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EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE WEEK:
(Mini Reads followed by Full news commentary)

FROM GMA NEWS ONLINE

BY HOWIE SEVERINO: PALAWAN's CHOICES, AND YOURS
[Author Commencement speech at Palawan State University -April 7, 2016 - Reposted from FACEBOOK]


APRIL 20 -HOWIE SEVERINO  Thank you for inviting me, thank you for giving me a reason to get out of Mega Manila! And finally, thank you for asking me to come to Palawan. I always feel better and more relaxed when I come to your province, not least because it is less earthquake-prone than anywhere else in the country. To be honest, I have been like many others living in Mega Manila and other overcrowded, polluted places in the Philippines – we have fantasized about moving to Palawan. Being less prone to disasters is just the start of what makes Palawan appealing. In some ways, Palawan is the opposite of my own hometown of Manila – your wide open spaces, your clean seas, abundant forests, and even your crocodiles are a time capsule for what the rest of the country must have been like once upon a time. You are still far enough from the mainstream to imagine a different way of living. After all, you’re the sword on the Philippine map pointing the way to what could be a better path, or maybe the sword is aimed at foreign invaders to the west… or your province is the sturdy cane holding up an old man which is the rest of the Philippines, if that’s what you choose to see. In reality, this has always been a land of opportunity, and not just in the sense of having land and work available here. You have an opportunity in Palawan to be a model for the rest of us. You know the saying, to whom much is given, much is expected in return. You’ve been blessed with a multitude of islands, rich biodiversity, ancient and strong cultural traditions. Most of the documentaries I have shot here have to do with what threatens Palawan’s natural beauty. Much is at stake here, and much can still be saved and protected. Like many frontiers, your province is at a crossroads where you can choose the road less traveled. Will you opt for the quick and dirty industrial choices for development, or the wiser, more sustainable path of clean technologies and gentle growth? Will you show the rest of us that not everything of value can be exchanged for money? READ MORE...

ALSO: By Reuters - Does sex protect men against prostate cancer?


APRIL 24 -By LISA RAPAPORT, Reuters 
Men who ejaculate often may have a lower risk of prostate cancer than their peers who don’t do it as frequently, a US study suggests. Researchers followed about 32,000 men starting in 1992 when they were in their 20s and continuing through 2010. During this period, almost 4,000 of the men were diagnosed with prostate cancer. Men who ejaculated at least 21 times a month in their 20s were 19 percent less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than men who ejaculated no more than seven times a month, the study found. Men who ejaculated more often in their 40s were 22 percent less likely to get a prostate cancer diagnosis. “Ejaculation frequency is, to some extent, a measure of overall health status in that men at the very low end of ejaculation – 0 to 3 times per month – were more likely to have other (medical problems) and die prematurely from causes other than prostate cancer,” said lead study author Jennifer Rider, who did the analysis while working at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. “While our findings should be confirmed in studies that evaluate the potential biological mechanisms underlying the observed associations, the results of our study suggest that ejaculation and safe sexual activity throughout adulthood could be a beneficial strategy for reducing the risk of prostate cancer,” Rider, now at Boston University, added by email. READ MORE...

ALSO: By  Aya Tantiangco with Reuters - LIKE A BOSS Prince George meets the Obamas in bathrobe and pajamas


APRIL 24 -Photo: Pete Souza via Reuters  -THE OBAMAS AND THE PRINCE -It was way past his bedtime, but Prince George did his royal duties on April 22 and shook hands with US President Barack Obama. The young prince was allowed to stay up later than usual to meet the Obamas, and spent about 15 minutes with them. Prince George met with the head of state dressed in his PJs and a bathrobe, prompting humorous responses in social media.
"The Late, Late Show" host James Corden was quick to point out how cool the young royal is: Daily Beast editor Nico Hines also applauded the "power move": President Obama flew to Queen Elizabeth's castle on Friday to wish happy birthday to the world's oldest monarch a day after she turned 90. The Obamas later had dinner with a younger generation of royals, the queen's grandson Prince William, his wife Kate and his brother Prince Harry, at Kensington Palace in London. — Aya Tantiangco with reports from Reuters. FULL REPORT.

ALSO: PRINCE'S ESTATE -Will Prince's control of his music extend from the grave?


