Iraq forces launch operation to retake west Mosul – PM

BAGHDAD: Iraqi forces launched an offensive on jihadists defending Mosul’s west bank Sunday, in what could be the most brutal fighting yet in a four-month-old operation on the city. We are coming, Nineveh, to liberate the western side of Mosul,” he said, referring to the province of which Mosul is the capital. “West Mosul had the potential certainly of being more difficult, with house-to-house fighting on a larger and more bloody scale,” said Patrick Skinner, from the Soufan Group intelligence consultancy. Aid organizations had feared an exodus of unprecedented proportions before the start of the Mosul operation but half a million—a significant majority—of residents stayed home. Residents of west Mosul have reported very difficult living conditions and warned that they were already low on food, with weeks of fighting expected to lie ahead.

February 19, 2017 11:46 UTC

Alexander, Steffen seek CT Ironman repeat

Five-time world champion Craig Alexander and Caroline Steffen try to make it back-to-back as they banner the elite field in the Century Tuna Ironman 70-3 which gets going on March 12 in Subic Bay. Firming up the stellar men’s roster in the event event put up by title sponsor Century Tuna and presented by Century Quality Bangus are Kyle Buckingham of South Africa, Dan Wilson, Jake Montgomery, Jason Hall and Guy Crawford of Australia, and Benjamin Williams and Iain Alexandriris of the US. For details, visit, facebook at im703subic or twitter at subicbayim703. Aside from the centerpiece pro and Asian Elite, other titles to be disputed are the 18-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69 and the 70-and-above age categories. Also on tap is the relay competition featuring the mixed and the all male and all female classes, according to SEI.

February 19, 2017 11:17 UTC

Former champs chase 2nd Solaire PH Open plum

No player has ruled the country’s premier championship and Asia’s oldest National Open twice since 1988 winner Frankie Miñoza nailed his second Philippine Open crown in 2007. But they are but two of a slew of foreign entries in the field teeming with Asian Tour and Asian Development Tour stars. Along with the country’s leading players, the elite cast guarantees four days of top-notch action on a demanding course hosting the Open for the very first time. The TCC actually staged an Asian Tour event in 2014 with Canadian Richard Lee pouncing on Tabuena and fellow local ace Angelo Que’s final round meltdown in the wind to win the Solaire Open. “This couldn’t get any better – assembling a stellar international cast on a world-class course,” said Solaire Resort and Casino president and chief operating officer Thomas Arasi.

February 19, 2017 11:17 UTC

San Miguel, TNT dispute finals berth

Defending champion San Miguel Beer and TNT KaTropa clash in the winner-take-all Game 7 of their best-of-seven semifinals series of Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Philippine Cup on Monday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. “I’m hoping we can repeat that kind of performance in Game 7, but definitely I’m expecting a war on Monday,” said Austria. TNT coach Nash Racela rued the team’s awful fourth quarter performance as the KaTropa were outscored by the Beermen, 19-34, to yield the victory. Now, Racela hopes that can make the necessary adjustments to deny San Miguel of defending its Philippine Cup crown. A win by San Miguel, the remaining original member team of the PBA when it opened shop in 1975, will put the franchise to its 37th finals appearance.

February 19, 2017 11:17 UTC

The Russians are coming—as investors

(During the American colonial period here, it was the home of the US Army Air Corps and was known as Fort Stotsenburg. It was heavily damaged by the Japanese in the sneak air raid on the Philippines on December 8, 1941. It was renamed Clark Field after the American Air Corps officer who was killed in the dogfight during that Japanese air attack. Both areas have their special economic processing zones and transport facilities to move goods by land, air and sea. China’s 9-dash line sovereign territorial claim to the South China Sea which violates the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea has earned Beijing a host of enemies, especially among the developing countries of Asean.

February 19, 2017 11:17 UTC

UP blasts UST, stays perfect in UAAP volley

Hard-hitting Diana Mae Carlos had 18 points highlighted by 16 kills to lead the Lady Fighting Maroons, who kept the top spot with a perfect 4-0 win-loss record. But the Lady Fighting Maroons regained their composure in the fourth set, posting a 16-10. UST, behind Cherry Ann Rondina’s assault, threatened to bring the game to a fifth set and moved closer within three, 18-21. But the Lady Fighting Maroons finished off the Tigresses, getting four of the next five points, to remain unscathed in the tournament. Laure led UST with 18 points on 15 kills and three service points while Chlodia Cortez and Rondina added 12 points each.

February 19, 2017 11:06 UTC

Kei Nishikori battles into Buenos Aires final

BUENOS AIRES: Japanese top seed Kei Nishikori reached his second final of 2017 with a grueling 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over Argentina’s Carlos Berlocq at the Buenos Aires clay court tournament. World number five Nishikori needed two hours 45 minutes to see off wild card Berlocq, the 34-year-old world number 77 to set-up a Sunday title showdown against Ukraine’s Aleksandr Dolgopolov who beat Spanish fourth seed Pablo Carreno-Busta 7-5, 6-2. Nishikori made the final on hard court in Brisbane in January but was beaten by Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in three sets. Dolgopolov, 28, has not dropped a set all week to reach his seventh ATP final. “I feel very good,” said world number 66 Dolgopolov.

