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Saudi prosecutor seeks death sentences as Khashoggi murder trial opens

Inquirer Breaking News - Thu, 01/03/2019 - 18:59
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia--- Saudi Arabia's attorney general sought the death penalty for five of 11 defendants charged with the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi as their high-profile trial opened in Riyadh on Thursday. All 11 accused were presentwith their lawyers at the opening hearing in the capital, according to a statement by the attorney general carried by the official Saudi Press Agency. The attorney general said Saudi Arabia had twice submitted formal requests for evidence from Turkey --- where Khashoggi was murdered inside the kingdom's Istanbul consulate --- but had received no response. The names of the 11 defendants have not been officially released. Khashoggi, a c...

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China’s population shrinks despite two-child policy: experts

Inquirer Breaking News - Thu, 01/03/2019 - 18:50
BEIJING, China--- China's population shrank last year for the first time in 70 years, experts said, warning of a "demographic crisis" that puts pressure on the country's slowing economy. The world's most populous nation of some 1.4 billion for decades limited most families to one child in an attempt to keep population growth sustainable. But since 2016 it has allowed couples to have two children in response to concerns about an ageing society and shrinking workforce. The number of live births nationwide in 2018 fell by 2.5 million year-on-year, contrary to a predicted increase of 790,000 births, according to analysis by US-based academic Yi Fuxian. Yi, a researcher at the...

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Over taco sauce complaint, man shoots at fast food restaurant

Inquirer Breaking News - Thu, 01/03/2019 - 18:49
A man in Oklahoma City shot at a drive-thru window multiple times over an argument about taco sauce. Police continue to search for a man who confronted a Taco Bell employee at the drive-thru window over not receiving taco sauce or getting the wrong sauce, the Oklahoma City Police Department told KOCO-TV in a Dec. 31 report. It was around 1:00 a.m. when the man began firing multiple shots through the drive-thru window. He then went out of his car and entered the fast food chain. To protect themselves, employees hid inside the bathroom and locked it until he left. While in the bathroom, employees called 911 and could hear him banging things in the restaurant. None of the emplo...

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PNP revokes Daraga Mayor Baldo’s gun permits

Inquirer Breaking News - Thu, 01/03/2019 - 18:43
MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine National Police (PNP) has officially revoked gun permits issued to Daraga town Mayor Carlwyn Baldo.   PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde confirmed to INQUIRER.net that Baldo's firearms licenses and permit to carry firearms outside of residence (PTCFOR) have been canceled on Thursday.   Baldo owns a caliber .223-rifle, caliber .22 gauge shotgun, and two caliber .45 pistols, according to PNP Spokesperson Chief Supt. Benigno Durana Jr.   Earlier Thursday, Albayalde ordered PNP's Firearms and Explosives Office to cancel the Daraga, Albay mayor's gun permits after testimonies of a witness and a suspect pointed to B...

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Box office records break as Broadway says goodbye to 2018

Inquirer Breaking News - Thu, 01/03/2019 - 18:43
NEW YORK (AP) --- Broadway producers had plenty of reasons to pop the bubbly as 2018 wound down, with many shows recording their most profitable weeks despite some eye-popping ticket prices. Eight shows last week earned more than $2 million for the week ending Dec. 30, led by "Hamilton", ''The Lion King" and "Wicked", according to the Broadway League, a national trade association for the industry. "Hamilton" crossed the $4 million mark for the week, with an average ticket costing $375.39. The year ended with the best attended and the highest grossing week on record. Grosses soared to $57.8 million for the week, attracting 378,910 patrons. By way of comparison, the year 2017 end...

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Sport and apartheid in South Africa -- a complicated story

CNN Top Stories - Thu, 01/03/2019 - 18:37
For Fagmie Solomons, sport was always more than a yearly cycle of training and matches.
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‘Wedding hazing’: Groom to sue friends for pranks gone wrong

Inquirer Breaking News - Thu, 01/03/2019 - 18:35
Thought bachelor parties could get wild? In China, wedding hazing rituals can get so far out of control that one groom is suing his friends   Historically, hazing rituals involved teasing the newlyweds in their bridal chambers to expel evil spirits. But as time went on, the ritual evolved into practical jokes, and these days, dangerous --- even life-threatening --- pranks. A 24-year-old groom, Ai Guangtao, suffered multiple injuries on his wedding day in Guizhou province, after escaping his friends' torturous acts, btime.com via South China Morning Post reported yesterday, Jan. 2. The groom's entourage hurled eggs at him and covered him in beer and black ink. He was tied...

