Philippine News

‘Mercado not fleeing Senate probe’

Breaking News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 18:01
MANILA, Philippines---Former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado isn't fleeing from the Senate inquiry into the alleged anomalies involving Vice President Jejomar Binay, two senators said Friday.   Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee was aware of Mercado's departure for the United States, and expected him to be back for the resumption of the inquiry in January next year.   "He's definitely coming back anytime there's a hearing," Cayetano said of the subcommittee's key witness, who has accused Binay of committing several anomalies while he was mayor of Makati City.   Senator Antonio Trillanes IV agreed: "He's definitely n...

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Palace on ISIS fighter: Filipino? Or just Filipino-looking Asian?

Breaking News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 17:25
MANILA, Philippines--The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighter featured in one of the extremist group's execution videos may look like a Filipino but he could be from any Asian country, Malacaang said Friday. "You go to Indonesia and I assure you that if you see our Indonesian neighbors, they also look like Filipinos. A lot of us in Asia share the same characteristics and I would not be so bold as to say that he (the ISIS fighter) is Filipino)," Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte told Palace reporters. Photos of the said ISIS member circulated online after a UK website highlighted the fact that the jihadis in the video of the beheading of 18 Syrian soldiers...

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PH gov’t eyes improved ranking in Global Terrorism Index

Breaking News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 17:17
MANILA, Philippines---Malacaang on Friday said it is hoping that the country's ranking in the Global Terrorism Index will improve in the future, as it compares its own data with that of the Institute for Economics and Peace.   "We'd like to see what those incidents are and compare it with the data that our law enforcement agencies have," Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said. "But certainly, I think everyone is unified in the goal that we want to lessen these incidents."   The Institute for Economics and Peace this week released its Global Terrorism Index, which ranked the Philippines as 9th out of 162 countries with terrorism activities.  ...

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Thai junta chief disregards ‘Hunger Games’ salutes, signs of defiance

Breaking News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 17:14
BANGKOK, Thailand -- Thailand's military ruler Friday said he was unfazed by people using a three-fingered protest salute inspired by the blockbuster Hollywood franchise "The Hunger Games" to express opposition to the country's junta. But General Prayut Chan-O-Cha warned that those who adopted the gesture in public risked jeopardizing their futures. The salute has become the unofficial symbol of resistance against the army's May coup with scores detained for raising three fingers in the air in an act of defiance. The same gesture is used in the fictional movies by rebels fighting against a dictatorial regime. "I'm not concerned by the three-finger protest," Prayut told repor...

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Legislator seeks probe into Uber

Breaking News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 16:55
MANILA, Philippines---A party-list lawmaker has called for a congressional probe into the ride-sharing service Uber, whose operation in Metro Manila has been stopped following complaints from taxi operators.   Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon filed a resolution urging the House Metro Manila Development committee to investigate the smartphone app-driven company for skirting laws requiring public utility vehicles to secure a franchise.   "While Uber offers a new level of convenience for the riding public using available technologies, this innovation should also operate within the ambit of the law," he said in an explanatory note.   "Public vehicle franchising is a...

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Palace prays for Pacquiao’s strength and fortitude

Breaking News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 13:53
MANILA, Philippines---Malacaang on Friday said it is praying for "strength and fortitude" for Sarangani Representative and boxing champion Manny Pacquiao for his upcoming fight with American boxer Chris Algieri.   "Nawa'y pagpalain siya ng Panginoon na magkaroon ng sapat na lakas at gilas upang maipagwagi ang laban niya at magdulot ng ibayong karangalan sa bansang Pilipinas!" Communications Secretary Herminio "Sonny" Coloma Jr. said in a statement.   (May the Lord grant him enough strength and fortitude to be able to win this fight and bring pride to the country)   "Hangad ng buong sambayanan ang tagumpay ng ating Pambansang Kamao, si Congressman Mann...

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Magnitude 6.2 quake rocks Batanes

Breaking News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 12:33
MANILA, Philippines -- A 6.2-magnitude quake jolted Batanes middayFridayand aftershocks are expected.   The tectonic quake was recorded at 214 kilometers southwest of Itbayat at11:29a.m., the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.   The quake had a depth of 32 kilometers.   Intensity III was felt in Calayan Island, Phivolcs said.   No immediate damage was recorded from the quake.   RELATED STORIES 6.1 magnitude earthquake hits Batanes---USGS 4.9 quake jolts Batanes on Maundy Thursday...

