Kimmel cracks Trump jokes as 89th Oscars open

HOLLYWOOD: Host Jimmy Kimmel opened the glitzy Oscars Sunday with a salvo of jokes targeting President Donald Trump on a night expected to be as remarkable for political protest as for its celebration of Hollywood. Gold Derby, a site that collates experts’ awards predictions, had the musical as a clear favorite in many categories, including best film, director, actress, score and song. Political activismThe Oscars is the highlight of the Tinseltown calendar, and wraps up two months of glittering prize galas. On Sunday, several stars including nominees Ruth Negga and Lin-Manuel Miranda wore blue ribbons in support of the American Civil Liberties Union, a high-profile civil rights organization. At Saturday’s Spirit Awards, “Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins and many cast members wore pins symbolizing unity, while Jenkins spoke of his disappointment over the divisions in society that the election had exposed.

February 27, 2017 04:01 UTC

Bloody accident and rain mar joyful Rio carnival

RIO DE JANEIRO: A huge float carried by a truck at the Rio de Janeiro samba parade struck several people, causing serious injuries to at least one woman, late Sunday. The accident, which coincided with heavy drizzle, marred the start of the all-night samba dance-off at the Sambodromo stadium. Despite the rain, however, the packed Sambodromo erupted in cheers as the annual contest opened in a deafening barrage of fireworks. So when the drummers of Paraiso do Tuiuti — the first of six samba schools competing through the night to Monday morning — began beating rhythm, the crowd roared. The Brazilian Association of Cattle Breeders called the parade “unacceptable.” The rice industry lobby warned of “damage to the country.”Rio is Brazil’s carnival capital.

February 27, 2017 03:33 UTC

Rebel killed, weapons seized in Batangas clash

MANILA: A New People’s Army (NPA) rebel was killed and three high-powered firearms seized during operations by the 73rd Combat Group in Lian, Batangas early morning Monday. The incident took place at 3 a.m. in Barangay Lumañag, 2nd Infantry Division commander Major Gen. Rhoderick Parayno said. Troops were deployed to the area after civilians reported the presence of 15 heavily-armed rebels extorting money and foodstuff from residents. In the ensuing 15-minute firefight, one rebel was immediately killed while the rest quickly fled, leaving an M-16 automatic rifle and M-14 carbine and one M-1 Garand rifle. Parayno said the body of the slain rebel was also recovered.

February 27, 2017 03:29 UTC

Cebu commuters bear brunt of transport strike

CEBU CITY — It usually takes a few minutes to take a jeepney ride from Nasipit in Barangay Talamban, Cebu City, to Mandaue City, but not on Monday morning. ADVERTISEMENTAbella said he would continue to wait for a ride and would just explain why he reported late for work. “I might take a half day if I won’t get a ride this morning,” said Ramos, a human resources coordinator. Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (TEAM) chief Glenn Antigua said that a surge of commuters was observed starting at 5 a.m. Antigua added that the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) also provided five Ceres buses stationed at the Mandaue City Hall.

February 27, 2017 03:20 UTC

De Lima takes case to SC

Senator Leila De Lima, through her lawyers, on Monday questioned before the Supreme Court the legality of her arrest and detention based on the order of Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 204 Judge Juanita T. Guerrero. Judge Guerrero, last Feb. 23, issued a warrant for the arrest of De Lima, her former driver and boyfriend Ronnie Dayan and former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Deputy Director and officer-in-charge of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Rafael Ragos. De Lima said Judge Guerrero committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when she issued the order and the arrest warrant. Her acts likewise violated her constitutional, legal and procedural rights. She said the Judge acted with undue haste and inordinate interest when she issued the warrant of arrest despite pending Motion to Quash.

February 27, 2017 03:19 UTC

Transport strike strands hundreds

Hundreds of passengers in Metro Manila were stranded because of the transport strike mounted by several groups on Monday. The cities of Makati, Quezon, Manila, Caloocan, Marikina and the province of Rizal were affected by the strike held by Piston, Stop and Go Coalition, and No To Jeepney Phase Out Coalition. Some colleges, like the De La Salle University, University of Santo Tomas, and College of St. Benilde, cancelled classes in all levels. Transports groups held the strike to protest the plan of the government to phase out old jeepneys. The same groups also held a strike early this month, paralyzing transportation in Metro Manila and other cities nationwide.

February 27, 2017 03:01 UTC

US city holds vigil after shooting death of Indian engineer

Hundreds of people marched and prayed in the Midwestern US city where an Indian expatriate was killed and another wounded in a suspected hate crime that has prompted calls for action. Indians at home and in the United States have expressed shock at Wednesday’s shooting in the Kansas community of Olathe that saw a drunk white man scream racial slurs and allegedly open fire on two young Indian engineers, killing one. Alok Madasani, the 32-year-old Indian engineer who survived, told a prayer vigil Sunday that he was suffering profound loss after the death of his dear friend of nine years. “What happened that night is something we all wish didn’t happen, but it happened.”Throngs of concerned citizens and mourners marched through the Kansas City suburb in memory of the slain man, 32-year-old Srinivas Kuchibhotla, and in celebration of Madasani’s survival. India’s Information and Broadcasting minister reacted harshly to the attack, stating that the United States must “unequivocally respond and condemn such incidents.”“USA should respond to this incident.

