A most welcome step

A statement this week from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is one of the most welcome developments to come out of the Middle East in quite some time.
The future king of the key nation in that part of the world vowed a return to a more moderate Islam, even as he said that he would lead the way in putting an end to extremist ideologies.
It is no secret that a number of Saudi citizens have been at the forefront of terrorist organizations, the likes of Osama bin Laden among them. Some Saudi youth have joined extremist organizations, while other wealthier nationals are known to donate large sums to support their ugly causes.
Crown Prince Bin Salman said, “We want to lead normal lives, lives where our religion and our traditions translate into tolerance, so that we coexist with the world and become part of the development of the world.”
It must be noted that the kingdom is presently undergoing cultural changes, not the least of which is now allowing women the right to drive. More importantly, Saudi Arabia is also entering a new period of rapprochement with Israel, which can only bode well for the peace in the region.
As Saudi goes, so go the kingdom’s allies in the regions such as the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait.
As the global seat of Islam, Saudi Arabia wields much influence in most predominantly Muslim nations in the world. It is where Mecca lies, and all Muslims are expected to take a pilgrimage to the holy site at least once in their life.
It is also worth noting that after the US, Saudi Arabia is where the greatest number of overseas Filipino worker can be found. Thus, the changes taking place in the kingdom should be welcome developments for OFWs and their families back home.
This is not to say that everything will be fine now that the future king has promised to create a more moderate society. Saudi Arabia still does not allow dissent and does not have a free press.
The kingdom also has serious economic issues that need to be solved if it is to maintain its lofty status as one of the richest countries in the world where citizens enjoy such perks as free education, free health care, and pay no taxes at all.
Its financial reserves may run out as early as three years from now due to the global drop in oil prices. The crown prince is addressing this serious problem with his vision to diversify the economy and lessen its dependence on the oil industry, where some 70% of citizens are partially or wholly dependent for their existence.
Perhaps the biggest problem of the new policy of the kingdom is the large number of clerics who remain cultural extremists and who will not readily abandon their ultraconservatism.
Still, the monarchy is the single most powerful institution in the desert kingdom, and Crown Prince Bin Salman is showing that he is not averse to positive change.

Care Indeed Attends Professional Fiduciary Association of California (PFAC) Northern California Education Day

Photo shows Vanessa Valerio, COO and VP for Patient Care, and Apryl Ryder, Client Services Manager. The event, held last September 20 at the San Francisco Convention Center, provided information on how health care professionals can work more effectively with clients. For more details about Care Indeed's home care services and job opportunities, call(650) 328-1001 or log in to www.careindeed.com.

Editorial: Should she or shouldn’t she?

When Hillary Rodham Clinton ran for president last year, she was widely expected to beat her Republican opponent, real estate magnate Donald Trump, thereby becoming the first woman to become President of the United States.
In fact, she did win the popular vote. She bested Mr. Trump by some three million votes, but sadly for Mrs. Clinton, the US presidency is not won by the popular vote but by the Electoral College vote.
That more Americans voted for her rather than the Republican candidate who still ended up in the White House was not necessarily an empty victory. She had broken the glass ceiling and paved the way for a time when gender will no longer be an issue with the electorate, and the US will elect a qualified woman to lead the country.
If former President Barack Obama was able to break the racial barrier, then why not a woman to break the gender barrier?
Mrs. Clinton now appears to be reconsidering her stand to retire after her loss last November. We daresay that if she were to run again against a re-electionist Trump in 2020, the former First Lady, senator and Secretary of State would win by a landslide.
This is because the Trump presidency is as awful as had been feared, not just by Democrats but even by a good number of Republicans as well as a growing number of ordinary citizens who have lost all faith in the current chief executive. Mr. Trump’s popularity has sunk so low that if elections were held today, he would be wiped out the way Lyndon Johnson obliterated Barry Goldwater back in 1964.
Mrs. Clinton, however, may not be thinking of running in 2020, but of possibly claiming the presidency sooner. She has now raised doubts regarding the legitimacy of the Trump presidency following the latest revelations by the team of special counsel Bob Mueller. 
It would appear that the noose is tightening on the associates of Mr. Trump where collusion with the Russians is concerned.
If Mueller can prove that the Russians had interfered in the 2016 elections to the extent that the final results were affected, then Mrs. Clinton could indeed lay claim to be the true POTUS.
Under a worst case scenario – at least where Mr. Trump is concerned – the results of the 2016 elections can be invalidated. This means that not only will the incumbent be removed, Vice President Mike Pence cannot succeed him.
This, however, can cause a political crisis of humungous proportions. The Republican Party will not stand idly by while they lose control of the executive department.
Just how far Mrs. Clinton is willing to go is not yet clear. She knows that Mr. Trump will likely take extreme actions as she prepares to claim what she feels is rightfully hers. Everything now depends on what Mueller is able to unearth where Russian collusion is concerned.
If the special counsel uncovers a huge can of worms, Hillary Clinton may yet have reason to celebrate what happened last year.

BI says suspect in UST hazing death has left country – reports

File photo of UST law student Horacio Tomas Castillo III from his Facebook account

MANILA, Philippines — One of the suspects in the hazing death of University of Sto. Tomas law student Horacio Castillo III left the country on Tuesday, September 19, news reports said.

The reports quoted the Bureau of Immigration as saying a Ralph Caballes Trangia boarded Eva Flight BR262 for Taipei, which left around 1:53 a.m. Tuesday.

Trangia, who authorities have identified as an officer of the Aegis Juris fraternity, is one of three persons the Manila Police District are looking to arrest over Castillo’s death.

The others are his father Antonio, in whose name the vehicle that took Castillo to the Chinese General Hospital is registered, and John Paul Solano, another fraternity member who police said “misled” them by claiming to have found the freshman law student on a street in Balut, Tondo Sunday morning.

The younger Trangia and Solano are also among 16 Aegis Juris members included in an Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order issued by the Justice department.


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