A couple days after the super moon (thanks to Ami for the settings).
Spooked geese make for more interesting subjects than calm ones.
More regular posting will begin from here on out.
which pass for public opinion in a land where no such thing exists can be found only in Seoul - Isabella Bird Bishop, 1898
Dozens of AIDS patients on the brink of death are struggling to find places to receive care after being told to leave the nation's only care center for dying AIDS patients, according to a rights activist.Benjamin Wagner and Kwon Mi-ran have written an article about this titled "South Korean patients have nowhere to go as world gathers to discuss HIV/AIDS." An excerpt:
According to HIV/AIDS Human Rights Nanuri, the patients were told to leave the care center, Sudong Yonsei Sanitarium Hospital, earlier this year because it was deprived of a license following alleged violations of human rights.
One patient was raped in 2011. In August of last year, a new patient died 13 days after arriving. The investigation found that the care center staff refused the patient's request for medical attention. Her death attracted media coverage which eventually led to the uncovering of years of human rights abuse.
As experts gather in Melbourne this week for the world’s largest conference dedicated to fighting HIV/AIDS and associated stigma and discrimination, the patients of Sudong Yonsei Sanitarium Hospital in Seoul are caught in a desperate limbo.The rest of the article can be read here.
Following shocking abuse by hospital staff that culminated in the rape of one patient and death of another, the Korea Centers for Disease Control stripped the center of its license. But with the KCDC failing to provide a suitable alternative facility to what is the only long-term care center for AIDS sufferers in the country, more than 30 patients now have nowhere to go.
Meanwhile, ten other patients have been transferred to the National Police Hospital where they report yet more neglect and being denied necessary treatment and care.
The KCDC’s failure to rectify the situation marks its second betrayal of patients after it ignored allegations of mistreatment at Sudong first raised in 2011. Residents of Sudong have reported being denied human contact and not being asked about their condition by a medical professional even once. Some had their requests to be discharged ignored because the hospital insisted on obtaining permission of family members with whom patients had long lost contact. [...]
Shamefully, the plight of the patients at Sudong is not an isolated case of mistreatment of those living with HIV/AIDS in South Korea. In a modern country with world class medical facilities and easy access to antiretroviral therapy, there is no reason why people with HIV/AIDS should not be able to live long, comfortable and productive lives. In fact, a recent study found that some people living with HIV in the United States, particularly those diagnosed and treated before their CD4 counts fell below 350 cells/mm3, “now have life expectancies equal to or even higher than the US general population.”
But not in South Korea where, despite the country’s wealth and capacity for early diagnosis and effective treatment, governmental policies and prevailing societal prejudice conspire to destroy the dignity and quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS and drag the nation back to the 1980s where an HIV positive diagnosis was a death sentence.
Today in Korea, discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS is still so extreme that public and private hospitals routinely refuse to treat them. And the very few that do often segregate them from other patients, forcing them to shower and dine in separate areas, pandering to stigma and the mistaken belief that people with HIV/AIDS can easily infect those around them even though Korean medical professionals know this isn’t true.
The stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS is so intense in South Korea that the National Human Rights Commission of Korea has estimated that Koreans living with HIV are 10 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population, which already has one of the highest suicide rates in the world.
Quincy Black sentenced to prison for spreading video of sex with high school girlThere are about 25 articles reporting on this story, including my favourite from a couple hours ago by the Kyunghyang Sinmun, which opens like this:
A foreign English instructor who spread videos on the internet of sex with Korean women including a high school girl under the name 'Quincy Black ' has been sentenced to prison.
On July 17 the Seoul Central District Court sentenced foreign English instructor C (29), who had been charged with contravening the Law for the protection of children and youth by producing and distributing pornography) to two years and six months in prison was ordered to complete 40 hours of a sexual violence treatment program.
The court's judgement said that "C committed a crime when, as a native speaking English instructor who taught elementary school students, he was in a position to protect youths, and by spreading the pornography he inflicted considerable psychological schock upon the victim."
The judgement listed as reasons for the sentence that "the underage victim in the incident found daily life difficult and moved overseas, while the adult victim wished for C to be punished."
Before the trial C protested that "the video was filmed with the consent of the underage victim" but the court did not accept this, saying that "the victim's feeling uncomfortable during the shooting of the video is valid."
