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US First Lady Melania Trump accepts White House Christmas tree

Inquirer Breaking News - 46 min 48 sec ago
  WASHINGTON --- United States First Lady Melania Trump, and son Barron, received on Monday the official White House Christmas tree, continuing a time-honored, first lady tradition.   A military band quartet played holiday tunes as a horse-drawn wagon carried the 19.5-foot Balsam fir from Wisconsin up the White House driveway.   The first lady, wearing a holiday red turtleneck and a coat draped over her shoulders, and Barron, in a dark suit coat, white shirt and dark slacks, emerged from the North Portico. They circled the tree and walked over to Jim and Diane Chapman, who presented it. The Chapmans own a Wisconsin Christmas tree farm and won an annual c...

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Dozens hurt in blasts, fire at NY cosmetics factory

Inquirer Breaking News - 1 hour 7 min ago
  NEW WINDSOR, N.Y. --- Two explosions and a fire at a cosmetics factory about an hour's drive north of New York City left up to 35 people injured, including seven firefighters caught in the second blast, authorities said on Monday.   New Windsor police said the first explosion occurred around 10:15 a.m. Monday at the Verla International cosmetics factory. Firefighters who responded were inside the facility when the second explosion occurred around 10:40 a.m.   According to Town Supervisor George Green, up to 35 people were being treated for injuries, including seven firefighters, most of them from the nearby city of Newburgh.   He also said t...

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Duterte offers China 3rd telco carrier slot

Inquirer Breaking News - 1 hour 22 min ago
[ventuno id='MCsxMDM4NjIxfHwyMzY4fHwxMDg2fHwxLDIsMQ=='][/ventuno]   "The telecom duopoly is about to end," Malacaang declared on Monday. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced that President Rodrigo Duterte had offered China the "privilege" of operating the third telco player in the country to "break up" the industry duopoly of PLDT and Globe Telecom. Roque said Mr. Duterte made the offer during his meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Malacaang last week. He also said that former Information and Communication Secretary Rodolfo Salalima, who resigned in September after complaining of "corruption and interference," might "have prevented the earlier break...

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No legal basis for RevGov, says IBP

Inquirer Breaking News - 1 hour 23 min ago
President Rodrigo Duterte's plan to declare a revolutionary government (RevGov) if his opponents try to topple him from power cannot stand legal scrutiny, the leader of the country's 60,000 lawyers said on Monday. "There's no basis for the declaration of a revolutionary government. The institutions continue to be working, although there might be some attempts to downgrade their capabilities," said Abdiel Dan Elijah Fajardo, president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). The country's lawyers began to close ranks on Monday in the face of Mr. Duterte's increasingly strident talk of strongman rule as lawmakers slammed the President for continuing to suppress opposition ...

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CHR assails ‘law of jungle’ in House over Sereno impeachment proceedings

Inquirer Breaking News - 1 hour 24 min ago
The impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno are governed by the "law of the jungle," an official of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said on Monday. "On Wednesday, the Chief Justice is about to be impeached in the House where the law of the jungle seems to be prevailing, or what they euphemistically refer to as the law of the supermajority," CHR Commissioner Roberto Cadiz told reporters. The House committee on justice will resume hearings on Wednesday on the impeachment complaint brought by lawyer Larry Gadon against Sereno. "We see now attempts to undermine the [democratic] institutions. Aside from the CHR, the ...

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Palace: Ban on open-pit mining stays in place

Inquirer Breaking News - 1 hour 26 min ago
The ban on open-pit mining put in place by then Environment Secretary Regina Paz Lopez stays despite an interagency council's recommendation to lift it, Malacaang said on Monday. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte had personally told him that the ban should remain in force even after the Cabinet-level Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) had voted to reverse the policy. "I verified this personally with the President. He says that the ban on new open pit mining remains," Roque said at a press briefing. He said this was one of the instances when he personally asked the President if there was a change in policy. "[H]e says that there is ...

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Strongman dubbed ‘Crocodile’ poised to take over Zimbabwe

Inquirer Breaking News - 1 hour 27 min ago
JOHANNESBURG --- Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was elected on Sunday as the new leader of Zimbabwe's ruling political party and positioned to take over as the country's leader, has engineered a remarkable comeback using skills he no doubt learned from his longtime mentor, President Robert Mugabe. The 75-year-old Mnangagwa served for decades as Mugabe's enforcer---a role that gave him a reputation for being astute, ruthless and effective at manipulating the levers of power. Among the population, he is more feared than popular, but he has strategically fostered a loyal support base within the military and security forces. A leading government figure since Zimbabwe's independence in ...

