MANILA, Philippines — Most parts of the country will experience hot and humid weather anew with cloudy skies and isolated rain showers on Friday, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa). In its 4 a.m. bulletin, Pagasa said Batanes and Babuyan Group of Islands will experience cloudy skies with episodes of isolated light rains due to the Northeasterly Surface Windflow. Temperature range in Metro Manila will be from 24 to 34 degree Celsius, Tagaytay City from 21 to 32 degree Celsius, Puerto Princesa City from 25 to 33 degree Celsius, Legazpi City from 25 to 32 degree Celsius, Tuguegarao City from 25 to 37 degree Celsius, Laoag City from 24 to 32 degree Celsius, and Baguio from 16 to 26 degree Celsius. Meanwhile, in the Visayas, the temperature range will be from 26 to 32 degree Celsius in Iloilo, 24 to 31 degree Celsius in Tacloban, and 26 to 33 degree Celsius in Cebu. In Mindanao, the temperature range will be from 25 to 35 degree Celsius in Davao, 22 to 31 degree Celsius in Cagayan De Oro, and 23 to 34 degree Celsius in Zamboanga.
April 02, 2020 23:37 UTC
A barangay chair has been ordered by the Special Mayor’s Reaction Team (Smart) of the Manila police to explain allegations that he has been playing favorites in the distribution of relief goods in his area. In the April 1 letter of Smart chief Police Maj. Rosalino Ibay Jr., Barangay 251 Zone 23 chair Reynaldo Angat was informed that he was being investigated for submitting a “spurious list of names/constituents” who were supposed to get relief goods from the local government. ADVERTISEMENTThe letter said 29 people on the list—who had all given the same address on Almeda Street in Tondo—were listed as 29 separate families. The address belonged to a business establishment reportedly owned by Angat while the people on the list were either his relatives or employees. Angat was told to submit an affidavit to the Smart office to explain his side.
April 02, 2020 21:11 UTC
UNITED States — The United States on Thursday relaxed rules that prevent many gay men from giving blood in an effort to tackle a severe shortage of donations due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Since 2015, men who have had sex with other men in the previous 12 months have been unable to donate blood. ADVERTISEMENTThe period has been reduced to three months, the US Food and Drug Administration announced. “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges to the US blood supply,” it said. Nearly 2,700 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled across the US due to concerns about congregating at workplaces, college campuses and schools during the coronavirus outbreak.
April 02, 2020 20:48 UTC
NurmagomedovMixed martial arts star Khabib Nurmagomedov says his lightweight title fight against American Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 is off as he is in quarantine in Russia amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Nurmagomedov said "the whole world should be in quarantine" and went on to say he was "definitely upset" to see the fight cancelled. Nurmagomedov and Ferguson had previously been booked to fight on four occasions, but the bouts were cancelled because of health or fitness issues. "He was in Abu Dhabi, he had his chance to be able to come back before the borders were closed in Russia," Ferguson said. The UFC has said it was keen to host the event at a new location on the same date.
Justin TongTwo more lawyers returning from a business trip in Britain with two infected colleagues have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the legal cluster to four people. Mayer Brown JSM said all three of its Hong Kong lawyers who went to Britain for an arbitration case were infected. It said there are two new cases along with 50-year-old co-partner Hasofer Menachem Mendel, who earlier tested positive during his two-week home isolation after returning on March 18. The Judiciary will also consider scheduling cases at suitable court premises such as West Kowloon Law Courts Building as well as setting a stricter procedural timetable. It may also recommission the Tsuen Wan Law Courts Building, which shut down after court operations relocated to the West Kowloon building in 2016.
APAustralia's High Court said yesterday it will rule on Cardinal George Pell's appeal against child sex abuse convictions on April 7, giving the senior cleric another chance to clear his name. Judges could yet deny Pell's appeal, order a retrial or quash his conviction altogether. The High Court had heard Pell's appeal on March 11 and 12 before the court's hearings were canceled due to the coronavirus. A Victoria state County Court jury convicted Pell on all charges in December 2018. The Victoria Court of Appeal in August last year rejected his appeal against the jury verdicts.
AFPThe number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits more than doubled to a second straight record as the coronavirus widened its reach and closed more businesses. The figure topped all analyst estimates and compared with a median projection of 3.76 million. The unemployment rate, which will be announced on Friday, was also estimated to surge past 10 percent this month. Meanwhile, futures on the main US equity benchmarks gave up some of the gains after jobless figures were released. In Hong Kong, contracts on the benchmark Hang Seng Index slid 290 points as of 9 pm last night.
