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Algieri camp vows to end Pacquiao reign

Friday, 21 November 2014 00:00 Published in Sports

ROACH: ‘HE CAN RUN, BUT HE CAN’T HIDE’

MACAU — Three days before the biggest — and richest — fight of their ward’s career, Chris Algieri’s handlers made sure they shocked the entire boxing world when they vowed an end to Manny Pacquiao’s reign when the two boxers clash on Sunday at the Cotai Arena.
Tim Lane and Keith Tremble said Algieri will surely knock the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown off the head of Filipino ring idol Pacquiao.
Lane, Algieri's sparring partner before he was promoted as trainer, said that although Pacquiao is a ring legend and a great champion, his reign will formally come to an end when he battles his 30-year-old ward, who remains undefeated in 20 fights.
“On Saturday night, the passing continues and we’ll gonna see a new champion and a new star in the division,” said Lane, beaming with confidence over the chances of his ward whom he earlier branded as the "golden boy" of professional boxing.
Trimble, meanwhile, said: "On Nov. 23, Chris Algieri will become victorious again and will become the new WBO welterweight champion.”
The fight will give Aligeri a pay of close to $1 million. He tried kickboxing after earning a master's degree from New York Institute of Technology before focusing on boxing.
His only claim to fame was when he survived Russian slugger Ruslan Provodnikov which earned him the right to face Pacquiao in a title match.
"It's gonna be an action-packed first round. I will fight him from start to finish," Algieri said. "I think both of us will gonna go hard and try to make a statement. Manny has a lot to prove in this fight. I get a feeling that he will make a real statement."
Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach belittled Algieri's power, saying the New Yorker will struggle on fight day and will fail to withstand Pacquiao's rapid attacks on his mid-section.
He also added that Algieri looks too big for the 144 catchweight which will make him weak should he decide to trim off the extra pounds with only few days left before the official weigh in on Saturday.
"He can run, but he can't hide. And when he does, it’ll all be easy for us. Manny will starch him with peppery combinations, he wouldn’t know where they’re coming from.”

 

Muslim ‘apostates’ come out of hiding in Europe

Friday, 21 November 2014 00:00 Published in Commentary

A number of Muslims in Europe are publicly abandoning their religion to become Christians or agnostics despite their former community’s taboo against such acts.
In France, the film The Apostle by filmmaker Cheyenne Carron has meanwhile lifted the veil on “apostasy” by telling the story of a young Muslim who converted to Catholicism and how he had trouble getting family and friends to accept his choice.
“It is time for us to stop hiding,” said Pastor Said Oujibou, 46, who left radical Islam for evangelical protestantism and who is among the few converts to have publicized his decision in France.
He said he is “tolerated” by his former co-religionists, even if he admits to having sparked “sarcasm and annoyance” from them.
But he warned against the “double talk” that certain branches of Islam in France close to the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists use toward apostate Muslims.
“Apostasy is a taboo in Muslim culture and if the text of the Koran does not provide for any punishment, prophetic tradition calls for killing apostates,” said Radouane Attiya, a former preacher trained in Saudi Arabia who is now a specialist on Islam at Liege University in Belgium.
Specialists said that more people become Muslim in Europe than leave the faith but Muslims converting to Christianity, especially evangelical protestantism, are on the rise, according to Oujibou.
Evangelicals seek to proselytize in working class and immigrant neighborhoods where there are many Muslims.
“In Europe, as in Arab countries, there is a rampant atheism gaining ground. But what is new is the search for visibility,” Attiya said.
He said “Islamic radicalism, world jihadism are contributing to the emergence of a reverse radicalism.”
Ahmed, a Belgian engineer in his forties, abandoned Islam because he said he rejected the “total control” his former religion has over people’s lives.
Ahmed spoke only on condition of anonymity and said he was also “fed up with the omnipresence of fundamentalists,” and what he called “the hypocrisy of Islam.”
He joined a group that fights Muslim “indoctrination,” one that has around ten members, “very little financial means” and a website publicizing the books of Robert Spencer, an American anti-Muslim blogger who has been accused of racism and incitement to hatred.
Similar organizations have existed for several years in Britain and Germany, made up of Iranian exiles.
In September, the Central Council of Ex-Muslims in Germany called for a protest against a handful of Salafists who proclaimed themselves “police of the Sharia,” Islamic law, in the western city of Wuppertal.
“It’s true,” Ahmed said, “that somehow we join the extreme right, but Islam is also the extreme right. It’s up to us to clean house.”
Imtiaz Shams, 25, who comes from what he calls a “very conservative” Muslim family in London, may not be an activist like Ahmed.
But he renounced his faith before his family two years ago and joined an “underground community” for former Muslims that now numbers around 300 people in London.
“We do weekly meet-ups, we take care of each other. This is not even the tip of the iceberg. It’s a couple of ice cubes on top of the iceberg,” Shams said.
“We don’t really fit in with the activist ex-Muslim stuff. It’s more personal,” he said.
He said it is very difficult for Muslims to “come out” before their families.
“People feel hurt, because they feel like you are rejecting something, almost spitting in their face even if you have respect for their faith,” he said.
For his mother, it’s also “the fear that my child is going to hell.”
He estimated that there may be around 10,000 agnostics among London’s Muslim community of 600,000. 

Pharma companies hit IPO’s ‘flip-flopping’

Thursday, 20 November 2014 00:00 Published in Business

Small pharmaceutical firms have expressed concern over what they called “flip-flopping” by a quasi-judicial court which ordered them to desist from importing, distributing and selling a generic drug when it had earlier ruled in their favor.
“Flip-flopping practices of courts derail the rightful application of justice,” said Mack Macalanggan, spokesman for pharmaceutical firms Ferma Drug, Mark Ericson Enterprises, and Ellebasy Medicale.
The case stemmed from a complaint filed early this year before the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) of the Bureau of Legal Affairs by multinational drug company Merck Canada.
Merck accused Ferma, Mark Ericson and Ellebasy of infringement of patent law when they imported and distributed a generic anti-inflammatory tablet for heart ailment called etoricoxib (Xibra), which the latter claimed was copied from its drug.
In its first decision dated Aug. 22, 2014, the IPO denied a petition by Merck to issue a temporary restraining order/preliminary injunction embodied in its complaint.
In its order, penned by IPO hearing officer Adoracion Zare and noted by BLA director Nathaniel Arevalo, the court said, “the complainant failed to comply with Sec. 2 of Office Order 186, series of 201, requiring the submission of affidavits and original or certified true copies of supporting documents.”
“The (etoricoxib ) patentability claim is also not clear, and neither the act of infringement which consists of selling and importing clearly established to warrant the issuance of injunctive writ.
The complainant also failed to sufficiently establish that great and irreparable injury that would merit the issuance of the writ,” the court said.
Macalanggan said “the reversal of the previous decision by the IPO without compelling or convincing reasons is not only flip-flopping but also a violation of the provision of Republic Act 9502 or the Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act of 2008.”
Under RA 9502 provisions, “the power and authority to issue a preliminary injunction or restraining order resides only in the Supreme Court,” in support of the people’s Constitutional right to avail themselves of cheaper and quality medicines.
“In the RA 9592, Section 3 of Judicial Review, all cases arising from the implementation of the rule shall be cognizable by court with appropriate jurisdiction by law (74.3). No other courts, except the Supreme Court shall issue any TRO or preliminary injunction or other provisional remedies that will prevent immediate execution.”

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