Passport

Philippines may ban off-key national anthem singing

The Philippine Congress voted unanimously yesterday in favor of a law that forbids deviating from the tune of the country's national anthem or displaying the flag in an unpatriotic manner:

The proposal has been put forward as the MPs felt that Filipino artists had been changing the anthem's military march melody and beat, and the flag was being made into clothing articles. The change in the anthem's tune was noted when it was sung at the boxing matches of Manny Pacquiao, the seven-time Filipino world champion.

If this new law is passed, Filipino singers deviating from the anthem tune could be handed a jail sentence as well as a $2,000 fine.

As a newly elected congressman, Pacquiao presumably voted for the measure himself. 

Here's what a traditional rendition of the Philippine national anthem sounds like if you're curious. Not a bad one, though I'm sure Marvin Gaye could have taken it to another level.

Passport

Tymoshenko blasts Ukraine government's new dress code

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister and style icon Yulia Tymoshenko is not happy about the new dress restrictions put in place by her rival, President Viktor Yanukovych:

"The Queen of England and (Libya's leader Muammar) Gaddafi, for instance, for sure would not have been allowed in the Cabinet," Tymoshenko, who is now a top opposition leader, quipped at a news conference Wednesday.

The code adopted this week calls on men working at the Cabinet of Ministers to wear mostly gray and dark blue suits and not wear the same suit to work two days in a row. Women are asked to stick to business suits and low-heeled shoes, and refrain from excessive makeup and jewelry.

Tymoshenko's stylish outfits and traditional Ukrainian braid have earned her a reputation as a glamour and fashion icon, but also angered some Ukrainians as too luxurious at a time when the country is battered by a severe economic crisis.

Some observers noted that a new dress code was overdue for government offices and other institutions in Ukraine, where women often wear tight, low-cut dresses to work while men are often seen in the same outfit for days in a row.

The Rada sure seems like an interesting place

On a related note, Colum Lynch takes a look at some of the more interesting sartorial choices made by leaders at the recent U.N. General Assembly meeting.