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Red Cross opens evacuation center in response to Calgrove Fire
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Red Cross workers ask residents to listen to local authorities and to be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice

(Photo Image courtesy of http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/wildfire)

(Photo Image courtesy of http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/wildfire)

SANTA CLARITA, CA (June 25, 2015 – 1630) — Local American Red Cross disaster volunteers are responding to the Calgrove Fire near Interstate 5 in Santa Clarita. The team of Red Cross volunteers have opened an evacuation center at West Ranch High School, 26255 Valencia Blvd., Santa Clarita, and are providing a safe place to gather, food and water, and emotional support.

What to do in case of wildfire in your area:

– If there are reports of a wildfire in your area be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.

– Listen to local radio and television stations for updated emergency information.

– Gather copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies), medicine, and personal items that you would want to take with you.

– Confine pets to one room so that you can find them if you need to evacuate quickly.

– Arrange for temporary housing at a friend or relative’s home outside the threatened area.

– Listen and watch for air quality reports and health warnings about smoke.

– Keep indoor air clean by closing windows and doors to prevent outside smoke from getting in.

– Use the recycle or re-circulate mode on the air conditioner in your home or car. If you do not have air conditioning and it is too hot to stay inside with closed windows, seek shelter elsewhere.

– If you have asthma or another lung disease, follow your health care provider’s advice and seek medical care if your symptoms worsen.

For more Red Cross fire safety and preparedness information visit redcross.org/prepare/disaster/wildfire.

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New survey: Firms losing business opportunities by not engaging Asian, Pacific Islander workers
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Survey finds that despite improvements, companies should do more to engage APAs by involving employees in strategic decisions and offering more growth opportunities.

http://asiasociety.org/

http://asiasociety.org/

NEW YORK – Asia Society today issued the 2015 Asian Pacific Americans Corporate Survey at the Diversity Leadership Forum in New York. The study, now in its sixth year, surveys employees from Fortune 500-level companies across different industries to measure how APAs perceive their employers and to learn more about the Asian Pacific American (APA) workforce.

“The world’s leading companies know the vital role the Asia Pacific consumer and workforce leaders will play in their future,” said Josette Sheeran, President and CEO of Asia Society. “Yet, there is a critical gap in knowledge about the growth, development and advancement of this group.”

The survey findings indicate that compared to 2014, APAs see employers more favorably across every category. The greatest year-over-year improvement was in “APA Market Opportunity,” which tracks APA employee involvement in market strategy. 84% of APA employees responded favorably, a jump of 23% from 2014. Despite the improvement, findings across the survey reveal that APAs are still not fully brought into strategic conversations.

While 99% of surveyed APA employees report they really care about the success of their companies, not all feel fully engaged. 86% of employees at top performing companies felt that their company encouraged the participation of APA employees in market/business development activities. At other companies, only 65% of employees on average felt encouraged. The 21% gap between top performers and others represents lost business opportunities and lower employee retention rates.

Lack of engagement of APA leaders also manifests itself in company board makeup. 34% of employees at top performing companies report inadequate APA representation on the company’s board of directors versus 57% at other companies.

The area with largest room for improvement was “Professional Growth.” 24% of all APA employees declared themselves not favorable about their company in that category. In fact, professional growth is identified as one of the top engagement drivers among respondents. When asked what drives them to give their fullest at work, APA employees responded that their three biggest drivers are 1) work-life balance, 2) professional growth, and 3) diversity and employee resource groups (ERGs).

One of the survey’s most surprising findings was the universal support for ERGs among APA employees, with 99% of respondents favorable towards these groups. Initially formed as supportive affinity groups for individuals sharing common interests, ERGs have since evolved into channels for company leadership to personally interact with, and identify, high potential APAs whom they might never have met otherwise. The findings indicate that employers should explore the use these groups as a way to further engage APA talent.

The Asian Pacific Americans Corporate Survey also provides a snapshot of today’s APA workforce. The 2015 survey found that among APA employees at Fortune 500-level companies:

41% identify as East Asian; 38% South Asian; 9% Pacific Islander/Filipino; 8% as Southeast Asian; 3% as being from Multiple Regions

16% are aged 18-29 (Millennials/Gen Y); 34% are aged 30-39 (Millennials/Generation X); 33% are aged 40-49 (Generation X); 17% are aged 50-69 (Baby Boomers)

59% have been with their current employer 5 or more years

48% have Master’s degrees; 87% have Bachelor’s degrees

76% identify as first-generation (born abroad); 17% identify as second-generation (born in the U.S.)