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Focus on fighters’ safety adds to ONE Championship’s success

Inquirer Breaking News - 1 hour 40 min ago
Putting premium on the safety of its athletes, ONE Championship has been able to establish itself as one of the best MMA promotions in the world and the largest in Asia. There are always risks that come with martial arts as a full contact sport. Athletes are prone to injury and they also put their lives on the line every time they step on the cage. As part of ONE's focus to ensure its world-class athletes' welfare, the MMA outfit has maintained a high level when it comes to safety. Through measures and precautions, athletes are assured of having the safest platform to showcase their talents. Renowned physician Dr. Warren Wang has helped maintain that safety standard since becoming O...

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Some senators back Duterte plan to tag NPA a terror group

Inquirer Breaking News - 1 hour 41 min ago
Several senators on Monday expressed support for President Rodrigo Duterte's plan to classify the New People's Army (NPA) as a terrorist group, saying it was his prerogative and that the communist rebels had lost their ideology and morphed into plain bandits over time. Sen. Panfilo Lacson agreed that it was about time the rebel group was labeled a terror organization as it had been acting like one since losing its ideology more than a decade ago. "They burn, destroy, kill innocent civilians to terrorize; they terrorize to sow fear and harass helpless civilians; they harass to extort under the guise of revolutionary taxation," said Lacson, a former chief of the Philippine National P...

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Health advocates want Senate to raise tax on cigarettes

Inquirer Breaking News - 1 hour 42 min ago
Health advocates on Monday threatened to start a campaign against senators who will oppose the inclusion of higher cigarette tax in the tax reform measure being pushed in the Senate to address tobacco use. "Those who oppose this measure do not deserve a seat in the Senate in the coming years," said Benjie Aquino, chair of the UP Diliman student council and member of the Youth for Sin Tax Movement, in a press briefing. Smoking menace "The increase in tobacco tax must be included in the tax reform program to protect young people from the smoking menace," he said. Senators Manny Pacquiao and JV Ejercito earlier filed Senate Bill Nos. 1599 and 1605, respectively, seeking to further i...

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Categories: Breaking News, Inquirer

Pichay goes on trial; Gatchalian cleared

Inquirer Breaking News - 1 hour 43 min ago
The antigraft court Sandiganbayan will proceed with the trial of Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr. over the buyout by the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) of an insolvent thrift bank, but let off the hook another congressman, Valenzuela Rep. Weslie Gatchalian, one of Pichay's coaccused. Pichay and Gatchalian had been charged with conspiring to funnel P780 million of LWUA funds to buy a 60 percent majority share in Express Savings Bank Inc. (ESBI), based in Laguna and owned by Forum Pacific Inc. (FPI), and the Gatchalian family's Wellex Group Inc. (WGI). But in a 30-page resolution on Nov. 17, the court's Fourth Division set aside a resolution on Oct. 18, 2016,...

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Erice, 5 mining firm execs charged with falsification

Inquirer Breaking News - 1 hour 45 min ago
A small-scale miner has filed a criminal complaint against Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice and five executives of a mining firm in Tubay, Agusan del Norte province, for allegedly falsifying documents regarding their mining operations. In a nine-page affidavit, Rodney Basiana claimed that Erice, a Liberal Party stalwart, and officials of SR Metals Inc. (SRMI) altered the date on the documents they used to extract minerals from an 81-hectare mining area in Tubay town. Besides Erice, also named respondents were SRMI officials Patrick Angelo Gutierrez, John Anthony Gutierrez, Miguel Alberto Gutierrez, Alejandro Basalio and Antonio Dimabayu. President Rodrigo Duterte had previousl...

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House to prioritize passage of revised hazing law, 5 bills

Inquirer Breaking News - 1 hour 47 min ago
The revision of the hazing law and the creation of a separate department for disaster response are among the House of Representatives' priority measures scheduled to be passed before the end of the year. In a press briefing on Monday, Deputy Speaker Sharon Garin also mentioned the "One Town, One Doctor" Act as among the common legislative priorities of the House and the Senate which the lower chamber could approve on third and final reading any day during the four remaining weeks of the current session. All forms of hazing House Bill (HB) No. 6573, which seeks to prohibit "all forms of hazing... at whatever stage of the initiation rite or practice," is still undergoing plenary d...

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Aguirre ‘surprised’ that Alvarez wants him in 2019 senatorial ticket

Inquirer Breaking News - 1 hour 49 min ago
If it were up to House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II would be fielded in the administration's senatorial ticket for the 2019 elections. Alvarez bared his latest "personal" choice on Monday as a guest speaker during the 81st anniversary of the National Bureau of Investigation, an agency under the Department of Justice. In endorsing Aguirre, Alavarez complained about the Senate's slow pace in passing legislation. "I will support the candidacy of Vit Aguirre. I will talk to the President if he could lend Secretary Vit Aguirre to the Senate so the passage of laws there would be a bit faster," Alvarez said. A "surprised" Aguirre said he would bo...

