MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila as well as other parts of Luzon and Visayas will be experiencing partly cloudy skies on Saturday due to the prevailing effects of northeast monsoon, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said. In its 4 a.m. report, Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas and the provinces of Aurora and Quezon will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains due to the said weather condition. ADVERTISEMENTThe weather in Metro Manila will be generally suitable for outdoor activity due to the effects of northeast monsoon. Meanwhile, residents in Mindanao will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers because of localized thunderstorms. The state weather bureau also continue to monitor Typhoon Wutip located at 2,040 kilometers east of Mindanao outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility.
February 23, 2019 01:41 UTC
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Friday set up new obstacles for women seeking abortions, barring taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from making abortion referrals. But it could be some time before women served by the federal family program feel the full impact. Administration officials told abortion opponents on a call Friday that they expect legal action, according to a participant. The Trump administration’s policy echoes a Reagan-era regulation that barred clinics from even discussing abortion with women. The Trump administration is now rolling back the Clinton requirement that abortion be discussed as an option along with prenatal care and adoption.
February 23, 2019 00:22 UTC
US ‘House of Horrors’ couple pleads guilty to torturing kids 0 SHARES Share it! Share TweetBy Agence France-PresseA California couple pleaded guilty Friday to imprisoning and torturing 12 of their 13 children in a grisly “house of horrors” case that gained international attention. Hestrin said he was satisfied with the plea as it would spare the children from having to testify at a trial. She told responding officers that the house was so dirty she couldn’t breathe and that she and her siblings never took baths. One of the older children also told investigators that the couple would lock him and his siblings in cages as punishment and beat them with paddles.
February 23, 2019 00:11 UTC
BERLIN — Britain’s top diplomat has urged Germany to relax its ban on arms sales to Saudi Arabia because they are affecting U.K. sales of weapons to — and by extension its influence with — the oil-rich kingdom. ADVERTISEMENTGermany rescinded existing arms export permits to Saudi Arabia last year in response to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The move, which amounts to an export ban, means Britain can’t ship war planes such as the Typhoon to Saudi Arabia because they contain German-made components. A Saudi-led coalition has been fighting with Yemen’s government against Shiite Houthi rebels since 2015, leading to criticism of arms exports to Saudi Arabia. Germany’s restrictive stance on arms exports has also put it at odds with France.
February 23, 2019 00:10 UTC
MANILA, Philippines–Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar was “an exception” to President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive barring Cabinet members and government officials from joining the campaign leading to the May 13 elections. “His guidance is very important to all of the PDP-Laban members. I just told Bong, ‘As long as the President knows about it,’” Andanar said. “If Go told me to attend the campaign rally and it had the President’s go signal, then there’s nothing wrong with that,” he added. Mr. Duterte also reiterated previous directives against the use of government funds for the campaign of administration candidates.
MANILA, Philippines–Is the Expanded Maternity Leave Act good for women but bad for business? ADVERTISEMENTBut among large corporations listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange, the new maternity law is not expected to gnaw on earnings. “These [employed] women won’t get pregnant at the same time,” said Eagle Equities Inc. president Joseph Roxas. Insignificant costSaid Raymond Neil Franco, head of research at Abacus Securities: “The additional cost probably won’t be significant. On the other hand, would the longer maternity leaves result in better retention of good employees who might otherwise resign, and better employee engagement overall?
MANILA, Philippines–President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday appointed the chief of the largest Moro rebel group as head of the transition government that will run a new autonomous Muslim region, taking another step in sealing a peace accord to end decades of insurgency in the country’s troubled south. The President appointed Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chair Murad Ebrahim as the BTA’s iterim chief minister, who will temporarily lead the regional parliament of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). Speaking to reporters after the ceremony, Mr. Duterte justified the appointment of the “revolutionary” MILF commander in the BTA. Dissolved after pollsThe new Muslim region will hold the polls for its first set of elected officials in 2022 at the same time as the national elections. About 12,000 MILF combatants with thousands of firearms are expected to be demobilized starting this year under the peace deal.
He has been popularly known as Al Haj Murad, but his real name is Ahod Balawag Ebrahim. He adopted Murad only as a nom de guerre after he joined the Moro struggle, first as member of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and later, the MILF. ADVERTISEMENTWhen Salamat, the MILF founding chair, died of an illness in July 2003, Murad took over the position of the Egyptian-trained cleric. From early 2001 until he was appointed MILF chair in mid-2003, Murad concurrently served as the front’s chief negotiator in talks with the Philippine government. Murad is married to Hadja Lupia Ebrahim and they have two children and 10 grandchildren.