APRIL 23 -PRINCE - By STEVE GORMAN, Reuters
 The late pop star Prince was known in life as an artist fiercely protective of his intellectual property, but how much others may profit from his legacy, including a large body of unreleased songs, hinges on how astute he was in arranging for control of his music after death. Questions about Prince's estate loomed on Friday, a day after his unexpected death at age 57. Sales of the iconic performer's albums surged, and platforms from satellite radio Sirius XM to MTV rushed to satisfy a sudden fascination with his music. Some 230,000 albums and 1 million singles from Prince's catalog were sold in the United States alone on the day he died, according to BuzzAngle Music, which tracks daily music sales. By comparison, folk-rock band the Lumineers sold 108,000 copies of its latest album, "Cleopatra," during the course of seven days as they topped Billboard's pop charts this week. The long-term outlook for Prince's catalog depends on who ends up in charge of his estate and how much direction he provided before his death to govern his legacy, entertainment lawyers said. Found dead of unknown causes at his home and studio compound in Minnesota, Prince is one of relatively few recording artists, even of his stature, believed to have possessed ownership of his master recordings and his own music publishing. At stake are potential retail sales, licensing fees and royalties on music from more than 30 albums that have sold over 36 million copies in the United State alone since 1978, plus an extensive cache of unheard recordings said to be locked away in a vault. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Palawan’s choices, and yours


HOWIE SEVERINO

MANILA, APRIL 25, 2016 (GMA NEWS) Published April 20, 2016 11:28am By HOWIE SEVERINO, GMA News - Author Commencement speech at Palawan State University -April 7, 2016 - Thank you for inviting me, thank you for giving me a reason to get out of Mega Manila! And finally, thank you for asking me to come to Palawan.

I always feel better and more relaxed when I come to your province, not least because it is less earthquake-prone than anywhere else in the country.

To be honest, I have been like many others living in Mega Manila and other overcrowded, polluted places in the Philippines – we have fantasized about moving to Palawan. Being less prone to disasters is just the start of what makes Palawan appealing.

In some ways, Palawan is the opposite of my own hometown of Manila – your wide open spaces, your clean seas, abundant forests, and even your crocodiles are a time capsule for what the rest of the country must have been like once upon a time.

You are still far enough from the mainstream to imagine a different way of living. After all, you’re the sword on the Philippine map pointing the way to what could be a better path, or maybe the sword is aimed at foreign invaders to the west… or your province is the sturdy cane holding up an old man which is the rest of the Philippines, if that’s what you choose to see.

In reality, this has always been a land of opportunity, and not just in the sense of having land and work available here. You have an opportunity in Palawan to be a model for the rest of us.

You know the saying, to whom much is given, much is expected in return. You’ve been blessed with a multitude of islands, rich biodiversity, ancient and strong cultural traditions.

Most of the documentaries I have shot here have to do with what threatens Palawan’s natural beauty. Much is at stake here, and much can still be saved and protected.

Like many frontiers, your province is at a crossroads where you can choose the road less traveled. Will you opt for the quick and dirty industrial choices for development, or the wiser, more sustainable path of clean technologies and gentle growth? Will you show the rest of us that not everything of value can be exchanged for money?

READ MORE...

The ones making the most crucial choices for your province in the future will not be those currently in power… but you, those who are still wide-eyed about the world, filled with idealism and dreams, you who are at your own crossroads, wondering what to do with the rest of your lives.

As you think about your professional futures, allow me to propose this: Before anything else, decide what kind of person you will be. That will determine your happiness and success much more than whatever you choose to be your career. And the kind of people you will be will shape your communities much more than the jobs you will eventually have.

Some of your choices are clear:

Will you also be concerned with what is public or will you be aware mainly of what is private – your private property and home, your family, the people you know?

The differences in our attitude towards what is private and what is public explain to a great degree the problems we face in this country. Most of us are compulsive about keeping our bodies and homes clean, yet many do not think twice about leaving trash in public, and desecrating our most valuable public resources like rivers, beaches and parks.

This lack of respect explains why anything attached to the word “public,” like public schools, public hospitals, and public transportation, is often associated with poor quality. Most of our own elected leaders do not use the same public services that they make decisions about.

As an aside, I’d like to say that I send my only child to a public high school, not as a statement of belief but because it is a good school.

Our attitude towards the public extends to how we treat people. We are usually respectful of the people we know, but have no respect for the rights of strangers who are part of the public. Just try crossing a busy street in Manila at a pedestrian crossing, and mark the time before any driver will stop to let you cross. I hope Puerto Princesa is growing without its people losing this basic respect for strangers.

Do you notice that whenever anyone in Manila like a taxi driver returns luggage or a wallet, it often makes the news? That is because it is so unusual. Virtuous civic behavior like that is alien in places where apathy or even cruelty towards strangers is the norm. If we all decide that we will respect what is public, including people we do not know, perhaps one day returning property that is not ours will become so normal it will no longer be considered newsworthy.

I believe your basic choice in life is whether it will be all about you, your career, your family and those directly around you, or whether you will also be concerned with something larger than yourselves – your community, the public interest, your country. Will you be of service to people you might not even know? Will you be respectful to strangers? Will you let them cross the street when you’re the one driving a car?

Only when we really understand that the public is an extension of our private selves will we become a true nation with common interests. And maybe we will also have better leaders, because we will vote for whomever will be best for our country and our communities, and not for whoever bought our votes.

