Trump attorney general demands cities get tough on migrants

WASHINGTON: Donald Trump’s attorney general warned US cities that turning a blind eye to illegal migrants could jeopardize billions in federal funding, as the administration doubled down on tough immigration policies Monday. Jeff Sessions demanded so-called “sanctuary cities” — from Boston to Chicago to Los Angeles — do more to turn illegal immigrants over to the federal authorities for deportation. The Trump administration is trying to force local police to keep immigrants detained until the immigration authorities — with their more limited resources — can show up. They point to multiple studies that show immigrants commit crime at lower rates than native-born citizens. In January, police chiefs from major cities stressed they wanted to tackle crime, whoever carries it out.

March 28, 2017 02:15 UTC

Trump pivots to tax reform after Obamacare shipwreck

Part of the problem is policymakers had expected revenue savings from the Obamacare repeal would partly offset planned tax cuts. During his campaign, Trump had promised to slash the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent, but Mnuchin did not specifically reaffirm that commitment on Friday, mentioning only a much lower corporate tax rate. To make up for the revenue loss from a corporate tax cut, Ryan is supporting a border adjustment tax. Senator Chuck Schumer, the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, said regressive tax cuts were a no-go. If tax cuts favor “the middle class and the poor… we could work with them,” Schumer said.

March 28, 2017 01:52 UTC

Trump son-in-law Kushner to face Russia investigation panel

WASHINGTON: Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top aide Jared Kushner will appear before a Senate panel investigating Russian interference in the US election, the White House said Monday. Kushner, 36, was Trump’s main intermediary with foreign governments during the 2016 election campaign and now plays that role in the White House. But it is his contacts with Russian officials that are now coming under the microscope, amid explosive allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. “Throughout the campaign and transition, Jared Kushner served as the official primary point of contact with foreign governments and officials,” a White House official said. It is led by Congressman Devin Nunes, who is under fire for briefing Trump about issues related to the investigation.

March 28, 2017 01:52 UTC

Kean Cipriano plans to finish college

Kean and Chynna both took college courses at the University of Santo Tomas. This year, Kean anticipates the showing of his latest movie “Bar Boys” together with Carlo Aquino, Enzo Pineda and Rocco Nacino. “Bar Boys” he said, is about law students, their friendship and their struggles in getting through law school. Unfortunately, in the movie, Kean is the only one who is not in the law school because as the story goes, he is the one who flunked in the entrance exam. Actually, meron na akong scripts,” announced the actor, who finished a film course in Mowelfund.

March 28, 2017 01:41 UTC

Leni open to Rody's dinner invitation

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday has responded to the dinner invitation of President Rodrigo Duterte. The president had invited Robredo and her children to dinner, according to a report from The STAR. READ: Rody to Leni, kids: Let’s have dinnerIn an interview with radio dzMM, the vice president said that she is open to the dinner invitation of Duterte. Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1The president earlier told his congressional allies to drop impeachment efforts against the vice president. Meanwhile, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, a staunch critic of Duterte, said that president's dinner invitation to Robredo and her children could be a trap.

March 28, 2017 01:32 UTC

Roro chief engineer rescued by military from Abu Sayyaf

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The military on Tuesday said soldiers rescued the second roro officer kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf bandits last week, during continuing military operation in Muhammad Adjul, Basilan. Major General Carlito Galvez Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), said Chief Engineer Laurencio Tiro was rescued at about 10:30 p.m. Monday by elements of the 4th Special Forces Battalion in Sitio Sasa in Barangay Basakan. Tiro was kidnapped along with ship captain Aurelio Agac-ac when Abu Sayyaf bandits hijacked their vessel off Sibago Island. “As of this report, Engineer Tiro, on board a condor speed boat, is on the way to Westmincom headquarters (here). A medical team is already waiting on the said base to check on the rescued kidnap victim,” Galvez said.

March 27, 2017 23:48 UTC

EU summons Filipino envoy to explain Duterte tirade

MANILA, Philippines — The European Union on Monday summoned a Philippine envoy to explain an expletive-laden tirade by President Rodrigo Duterte, who threatened to hang EU officials for opposing his efforts to re-impose the death penalty. Earlier, the EU denied his allegations that it proposed solving the Philippines' drug problem by creating treatment clinics where illegal drugs such as methamphetamine or cocaine would be dispensed. "Then if you want cocaine, they will give you cocaine and if they want heroin, they will give you heroin." The voluntary program plans to develop "recovery clinics and recovery homes," where patients can receive better care, education and counseling without prescribing medication and ensuring confidentiality. Thousands have died under Duterte's crackdown, which was launched after he took office in June, alarming the EU, Western governments and U.N. rights officials.

March 27, 2017 23:46 UTC

Northeast Australia in grip of ‘monster’ Cyclone Debbie

AYR, Australia: Lashing rain and howling winds battered northeast Australia Tuesday as towns went into lockdown ahead of a “monster” cyclone making landfall, with thousands evacuated amid fears of damage and tidal surges. “We are in for a long, tough day,” said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who warned of structural damage and power outages. Everyone is bunkered down.”The force of the cyclone was already being felt on outer islands popular with tourists, including the Whitsundays which were in lockdown. “We’re getting some reports already of roofs starting to lift, including at some of our own facilities in the Whitsundays,” he told reporters. “This is probably the largest evacuation we’ve ever had to do,” said Palaszczuk, who warned the storm would be “a monster”.