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NPA torches mining equipment in Negros Oriental

Inquirer Breaking News - Thu, 01/03/2019 - 18:34
MANILA, Philippines --- The New People's Army burned heavy equipment owned by a mining firm in Negros Oriental on Tuesday, New Year's Day, the military said. The nine backhoes and two payloaders were torched in Barangay Jandalamanon Ayungon, Negros Oriental past 11 p.m., Cpt. Joe Patrick Martinez, acting public affairs chief of Central Command, said in a statement on Thursday. Two of these equipment were beyond repair while the rest incurred minimal damage, he said. Based on the initial investigation by the police, the communist rebels burned the equipment due to Pilipinas Eco-Friendly Mining Corporation's firm stand against extortion and the recent deaths of their comrades ...

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New Year’s Eve television viewership takes a dip

Inquirer Breaking News - Thu, 01/03/2019 - 18:33
NEW YORK (AP) --- Television ratings for New Year's Eve celebrations took a tumble this year --- and you can probably partly blame the weather. Contrary to what the soggy celebrants in New York's Times Square might think, it is because of good weather. Last year's ABC's "New Year's Rockin' Eve" had its biggest audience since at least 1991 with much of the country locked in a deep freeze and potential partygoers wanting to stay home and keep warm. This year, viewership for ABC's prime-time New Year's show with Ryan Seacrest averaged 9.1 million people, down 26 percent from last year's 12.3 million, the Nielsen company said. Fox's prime-time show with Steve Harvey was down 47 per...

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Death toll in Russian apartment building explosion rises to 38 -- report

CNN Top Stories - Thu, 01/03/2019 - 18:32
The death toll in a New Year's Eve apartment building explosion in the Russian city of Magnitogorsk has risen to 38, state news agency TASS reported Thursday, citing an Emergency Situations Ministry spokesman.
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Jimmy Alapag excited to help San Miguel in whatever capacity

Inquirer Breaking News - Thu, 01/03/2019 - 18:31
MANILA, Philippines---San Miguel had an offseason to remember as it beefed up not just its roster with the addition of the polarizing Terrence Romeo but also with the signing of Alab head coach Jimmy Alapag to the coaching staff. Alapag's arrival at the San Miguel camp clearly came out of left field after he made a surprise appearance at the team's Thursday practice at Acropolis Clubhouse. Romeo's addition to the Beermen will make their backcourt of Alex Cabagnot and Chris Ross that more dangerous, but the signing of Alapag---a champion coach with San Miguel Alab Pilipinas in the ASEAN Basketball League---will no doubt make San Miguel even more lethal. "You never know what's...

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LOOK: Jackie Forster, family welcome the new year in Dubai

Inquirer Breaking News - Thu, 01/03/2019 - 18:26
Jackie Forster and her brood went out traveling to the United Arab Emirates, days before 2018 ended. The 40-year-old actress, pictured with son Jared and daughter Caleigh, were aboard a plane to Dubai, where they ended the year with a bang. Forster shared with her fans their adventure via her Instagram account last Monday, Dec. 31. https://www.instagram.com/p/BsBr0_ThuMK/ Her family saw the new year coming by watching the grand fireworks display from the Burj Khalifa, referred to as the tallest building in the world. https://www.instagram.com/p/BsEJL3JBuRo/ Forster, along with husband Michael Franken and their three kids, had horns and party hats for the new year as they h...

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NDRRMC: ‘Usman’ death toll rises to 122

Inquirer Breaking News - Thu, 01/03/2019 - 18:25
MANILA, Philippines --- The death toll from the landslides and flooding brought about by Tropical Depression "Usman" has increased to 122, mostly from the Bicol region, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Thursday. "A total of 122 dead, 28 missing and 60 injured persons were reported in Regions of Mimaropa, Bicol, and Eastern Visayas," the report said. A total of 105 fatalities were recorded from the Bicol region alone. The fatalities are still subject to validation, the report said. The heavy rains which triggered flash floods and landslides nearly a week ago also caused an estimated P528 million worth of agricultural damage mostly in the Bic...

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A first class gaffe: Airline to honor cheap ticket error

Inquirer Breaking News - Thu, 01/03/2019 - 18:21
Scores of savvy travelers will be sipping heavily discounted champagne in first-class recliners on Cathay Pacific flights this year after the airline agreed to honor tickets that were mistakenly sold at a fraction of their value. Airline and travel blogs went into overdrive on New Year's Eve after eagle-eyed shoppers noticed the carrier was offering first and business class tickets on its website from Vietnam to the United States and Canada for as little as $670 (around P35,000). That represented a staggering discount. A first-class round-trip would usually cost around $16,000 (about P842,000) and a business class flight $4-6,000 (around P210,000 to P316,000). It took two da...