That transformation may require you to be different from your peers. You will need all of your willpower and strength of character to stay the course.

You’ve probably already been told that life is a journey, and when you get to be my age, the more you will realize how short that journey really is.

But on this journey, you have several choices: you can choose to be a tourist on a packaged tour, following a beaten path, focused only on buying souvenirs and taking selfies, indifferent to the strangeness of a new place or culture.

Or instead of a tourist, you can be a traveler off the beaten track, welcoming the unexpected, respectful of those who are different from you, and learning from people who were once strangers. You can be a person who will think that getting lost is not a waste of time because you know it can lead to discovery.

Or you can be the traveler who is also a pilgrim, a person with a mission, a cause, or a greater goal than simply personal comfort and enjoyment.

The consequences of this choice are even greater for your generation. All of you have democratic rights for which many before you struggled and even made the ultimate sacrifice.

Combining your political freedoms with the technology in your pockets makes you by far the most empowered generation in history.

But we all recall what Spiderman’s uncle once said, with great power comes great responsibility. Will you be known merely as the selfie generation… or the greatest generation?

Will you use your power to build civic virtue, encourage kindness to strangers, and respect for everything that is called public?

Previous generations await your choices with bated breath.

Reposted with permission from the author's Facebook post


Does sex protect men against prostate cancer? Published April 24, 2016 7:39am By LISA RAPAPORT, Reuters


By LISA RAPAPORT, Reuters

Men who ejaculate often may have a lower risk of prostate cancer than their peers who don’t do it as frequently, a US study suggests.

Researchers followed about 32,000 men starting in 1992 when they were in their 20s and continuing through 2010. During this period, almost 4,000 of the men were diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Men who ejaculated at least 21 times a month in their 20s were 19 percent less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than men who ejaculated no more than seven times a month, the study found. Men who ejaculated more often in their 40s were 22 percent less likely to get a prostate cancer diagnosis.

“Ejaculation frequency is, to some extent, a measure of overall health status in that men at the very low end of ejaculation – 0 to 3 times per month – were more likely to have other (medical problems) and die prematurely from causes other than prostate cancer,” said lead study author Jennifer Rider, who did the analysis while working at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

“While our findings should be confirmed in studies that evaluate the potential biological mechanisms underlying the observed associations, the results of our study suggest that ejaculation and safe sexual activity throughout adulthood could be a beneficial strategy for reducing the risk of prostate cancer,” Rider, now at Boston University, added by email.

READ MORE...

Prostate cancer accounts for 15 percent of all new cancer diagnoses worldwide, the researchers note in the journal European Urology. Established risk factors like age, race and family history are not "modifiable," they add, and there are few lifestyle changes that can be recommended to men to lower risk.

To understand the connection between ejaculation frequency and cancer, Rider and colleagues reviewed data from questionnaires men completed about sexual health and examined medical records and lab tests to verify which participants were diagnosed with prostate tumors.

During the study period, there were 192 cases of prostate cancer among men who ejaculated no more than three times a month. There were 1,041 cases with 4 to 7 ejaculations a month, and 1,509 cases with 8 to 12 monthly ejaculations, another 807 cases with 13 to 20 ejaculations a month and 290 cases with at least 21 monthly ejaculations.

One limitation of the study is that it relied on men to accurately recall and report how often they ejaculated, the authors note. The study also included mostly white men, and it’s possible the results might look different in a more diverse population.

The apparent protective effect of high ejaculation frequency was seen mainly in reduced numbers of low-risk forms of prostate cancer, the authors note.

The association between ejaculation frequency and cancer is also strongest for men without symptoms of prostate tumors such as pain or urinary difficulties that are already at low-risk for these malignancies, said Dr. Behfar Ehdaie, a urology specialist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York who wasn’t involved in the study.

“If ejaculation frequency was truly a causal factor for prostate cancer development, we would expect to find the association across all prostate cancer risk categories,” Ehdaie said by email.

It’s also too soon to weigh the merits of sex as a tool for cancer prevention, said Siobhan Sutcliffe, a cancer researcher at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis who wasn’t involved in the study.

“Sexual activity can have some negative health consequences, such as acquiring a sexually transmitted infection,” Sutcliffe noted by email.

Frequent ejaculation through sex or masturbation probably results from other factors that contribute to good health, such as a healthy diet and normal weight, which might also lower the risk of cancer, said Dr. John Gore, a urology researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle who wasn’t involved in the study.

“I do not think we need to tell men `if you don’t use it, you lose it,’” Gore said by email. “If lower ejaculation frequency prompts a man to schedule a visit with a primary care provider or specialist, and that visit serves to examine and promote preventive care and wellness, then that would be a successful application of the results of this study.” —Reuters


LIKE A BOSS Prince George meets the Obamas in bathrobe and pajamas Published April 23, 2016 5:44pm

It was way past his bedtime, but Prince George did his royal duties on April 22 and shook hands with US President Barack Obama. The young prince was allowed to stay up later than usual to meet the Obamas, and spent about 15 minutes with them.

