WASHINGTON, D.C.: A major tax cut promised by US President Donald Trump was on track for final passage next week, after two previous holdouts in his Republican party said Friday they would vote yes on the legislation. Trump “looks forward to fulfilling the promise he made to the American people to give them a tax cut by the end of the year,” she added in a statement. Rubio had been demanding a doubling of the child tax credit to $2,000. “I know every bill we consider is imperfect and the question becomes is our country better off with or without this piece of legislation,” Corker said in a statement. Trump was optimistic about his party’s chances of passing tax reform, which would be a massive win for the leader who has yet to notch any major legislative victory after nearly a year in office.
December 16, 2017 01:52 UTC
MANILA, Philippines — Residents of several areas in Luzon and Visayas are on high alert as Tropical Storm Urduja approaches. Public storm warning signals are raised in the following areas:Signal No. 2AlbaySorsogonMasbate including Burias and Ticao IslandsNorthern SamarEastern SamarSamar'BiliranLeyteAreas under public storm warning signal no. PAGASA said possible inclusion of Mindoro provinces, Batangas, Cuyo islands and Calamian group of islands in areas under tropical cyclone warning Signal No. PAGASA advised the public to remain alert as sea travel remains risky over the seaboards of areas under tropical cyclone warning signal.
December 16, 2017 01:18 UTC
BRUSSELS: European Union leaders agreed on Friday to open crucial talks on a future relationship with Britain once it leaves the bloc, but warned it would be “dramatically difficult” to reach a deal before Brexit in 2019. EU President Donald Tusk said afterwards that the bloc would open “exploratory contacts with the UK to get more clarity on their vision” for ties after Brexit. Options for a future relationship include following the model of a recent EU-Canada trade deal, or Norway’s membership in the European Economic Area. ‘Test of EU unity’May received polite applause when she addressed EU leaders at a summit dinner on Thursday, and several of her counterparts praised her role in securing progress. But Tusk has warned that the next phase of talks will be the “real test of our unity.”AFP
December 16, 2017 00:22 UTC
Two Catholic clergymen criticized the “subservient Congress” for allowing the extension of martial law in Mindanao and warned of the creeping authoritarianism it will purportedly spawn. Writing in his blog on the day Congress approved the one-year extension of martial law, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo urged Filipinos to speak up against Congress. ADVERTISEMENTMr. Duterte initially declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23 after the Maute terrorist group attacked Marawi City. “Martial law is supposedly an answer to an extraordinary situation, like the case of rebellion. Picardal, on the other hand, doubted that martial law can bring about peace or solve poverty, which is the root of rebellion.
December 15, 2017 23:26 UTC
Marriages annulled by the Church will be recognized under Philippine law once a bill pending at the House of Representatives is passed. A bill legalizing Church-decreed annulment of marriages has been approved by the House committee on population and family relations. The panel chaired by Laguna Rep. Sol Aragones recently approved the still unnumbered bill substituting for House Bills No. 3705, both of which sought the recognition of the civil effects of the Church annulment of marriages. Otherwise, the subsequent marriage shall be null and void.
President Benigno Aquino III believed it was his duty, even as a private citizen, to “allay certain fears” due to a decision he had made when he was the nation’s leader. Aquino, who stepped down on June 30 last year, was the second former President who had attended a congressional hearing on an administration flagship program. The immunization program was important for the Aquino administration as dengue infection and deaths rose nationwide. At a press conference after the hearing, Aquino said he had wanted to tell Topacio he was “destroying our reputation.”ADVERTISEMENT“We can sue you for slander because of the accusations you’ve made,” Aquino said. He said that instead of asking senators to do the work of backing an allegation “it is the duty of the accuser to find the evidence.”The government purchased the antidengue vaccine at the tail end of the Aquino administration.
Everything’s coming up roses for debutante-to-be Isabelle Lovelie Duterte, daughter of Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, who drummed up excitement for her 18th birthday by having her predebut photo shoot at Malacañang. Isabelle, a Grade 12 student at Ateneo de Davao, is the first granddaughter of President Duterte. But she also earned the ire of other social media users who saw the Palace as an inappropriate venue for her predebut photo shoot. NonissueAccording to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, the predebut photo shoot of the President’s granddaughter in Malacañang is actually a nonissue. ADVERTISEMENTRoque said Mr. Duterte could have opted to live in the Palace and bring his entire family with him, but he did not.
An animated Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Friday let her hair down as she invited some of her fellow magistrates and employees of the Supreme Court to dance with her at their annual Christmas party. Of the 14 other justices, only Associate Justices Estela Perlas-Bernabe and Mariano del Castillo attended the event. Peralta, Del Castillo, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justice Samuel Martires had also been invited by House justice committee chair Rep. Reynaldo Umali to attend the next impeachment hearing. From five to seven years, (trials) may now be shortened to six months to one year because of the continuous trials. That’s really fast,” the Chief Justice said.
EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said he expects "the real negotiations on the second phase" of Brexit talks to start in March. The talks starting in the new year will involve wide-ranging discussions on the future relationship between Britain and the 27 remaining EU nations, including trade. In a breakthrough last week, the two sides agreed that the first round of issues in the Brexit talks had advanced sufficiently for now. ___9:30 a.m.European Union leaders are set to authorize a new phase in Britain's departure from the bloc. May received a round of applause from EU leaders Thursday night after giving her assessment of progress in the talks.
December 15, 2017 22:41 UTC
4 Palestinians killed in new wave of violence over US Jerusalem move Share it! Share TweetBy Agence France-PresseFour Palestinians were killed and hundreds wounded Friday in clashes with Israeli forces as tens of thousands demonstrated against Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. On Friday three men were killed in clashes between Israeli troops and stone-throwing Palestinians. A third Palestinian was killed in clashes north of Jerusalem after being shot dead in the chest by the Israeli army, the ministry said. Friday’s deaths brought to eight the number of Palestinians killed in violence or air strikes since Trump’s Jerusalem move.
December 15, 2017 21:00 UTC
JAKARTA, Indonesia — A strong earthquake shook Indonesia’s densely populated Java island on Friday night, killing two people and severely damaging dozens of homes near the epicenter. Panicking people ran out of buildings in many areas and roads were clogged with motorbikes, cars and trucks as people fled coastal areas in fear of a tsunami. He fled on his motorbike with his wife and two children after neighbors shouted that water was coming, he said. Damage was heaviest in the Tasikmalaya, Pangandaran and Ciamis regions of West Java Province near the epicenter. The earthquake was about 91 kilometers (56 miles) deep and located just inland, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
December 15, 2017 19:52 UTC
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) granted on Thursday night a $380-million loan to the Philippines aimed at strengthening Mindanao’s road network and spur economic development there. Approved by the Manila-based multilateral lender’s board of directors, the Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project seeks to improve about 280 kilometers (km) of national roads and bridges in in the island region. The loan would help finance the detailed design of 300 km of national highways in Mindanao, which will be built through other projects. Efficient road transport is crucial for the Philippines’ economic growth, but the sector has not kept up with population growth. About 23 percent of the national road network is in poor condition, due to various reasons including inadequate funding; lack of maintenance; and the impact of climate change, such as flooding.
December 15, 2017 18:22 UTC
The National Privacy Commission (NPC) on Friday summoned transport network company Uber in connection with the company’s disclosure that around 170,000 Filipino passengers and drivers were affected by a data breach in 2016. “We were informed that around 170,000 Filipino citizens consisting of drivers and passengers were affected by the breach. Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber chief executive officer, earlier said Uber is changing its way of doing its business to earn the trust of its customers. He said Uber has already implemented security measures to restrict access and strengthen the company’s control of its cloud-based storage accounts. “While I can’t erase the past, I can commit on behalf of every Uber employee that we will learn from our mistakes.
December 15, 2017 18:11 UTC
Personal remittances rose to $2.55 billion from $2.32 billion a year ago, up 9.7 percent and recovering from September’s five-month low of $2.44 billion. Year to date, OFW remittances were up 5.2 percent at $25.71 billion. For the first 10 months of 2017, cash remittances reached $23.0.5 billion, a 4.2-percent increase compared to the $22.12 billion registered in the same period in 2016. The result was boosted by higher remittances from land-based workers and sea-based workers, which both grew by 4.2 percent compared to year-ago level, the BSP said. Cash remittances from the United States, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Japan, the United Kingdom, Qatar, Kuwait, Germany and Hong Kong comprised about 80.2 percent of total cash remittances in the first 10 months of 2017.
December 15, 2017 18:00 UTC
SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao: The Philippine National Police (PNP) in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat province has foiled a bombing attempt with the killing of a suspected bomber and at the same time a drug trafficker along the national highway of Sultan Kudarat. Raul Supiter, Sultan Kudarat PNP director, said police operatives on Tuesday were to flag down Abubakar Upam, a resident of Barangay Satan, Mamasapano, Maguindanao, while he was driving his pedicab (6446-XI) shortly before 7 a.m. along the national highway in Barangay Dansuli, Isulan, Sultan Kudarat. But Upam allegedly pulled a hand grenade and tried to toss it to the lawmen, prompting the policemen to fire at him. Supiter said police found components for improvised explosive device, a fragmentation grenade, several sachets of shabu and empty shells for cal. Upam’s remains were retrieved by relatives and immediately buried on Wednesday in accordance with Islamic tradition.
December 15, 2017 18:00 UTC