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49 Turks kidnapped by IS militants freed

Breaking News - 10 hours 41 min ago
ANKARA---Forty-nine Turks held hostage for months by Islamic State jihadists in northern Iraq were freed and returned to Turkey on Saturday, to emotional family reunions and a triumphant Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.   Turkish diplomats and their children were seized along with special forces officers in their country's consulate in the Iraqi city of Mosul on June 11 as IS militants overran whole swathes of northern Iraq.   Davutoglu announced their liberation early Saturday and cut short a visit to Azerbaijan to greet the ex-hostages. He gave no details of the circumstances of their release, though other officials and media reports spoke of a "secret operation". ...

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Categories: Philippine News

‘Mario’ slows down as it heads out of PH

Breaking News - 11 hours 10 min ago
  MANILA, Philippines--- Tropical storm "Mario" slowed down slightly while heading out the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Saturday afternoon, the state weather bureau said.   In its 5 p.m bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Mario was spotted at 203 kilometers north-northwest of Laoag City with maximum winds of 105kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 135 kph. It was forecast to move north-northeast at 17 kilometrs per hour and was expected to leave PAR by Sunday evening. The weather bureau raised public storm warning Signal No. 2 over Calayan and Babuyan Group ...

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Categories: Philippine News

Back to back storms cause P1.14 billion in agricultural losses

Breaking News - 11 hours 52 min ago
  MANILA, Philippines---Typhoon Luis and Tropical Storm Mario have together exacted a toll on farms that totalled P1.14 billion as of noon Saturday, according to an initial assessment by the Department of Agriculture.   According to the DA, rice farms suffered the worst, with some 53,800 tons or P934 million worth of paddy rice lost.   However, of the 99,875 hectares of rice farms affected, 96,046 hectares show promise of recovery, the DA said.   Also ravaged were corn crops, with losses valued at P150.6 million, equivalent to almost 11,566 tons of harvest.   The DA said all but 13 hectares of the 21,321 hectares of affected corn fa...

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Categories: Philippine News

Binay has right not to appear at Senate hearing—Macalintal

Breaking News - 11 hours 58 min ago
MANILA, Philippines---Vice President Jejomar Binay has every right to refuse the Senate's invitation for him to appear at the inquiry into the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building 2, a well-known election lawyer said Saturday.   In a press statement, Romulo Macalintal said Binay "could not be forced" to testify before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, which has invited him to air his side on allegations that he earned kickbacks from the construction of the P2.28-billion building during his time as mayor of Makati City.   Macalintal said the protection accorded a sitting president from Congress subpoeanas under the doctrine of separation of powers...

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Categories: Philippine News

Binay had no intention to slight House speaker, says spokesman

Breaking News - 12 hours 25 min ago
MANILA, Philippines---Vice President Jejomar Binay merely wanted to make a comparison of public buildings constructed by the same contractor who put up the Makati City Hall Building II and had no intention of offending Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., his spokesperson said Saturday.   "We concede the point of Speaker Belmonte that the Batasang Pambansa building is a very different public building," Binay's spokesperson for political affairs, Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla, said in a statement.   In his televised address to the public on Thursday, in which he denied allegations of overpricing in the construction of the Makati City Hall extension and parking buildi...

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Categories: Philippine News

Storm-tossed vessel alarms Coast Guard

Breaking News - 12 hours 27 min ago
MANILA, Philippines---A cargo vessel found to have been used for arms smuggling four years ago has again become a cause for concern.   Strong waves caused by Tropical Storm Mario pushed the MV Captain Ufuk dangerously close to the Roxas Boulevard seawall in Manila on Friday, raising fears that the next storm could send it slamming onto the structure and causing an oil spill.   In an interview Saturday, Petty Officer Edgar Tantiado of the Philippine Coast Guard substation near the Cultural Center of the Philippines, said the PCG had called the attention of the Bureau of Customs which has custody of the vessel.   Being prepared for auction by the BOC, the P...

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Categories: Philippine News

Aquino seeks ‘healthy compromise’ with SC

Breaking News - 12 hours 31 min ago
BERLIN---Talk of President Aquino wanting to remain in office hounded him in the final leg of his European trip here. But Mr. Aquino sidestepped the issue and instead tackled theone"closest to my heart and that is not presidential term limits." "It is the question of judicial review," he told his audience when asked during a forum organized by the Koerber Stiftung and the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business Friday night. The President said he was seeking a "healthy compromise" with the Supreme Court onwhen it should use its power to review the actions of the two other branches of government. "What we are envisioning in this dialogue is to find that healthy compromise that gives...