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P385M Casiguran flood-control project requested, part of NEP— engineer

Inquirer Breaking News - Thu, 01/03/2019 - 18:12
  NAGA CITY --- The testimony of a district engineer in Sorsogon province has appeared to have debunked allegations of "inserted" funds in the 2019 national budget.   Engr. Ignacio Odiaman from Sorsogon District 1 said they requested the P385-million flood-control project for Casiguran town as it was part of the National Expenditure Program (NEP). House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. earlier said a huge slice of the budget allocated by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for Sorsogon flood-control projects in 2019 --- a total of P385 million --- would go to Casiguran town where an in-law of DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno is seeking re-election as ma...

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Ejercito: Justice for Batocabe may ‘end recent political killings’

Inquirer Breaking News - Thu, 01/03/2019 - 18:10
MANILA, Philippines --- Bringing the killers of Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe to justice may put an end to "recent political killings," Senator JV Ejercito said on Thursday. "If [the] Batocabe assasination case is handled well by the PNP [Philippine National Police,] and the real mastermind who allegedly is the Mayor of Daraga, is brought to justice, this may put an end to the recent political killings, most of which remain unresolved," Ejercito said on Twitter. https://twitter.com/jvejercito/status/1080756616960532480 This came after the PNP tagged Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo as the mastermind behind the murder of Batocabe and identified seven other persons of interest, who are ...

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Ejercito: Bringing Batocabe’s killers to justice may ‘end recent political killings’

Inquirer Breaking News - Thu, 01/03/2019 - 18:10
MANILA, Philippines --- Bringing the killers of Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe to justice may put an end to "recent political killings," Senator JV Ejercito said on Thursday. "If [the] Batocabe assasination case is handled well by the PNP [Philippine National Police,] and the real mastermind who allegedly is the Mayor of Daraga, is brought to justice, this may put an end to the recent political killings, most of which remain unresolved," Ejercito said on Twitter. https://twitter.com/jvejercito/status/1080756616960532480 This came after the PNP tagged Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo as the mastermind behind the murder of Batocabe and identified seven other persons of interest, who are ...

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Koala drinks from water bottle in Australia heatwave

Inquirer Breaking News - Thu, 01/03/2019 - 18:02
As Australia swelters in an extreme heatwave, a video of a woman in the state of Victoria pouring water into the mouth of a thirsty koala has melted hearts online. The vast continent has experienced intense heat over the past week, with the mercury up 16 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than usual for this time of year in southern Australia. Numerous towns set new December records, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, while emergency services have been on high alert for bushfires. Local Chantelle Lowrie was at a camping ground near the Murray River in the southern state of Victoria on Friday when she saw the koala. "It was 44 degrees Celsius --- very, very h...

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Batocabe’s son: ‘Killing for money, politics will never be acceptable’

Inquirer Breaking News - Thu, 01/03/2019 - 17:57
      MANILA, Philippines --- Killing for money or politics is never acceptable. Atty. Justin Batocabe, son of slain AKO Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe, said this on Thursday as police investigation pinpointed to Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo as the alleged brains behind the killing of his father. Rep. Batocabe, who was poised to run for the mayoral post in the said municipality, and his police escort SPO1 Orlando Diaz were gunned down by assailants during a gift-giving event on December 22, the same day as his wedding anniversary. READ: Rep. Rodel Batocabe was killed on his wedding anniversary Justin, the elder of Batocabe's two sons, said he is "very hap...

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Karen Gallman to vie for Philippines’ first Miss Intercontinental crown

Inquirer Breaking News - Thu, 01/03/2019 - 17:56
MANILA, Philippines --- Karen Gallman is ready to win the Philippines' first ever Miss Intercontinental crown in front of her countrymen at the Mall of Asia Arena on January 26. Gallman, the last to compete among 2018's batch of Binibining Pilipinas queens, said she spent the holidays preparing for the upcoming international pageant. "I've prepared so very hard. It's been very challenging and been very busy for me especially these holidays. I was still training even though it was Christmas and New Year's," she said during her send-off party hosted by Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BBCI) at the Novotel Manila Araneta Center on Thursday. Present in the event were Binibin...

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