Prince George met with the head of state dressed in his PJs and a bathrobe, prompting humorous responses in social media.

Photo: Pete Souza via Reuters Photo: Pete Souza via Reuters

"The Late, Late Show" host James Corden was quick to point out how cool the young royal is:

Daily Beast editor Nico Hines also applauded the "power move":

President Obama flew to Queen Elizabeth's castle on Friday to wish happy birthday to the world's oldest monarch a day after she turned 90.

The Obamas later had dinner with a younger generation of royals, the queen's grandson Prince William, his wife Kate and his brother Prince Harry, at Kensington Palace in London. — Aya Tantiangco with reports from Reuters.


Will Prince's control of his music extend from the grave? Published April 23, 2016 5:24pm By STEVE GORMAN, Reuters


PRINCE - By STEVE GORMAN, Reuters

The late pop star Prince was known in life as an artist fiercely protective of his intellectual property, but how much others may profit from his legacy, including a large body of unreleased songs, hinges on how astute he was in arranging for control of his music after death.

Questions about Prince's estate loomed on Friday, a day after his unexpected death at age 57. Sales of the iconic performer's albums surged, and platforms from satellite radio Sirius XM to MTV rushed to satisfy a sudden fascination with his music.

Some 230,000 albums and 1 million singles from Prince's catalog were sold in the United States alone on the day he died, according to BuzzAngle Music, which tracks daily music sales.

By comparison, folk-rock band the Lumineers sold 108,000 copies of its latest album, "Cleopatra," during the course of seven days as they topped Billboard's pop charts this week.

The long-term outlook for Prince's catalog depends on who ends up in charge of his estate and how much direction he provided before his death to govern his legacy, entertainment lawyers said.

Found dead of unknown causes at his home and studio compound in Minnesota, Prince is one of relatively few recording artists, even of his stature, believed to have possessed ownership of his master recordings and his own music publishing.

At stake are potential retail sales, licensing fees and royalties on music from more than 30 albums that have sold over 36 million copies in the United State alone since 1978, plus an extensive cache of unheard recordings said to be locked away in a vault.

READ MORE...

The collection is believed to include an entire album he recorded with jazz trumpet great Miles Davis, said Owen Husney, who was Prince's first manager and teaches music business at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Husney said he would put the overall value of Prince's existing catalog at well over $500 million. That estimate factors in not just the potential for retail music sales but for rights to film, television, commercials and video games—which Prince in his lifetime rarely if ever licensed, Husney said.

The key unanswered question about the fate of Prince's intellectual property is whether he had a valid will or estate plan in place at the time of his death, lawyers said.

Twice divorced with no surviving children, he apparently lacked any immediately identifiable heirs, though Husney noted Prince has a sister, Tyka Nelson. His parents are both deceased.

"Hopefully, Prince executed a trust, and indicated his intentions both with respect to who his trustee would be and how he would want the estate to be disposed of," said celebrity probate attorney Dan Streisand, who has represented the estates of Marlon Brando, Barry White and Rodney Dangerfield.

CONTROL from THE GRAVE

Through instructions in a will to a trustee, the artist could posthumously restrict the granting of commercial licenses to his music, and thus, in effect, maintain control over his songs from the grave, lawyers said.

Absent a will, inheritance would be determined by a probate court, subject to the laws of succession in Prince's home state of Minnesota.

Prince was almost as well known for an unyielding defense of his artistic rights as he was for his music.

So assertive was he in maintaining creative control that during a bitter contract battle with Warner Bros. in the 1990s, he famously changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol and scrawled the word "slave" on his forehead in performances.

The dispute centered at least in part on Prince's desire to release his music more frequently than the label was willing.

Prince ultimately made peace with Warner, reaching a deal in 2014 to regain ownership of his master recordings in return for allowing the label to digitally remaster and reissue his back catalog, according to trade publication Variety and other media.

The artist had been similarly tenacious in limiting use of his material on YouTube and digital music streaming platforms such as Spotify and Rhapsody, although he made his entire catalog available on the artist-owned, premium subscription streaming service Tidal, launched by rapper Jay Z.

News of his death sparked an immediate bump in online sales of his music, with 15 of the top 20-selling albums, and 19 of the top 20-selling singles on iTunes belonging to Prince. Prince also accounted for 19 of Friday's top 20-selling records on Amazon.com

MTV replaced its regular programming with wall-to-wall Prince music videos and the film "Purple Rain" on Thursday, and Sirius XM created an all-Prince music channel to run through April 29. — Reuters


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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