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New PH envoy leaves for US

Inquirer Breaking News - 1 hour 50 min ago
The Philippines has sent off an ambassador to the United States, a post that has been vacant for the past year and a half since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office. Newspaper columnist Jose Manuel Romualdez left on Monday for Washington DC to take up his post, almost four months since Malacaang announced his appointment last July. He has to formally present his diplomatic credentials to the US government before he can officially start his tour of duty. "I'm looking forward to take up my post at Washington DC as the [Philippine] ambassador," Romualdez told reporters on Monday. He said one of his priorities was to touch base with US officials since the Philippines had ...

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Goodbye, ‘crush ng bayan’

Inquirer Breaking News - 2 hours 30 min ago
ILOILO CITY --- Friends and classmates of Remy Beraye always knew him as the campus "crush ng bayan (heartthrob)." The 5 foot, 11 inch tall former student leader easily won over fellow students not only because of his looks but also because of his eloquence. At the Iloilo National High School, where he completed his secondary education, he once played the role of national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, in a play. On Saturday night, his friends, relatives and colleagues bid him goodbye and praised him for standing taller in death. Beraye, 43, was among three suspected top New People's Army (NPA) rebels who died in clash with government troops in Cuartero town in Capiz province on N...

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Bugs feast on palay in Pangasinan farms

Inquirer Breaking News - 2 hours 31 min ago
ALAMINOS CITY --- The rice black bugs, which attacked fields and communities during the full moon on Nov. 3, damaged or destroyed 753 hectares of farms in six Pangasinan towns and city, a provincial agriculture officer said.   But the infestation was "not critical," said Dalisay Moya, acting provincial agriculturist, because the damaged farms in the towns of Villasis, Manaoag, Asingan, Tayug, San Manuel and Rosales, and Urdaneta City, represented only 2.53 percent of Pangasinan's total 180,000 ha of agricultural land.   The bugs suck nutrients from palay stems, so even if the palay bear grains, these are empty as the plants will be unable to sustain them with nutrie...

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Evidence of plot to disrupt Asean summit found in NPA camp, AFP says

Inquirer Breaking News - 2 hours 33 min ago
The military on Monday said soldiers in Batangas province recovered charred materials as evidence of an attempt by the communist rebels to carry out an attack as Southeast Asian and other world leaders met in Manila last week.   Col. Arnulfo Burgos Jr., commander of the Army's 202nd Infantry Brigade, said these materials were recovered when soldiers overran a rebel camp, one big enough for 50 to 70 people, in Nasugbu town in Batangas on Sunday.   On Monday morning, members of the 730th Combat Group of the Philippine Air Force (PAF), a unit that performs counterinsurgency operations in parts of Southern Tagalog, clashed with fleeing New People's Army (NPA) rebels alo...

Keep on reading: Evidence of plot to disrupt Asean summit found in NPA camp, AFP says
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STL firm exec dies 5 days after gun attack

Inquirer Breaking News - 2 hours 34 min ago
LEGAZPI CITY --- A Small Town Lottery (STL) operator in Albay province died in a hospital here on Monday, five days after he was shot and wounded in an attack by suspected guns- for-hire in this city's business district, police said. Senior Supt. Nilo Berdin, Legazpi City police chief, said Alex German Alemania, chair of the Lucky V Prime Enterprises Inc., the STL operator in Albay, died at 10:30 a.m. at the Albay Doctors' Hospital here where he was being treated for a bullet wound in the stomach. Alemania and a woman companion were attacked by two men on a motorcycle as they were parking their van in a shopping mall here on Nov. 15. The gunmen fled, but policemen pursued them, ...

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Duterte promise: Free water only for small farms, NIA says

Inquirer Breaking News - 2 hours 35 min ago
DAGUPAN CITY --- Irrigation water will not be free for all farmers after all, despite an election campaign promise made by President Duterte. A recent congressional bicameral committee conference to tackle a free irrigation measure resolved that only farmers growing food on 8 hectares of land or less would be entitled to free irrigation from the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Administrator Ricardo Visaya said during a meeting with farmers and members of irrigators' associations in Pangasinan province last week. Farmers tilling even a fraction more than 8 ha must pay irrigation fees required to keep irrigation systems running, he said. A bill pending at the Hous...

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Categories: Breaking News, Inquirer

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