C was charged for videoing sex with high school student A, who he met via a Korean dating site, with a camera and uploading the video to an overseas porn site in late August 2010. C invited A to the lodging provided for him by the Dajeon International Center and after drinking alcohol he filmed their sex using four cameras installed in his room.
Among those victimized by C was an adult woman who did not give her consent to be videoed.
After his criminal activity was discovered, C left Korea and went to China, and early this year was arrested in Armenia and was transferred to Korea for trial according to an extradition convention.
Elementary school instructor by day, sex criminal by night
The two-faced native speaking instructor
A native speaking teacher who taught elementary school students who had sex with a female student who was only 15 and videoed it has been sentenced to prison. The native speaking instructor committed the crime and continued to openly teach English classes to elementary school students.I almost miss this kind of writing. There's been very little of this kind of article this year, and none in the last three and a half months. More than half of the negative articles about foreign teachers have been related to Quincy Black, with the rest revolving around a drug bust in Daegu in January and the drug arrest of a Korean citizen native speaker in Daejeon in April.
In a rare move, federal prosecutors have charged a scientist with fraud. The charges stem from falsified data which had attracted millions of dollars in research grants.Two weeks later, the Demoines Register reported further on the case, noting that Han had resigned from the university last year when the fraud was discovered, and that he had pleaded not guilty. It also reported that
Normally the U.S. Office of Research Integrity will investigate allegations of research misconduct, although since they do not have prosecution authority, charges are rare. In this case, the alleged fraud was so blatant and involved such a huge amount of money that federal prosecutors felt they had to step in.
The charges are based on years of research by Dong-Pyou Han, a former laboratory manager at Iowa State University and a native of South Korea. Han’s research into an HIV vaccine was promising and gained widespread attention. The hope was that the successful HIV vaccine could be administered to at-risk people around the globe, preventing them from catching the devastating disease. Because of the urgency for HIV treatments and vaccines, and because the research showed great promise, Han’s lab secured millions of dollars in grants from the National Institutes of Health to continue their research.
However, another laboratory eventually looked into Han’s work and found irregularities. They became convinced that the data was purposely falsified.
As Han was investigated, he admitted to placing human antibodies in rabbit blood to make it look like his vaccine was working. He had sent the samples to another lab who verified the results. However, in reality, Han’s vaccine appears to be a dud, which is a big disappointment for the scientific community and those affected by HIV and AIDS. Han claims he acted alone, without the knowledge of the lead researcher Michael Cho, and that he simply wanted the results of his research to look better.
Last week, prosecutors went ahead and charged Han with four counts of making false statements. If convicted, the scientist could face up to five years in prison for each charge. Han failed to appear in court Tuesday for his arraignment, apparently due to a mix-up, so he has another court date scheduled next week. Han had already surrendered his passport.
The team, which includes researchers at other universities, was awarded $14.5 million in such grants over several years, officials have said. Much of that money was awarded because of the team's dramatic reports of vaccine success, which turned out to be bogus.The National Institutes of Health decided, unsurprisingly, "not to make the final, $1.38 million payment on a grant to the ISU team." The article adds that this "decision comes on top of ISU's agreement to reimburse the federal agency $496,000 for salary and other costs related to Dong-Pyou Han's employment."
The next most promising vaccine comes from a lab in Thailand, which has succeeded in protecting about a third of its recipients from infection. However, this rate is not high enough for widespread vaccination programs. An HIV vaccine remains a priority for scientific research as people in both developed and developing countries continue to contract the serious disease at a rate of about 6,300 new cases a day.Despite it being 'a rare move' for federal prosecutors to charge a scientist with fraud, and despite similarity with another well-known Korean scientist who committed fraud (and especially in the post-Sewol mood of self-criticism), only a handful of Korean news outlets reported on this, with the Segye Ilbo being the only major paper to publish a report (which refers to him as a '재미 한인,' or Korean American).
I am a former EPIK English teacher, and am currently in graduate school doing research on the experiences of native English speakers living and working in Korea.
I wanted to do this research to give foreigners in Korea the chance to talk about their experience in a controlled forum, so that we could ultimately use the data to help improve the experiences of expats in Korea.
Here is the survey info:
We are looking for native English speakers currently in Korea and 18 years or older to participate in a research study with the purpose of learning about typical emotional experiences.
