Category Archives: Google Stuff

Philippine Super Typhoon Disaster – USG Assistance, Welfare/Whereabouts, Donation Information

– Domani Spero

Via the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):  “Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) made its first landfall in the early morning of 8 November in Guiuan, Eastern Samar province with maximum sustained winds of 235 km/h and wind gusts at 275 km/h. Haiyan made subsequent landfalls in Tolosa south of Tacloban City, Leyte province, Daanbantayan and Bantayan Island, Cebu province, Conception, Iloilo province and Busuanga, Palawan province. Communication and power lines are down in the most affected areas. Access has been limited due to damaged roads, fallen trees and debris which continue to hamper the humanitarian relief operations. On 9 November, the Government accepted the UN offer of international assistance. The Humanitarian Country Team and the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination team were deployed to Tacloban City and Iloilo City to support rapid needs assessment, support coordination and re-establish communication networks.”

Screen Shot 2013-11-11

Image from OCHA

The Philippines is a country with over 7,000 islands, and a population of over 98 million. The fear that the number of casualties will grow as affected areas are able to re-establish communication with the mainland is justified.

According to the State Department there are an estimated four million Americans of Philippine ancestry in the United States, and more than 300,000 U.S. citizens residing in the Philippines.  An estimated 600,000 Americans also visit the Philippines each year. As of FY2012, our bilateral trade with the Philippines fast-growing economy was $17 billion.  Until early 1990s, the Philippines hosted U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay and Clark Air Base in the Luzon island.

On November 11, Secretary Kerry released the following statement (excerpt):

As we commemorate Veterans Day here at home, the State Department is working with Team Rubicon to deploy a team of incredible, courageous American veterans to the Philippines and all the areas damaged by Typhoon Haiyan. Just as they did after Hurricane Sandy, these veterans will be using the skills they learned in uniform to help others recover from this terrible storm.

The State Department also is cooperating with the Philippines Typhoon Disaster Relief Fund established by The mGive Foundation, a U.S. nonprofit organization, to coordinate donations via mobile phones to benefit victims of the typhoon.

I want to assure the people of the Philippines and the many Americans of Filipino heritage that we are working as hard as possible to provide essential assistance to help the Philippine people and their government recover from this tragedy.

On the same day, the Pentagon announced that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has ordered the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) and other U.S. Navy ships to make best speed for the Republic of the Philippines. They are expected to be on station within 48-72 hours. These ships and aircraft will be able to provide humanitarian assistance, supplies, and medical care in support of the ongoing efforts in the Philippines.

The aircraft carrier, which carries 5,000 Sailors and more than 80 aircraft, is currently in Hong Kong for a port visit. The crew is being recalled early from shore leave and the ship is expected to be underway later this evening.

In company with the carrier will be the cruisers USS Antietam (CG 54) and USS Cowpens (CG 63), and the destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89). The supply ship USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE-10) is already underway and will rendezvous with the group as they get closer. USS Lassen (DDG 82) got underway yesterday for the region. Embarked on board USS George Washington, is Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW-5).

CVW-5 is a collection of aircraft designed to perform various functions including disaster relief and includes the “Golden Falcons” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12 flying the MH-60S Seahawk; and the “Saberhawks” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 77 flying the MH-60R Seahawk.

Active links added above.  Also on November 11, USAID announced a $20 million humanitarian assistance to the Philippines:

In response to the storm, the United States Government announced today $20 million in humanitarian assistance, including emergency food aid and critical relief supplies–like shelter materials and hygiene kits–for disaster-affected areas. These supplies will not only provide life-saving care in the immediate aftermath of the storm, but will also help prevent illness and death from waterborne and communicable diseases. A shipment is already on its way with enough plastic sheeting, soap, toothbrushes, toilet paper, and sanitary supplies to help 10,000 families. Another shipment of the same size will follow closely behind. We are also sending 55 metric tons of food, including highly nutritious bars and paste–containing a day’s worth of calories–to nourish approximately 20,000 children and 15,000 adults for roughly 4 to 5 days.

To read more about the USG assistance, click here.

