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Terror in Marawi: How The Philippines is Combating Terrorism

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Source : PCOO EDP

On May 23rd, President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law after ISIS militants rampaged through the Marawi City in Mindanao, an island south of the Philippines where most of the country’s Muslim population reside.

Terrorism has been a huge threat to the Philippines for the past couple months, but President Duterte’s decision aims to eradicate the insurgence of the terrorist groups before causing more damage to the rest of the country.

The attack occurred after Philippine military forces failed to capture Isnilon Hapilon, leader of Philippine terrorist group Abu Sayyaf who are notorious for holding hostages and gruesome beheadings.

However, they underestimated the strength of Hapilon when accompanied by another extremist group, Maute, of at least 100 militants who were armed and raided the city.

The jihadist groups terrorized the city of Marawi by setting ablaze to schools, hospitals, and churches while raising the Black Banner on destroyed buildings as well as holding priests, parishioners, and civilians hostage.

Holidays like Ramadan and Independence Day will not ease tension anytime soon as Duterte declared martial law on the island of Mindanao for 60 days. In a state of emergency, the martial law calls for replacing civilian forces with armed forces and placing Marawi under lockdown while civilians evacuate the city.

As of June 16, 207 attackers and 58 troops have been reported dead in addition to 26 civilians killed by militants, but the numbers will continue to increase in the war-like state of Marawi for the next two months.

Many Filipinos question if the martial law might be doing more harm than good.

“It’s scary that small portion of our country is actually at war right now and if it persists, the crisis can be blown out of proportion and possibly affect the rest of our country,” says Joanne Santos, a 25-year- old who grew up in Marawi.

She now resides in Baguio City, and like most Filipinos outside Marawi, she has been following the Marawi Crisis since the May attack.

“Although I’m not directly affected by the crisis in Marawi, it’s a major concern for all people living in the Philippines. I’m saddened to see my hometown and the lives of Marawi citizens being put at risk, especially for children. If they haven’t evacuated or been rescued, the terrorists will show no mercy.”

Those still trapped in the city must risk their lives to escape the faces of terror, given that they aren’t held hostage. And while other civilians were lucky enough to evacuate at such short notice, displaced residents are left with insufficient food and supplies to last for two months.

Not only does martial law threaten Filipino lives, but also civil rights.

Martial law gives the government utmost power during a crisis such as imposing strict security, restricting media, and suspending habeas corpus– meaning that the military forces can arrest anyone based on suspicion of being affiliated with ISIS without warrants or trial.

Protesters believe that Marawi is not on grounds for the martial law since the attack was not an act of rebellion but “armed resistance” by Maute to protect Hapilon.

“Martial law may be the only solution to stop these terrorist attacks but we put innocent civilians at risks. It’s reminiscent of Duterte’s stance on the drug war,” Santos mentions about Duterte’s decision for extrajudicial killings against drug lords and drug addicts but resulted in the deaths of thousands innocent civilian.

“I know that many of us are worried that we might fall under dictatorship again since [President] Marcos did through martial law. Duterte seems hostile enough.”

If the terrorism persists after sixty days or spreads to the rest of the Philippines, Duterte is willing to impose martial law on the whole country, to which many fear the country may fall under another dictatorship.

Preventing from history repeating itself, Filipinos are protesting for senators to help prevent Duterte’s abuse of government power.

Not only does Duterte aim to eradicate ISIS militants from the terrorizing the Philippines but prevent the spread of terrorist groups in Southeast Asia.

If effective, international leaders may be influenced to follow the same lead, like President Donald Trump who had praised the Philippine president on his drug war crackdown and might even take notes to combat terrorism in the United States.

By : Kristine Luna

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A Loving Boyfriend Surprises his Girlfriend with a Wedding Proposal at the end of her Chemo Treatment

Sydney Murphy

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At the end of this lady's chemo treatment program, her boyfriend surprises her with a wedding proposal.
Source: Memorial Sloan Kettering | Youtube

Max Allegretti had the chance to prove his love for his girlfriend, Jillian Hanson, during a sensitive and challenging time in their lives.