February 27, 2017 02:37 UTC

Northeast monsoon, easterlies to bring rains over PH Monday

MANILA: Easterlies and the northeast monsoon affecting the country will bring rains over most parts of the archipelago, state weather agency Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Monday. In its 24-hour forecast, PAGASA said cloudy skies with light rains will be experienced over Cagayan Valley. Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rains or thunderstorms is expected over Bicol, Visayas and Mindanao. Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains. Elsewhere, winds will be light to moderate coming from east to northeast with slight to moderate seas, PAGASA said.

February 27, 2017 02:30 UTC

Phone makers take aim at ailing Samsung with new handsets

Samsung, the world’s largest mobile phone maker, had no device of its own to show at the week-long Mobile World Congress, the phone industry’s largest annual trade fair, in Barcelona in northeastern Spain, its usual showcase. The delay in putting out a new phone comes as its parent firm, South Korean conglomerate Samsung Group, is caught up in a corruption scandal that saw its chief arrested last week. Apple, the world’s second largest smartphone maker, as usual steered clear of the event, leaving smaller phone makers with a rare opportunity to grab the spotlight at the fair. Sales poised to peakWhile Samsung did not present a new smartphone, it did present two new tablets with improved screens, battery life and speakers. CCS predicts the global phone market will reach 2.35 billion units in 2019, up from 1.96 billion in 2014.

February 27, 2017 02:03 UTC

LGUs only ‘encouraged’– not compelled – to join rally

Participants in the alternative “people power” rally over the weekend were not ordered but encouraged to join the gathering at Rizal Park in Manila, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). Castriciones said the memo was meant only to encourage local officials to support the rally, which he described as nonpartisan and “open to everyone” who wanted to stamp out poverty, corruption and illegal drugs. Castriciones is the secretary general of the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte National Executive Coordinating Council, which organized the prayer vigil at Rizal Park from Feb. 25 to 26. At the rally, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II asked the crowd who should be “next” after the arrest of administration critic, Sen. Leila de Lima. 4Ps beneficiariesSocial Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo denied ordering beneficiaries of the cash transfer program, or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), to attend the pro-Duterte rally.

February 26, 2017 17:37 UTC

Ex-BuCor chief in drug case surrenders

Ragos, wearing a red button-down shirt and black pants, turned himself in to NBI Deputy Director for Intelligence Sixto Burgos in Quezon City in a meeting to facilitate his surrender. She had assigned Ragos to the facility to investigate alleged shenanigans there in 2012. ADVERTISEMENTRagos was booked, and his mug shot was taken on Sunday, according to NBI Deputy Director for Forensic Services Ferdinand Lavin. “He already had sent feelers even before the issuance of warrant, because he was already expecting this,” Lavin said. Allowing Ragos to stay in the NBI office is good “for his own safety and security,” Lavin said.

February 26, 2017 17:36 UTC

Attacks on human rights decried

“I thought that I would never see the law in our land die again. ADVERTISEMENTThe elder Diokno was one of the first opposition politicians the dictator Ferdinand Marcos arrested upon the declaration of martial law in 1972. Jose Manuel told the Inquirer that it was a “bit depressing” that the same human rights issues his father had fought were again being raised despite gains in international and domestic humanitarian law enforcement. The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police have human rights offices that are “quite proactive and involved” even in the training by FLAG, founded by his father and Senators Lorenzo Tañada and Joker Arroyo. “We were very happy with the way that human rights was becoming well-accepted not just within the government but among the people,” Diokno said.

February 26, 2017 17:26 UTC

AFP: 14 rebels killed, 51 yield in all-out war vs ‘Reds’

“And the exodus is expected to continue with numerous others sending their surrender fillers to the AFP,” said Col. Edgard Arevalo, chief of the AFP Public Affairs Office. According to Arevalo, the AFP has conducted 36 small-unit operations against the NPA since February 4, or an average of two encounters a day. The most recent operations were reported in Davao Oriental and Agusan del Sur over the weekend. Two other personnel were wounded in a firefight against 10 rebels at Barangay Limot in Viruela, Agusan del Sur. Samuel Garay; [civilian auxiliary]member Rene Doller; and two police personnel,” Arevalo said.

February 26, 2017 17:23 UTC

Duterte declares Jan. 25 SAF 44 memorial day

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has declared January 25 as the Day of National Remembrance for the heroic sacrifice of the 44 uniformed personnel of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (SAF). The Palace on Sunday announced the signing of Proclamation No. The SAF 44 went to the Mamasapano marsh in Maguindanao on January 25 to conduct a highly classified operation to arrest two high-value targets, alleged bomb makers Malaysian Zulkifli bin Hir better known as Marwan and Fiipino Abdul Basit Usman. Marwan was killed in the encounter. The Aquino administration was also accused of letting the SAF men die so as not to jeopardize a peace deal with the MILF.

February 26, 2017 17:23 UTC

Telco vows to put up more cell sites to get new franchise

SMART Communications has promised to put up 2,000 additional cell sites in the country to convince senators to allow the extension of the telecommunications firm’s legislative franchise for another 25 years. Ejercito said Smart has more than 15,000 cell sites all over the country serving 47.1 million subscribers, which means that there are 2,244 subscribers per cell site. If Smart acts on building additional 2,000 cell sites, this will surely bring down the user-per-density ratio and eventually lead to service improvement,” said Ejercito, vice chairman of the committee. MNP is a feature that allows mobile phone subscribers to retain their mobile phone numbers even if they switch to a different carrier. Under the current system, the first four numbers of a mobile phone number are assigned to specific carriers, thus forcing mobile phone subscribers to change numbers when switching to a different carrier.

February 26, 2017 17:15 UTC

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