Welfare and Whereabouts of U.S. Citizens in the Philippines

If you are concerned about the welfare or whereabouts of an American citizen in the Philippines, here are some useful contact numbers:

If you are in the United States, you may call the Department of State’s Overseas Citizens Services (OCS) toll-free hotline at (888) 407-4747 during the hours 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (EST) Monday through Friday.  The Department of State has activated the Typhoon Haiyan Response Call Center to handle inquiries about US citizens who may be present in the Philippines. You may contact the Call Center at 888-407-4747 if calling from within the U.S. or 202-501-4444 if calling from any other location.

At all other times, call the duty officer twenty-four hours a day at 202-647-4000.

Google has also put together a Google Crisis Response Yolanda  including a Person Finder and mapping urgent needs by category via MicroMappers:

Screen Shot 2013-11-12

Donation Information (per state.gov)

U.S. wireless subscribers can text AID to 80108 to give a $10 donation to the mGive Philippines Typhoon Disaster Relief Fund.

Donations will be collected from the U.S. wireless carriers by the mGive Foundation, a 501c3 public charity that empowers text donation campaigns across 60 U.S. wireless carriers–providing access to 99 percent of all mobile phone users. Donations made to mGive will be distributed to relief organizations supporting Philippine Typhoon response and recovery. For more information visit, www.mgive.org.

The $10 donation will go to The mGive Foundation’s Philippines Typhoon Disaster Relief Fund. Charges will appear on the donor’s wireless bill or be deducted from the prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. Donors must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to participate.

* * *

About these ads

Leave a comment

Filed under Americans Abroad, Consular Work, Countries 'n Regions, Defense Department, Disasters, Foreign Assistance, Google Stuff, John F. Kerry, State Department, U.S. Missions, USAID

Which part of the US has been googling WikiLeaks the most?

Here’s a clue – 10% of all U.S. federal procurement money is spent in this state. 

Clue #2, this state hosts several federal agencies which include  the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and others.

Ta-dah!

What’s in Virginia? Besides the headquarters of several federal agencies? About 263,552 federal employees and retirees according to 2008 stats, not to mention a host of defense contractors that call the state home.  And within Virginia, the most googlers come from — Sterling –

What’s in Sterling, Virginia?

Screen capture above from Google Insights for Search which “analyzes a portion of worldwide Google web searches from all Google domains to compute how many searches have been done for the terms you’ve entered, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time.” The snapshots change according to search parameters.

Probably just interesting to nerdy cats like us …


Leave a comment

Filed under Federal Agencies, Google Stuff, Leaks|Controversies, Technology

Video of the Week: Ross and Cohen talk 21st Century Statecraft at Google

Below is a clip of the 21st Century Statecraft talk at Google with Eric Schmidt, and the State Department’s Alec Ross & Jared Cohen earlier this year (Mr. Cohen has since moved to Google as Director of Google Ideas).

Eric Schmidt (Chair and Google CEO) and Jared Cohen, by the way have co-authored a piece in the November/December 2010 of Foreign Affairs, Digital Disruption, Connectivity and the Diffusion of Power. where they write:

The advent and power of connection technologies — tools that connect people to vast amounts of information and to one another — will make the twenty-first century all about surprises. Governments will be caught off-guard when large numbers of their citizens, armed with virtually nothing but cell phones, take part in mini-rebellions that challenge their authority. For the media, reporting will increasingly become a collaborative enterprise between traditional news organizations and the quickly growing number of citizen journalists. And technology companies will find themselves outsmarted by their competition and surprised by consumers who have little loyalty and no patience.
[…]
Continuous innovation — and the increasing population of the interconnected estate — will pose new, difficult challenges for people and governments the world over. Even the best-informed and most active users of technology will find themselves caught in a blur of new devices and services. In an era when the power of the individual and the group grows daily, those governments that ride the technological wave will clearly be best positioned to assert their influence and bring others into their orbits. And those that do not will find themselves at odds with their citizens.

The article is available here (registration required).


 

 


Leave a comment

Filed under Digital Diplomacy, Google Stuff, People, State Department, Technology and Work

State Dept’s Top Twitterati Jared Cohen Moves to Google

Photo from Children of Jihad

This news is going to make our blog friend, The Skeptical Bureaucrat sad.  According to Politico’s Laura Rozen, the State Department’s top twitterati, Jared Cohen is moving to Google, not to Mountain View but to New York. Excerpt:

State Policy Planning staff official Jared Cohen informs colleagues of his last day after four years at State for a new job with Google.