Though Hanson was going through cancer treatment, Allegretti was her unwavering support system.

The couple met when Hanson signed up for a dodgeball tournament in her senior year of college and ended up playing on Allegretti’s team.

Allegretti and Hanson had known each other for a while before they started dating. It wasn’t until a couple of years after they had met that Allegretti asked Hanson out on a date. 

“I knew he was the one after a month of us dating. I never usually move that fast, but something about him was different,” Hanson said.

When Hanson was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer in July 2017, Allegretti held her hand in support and said, “I’m not going to leave your side.”

This was an immense undertaking of Allegretti, which strengthened Hanson’s trust in Allegretti’s love for her and the strength of their relationship. 

“They tell you how sick you get during treatment, but no one can really prepare you for any of this,” Hanson said. 

When Hanson learned that her cancer had spread and that treatment was going to get more intense, Allegretti remained by her side. They went through radiation treatments, lymph node removal surgeries, and hair loss after chemotherapy. 

“I had 16 rounds of chemotherapy for five months, plastic surgery, 25 rounds of radiation for five weeks, and now I am finishing infusion treatments that I do every three weeks,” Hanson said

Allegretti never failed in giving his all to Hanson’s comfort by finding ways to distract her or brighten up her day. He planned little events like going to the movies or spending a night out for dinner.

Throughout Hanson’s treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital Monmouth, Allegretti was there supporting her and empowering her through it all. 

“He told me that I was the strongest woman he knew and that this whole experience has made him love me more,” Hanson said.

Allegretti was sure he was going to propose to Hanson and was excited about what their future together would hold.

He discussed his plan for the wedding proposal with Hanson’s family and friends to create the best experience he could for Hanson.

“We all decided it would bring a lot more joy even to the special day it was going to be already,” Allegretti said.

Hanson was thrillingly surprised when Allegretti proposed to her at the hospital. Though just the thought of having a wedding was exciting enough, the luxury wedding planner Lauren Grech offered the couple a free designer wedding as recognition for Hanson’s strength and Allegretti’s loyalty. 

This couple’s undying love is true inspiration to savor each relationship’s good health and the loyalty involved. 


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The Science Behind Chronic Tardiness and Procrastination

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Whether it be an annoying co-worker/ person or an assignment you just do not want to do, procrastination is a big factor on why we are late.
Source: MIKI Yoshihito | flickr

Are you always late to things? Whether it be to hang out with friends, working on an important assignment, showing up to class, or just going to work in general, more and more people are putting off important things. 

Is it because we feel like they are not important? Or maybe we do it unintentionally? There are many reasons for our chronic lateness, here a few you probably didn’t realize could be causing yours.

We Believe We Have All the Time in the World 

Contrary to popular belief, time doesn’t slow down when we are running behind schedule.  When we make plans or wake up late, we underestimate how much time it actually takes us to get ready. We believe that time will slow down and allow us to get ready and go to our destination on time. 

As Christina Morgana, a junior at Hofstra University says,

“I feel like I am usually late to something because I didn’t allow myself enough time beforehand or I don’t anticipate the amount of traffic I am going to hit.”

While Christina may be a college student, the reasons behind her lateness are nearly universal. Once we get into a specific routine, we get so used to how long the routine takes that we forget how long it  actually may take. And in a world that is constantly moving, a routine is nice to have even if it may make us late. 

You Dread Dealing with a Specific Issue or Person 

Another reason for your chronic procrastination can be because you dread dealing with a certain person or issue. Whether it be an annoying co-worker/ person or an assignment you just do not want to do, procrastination is a big factor on why we are late. 

Putting these things are not going to make them go away or make them any less annoying. You might not even notice that your dread is making you late. Or even that you are dreading anything at all.

Being late gives you more time to prepare to deal with the inevitable. Ultimately this strategy doesn’t usually work out all that well and you are left being late.

You Prioritize Other Things Than Being On Time 

Usually people are late in the mornings because they want to get as much sleep as possible. For good reason, as getting enough sleep is key to being a healthy adult. So you put off getting ready and going to work because you want to get the most amount of sleep possible. 

