GOVERNMENTS TO PHASE OUT PASSPORTS AS WE KNOW IT

imageNew York, New York – If pets can have it, why can’t humans?  With this common sense-question before it, a top-level immigration sub-committee of the United  Nations is busy drafting an international code that would all but eliminate passports as we know it.

Currently, most countries issue and require machine-readable passports as part of their immigration laws. These passports have greatly facilitated entry procedures worldwide by a simple scan of the travel documents.

The new code will instead require travelers and citizens to have their citizenship and residency information stored in microchips implanted in their forearms. It would be similar to microchips implanted in pets.

The sub-committee members said that this technonogical change would not only reduce long lines at ports of entry at airports, border checkpoints and disembarking piers worldwide, but also reduce the incidence of fake passports which continue to be a big problem.

Visa information, if required, would also be incorporated into the microchips. Any updates or change in personal information and status can be easily changed by logging on to the Internet with a unique password provided by the issuing government agency.

The new rules are expected to be in effect by January 1, 2016.  Have a microchip? Will travel!

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STARBUCKS TO PURCHASE ALL ABC STORES IN WAIKIKI

imageHonolulu, Hawaii – Waikiki residents and frequent visitors alike were taken by surprise at the announcement that the International Market Place has permanently closed as of January 1, 2014.  It is considered the last hold-out among open-air, under-the- banyan-tree places that defined this top-rated tourist destination in Hawaii. It featured small businesses in wooden stalls selling wares from t-shirts, to pearl jewelry to ukuleles. It was a “people’s park” in a sense, where ordinary people shop for inexpensive souvenirs and partake of diverse fast-food menus at its food court. In its place, Saks Fifth Avenue will build a new several storey department store.

imageWell, it appears this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Starbucks has just announced that it is purchasing all of the ABC stores in Waikiki – that means two or three in every block or corner of Waikiki’s major thoroughfares like Kuhio and Kalakaua Avenues. Effective February 1, 2014, all ABC Stores will become Starbucks Coffee Shops.  Starbucks has , however, assured everyone that it will add Kona coffee to its regular menu to keep the Aloha spirit in their business. It will also offer spam sushi as part of its breakfast menu, as well as macadamia nuts for its snacks. In place of its iced coffees, Starbucks will offer shaved ice coffees.

GOOGLE TRYING TO COURT FUGITIVE EDWARD SNOWDEN

imageMountain View, California –  Will 2014 prove to be a banner year for American fugitive Edward Snowden?  Mr. Snowden is now living in Russia, on the run from American charges of espionage and theft relating the National Security Agency top secret leaks.

First, The New York Times Editorial Board published an op-ed piece calling for an offer of clemency or plea bargain for Mr. Snowden, considering the value of his leaks and the N.S.A. abuse he has exposed.

Now, the country’s premier tech company Google is reportedly in secret negotiations with Snowden, offering him a hefty-paying position in Mountain View upon his return to the U.S.

The Adobo Chronicles has learned that Google has hit a snag and plateau in terms of the marketing of its much-ballyhooed product, the Google Glass.  “Obviously, we needed a recognizable and controversial face to model our product, and what could be a better choice than Snowden,” said Google CEO Larry Page.  “He’s also easy on the eyes, and the Google Glass fits perfectly on the well-defined contours of his face,” Page added.

Analysts, however,  suspect that having Mr. Snowden be the model for the Google Glass is just a front, and that Google’s real intention is to make Snowden the chief of its Internet Surveillance Department which would monitor any secret or unauthorized intrusion by the N.S.A. into Google’s data system.

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