Eddie Jones has signed a two-year extension to his contract as England coach that will see him remain in charge until the end of the 2023 World Cup in France, the Rugby Football Union announced yesterday. The 60-year-old Australian took charge following England's first-round exit at the 2015 World Cup. His current deal expires in 2021, but talks have been ongoing about an extension since Jones guided England to last year's World Cup final in Japan, where they were beaten by South Africa. "I never thought coming here four years ago I would be doing a second four years but the circumstances are right .... I am excited about raising the standards again."
Donald Trump says China's virus figures seem 'a little bit on the light side.' Can anyone tell us what the US has done in the two months [after the outbreak]?" Trump said he had discussed how China had dealt with the coronavirus outbreak in a phone call with President Xi Jinping last Friday, but "not so much the numbers." A 23-year-old man was jailed for 12 months in Burnley for spitting at two officers after claiming he was infected. In London, a 55-year-old man was jailed for six months for coughing on a police officer.
There are now only 838 men for every 1,000 women in Hong Kong, a survey by government statisticians revealed this week. * * *Welfare secretary Dr Law Chi-kwong yesterday called on all domestic helpers in Hong Kong to "join hands" in the fight against the virus. * * *By Wednesday evening this week in Hong Kong, there had been three days of petrol bomb attacks by anti-government protesters and about 60 arrests. * * *Hong Kong Executive Council: A meeting of 33 people who decide that no one should hold meetings of more than four people. Come back to Hong Kong, Bob.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has launched a $5-million project to help the government deliver critical food supplies to up to 55,000 vulnerable households in Metro Manila and neighboring areas.|The bank said the Rapid Emergency Supplies Provision Project dubbed “Bayan Bayanihan,” would provide food to vulnerable households in Luzon, including Metro Manila, to bridge the gap until other support mechanisms are activated. The ADB said initial deliveries of 2,000 50-kilogram sacks of rice were made on March 31 in the cities of Caloocan, Manila, Pasay and Quezon. More food, including rice, drinks and canned sardines, tuna and corned beef, will be delivered to households in Malabon on Friday. Loan assistanceMeanwhile, the Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) said local government units (LGUs) could access a new lending program to support their constituents. The LandBank allocated P10 billion for its Help via Emergency Loan Assistance for LGUs orHEAL Program as emergency funding for provincial, city and municipal governments.
April 02, 2020 17:03 UTC
WASHINGTON, D. C.: United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) said he would not issue a national stay-at-home or quarantine order, even as coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases are still surging in the country. He told reporters at a White House Coronavirus Task Force news briefing that he does not intend to do so because different states have different levels of Covid-19 cases. The coronavirus had infected more than 937,000 people and killed over 47,000 worldwide, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. There are some states that don’t have much of a problem,” Trump said. We have to have a little bit of flexibility,” Trump said at the briefing.
April 02, 2020 16:41 UTC
But it was all a fantasy — more than 600 million dirhams (about $65 million) allegedly disappeared, leaving more than 1,000 buyers out-of-pocket, according to one of the lawyers representing them. But the vast scam has prompted major questions about alleged negligence and complicity of some Moroccan institutions. Mohamed el Ouardi, as head of the Bab Darna group, allegedly received advances for apartments that never made it beyond the paper they were drawn on. The money was allegedly embezzled by cashing “advances ranging from 20 percent” to the full cost of the apartment, he added. Such practices did not prevent Bab Darna from exhibiting with great fanfare at real-estate shows in Casablanca, Paris and Brussels.
For the first time in its nearly century-and-a-half history, Wimbledon was canceled for a reason other than war, scrapped in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Lower-level events on the Challenger Tour and ITF World Tennis Tour also are called off for the first two weeks of July now. Wimbledon first was held in 1877 and has been contested every year since, with the exception of two stretches: from 1915-18 because of World War I, and from 1940-45 because of World War II. Wimbledon is the first Grand Slam tournament wiped out because of the coronavirus; the start of the French Open was postponed from late May to late September. “We are going through something bigger than tennis and Wimbledon will be back!” Halep wrote on social media.
Moody’s Investors Service lowered its outlook for the Philippine banking system from “stable” to “negative,” as it sees the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon raising asset risks and increasing pressure on profitability for banks. Slowing economic growth, Moody’s said, will worsen banks’ asset quality as key asset risks stem from concentrated exposures to large domestic conglomerates. The credit ratings agency said most conglomerates had significantly increased investment in the past few years, which resulted in debt growth. “Because banks’ loans are heavily concentrated on them, even a default by one of them will weaken asset quality in the overall banking system,” it added. Moody’s also believes that banks’ profitability would lose strength as it expects weaker asset quality to increase credit costs.