February 22, 2019 23:09 UTC
MANILA, Philippines–Actress and television host Kris Aquino filed a counter-affidavit seeking to dismiss two counts of grave threats filed against her by former business partner Nicko Falcis and younger brother Jesus in the Office of the City Prosecutor of Quezon City on Feb. 22. The elder Falcis, the former managing director of Kris C. Aquino Productions, and his lawyer brother lodged the complaint after Aquino made a death threat against the former over the phone on Sept. 27, 2018. Aquino added that the controversial phone call transpired at a “very emotional moment for me”—when she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. “In the heat of the moment, I said things that I should not have said,” Aquino said. ADVERTISEMENTIt took Falcis over three months to file a complaint, which meant that the former employee was not really threatened, Aquino said.
VATICAN CITY—Pope Francis on Thursday opened a landmark Vatican summit on fighting child sex abuse, calling for “concrete measures” and handing top Catholic bishops a road map to tackling pedophilia in the Church. “The holy people of God looks to us, and expects from us not simple and predictable condemnations, but concrete and effective measures to be undertaken,” he said as the summit opened, the first of its kind. ADVERTISEMENT“Hear the cry of the little ones who plead for justice,” he said as the three-and-a-half day meeting began. In the latest case, a group supporting victims of pedophile priests in Poland on Thursday released a report documenting nearly 400 cases of sex abuse by clerics. In Rome, the 82-year-old pontiff hopes to raise awareness about abuse through prayers, speeches, working groups and testimonies from victims.
MANILA, Philippines–Malacañang on Friday said the government was doing its best for the release of the hostages held by the Abu Sayyaf without paying any ransom, despite the bandit group’s recent threat to behead them. He issued the statement after a video, which shows Abu Sayyaf members threatening to behead their foreign captives, was uploaded on social media on Feb. 14. President Duterte, he said, has already ordered the military to crush the Abu Sayyaf and other terrorist groups in Mindanao. Unknown militant risesAmid the loss of leaders, an unknown Abu Sayyaf militant has risen to head the Islamic State (IS) group in Mindanao. They joined the Abu Sayyaf, which had just been organized by Abdurajak Abubakar Janjalani, said MNLF leader Yusop Jikiri.
Jan. 21, 2019 – Plebiscite for the ratification of the BOL takes place for all areas under the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Isabela City in Basilan and Cotabato City. ADVERTISEMENTFeb. 6, 2019 – Second plebiscite for voters in Lanao del Norte, seven towns in Cotabato province and other areas that petitioned for inclusion in the future Bangsamoro takes place. Feb. 22, 2019 – The 80-member Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the interim government in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), appointed by the President takes oath. The BTA will run the BARMM’s parliamentary government in the Bangsamoro region until its first regular elections. 2022 – BARMM constituents will hold election for the first set of officials of the BARMM, synchronized with the national elections.
February 22, 2019 22:52 UTC
Hamilton still full of drive as he chases 6th F1 world titleBy The Manila Timeshome/Sports/Top Sports/Hamilton still full of drive as he chases 6th F1 world titleTURIN, Italy: At the age of 34 and with five world titles, Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton is still showing no sign of waning motivation. And it is that drive and determination he will take into the new season. I don’t love testing. Leclerc earned a prestigious move to Ferrari following strong performances for unheralded Sauber in his debut F1 season and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said he reminds him of Hamilton when he first came into F1 in 2007. But while Hamilton admits certain aspects of racing are harder with age, he also believes nothing replaces experience.
February 22, 2019 22:52 UTC
BAGUIO CITY — Environmental regulators have started an inventory of pine trees and lands in the summer capital, on the heels of a report that points to growing population as one of the main causes of its urban decay. The survey and mapping office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is collating data on the pine trees to determine their age as well as how these can regenerate without human intervention. Using satellite maps, Certeza consultants examined 19,016 structures in areas that were vulnerable to both rain and earthquake-induced landslides. The concept was developed shortly after Baguio was devastated by the 1990 Luzon earthquake. 1998 which exempts the provinces of Benguet and Cebu from the national forest code rule on 18-degree slopes, said Benjamin Ventura, who is overseeing the task set by Cimatu.
February 22, 2019 21:45 UTC
Among those killed were two barangay “tanod” (village watchmen) and a woman from Barangay Lusaran, Cebu City; a man from Barangay Zapatera, Cebu City; two men from Cordova town, Cebu; and another man from Daanbantayan town. Ken Kenneth Rosales, 31, who was killed in Zapatera, was a suspected supplier of the party drug ecstasy, police said. Two suspected drug pushers identified Rosales as their supplier. ADVERTISEMENTIn Cordova, two suspected drug pushers were killed in a buy-bust operation on Thursday. They were Librador Abayan and a certain “Moises,” who, police said, were “high-value targets.”In Daanbantayan, the fatality was identified as Cristori Montiadora, a suspected drug user.
February 22, 2019 21:44 UTC