February 19, 2017 10:39 UTC

Rookies power Blue Eagles past Warriors

The Blue Eagles struck first after Mario Ceniza converted a glorious finish in the 16th minute and double their lead 14 minutes later, with Sam Lim wowed the crowd with a bicycle kick. Ateneo then made it 3-0 after Jordan Jarvis headed home from a Jarvey Gayoso free kick in the 39th minute. The Red Warriors pulled one back courtesy of a Krysler Opeña’s 71st minute goal. Extending their winning run to five, the Eagles now have a maximum of 15 points to solidify their hold on top of the league table. On Saturday, Far Eastern University got an early second half goal by Audie Menzi in a 1-0 win over National University.

February 19, 2017 10:30 UTC

Robinson wins NBA slam dunk contest

NEW ORLEANS: Glenn Robinson scored a perfect 50 on his final dunk to capture the NBA All Star Game’s slam dunk title on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) after leaping over three people for a dynamic two-handed reverse jam. “I wanted to do something no one has ever seen.”In the final round, Robinson faced off against Jones, who advanced from the four original competitors. The NBA has struggled to get its marquee players in the slam dunk contest and that was underlined by the inclusion this year of the undrafted Jones. Jones didn’t record his first dunk in the NBA until Wednesday night’s contest against the Los Angeles Lakers. Gordon nailed several clutch jumpers, including a final shot in the second round to send the contest into overtime.

February 19, 2017 10:30 UTC

‘Power of We’ protests return of authoritarianism, celebrates Edsa

ADVERTISEMENTTSM and other organizations collectively call themselves The February 25 Coalition, which traces its beginnings from the protests against the stealthy burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in November last year. The coalition has dubbed the EDSA gathering as the “Power of We.”Nisperos told the Inquirer over the weekend that it was a reminder that “power emanates… from everyone coming together as one united ‘we.’”The partylist group Akbayan is another organizer. “As a citizen, he has all the right to be at EDSA. As an Aquino, he has a share of EDSA,” Villarin said in an interview. The coalition was organized to implement the annual commemoration of EDSA, which ushered the return of democracy and freedom after a 20-year authoritarian rule.

February 19, 2017 08:08 UTC

Melania Trump prays, assails critics in Florida speech

MELBOURNE, United States—First Lady Melania Trump, usually a demure and soft-spoken presence at her husband’s side, broke with form Saturday, reciting the Lord’s Prayer before issuing a scathing rebuke of his enemies and her critics at a campaign-style stop in Florida. “My husband is creating a country of great safety, and prosperity,” the first lady said before introducing President Donald Trump, ceding the podium to cheers and applause. Melania Trump has been a rare presence with her husband since the inauguration. Purists and traditionalists have been disappointed that the first lady has not kept with precedent and immediately joined her husband in the White House residence. White House tours are highly popular with visitors to Washington, a perk arranged by members of Congress for their constituents and foreign embassies for their nationals.

February 19, 2017 07:30 UTC

Rains to prevail over parts of PH

Rains will be experienced in different parts of the country on Sunday, according to the state weather bureau. Cloudy skies with light rains will be experienced over the regions of Cagayan Valley, Cordillera and the rest of Central Luzon, it added. Metro Manila and Ilocos region will experience cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains, while partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rains or thunderstorms will prevail over the rest of the country, Pagasa said. “Moderate to strong winds blowing from the East to Northeast will prevail over Luzon and over the eastern section of Visayas and Mindanao. Elsewhere, winds will be light to moderate coming from the Northeast with slight to moderate seas,” it added.

February 19, 2017 05:48 UTC

Man killed by brother in Quezon

LUCENA CITY—A man stabbed dead his younger sibling in a heated argument in Lucban town in Quezon province shortly before midnight Saturday, police said Sunday. Report said the suspect, Marlon Calisura, 23, arrived home in Barangay (village) Tinamnan around 11 p.m. and found his wife and younger brother JR fighting. In a fit of anger, the suspect confronted JR and engaged him in a fist fight. Marlon then found a kitchen knife and repeatedly stabbed JR, police said. The suspect was arrested by police and detained in Lucban police jail.

February 19, 2017 03:12 UTC

CPP open to crafting, signing joint ceasefire accord

DAVAO CITY—The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Sunday expressed openness to crafting and signing a bilateral ceasefire agreement. “The Party and the New People’s Army (NPA) reiterate their support for efforts to forge a bilateral ceasefire agreement. ADVERTISEMENTThe CPP admitted that negotiating the details of the ceasefire agreement will be challenging. “We anticipate that negotiations concerning the terms of reference of a bilateral ceasefire agreement will be most difficult. Meanwhile, the CPP appealed to the government to also help ensure the safe travel of NDF consultants for the bilateral ceasefire agreement negotiations.

February 19, 2017 02:55 UTC

Johnson leads by one at rain-soaked Riviera

PACIFIC PALISADES, US: Dustin Johnson birdied three of his last four holes in a five-under par 66 on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) to take a one-stroke lead after the second round at the weather-hit Genesis Open. “I want to put myself in position to win this golf tournament, that’s really all I care about is what it takes to get it done here,” Johnson said. The Australian was eight off the pace after completing his rain-disrupted second round early Saturday. “When you’re thinking too much technique you’re losing focus of actually the target — I’m getting in my own way, really. “Thirty-six holes can be a really good thing sometimes if you’re playing really well, which I feel like the golf game, I’m in control of it right now,” he said.

February 19, 2017 01:18 UTC

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