Madison Spence-Moore, another junior at Hofstra University said,

“I feel like the reason [I am late] is because I really like to sleep in the morning, so I try to stay in bed as long as physically possible. And then I leave out of my room very last minute. But in terms of things happening in the afternoon, it’s usually my phone or not planning ahead. I get very distracted by my phone unfortunately.”

So while sleep may be a top priority in the morning, tardiness for afternoon events are usually caused by distractions. In the age of smartphones, it is easy to see why they would provide distractions that prevent you from being on time.

Prioritizing other things over getting ready and making the effort to be on time is a primary reason behind chronic tardiness

There Are Outside Factors that You Cannot Control

 Sometimes it might not even be your fault that you are always late.  Your car can stall as you are trying to get to work. Your usual route can be distrubed by an accident or another commotion of that sort.

The weather can slow you down as well. You can also have a medical condition that makes you late. Eduardo Guzman, another junior at Hofstra University, has a medical condition called IBS, or Irritated Bowel Syndrome. 

He cannot control this condition but it does make him late to things occasionally.

“I have IBS so whenever that acts up it’s kind of crappy and I don’t feel that well. If I am having a pretty rough day, I need to be careful of what I eat because my sensitive, irritable bowel will take it a certain way. So sometimes it acts up when I don’t want it to act up,” Guzman said.

Guzman may be chronically late to things unintentionally because of his medical condition. There is not much he can do to control this particular reason behind his tardiness, so instead he focuses on what he can control. His disorganization, which is another big reason behind his procrastination.

Being late or procrastinating is something that everyone does, not just young people. Sometimes there are  psychological reasons behind your tardiness, other times outside factors make us late, and other times it is only our fault and our fault alone.

Whatever the reason is, just know that you are probably not the only person running late.

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A Possible Drug Treatment for Coronavirus in the Works

Erin Albus

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As part of doctors' plan for medical treatment for curable diseases around the world, they are researching drug treatments for the current disease, coronavirus.
Source: Creative Commons

The coronavirus has been in the news almost everyday these past few months.

Labeled by the CDC as 2019-nCoV, or Novel Coronavirus, the new coronavirus is closely linked to Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), having mostly like mutated from a virus related to SARS.

Both of these are considered coronaviruses, but they are not the same bacteria that causes 2019-nCoV.

The CDC has issued a statement discouraging travel to China, and to look at travel advisories for other countries. While the disease is curable, it is spreading so fast it is now considered an epidemic. Over 40,000 cases and 900 deaths have been reported in China alone as of February 2nd. 

Despite the alarming statistics of this new virus, Doctors in Thailand have had some major breakthroughs in creating a drug treatment for novel coronavirus.

Separate from Mainland China, Thailand has had a total of 19 cases, eight of whom are now considered cured. The other eleven are still receiving treatment

What is the secret to this success? 

“A powerful cocktail of drugs“, said the Thai doctors. In severe cases of novel coronavirus, they administer a mixture of the anti-HIV drugs lopinavir and ritonavir and the flu medication oseltamivir.

While doctors stress that this is not a cure, the patients given this treatment have shown considerable improvement in 48 hours. 

On the other side of the world, scientists in America have been working on a universal treatment for all iterations of the coronavirus, including MERS and SARS, not just novel coronavirus.

This drug, remdesivir, has been shown to be effective in fighting off MERS and SARS.

Since novel coronavirus is related to SARS, scientists believe that it could be an effective way to fight off the virus. It, however, is still in development.

With all of the fear surrounding the situation, the CDC is very firm in reminding everyone that this is a evolving situation and to check advisories when travelling, as well as see if you are in an area of risk.

As of now, they are of the belief that the novel coronavirus is airborne but spread through close human contact—within six feet of another person. 

Even with the possible drug treatments in the works, it is always best to avoid putting yourself at risk of getting sick.

Practice normal precautionary methods for other respiratory diseases—wash your hands, cover your coughs and sneezes, and avoid crowded spaces while ill.

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