about her beliefs.

She promised to use her voice “to be part of that change.”

“There are so much issues happening in our country now so I’m glad that I have the platform now to voice out my opinions. See, beauty pageants aren’t just for ‘standing there and looking pretty.’” she said in consecutive tweets.

Spoken like a true (beauty) queen. You go, girl!

By Coconuts Manila

 
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Mariel De Leon: You’re not pro-life if you deprive women of better future

With the news that progestin-only pills are already disappearing from the shelves and combined oral contraceptive pills will soon follow, advocates for women's health and the Reproductive Health law are putting the pressure on the Supreme Court to lift the Temporary Restraining Order that is restricting the procurement and distribution of female contraceptives in the country.

Binibining Pilipinas International 2017 Mariel De Leon on Wednesday showed her support for the movement, turning to Twitter to urge the Supreme Court to make a favorable decision soon.

"TRO on contraceptives. Birth control pills are slowly going away. What will you do when they're all gone? Let's take our bodies back," the beauty queen posted.

She continued in two more tweets, "What about women with PCOS, acne, severe dysmenorrhea, irregular period, [et cetera]? What about our freedom of choice when it comes to family planning? What about women's health?"

De Leon tagged the official Twitter account of the Supreme Court (@SCPh_PIO) to alert them to the posts.

"You're not ‘pro life’ if you deprive women of something that's good for our health and our future," she declared in another tweet.

The Supreme Court issued the TRO in 2015, first only covering Implanon and similar implants. It was later expanded to cover pills, injectables, intrauterine devices, vaginal rings, and other brands

The petition was filed by Alliance for the Family Foundation, Philippines, Inc. (ALFI), in protest of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) the issuance of certificates of product registration to Implanon and Implanon NXT, contraceptive devices which they claim may induce abortions.

The court outlined in the TRO instructions for the FDA and the Department of Health to formulate rules and regulations for the screening, evaluation and approval of all contraceptive drugs and devices, as well as the purchase and distribution or dispensation of the products while "allowing the petitioners [ALFI] to be heard" in the process.  Aya Tantiangco/BM, GMA News

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Duterte did not consult economic team on rejecting EU aid – Pernia

"No, I don't think so," Pernia told reporters in Pasig City when he was asked if the economic team was consulted regarding the move to reject billions of pesos in development aid from the EU.

The EU earlier committed €300 million or P16.6 billion in development assistance to the Philippines until 2020, focused on Mindanao peace and development. An initial funding of €50 million or P2.76 billion has been earmarked for the region.

Just early this month, EU Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen assured the Philippines that the economic and political block would continue to pour in development assistance despite concerns about human rights issues in the country.

Pernia said he was "in a way" surprised by the development, but noted that President Rodrigo Duterte has a way of taking back his statements and that this development should not be taken as policy set in stone.

"No, it's not policy. Policy is something that is more permanent. If it's refused this year, maybe it might not be refused next year. So, only this year," he said Thursday.

If it was up to him, Pernia said the Philippines would not reject the billions of pesos in foreign aid.

"If I were to make the decision, I would not. I'm a friendly person," he said.

The Cabinet official said he will discuss with other members of the economic team – Budget Secretary Benjamin M. Diokno and Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III – the matter and decide if they will recommend that the President retract his statement.

"We will collectively decide. The three of us will collectively decide," he said, noting that it was not discussed during the latest Cabinet meeting.

Pernia said the President is receptive to recommendations of the economic team. "He is usually open to suggestion." 

By JON VIKTOR D. CABUENAS , GMA News

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