Complete an approximately 30 minute online survey to have your experiences heard. You will also be entered in a raffle. 1 in 10 participants will win a gift card prize up to a $50 value for their participation!
If interested, go the link below!
This research is conducted by Nicole Senft in affiliation with Georgetown University. For more information, contact her at email@example.com.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government designated two underground drainageHere are photos of the 394 meter tunnel beneath Namdaemun-ro (as in the street) from the Donga Ilbo:
tunnels built in the early 20th century as its cultural assets, Sunday. Pictured is a tunnel beneath Namdaemun [sic], central Seoul, which was discovered in 2012. The other tunnel is under City Hall Plaza.
At that moment, the team became the target of a volley of pumpkin yeot (Korean taffy) thrown by a small group of fans yelling “Eat yeot!” and “Shame on you!” Some of them also held signs, one of which read “Korean football is dead.” Fortunately, their bad aim meant no Korean team member was struck by the candy.While I know about the incident from the 1960s, I hadn't realized it's where the term 'Eat Yeot' as a swearword originated from. It's described in Seoul Through Pictures 4: Seoul, To Rise Again (1961-1970) on pgs 304-5:
In Korean, the phrase “eat yeot” is an offensive slur equivalent to “screw you,” which originated in the 1960s when students protested against the Education Ministry over a question on their school exam regarding how the taffy is made.
In December of 1964, elementary school students in Seoul took junior high school entrance examinations. Question 18 in the Science section asked, "What can replace malt when making rice taffy?" Choices included 'diastase' and 'radish juice,' the correct answer being 'diastase.' However, 39 parents of those studnets who chose 'radish juice' filed a lawsuit, presenting rice taffies that were made with radish juice as a piece of evidence. The Supreme Court accepted 'radish juice' as a correct answer and the students who passed the examination by earning the extra point were able to enter their desired schools in May of 1965.
2 GI's Occupy Police Tower in the Heart of SeoulIn truth, I was able to find that article only after searching the Naver News Library and finding the following article published on April 3, 1973, by the Donga Ilbo:
Two American soldiers, armed with light machine guns and M-16 rifles, holed up in a hilltop police box here for nine hours today demanding honorable discharge from Army service and a safe trip out of South Korea.
Two armed US soldiers in 9 hour disturbanceWe're provided with basic information above, but its source is clearly USFK (made clear by the fact that in Korean, the article lists their names and ranks followed by numbers (이이), (이오), which I correctly guessed were their ages; apparently a translator didn't quite understand that). A lot has been left out, as the following Stars and Stripes article (which began on page one of the Pacific edition) published on April 4, 1973 reveals:
Demand to be discharged, occupy guard post, afterwards turn themselves in
From 10 am on April 2, two American soldiers armed with service weapons occupied the guard post on the hill next to the Namsan TV Antenna and held a sit-in for 9 hours and gave themselves up at 7:40 pm.
USFK headquarters announced on the afternoon of the second that Sgt. Michael McDonald, 25 and private Terry Hergert, 22 from Camp Humphries in Pyeongtaek demanded an honourable discharge from the army, exemption from arrest by Korean and US officials, and being able to safely leave Korea.
Korean military and police blocked off the entire area, and with the help of the US military they were advised to turn themselves in.
That afternoon, after being persuaded by private Johnnie Dunn, who works in Seoul, they turned themselves in and returned to barracks.
USFK authorities disclosed that they were arrested and are under investigation.
A spokesperson for USFK headquarters expressed regret for the incident to the people of Korea.
Lee Cheong-yeon, the newly elected education superintendent-elect for Incheon, has made it clear that his office will be run on a tight budget. He said in a recent press conference that the IMOE needs an additional 100 billion won ($98.8 million) to carry out all the programs that it had scheduled for the second half of 2014.It also adds that
The IMOE was not the only education office short on cash. The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education recently announced that its budget was 300 billion won short.The Herald claims the news came to light at Waygook.org, and states that one teacher posting there was asked to resign by her employers, indicating that the cuts may affect current employees.
One said that teachers in Korea are being “used as pawns in a game” and are never provided enough protection from authorities’ decisions, which can devastate their lives.Is is just me, or do these quotes undermine using Waygook.org as a source at all?
Another disdainful native English teacher claimed that Incheon was “never a good destination for EPIK teachers,” and said that the education office there hires too few and its practices are “shady.”