E-mail below:

    From: Jared Cohen
    Sent: Tuesday, September 07, 2010 6:21 PM
    Subject: Jared Cohen Next Steps and New Contact Info
   
Dear Friends and Colleagues,

    Last Thursday, September 2nd, was my last day in government. After four years on the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff, I have accepted a job as the Director of a new entity at Google called “Google Ideas”. I will also serve as an Adjunct Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

    Google Ideas will combine the models of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, a think tank, and a private sector company, with resources to implement. In this sense, Google Ideas will be a think/do tank that strives to bring together diverse perspectives from multiple industries to generate new ideas, approaches and solutions to security, social, economic and political challenges in the world. At the Council on Foreign Relations, I will focus on counter-terrorism, counter-radicalization, and 21st century statecraft. Please see my interview with Foreign Policy Magazine, which describes Google Ideas in greater detail: http://tinyurl.com/2ateola

Read the whole thing here.

You can still follow him at: http://twitter.com/jaredcohen


Leave a comment

Filed under Google Stuff, People, Social Media, State Department, Where Are They Now?

Google Buzz: Think Before You Click

A lot of virtual ink has been spilled on Google Buzz since its rollout last week especially relating to privacy issues. Here is the Google team’s recent take:  Millions of Buzz users, and improvements based on your feedback and A new Buzz start-up experience based on your feedback:  On Saturday, Google announced some forthcoming changes via its Gmail blog:

For the tens of millions of you who have already started using Buzz, over the next couple weeks we’ll be showing you a similar version of this new start-up experience to give you a second chance to review and confirm the people you’re following.
[…]
Second, Buzz will no longer connect your public Picasa Web Albums and Google Reader shared items automatically. Just to be clear: Buzz only automatically connected content that was already public, so if you had previously shared photos in an “Unlisted” album or set your Google Reader shared items as “Protected,” no one except the people you’d explicitly allowed to see your stuff has been able to see it. But due to your feedback Buzz will no longer connect these sites automatically.

Third, we’re adding a Buzz tab to Gmail Settings. From there, you’ll be able to hide Buzz from Gmail or disable it completely. In addition, there will be a link to these settings from the initial start-up page so you can easily decide from the get go that you don’t want to use Buzz at all.

This may be a great idea for some, but it’s not for me.  If you want to skip this hassle after the Buzz splash screen (the one that says Check out Buzz and Nah, go directly to Gmail), select Nah … and go to your Gmail account.  Scroll down to the bottom of your Gmail page and click on “turn off Buzz.” Buzz should disappear from the left-hand side bar of your Gmail. For good measure, check that your Google profile is also configured to your desired privacy setting.    

Related Items: 

Leave a comment

Filed under Google Stuff, Privacy, Technology and Work

BlogNotes: Moving to Google Feedburner

Just a quick note — apparently since Google’s acquisition of FeedBurner on June 1, 2007, they have been moving the FeedBurner application to Google hardware, software, and data centers. Feedburner publishers including Diplopundit have recently been asked to move their feeds from Feedburner to Google Feedburner.

There should not be a loss of service with the feeds during this transition process. All feeds.feedburner.com URLs will redirect readers to feeds hosted by Google. Readers will continue to receive Diplopundit feeds.

But if you do encounter troubles with receiving my feeds, please be patient. According to Google FeedBurger, everything should return to normal within 72 hours of the move.

Leave a comment

Filed under Blognotes, Google Stuff

BlogNotes: Moving to Google Feedburner

Just a quick note — apparently since Google’s acquisition of FeedBurner on June 1, 2007, they have been moving the FeedBurner application to Google hardware, software, and data centers. Feedburner publishers including Diplopundit have recently been asked to move their feeds from Feedburner to Google Feedburner.

There should not be a loss of service with the feeds during this transition process. All feeds.feedburner.com URLs will redirect readers to feeds hosted by Google. Readers will continue to receive Diplopundit feeds.

But if you do encounter troubles with receiving my feeds, please be patient. According to Google FeedBurger, everything should return to normal within 72 hours of the move.

Leave a comment

Filed under Blognotes, Google Stuff

Google Vote Mapplet – Live!

Leave a comment

Filed under Elections, Google Stuff, Updates

Google Vote – 28 Days to Election Day

1 Comment

Filed under Elections, Google Stuff, Technology

Google "In Quotes" and the Presidentiables

Leave a comment

Filed under Elections, Google Stuff, Technology