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Clashes as Mexicans hold rally for 43 missing students

Breaking News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 12:29
Protesters angry at the presumed massacre of 43 students clashed with police outside Mexico's National Palace on Thursday after a massive march demanding President Enrique Pena Nieto's resignation.   The face-off marred a mostly peaceful rally of tens of thousands of black-clad people in the capital, where they waved blackened Mexican flags and chanted "Urgent! Urgent for the president to resign!"   Parents of the 43 male college students, who reject claims their sons are dead and demand the government find them alive, led the latest nationwide demonstration to the historic National Palace.   Shouting "Pena Nieto Out," some protesters threw powerful f...

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Drilon: Overpricing issue delaying ICC completion, jeopardizing Iloilo’s Apec hosting

Breaking News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 12:25
MANILA, Philippines--Senate PresidentFranklin Drilonon Fridayblamed the "malicious" and "baseless" allegations against the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) on the delays of itsconstruction thatmayimperil the province's chance to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meetingsin 2015.   Drilon said theaccusations madeby a known politicaloperatoragainstthe ICC, which is now the subject of investigationby the SenateBlue Ribbon committee, were "directly responsible for the failure of bidding for the second phase of the ICC's construction."   He was apparently referring toformerprovincial administrator Manuel Mejorada, who alleged that the project was overpr...

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Obama orders changes in US immigration system

Breaking News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 12:07
WASHINGTON --- President Barack Obama is ordering far-reaching changes to the US immigration system that will protect nearly 5 million people from deportation, testing the limits of his presidential powers and inviting a showdown with newly emboldened Republicans.   Obama sought to break a stalemate in America's long-simmering debate over immigration by cutting out Congress, confronting Republicans who swept congressional elections earlier this month and all but ensuring that the contentious debate will carry on into the 2016 presidential campaign.   In a televised address Thursday night (Friday morning, Manila time), Obama described the most sweeping changes to...

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Boxing: Rapid rise of Algieri, ‘real-life Rocky’

Breaking News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 11:51
American Chris Algieri will complete a rags to riches "real-life Rocky" story against Filipino star Manny Pacquiao on Sunday -- just a year after he almost quit the sport.   The date was November 2, 2013 and the would-be doctor from Long Island, New York, had just watched heavyweight Magomed Abdusalamov almost die in the Madison Square Garden ring against Mike Perez.   Russian Abdusalamov went a gruelling 10 rounds against slugger Perez, suffering fractures to his cheekbones and hands. The next day he would be in a coma after emergency surgery to remove a blood clot on the brain.   He finally left hospital just two months ago in a wheelchair, unable t...

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Japan-bound plane makes emergency landing at Naia

Breaking News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 11:38
MANILA, Philippines--- An All Nippon Airways plane bound for Japan was forced to turn back and make an emergency landing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal (Naia) 3 on Friday after smoke was detected in its cockpit, aviation officials said.   The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said the pilots of flight NH 950 called the Manila Control Tower for emergency landing assistance after the cabin crew detected smoke coming out of the cockpit at 9:45 a.m., 17 minutes after the Boeing 747 took off from the Naia.   All the passengers and crew were reported safe as the plane landed at 10:19 a.m., with MIAA's fire and rescue teams dispatched in the...

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‘Pacman’ Pacquiao expected to gobble up Algieri

Breaking News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 11:22
A rejuvenated Manny Pacquiao will look to make short work of Chris Algieri Sunday to defend his World Boxing Organisation welterweight belt and raise his chances of a showdown with Floyd Mayweather.   Few believe the eight-weight world champion, oozing confidence and surrounded by a 300-plus entourage in Macau, will be seriously troubled by Algieri.   The 30-year-old American (20-0) is a capable and likeable former kickboxer from Long Island with a master's degree and an ambition to be a doctor.   In June, he got up from the canvas twice in the first round to shock Russia's formidable light welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov and take the WBO bel...