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Categories: Philippine News

Mayweather called before Nevada boxing commission

Breaking News - 13 hours 54 sec ago
LAS VEGAS---Once again, Floyd Mayweather Jr. has some explaining to do.   Nevada boxing regulators have ordered Mayweather to appear before them next week to answer questions about scenes aired on the Showtime network prior to his fight Saturday night against Marcos Maidana. Specifically, they want to ask Mayweather about two lengthy fights in his gym where neither fighter got a rest break, and another scene showing marijuana being used at his Las Vegas mansion.   "We all know TV is drama but our main responsibility is the health and safety of fighters," said Francisco Aguilar, head of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. "Before we draw a conclusion about what...

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Categories: Philippine News

UAAP: NU escapes UE for last Final Four berth

Breaking News - 13 hours 10 min ago
MANILA, Philippines --- Alfred Aroga made the game-winning free throws as National University ended University of the East's Cinderella run with a 51-49 squeaker to clinch the last Final Four berth in the UAAP Season 77 men's basketball tournamentSaturdayat the before a raucous crowd at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. The Cameroonian center Aroga sank the winning freebies with 12.4 seconds left after he was fouled by Charles Mammie off the inbound pass by Paolo Javelona. "That was the biggest play of our season. The whole game were having a hard time trying to get open on that inbound play and it's a good thing that Paolo was able to see Alfred under the basket," said a calm NU hea...

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Categories: Philippine News

Aquino: EU leaders back UN arbitration in sea row

Breaking News - 13 hours 15 min ago
BERLIN---President Benigno Aquino is convincedhe had gathered enough support behind the Philippines' call for a peaceful resolution of conflicts in the South China Sea, particularly through international arbitration.   "The short answer is yes," he told reporters over coffee late Friday night(Berlin time) when asked if he had accomplished his "mission" to rally European leaders behind Manila's position to settle its territorial dispute with Beijing through international arbitration.   With Spain, Belgium, France, and Germany all seeking a resolution through mechanisms provided under international law, Aquino said it was time to "get to a stage where we have reas...

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Categories: Philippine News

‘Mario’ unleashes fury up north as it moves away from PH

Breaking News - 13 hours 40 min ago
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines---Tropical Storm Mario whipped up strong winds and dumped heavy rains on provinces in northern Luzon from Friday night through Saturday, triggering flashfloods in parts of the Ilocos region but leaving no casualties in the region as of Saturday afternoon.   Landslides blocked roads in the Cordillera while uprooted trees cut off power lines that led to outages in parts of northern Luzon, including a wide section of Baguio City.   Floods forced 1,381 families in 36 low-lying villages in Bulacan, Tarlac, Bataan and Zambales provinces to seek shelter in evacuation centers, the Central Luzon regional disaster risk reduction and management council...

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Categories: Philippine News

Damage from ‘Mario’ rises to P36M in Ilocos Norte

Breaking News - 14 hours 29 min ago
MANILA, Philippines---The damage to agriculture and infrastructure in Ilocos Norte rose to over P36 million as Tropical Storm "Mario" (international name: Fung-Wong) continues to batter the province on Saturday.   Jun Arvin Gudoy, head of the Communications and Media Office of the provincial government, said the damage was estimated at P36,482,788 as of 2 p.m.   Gudoy said the damage was mostly in the agricultural sector, particularly in rice production amounting to P31,410,123.   The damage to fisheries was at P434,000 while P137,500 in livestock, P2,583,665 on high value commercial crops, and P1,850,000 in infrastructure.   Around 1,732 f...

Keep on reading: Damage from ‘Mario’ rises to P36M in Ilocos Norte
Categories: Philippine News

Filipinos aiding Chinese poachers in West Philippine Sea, says solon

Breaking News - 15 hours 20 min ago
MANILA, Philippines---A party-list lawmaker is seeking a congressional probe into what he claims to be "unabated poaching activities" by Chinese fishermen in connivance with Filipinos in waters off Palawan.   Kabataan Representative Terry Ridon has filed a House resolution calling for a probe into reports that Chinese poachers were using local contacts to enter Philippine waters, such as the protected Tubbataha Reefs, to collect marine species.   "Local Filipino fishermen who are in connivance with Chinese poachers usually bring rare maritime species to an agreed location in Hasa-Hasa Shoal, where the marine species will then be hauled to the Chinese fishing ves...