59% of those born abroad arrived in the U.S. at age 21 or older

About Asia Society
Asia Society is the leading educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among peoples, leaders and institutions of Asia and the United States in a global context. Across the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, the Society provides insight, generates ideas, and promotes collaboration to address present challenges and create a shared future. Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit institution with headquarters in New York, centers in Hong Kong and Houston, and offices in Los Angeles, Manila, Mumbai, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, and Washington, DC.

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PHL ‘not provoking’ China: Palace
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A Japanese P3-C Orion surveillance aircraft prepares to take flight during a joint exercise with the Philippine Navy at an airbase in Puerto Princesa, Palawan on Wednesday. The Philippines is holding separate naval exercises with U.S. and Japanese forces this week, not far from the disputed Spratly Islands. (MNS photo)

A Japanese P3-C Orion surveillance aircraft prepares to take flight during a joint exercise with the Philippine Navy at an airbase in Puerto Princesa, Palawan on Wednesday. The Philippines is holding separate naval exercises with U.S. and Japanese forces this week, not far from the disputed Spratly Islands. (MNS photo)

But AFP conducts military exercises with Japan in disputed waters

MANILA (Mabuhay) – The joint military exercises between the Philippines and Japan, which included air patrols over disputed areas in the South China Sea, is not an act of provocation against China, Malacañang said Wednesday.

Malacañang issued the statement as Japanese and Philippine military planes once again flew near Recto Bank off the coast of Palawan, which is being claimed both by Manila and Beijing.

“The Philippines has had these exercises before with our strategic partners. It should not be taken as an affront to any other,” deputy presidential spokesperson Usec. Abigail Valte said in a text message.

She added that the Philippines’ joint military exercise with Japan is merely “an expression of cooperation and learning from all those involved.”

On Tuesday, a Japanese P3-C Orion surveillance plane and a smaller Philippine patrol aircraft flew at 5,000 feet (1,524 m) above the edge of Recto (Reed) Bank. Philippine and Japanese military officers supposedly “practiced search and rescue patterns” near the disputed area.

In response to these military exercises, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said relevant parties should not “hype up or even create tensions in the region.”

Japan and the Philippines have earlier opposed Chinese reclamation activities in the South China Sea. The two countries are also plan to enter into a Visiting Forces Agreement to promote greater military cooperation.

Backdoor discussions?

Meanwhile, Sen. Francis Escudero said the government should talk with China and even consider backdoor discussions on the sea dispute.

At a breakfast forum, Escudero said, “Ang pinu-pursue ng gobyerno ngayon, regional, multi-lateral, at legal approach. Tama ho ‘yon. ‘Wag nating bitiwan ‘yon.”

Pero subukan rin natin ang bilateral and backdoor talks. ‘Wag tayong matakot makipag-usap sa kanila,” he added.

Escudero, together with Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, had called on Malacañang to start talks with China to find a peaceful solution to the dispute.

On Wednesday, he also reiterated that it is a “foreign policy issue” and Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. should not be issuing statements about it.

Tigilan na natin ang paggamit ng chief of staff ng sundalo sa issue ng West Philippine Sea,” Escudero said. “We should still consider and work on this as a diplomatic issue, as a foreign affairs – foreign policy – issue.”

Manila and Beijing have been locked in a territorial dispute over resource-rich parts of the South China Sea over the past years.

China uses the so-called “nine-dash line” to assert ownership of almost the entire South China Sea, while the Philippines uses the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea as basis for its claim.

The Philippines, which calls the disputed areas the West Philippine Sea, has already sought international arbitration before a Netherlands-based tribunal to nullify China’s massive claims over South China Sea. Oral arguments on the case will begin next month.

Beijing, however, has refused to participate in the arbitration proceedings, insisting instead on bilateral talks to settle the dispute. (MNS)

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De Lima orders new BuCor chief to make Bilibid drug-free
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President Benigno S. Aquino III receives a scale model of the 2-classroom school building presented by the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc., (FFCCCII), led by its president Angel Ngu, during the oath taking ceremony at the Rizal Hall of the Malacañan Palace on Tuesday (June 23, 2015). The Operation: Barrio Schools is the longest running and biggest private sector led development program focused on educational infrastructure. To date, some 4,933 school buildings – equivalent to 9,866 classrooms – have already been turned over to public schools nationwide, benefitting nearly one million schoolchildren. Also in photo is Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. (MNS Photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III receives a scale model of the 2-classroom school building presented by the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc., (FFCCCII), led by its president Angel Ngu, during the oath taking ceremony at the Rizal Hall of the Malacañan Palace on Tuesday (June 23, 2015). The Operation: Barrio Schools is the longest running and biggest private sector led development program focused on educational infrastructure. To date, some 4,933 school buildings – equivalent to 9,866 classrooms – have already been turned over to public schools nationwide, benefitting nearly one million schoolchildren. Also in photo is Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. (MNS Photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Rainier Cruz III on Tuesday was sworn in as the new director general of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), which maintains the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.