March 27, 2017 22:52 UTC

Match or beat China financing aid

Sharing Moscow’s desire to strengthen bilateral ties, the Duterte administration has opened the Philippines’ foreign policy to welcome Russian business and pursue greater economic cooperation between the two countries, just as it is doing with China. The Russian government has cited building steel bridges and railways as one of the areas in which the two countries could cooperate. No sovereign arrangements,” Pernia said, referringto talks he had with visiting Russian businessmen on the sidelines of their business mission in the country two weeks ago. During the Russia business mission in Manila from March 13 to 17, Russian companies identified infrastructure, energy and security as areas of investment they can explore with their counterparts in the Philippines. The business mission was an attempt to build relations at a practical level by identifying Philippine companies, individuals and government institutions to interact with Russia, and eventually strengthen that partnership.

March 27, 2017 17:26 UTC

NPA holds lightning rally in Cubao

Supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA) on Monday staged a lightning rally in Cubao, Quezon City, to mark the 48th founding anniversary of the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). At the rally, underground revolutionary organizations in Metro Manila under the banner of the CPP called on Filipinos to join the NPA. The founding anniversary of the NPA is on March 29. ADVERTISEMENTCPP-NPA leaders on Saturday said they were set to declare a unilateral ceasefire before March 31, ahead of the resumption of peace talks with the government next month. The conflict between the government and the communists has raged for nearly five decades and killed more than 40,000 people.

March 27, 2017 17:26 UTC

Palace decries demolition job by The New York Times

Malacañang on Monday slammed The New York Times (NYT) for doing a demolition job on President Duterte. ADVERTISEMENT“NYT’s very obvious demolition work flies in the face of the very high approval the President enjoys,” Abella said. “A more consequential action could be one threatened by the European Union (EU),” the Times said. Other democratic trading partners should do the same.”‘Well-funded campaign’Abella blamed the Times series on “certain personalities and politicians” who he believed had mounted a “well-funded campaign” using “hack[s] and their ilk” in a bid to oust Mr. Duterte. “However, the administration will not be deterred in fulfilling its promise of building a progressive and inclusive nation free from drugs, crime and corruption,” he said.

March 27, 2017 17:26 UTC

CHR exec says killings not state-sponsored

Extrajudicial killings in President Duterte’s war on drugs are not state-sponsored, according to an official of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). Written policyGana said that to conclude that the war on drug killings were state-sponsored, there must be a written policy. But she acknowledged that no such policy could be found, “because who will do that?”Mr. Duterte’s pronouncements defending his war on drugs were not proof of state-sponsored killings, Gana said. “I’m not Amnesty International, I’m not the Human Rights Watch who are advocates and probably can just say that. We cannot just condemn anybody,” said Gana, who heads the CHR task force on extrajudicial killings.

March 27, 2017 17:15 UTC

Aguirre backs appointment of village execs

It could help cleanse the ranks of barangay officialdom,” Aguirre said in a text message to reporters. Aguirre said moving the village polls to a later date and allowing Mr. Duterte to designate barangay officials would not violate the 1987 Constitution. An administration ally has gotten the ball rolling on the proposal to delay the barangay elections and empower the President to fill up the ensuing vacancies. The bill seeks to deem terminated incumbent barangay officials who are serving in a holdover capacity after the village elections set for October 2016 was delayed by a year through Republic Act No. It effectively resets the cycle, as subsequent barangay elections were to be held every three years on the second Monday of May beginning 2023.

March 27, 2017 17:15 UTC

March inflation likely at 3%-3.8% – BSP

Headline inflation may settle between 3 percent and 3.8 percent this month, the central bank said, citing pressure from higher electricity rates in areas serviced by the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco). Downward price pressures would come from lower fuel and food prices, the central bank said on Monday. The BSP forecasts 2017 inflation to average 3.4 percent, or within the government’s 2 percent to 4 percent target. The board also cited the beneficial impact on inflation when the quantitative restrictions on rice importation are removed in July. The lingering uncertainty over prospects of the global economy, due in part to possible shifts in macroeconomic policies in advanced economies, continues to pose a key downside risk to the inflation outlook, it added.

March 27, 2017 17:03 UTC

DoE assures enough power available for summer mths

THE Department of Energy (DoE) assured consumers there will be sufficient power supply in the coming summer months as big power plants will come online to meet the expected increase in demand, an energy official said. The DoE expects big power plants to come online and contribute to the grid in April and May. ”The big ones that are coming in are in April and May, the Limay-Bataan power plants from the San Miguel group,” Fuenteblla said. The DOE has also been instructed to look into the scheduled maintenance of power plants during that period, he said. And there’s one more plant, Ilijan,” he said, referring to the Ilijan combined-cycle power plant, a dual-fuel power station in Ilijan, Batangas City.

March 27, 2017 17:03 UTC

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