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Categories: Philippine News

Robbery seen as motive for killing of Cherry Pie Picache’s mom

Breaking News - 15 hours 43 min ago
MANILA, Philippines---Police said an expensive jewelry was missing inside the residence of actress Cherry Pie Picache's mother, who was found stabbed dead Friday night in Quezon City.   Chief Inspector Rodel Marcelo, head of the Quezon City Police District's Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit, said a blood-stained knife, a chunk of wood believed to have been used to hit Zenaida Sison's head and a crowbar possibly used to open the door were found in the house.   On Friday evening, the 75-year-old Sison was found in her home dead from several stab wounds that police believe were inflicted during a robbery amid heavy rain.   Picache became worried whe...

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Categories: Philippine News

Ilocos under state of calamity

Breaking News - 16 hours 46 min ago
http://instagram.com/p/tJj2dAg9iE/?modal=true Video courtesy of Ariel Paolo Tejada     MANILA, Philippines--- The province of Ilocos Norte was placed under the state of calamity on Saturday afternoon after heavy rains and strong winds brought by Tropical Storm "Mario" (international name: Fung-Wong) destroyed more than P21 million worth of goods, agricultural and fishery products including livestock and properties.   Jun Arvin Gudoy, head of the Communications and Media Office of the provincial government, said the damage was mostly in the agricultural sector, particularly in rice production amounting to P19.95 million.   The damage to fisherie...

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Categories: Philippine News

Art show standout

Breaking News - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 12:45
An artist who stood out at the opening of the successful "Horse Power" art show, which I organized and curated, at the LRI Art Gallery of the LRI Design Plaza in Makati was Atty. Jose Ferdinand "Joy" Rojas II.   The acting chair of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) was in great company. He was showcased in the exhibit along with painters from the Saturday Group---Hermes Alegre, Buddy Ching, Buds Concovar, Jaime Gubaton, Francis Nacion Jr., Roel Obemio and Aner Sebastian, as well as sculptor P. Michael Daza and water colorist Monchot Ongsiako.   Rojas' works were studded with horses' shoes! A former commissioner of the Philippine Racing Commission,...

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Categories: Philippine News

Cleanup drive

Breaking News - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 12:17
Last year, 12.3 million lbs of trash were collected during International Coastal Cleanup Day. On Saturday, we once again observe the key occasion---a great way to raise awareness of the importance of our oceans.   Oceans are essential to our existence, because more than half of the oxygen we breathe comes from them. They are the largest ecosystems on earth. Despite noble efforts to keep our oceans and coasts clean, they're becoming increasingly acidic, which endangers marine life. Fortunately, this is a problem that has solutions. If you can't join the cleanups, here are other ways to help in the campaign:   Develop the habit of being responsible about waste dis...

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Categories: Philippine News

‘Mario’ leaves 5 dead, 6 injured, 1 missing

Breaking News - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 12:10
MANILA, Philippines---At least five people were confirmed dead during the onslaught of tropical storm "Mario" (international codename: Fung-wong) the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Saturday Executive director Alexander Pama of the NDRRMC corrected its earlier pronouncement that seven people died as "Mario" barrelled through Metro Manila and nearby Luzon provinces. Pama said five people were killed while six were injured and one was missing due to the storm worsened by torrential monsoon rains. He said the NDRRMC was still verifying two more fatalities reported in Camarines Sur. According to him, 153, 000 families were affected by Mar...

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Categories: Philippine News

City advisory: Marikina River below critical level

Breaking News - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 12:01
MANILA, Philippines -- The water level in Marikina Riveron Saturdayis now below the critical level, the local government said in an advisory. It said the water level dropped to 16 meters as of11 a.m. It said 31,445 individuals or 6,806 families were affected and were staying in 39 evacuation centers in the city. On Friday, the local government implemented a forced evacuation among its residents after the river's water level reached critical level at 19 meters. Marikina Mayor Del de Guzman also declared a state of calamity after floods from rain induced by Tropical Storm Mario swamped the city. At least two were killed in the incident.   RELATED STORIES Mariki...

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Categories: Philippine News

4 quakes shake Mindanao

Breaking News - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 11:52
KIDAPAWAN CITY, Philippines--Four earthquakes shook Central Mindanao in a span of one hour on Saturday but no damage was reported from any one of them, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said.   Phivolcs said the first tremor, which had a magnitude 4.4, occurred at 5:59 a.m. with its epicenter some six kilometers southeast of Makilala, North Cotabato.   The quake was tectonic in origin and had a depth of one kilometer, Phivolcs said.   At 6:05 a.m. a second tectonic jolt, with a magnitude of 3.6, occurred some four kilometers southeast of Columbio, Sultan Kudarat. It was followed by a 2.6 jolt that took place eight kilometers northeast...

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Categories: Philippine News
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