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Friday, September 11, 2009

Mike Fowler | Journalist/prosecutor trained reporters around the world


Mike Fowler, a veteran lawyer/journalist who left Miami jobs in both fields to train reporters in Asia and the Middle East, died Aug. 18 in New Hampshire. He was 67.

His wife, journalist Susan Postelwaite, said he suffered complications from routine laparoscopic surgery for gastro-intestinal reflux.

The couple and daughter Kim, 8, were summering at their home in North Sandwich, N.H., when Fowler took sick. They'd planned a return to Kim's native Cambodia, where both Fowler and Postelwaite wrote and taught.

During the 1970s and '80s, the Kansas City native worked in Miami for UPI and the Miami News and taught part time at Florida International University. After graduating from the University of Miami School of Law, he became a prosecutor in then-State Attorney Janet Reno's office.

The two-time Knight Fellow went on to train journalists, write and teach in Egypt, India, Bulgaria and Afghanistan, as well as Cambodia.

``He was really important because during the early to mid-1990s, Cambodia's journalism was very young and we strongly needed training to pass on the skills and knowledge to local journalists,'' Moeun Chhean Narridh, director of the Cambodian Institute for Media Studies, told the English language Cambodia Daily.

Miami political consultant Keith Donner took classes from Fowler in the mid-1980s at FIU's School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

``Mike was this mixture of Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway and Graham Greene,'' Donner recalled. ``He was a tall, hulking guy -- about six-foot-five -- with a great wit and tremendous intellect,'' as well as a fondness for cigarettes and Scotch.

``He was the coolest guy in a very cool profession.''

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Taiwan court convicts Chen, imposes life sentence

Taiwan's former president Chen Shui-bian speaks to media at the Taipei District Court after being released on bail, early Saturday morning, Dec. 13, 2008, in Taipei, Taiwan. (AP)

Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian got life behind bar for corruptions and causing great damages to the country. Inspired of that the Hun Xen regime officials have been destroying the country, selling the country and enormous corruptions are walking free. Cambodians wonder when are those criminals going to stay for life in prison? News Staff
Former Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian has been sentenced to life in prison after he was convicted of corruption on Friday, marking a defining moment in the island's troubled political history.

Chen's wife was also convicted of corruption and she too will be serving a life term, according to Taipei court official Huang Chun-ming.

Huang said the couple was also fined NT $500 million (about $16.3 million CAD)

"Chen Shui-bian and Wu Shu-chen were sentenced to life in prison because Chen has done grave damage to the country, and Wu, because she was involved in corruption deals as the first lady," Huang told The Associated Press.

Hundreds of people held a protest outside the courtroom to show their support for Chen, holding flags and banners that proclaimed his innocence and asking the court to "free him."

Chen, 58, was found guilty of multiple counts of corruption by three judges in the Taipei District Court. He chose not to attend the proceedings, opting instead to stay in a suburban Taipei jail where he has been held since late December.

He was charged with:

embezzling $3.15 million from a presidential fund
receiving bribes worth $9 million in connection with a government land deal
laundering money through Swiss bank accounts forging documents.

Many Taiwanese believed that Chen was guilty of some level of corruption though his supporters remain convinced that Chen's views against China played a role in his prosecution and his jail term.

At first, Chen was freed on his own recognizance following his indictment late 2008. The three judges who made that decision were taken off the case and replaced by a new panel. The new judges ordered Chen back in police custody, deeming him a flight risk and saying that he could use his freedom to collude with coconspirators.

But the Taiwanese justice officials have steadfastly rejected accusations of unfairness, saying that no man -- regardless of his position -- is above the law.

Chen first came into power in 2000 after he vowed to eradicate decades of corruption by the Nationalist Party. He also promised he would deepen Taiwan's independence.

However, he was swiftly criticized for his alleged tendency to bend accepted procedures and relax the management of a special presidential fund meant to promote Taiwan's interests overseas.

Chen faced numerous challenges, including China's hostility and tense relations with the U.S. -- Taiwan's major foreign partner.

Washington had pressured the former president to stand down from his insistence on Taiwanese independence, afraid it would spark a war with Beijing.

President Ma Ying-jeou has since taken over for Chen, who has managed to improve relations with Beijing.

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Lamoiyan Corp. to export Hapee products to China

MANILA - Filipino-owned Lamoiyan Corp., the manufacturer of the Hapee toothpaste brand, will be exporting its products to China, the company’s top official said.

Cecilio Kwok Pedro, the company’s president and chief executive, said they have decided to be more aggressive and enter the Chinese market.

Lamoiyan has been exporting its products to Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei, Pa-pua New Guinea and the Middle East.

“In every crisis, there is an opportunity,” Pedro said.

The company will compete with multinational companies in China using its cost-competitive advantage in the consumer market – the same formula it used to break into the foreign-dominated toothpaste segment in the Philippines.

Pedro said Lamoiyan is putting emphasis on participating in trade fairs as a strategy to expand its market. In 2008, the company participated in a trade fair in Dubai and bagged a distributorship deal.

This year, the company joins for the first time the China-ASEAN Expo 2009, the country’s trade platform for exporters hoping to explore the Chinese market.

Led by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotions agency of the Department of Trade and Industry, CAEXPO 2009 is a yearly celebration of more than a thousand years of trade and cultural exchanges between China and Southeast Asian nations.

CAEXPO began as an annual event in 2003. Over the past five years, it generated a total of 119,000 trade visitors, $6.52 billion in trade volume, and international investments cooperation projects worth $28.62 billion.

Together with Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, the Philippines will promote its trade, tourism and investment opportunities to over 10,000 trade buyers from China and all over South East Asia attending CAEXPO.

Last year, the Philippines generated close to $1 million in sales.

The best-selling Philippine products were bottled sardines, bangus pate, virgin coconut oil, snack foods and fresh fruits. Other Filipino exhibitors joining Lamoiyan are Agrinurture Inc. (canned fruit juices, coco products); Art Workx Jewelry Inc. (jewelry designing); Beadaholic Inc. (fashion accessories); Beso Import Export Trading (ready-to-drink); Camelia (candies, chocolates); Cechosa Trading Enterprises (tin crafts); Egonco Enterprises (Philippine Banana snack); Jacildo’s Handicrafts (home d├ęcor); Knick Knacks Trading Corp. (arts, crafts and gifts); Manila Business College (Education); Mega Fishing Corp. (sardines); Nor-Ref Food Products (brewed coffee); Phymax International Corp. (Stationery and Desk Accessories); Team Asia Corp, (Refined Coconut oil); and Unique Novelties and Toys (toys).

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Cambodia's former King Norodom Sihanouk prefers to be cremated

By Rasmei Kampuchea

Phnom Penh: The former King of Cambodia, Norodom Sihanouk, told his people if he dies he prefers to having his body cremated.

During the meeting with Bun Rany Hun Sen, wife of Prime minister Hun Sen and president of Cambodian Red Cross, which took place on August 29, he said the stupa was built already for him in the royal palace.

The former King, who is 86 years old, explained that for Christine people, their body will be buried, but for him, his body shall be cremated through the Khmer tradition.

"My wife (former Queen Monineath) also agrees that her body should also be cremated when she dies," said Sihanouk.

He said his cancers have been treated by Chinese doctors, but he was recommended to have medical checkups and treatments every 7 months.

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