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Tributes stream in for ‘Graduate’ director Nichols, dead at 83

Breaking News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 11:16
Tributes poured in Thursday for Oscar-winning director Mike Nichols, the creative force behind countless classic American films and plays including "The Graduate," after his death aged 83.   The legendary filmmaker directed nearly two dozen movies in all, among them the timeless "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and lighter fare with a contemporary edge like "Working Girl."   Nichols is one of the rare figures in American entertainment to have earned an "EGOT," having been honored with at least one Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award.   "This is a seismic loss," said fellow director Steven Spielberg.   "Mike was a friend, a muse, a mentor, o...

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Taxman tags Makati BPO

Breaking News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 10:30
MANILA, Philippines---A Makati City-based business process outsourcing (BPO) company was sued on Thursday by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) after it failed to collect and remit over P195 million in withholding taxes.   Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares led the filing of a tax suit in the Department of Justice against Sencor Inc. and its corporate officers led by its president George Vincent Martel, executive vice president Michael Victor Martel, director Olga Martel, treasurer Katrina Olga Martel and secretary Tessielin Alvarez.   According to BIR-Makati records, Sencor is a local corporation registered with the Securities and Exchange Commissi...

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Obama: US will make immigration ‘more fair and just’

Breaking News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 09:57
President Barack Obama unveiled his highly anticipated immigration plan Thursday, saying lifting the threat of expulsion from 5 million undocumented migrants would make the system "more fair and just."   And, while he stressed migrants will not get "a free pass to American citizenship" without taking the proper steps, Obama said that "rounding up and deporting millions of people isn't realistic.   RELATED STORIES 5 things to watch in Obama's immigration speech Obama on immigration--What took him so long?...

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UN peacekeepers facing ‘complex challenges’

Breaking News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 09:53
Dozens of UN peacekeepers have been killed in northern Mali and kidnapped on Syria's Golan in recent months, while in South Sudan they shelter 100,000 civilians fleeing merciless fighting.   Rarely have the much-vaunted "blue helmets" been under such strain, prompting a push at the UN to rethink peacekeeping as the world struggles with a record number of crises.   UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has tapped Nobel Peace Prize winner and rights champion Jose Ramos-Horta to lead a blue-ribbon panel tasked with the first major review of peace operations in 15 years.   A former president and resistance leader from East Timor, Ramos-Horta began work this we...

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Southern Luzon, Visayas to experience rains on Friday—Pagasa

Breaking News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 09:14
MANILA, Philippines--Parts of Luzon and Visayas will have light to moderate rains on Friday, the state weather bureau said. "Western and Central Visayas and the provinces of Aurora, Quezon, Camarines, Albay, Catanduanes and Sorsogon will experience cloudy skies with light to moderate rainshowers and thunderstorms," the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said. The tail-end of a cold front is affecting Central Luzon and the northeast monsoon affecting extreme northern Luzon, Pagasa said. Cagayan Valley, Cordillera and Ilocos region will be cloudy with light rains. Metro Manila and the rest of the country will have partly cloudy to cloudy...

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Israeli mayor’s ban on Arab workers ignites uproar

Breaking News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 08:31
JERUSALEM --- The mayor of a southern Israeli city sparked a national uproar Thursday by barring Israeli Arab construction workers from jobs in local preschools, citing security concerns after a rash of attacks by Palestinian assailants elsewhere in the country. The proposal was condemned as racist by Israeli leaders, but it reflected the tense mood in the country and deepened longstanding divisions between the nation's Jewish majority and Arab minority. An opinion poll showed solid public support for the measure. Israel has been on edge following a wave of Palestinian attacks that has killed 11 people over the past month, including five this week in a bloody assault on a Jerus...

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Boko Haram said to kill about 45 people in Nigeria

Breaking News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 08:16
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria --- The leader of a vigilante fighter group in Nigeria says Boko Haram militants have killed about 45 people in an attack on a village. Muhammed Gava of the Nigeria Vigilante Group says the assault occurredWednesdayin Azaya Kura village in northeastern Nigeria's Borno state. He told The Associated Press on Thursday that the heavily armed Boko Haram militants surged through the village in several trucks. The village is about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Maiduguri, Nigeria's capital....

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