Accompanied by his family, Cruz was sworn in by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima at the Department of Justice in Manila. The BuCor is a DOJ agency.

“My marching order to him was to make BuCor and the NBP drug-free,” De Lima told reporters.

Cruz replaced BuCor officer-in-charge Franklin Bucayu, who earlier asked President Benigno Aquino III to remove him from the post due to several “death threats” and “issues with health.”

Bucayu informed De Lima he intended to leave the BuCor in early April, barely four months after a raid led by the Justice secretary at the NBP led to the discovery of prohibited items and other contraband like gadgets, money and illegal drugs inside the detention cells of high-profile inmates.

Cruz previously served as commander of the military’s Eastern Mindanao Command from 2013 to 2014. He was also the assistant division commander of the Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry Division from 2011 to 2012.

The new BuCor chief belongs to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Mapitagan” Class of 1980.

Cruz earlier said he would continue the reforms initiated by his predecessor, particularly the development of the NBP.

He said among his priorities would be addressing the reported VIP treatment of some inmates. (MNS)

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Liza Soberano to release album soon
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Liza Soberano (MNS Photo)

Liza Soberano (MNS Photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) — Teen star Liza Soberano will soon release an album, joining a growing list of actors and actresses who are also dabbling in recording.

This was confirmed by talent manager Ogie Diaz on his official Twitter account, in response to a question from a fan.

In her breakthrough series, “Forevermore,” Soberano’s character Agnes was part of a band The Time Machine, such that the actress had to sing in some episodes.

Recently, Soberano and leading man Enrique Gil also performed at the grand finale of “Your Face Sounds Familiar,” during which she suffered a wardrobe malfunction.

While the two were performing a duet of One Direction’s “Kiss You,” Soberano’s tube top slightly slipped down. (MNS)

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Extreme thrills, exotic animals and extraordinary performers
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Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents Circus XTREME; Coming to the southland from July 9 – Aug 2

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus XTREME

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus XTREME

Prepare to be astonished and amazed by some of the coolest acts ever as Ringling Bros. goes to new extremes with the all-new energetic circus production, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus XTREME.  Guided by Ringmaster David Shipman, Children Of All Ages can let their imagination go wild in an exhilarating adventure with extraordinary circus artists and exotic animals. From the highest mountains to the deepest seas, watch as  the show explores a world of extreme beauty, flexibility, strength and dexterity in ways you’ve never seen before at The Greatest Show On Earth Ringling Bros. 145th Edition is highlighted by several unique acts including:

– Xtreme Sports display featuring BMX freestyle riders, energetic parkour performers, trampoline acrobats and slack line gymnastics tricks

– Caravan of Camels – the only act of its kind in the world featuring 6 twin-humped Bactrian camels

– Bungee Skydivers aerial acro-ballet

– World’s youngest human cannonball Gemma “The Jet” Kirby has been shot from the cannon over 500 times

– Mongolian Marvels strongmen create a human pyramid with a combined weight of over 880 pound
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus XTREME. Blending extreme circus displays for the ultimate family fun entertainment experience, playing at STAPLES Center Los Angeles (July 9-14); Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario (July 17-21); and Honda Center, Anaheim (July 24-Aug 2). Tickets priced from $15.

For more information, visit www.Ringling.com.

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Bianca shares how she deals with pregnancy
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Bianca Gonzalez (MNS Photo)

Bianca Gonzalez (MNS Photo)

TV host Bianca Gonzalez shared how she is doing 18 weeks into her pregnancy.

The TV host said she was initially not used to the idea of getting tired very easily.

“I was always feel sleepy. Yung unang second, third month, talagang laging pagod at laging antok. Walang ginagawa pero parang pagod na pagod ka na,” she said.

Kasi yung iba daw, nagiging ayaw yung amoy ng asawa. Both our moms told us na ‘Magiging ayaw mo yung amoy ni JC.’ Now, gusto ko lagi siyang nakikita talaga,” she added, referring to her husband, basketball player JC Intal.

Gonzalez and Intal are expecting their first child in December.

Meanwhile, Gonzalez also talked about the upcoming 10th season of “Pinoy Big Brother” in the same interview. (MNS)

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