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US resumes WHO support, launches $1.9 trillion virus plan

Inquirer Breaking News - 38 min 40 sec ago
    GENEVA - The United States on Thursday said it would resume its funding for the UN's health agency as President Joe Biden shifts towards greater international cooperation in the fight against Covid-19, while also launching a $1.9 trillion plan to tackle the pandemic at home. On his first day in the job, Biden confirmed he had reversed the decision of former president Donald Trump to quit the World Health Organization (WHO). And on Day Two, Biden's chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci confirmed that the US would continue its hefty payments into the organisation's budget, prompting a wave of relief among international health experts.     ...

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EU summit eyes border closures to curb spread of virus variants

Inquirer Breaking News - 54 min 31 sec ago
  BRUSSELS - EU leaders discussed tighter travel restrictions for Europe's internal borders at a virtual summit Thursday as part of efforts to slow and detect the spread of new coronavirus variants. Their gathering came just as the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said there was a "very high" probability of strains with much higher infectivity propagating in the 27-country bloc. These mutations -- which emerged in Britain, South Africa and Brazil -- have already prompted bans or restrictions on travellers from those countries. Now calls are increasing to also shut internal EU borders to all but essential travel, though German Chancellor Angela Merke...

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Biden orders masks, travel clampdown in new war on Covid-19

Inquirer Breaking News - 1 hour 2 min ago
    WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden on Thursday tightened mask wearing rules and ordered quarantine for people flying into the United States, as he got to work on tackling the coronavirus pandemic on his first full day in power. Signing 10 executive orders in the White House, Biden told the nation that the Covid-19 death toll would likely rise from 400,000 to half a million next month -- and that drastic action was needed. "We're in a national emergency. It's time we treated it like one," he said, adding that he wants to restore public trust in the wake of the divisive Donald Trump era. Scientists, he said, will "work free from political interference" under ...

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Biden may have to give up Peloton over security concerns

Inquirer Breaking News - 1 hour 22 min ago
WASHINGTON ---Joe Biden may have to find another way to stay fit at the White House, as experts worry the president's Peloton interactive fitness bike could create security risks. Some of Peloton's top features -- internet connectivity, a camera and microphone that allow users to participate in live classes -- could prove problematic for White House security, experts explained to US media. According to The New York Times, Biden began his days at the family home in Delaware with an exercise routine that included weights, a treadmill and a Peloton exercise bike. The brand has become hugely popular during the pandemic, as home workouts -- particularly alongside fitness junkies ...

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Construction of Trump's border wall halted for review of Biden order

CNN Top Stories - 1 hour 37 min ago
The Defense Department will pause construction of the wall along the US-Mexico border as it reviews President Joe Biden's executive order calling for construction to grind to a halt.
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Nissan to shut down Laguna plant

Inquirer Breaking News - 1 hour 41 min ago
MANILA, Philippines --- Japanese carmaker Nissan will close its sole car assembly plant in Laguna in March, marking the latest shutdown in an industry that has been finding fewer reasons to make cars in the Philippines when it is cheaper to make them elsewhere. Nissan Philippines Inc. (NPI) wrote to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Wednesday, informing Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez about its decision to shutter its assembly plant in the City of Santa Rosa. A copy of the letter from NPI president Atsushi Najima was seen by the Inquirer. The company made the decision after the expiration of its contract with its Filipino vehicle assembly partner Univation Motor Philippi...

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WHO plans slew of COVID-19 vaccine approvals for global rollout

Inquirer Breaking News - 1 hour 44 min ago
BRUSSELS --- The World Health Organization (WHO) plans to approve several COVID-19 vaccines from Western and Chinese manufacturers in coming weeks and months, a document published on Wednesday shows, as it aims for rapid rollouts in poorer countries. COVAX, a global procurement pool co-led by the WHO, wants to deliver at least 2 billion COVID-19 doses across the world this year, with at least 1.3 billion going to poorer countries. But it has so far struggled to secure enough shots due to a shortage of funds, while wealthy nations have booked large volumes of vaccines for themselves. In the race to deploy shots, regulatory approvals are key to confirming the effectiveness and saf...

Keep on reading: WHO plans slew of COVID-19 vaccine approvals for global rollout
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India PM’s state junks ‘Chinese fruit’ name

Inquirer Breaking News - 1 hour 45 min ago
AHMEDABAD, India --- The government in Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat has decided to change the name of the dragon fruit as it feels the original name is associated with China, drawing derision from the country's opposition on Wednesday. India and China are currently locked in a military standoff along their contested Himalayan border, with New Delhi responding to the deaths of 20 of its troops in June by banning Chinese-made apps and curbing imports. "The Gujarat government has decided ... the word dragon fruit is not appropriate, and is associated with China. The fruit's shape is like a lotus, and hence we have given it a new Sanskrit name, kamalam. T...

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After VP feat, Harris likely to get another shot at history-making

Inquirer Breaking News - 1 hour 47 min ago
  WASHINGTON --- Kamala Harris smashed through one of America's highest glass ceilings Wednesday, becoming the first woman, first Black American and first person of Asian heritage to be appointed vice president, blazing a trail in the most diverse White House ever. As running mate to now-President Joe Biden, she helped bring Donald Trump's turbulent rule to an end, assailing him for his chaotic bungling of the Covid-19 pandemic, last year's unrest over racial injustices and his crackdown on immigration. Harris, 56, enters the post having already forged a unique path, as California's first Black attorney general and the first woman of South Asian heritage elected to the ...

Keep on reading: After VP feat, Harris likely to get another shot at history-making
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Economic contraction seen slowing to 6%

Inquirer Breaking News - 1 hour 51 min ago
The gradual easing of COVID-19 quarantine measures likely narrowed gross domestic product (GDP) contraction in the fourth quarter of last year to single-digit, but this would not stop the Philippine economy from sliding to its worst post-war recession in 2020, according to global economic research firms. In a Jan. 20 report, Morgan Stanley Research projected a 6-percent year-on-year decline in fourth-quarter GDP, a slower drop than the average of 10 percent recorded in the first nine months of last year. Morgan Stanley's forecast would bring end-2020 GDP contraction to a record 8.8 percent. The government will report on the fourth-quarter and full-year GDP performance on Jan. 28. ...

Keep on reading: Economic contraction seen slowing to 6%
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Biden swiftly starts undoing Trump policies

Inquirer Breaking News - 1 hour 52 min ago
  WASHINGTON --- US President Joe Biden signed half a dozen executive orders on Wednesday to reverse several hard-line immigration policies put in place by former President Donald Trump, although migration experts warn that it will take months or longer to unravel many of the restrictions imposed in the past four years. In a sharp departure from his Republican predecessor, Biden, a Democrat, just hours after being sworn in, also sent an immigration bill to Congress that proposes opening a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants living in the United States unlawfully. After he was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, he offered a message of unity a...

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House approves waiver for Biden's defense secretary pick

CNN Top Stories - 1 hour 52 min ago
The House on Thursday approved a waiver to permit retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to serve as secretary of defense in the Biden administration.
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Vatican bank's former chief found guilty of money laundering

CNN Top Stories - 1 hour 53 min ago
The former head of the Vatican bank, Angelo Caloia, has been sentenced to nearly nine years in prison for money laundering and aggravated embezzlement.
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Emerging evidence suggests new coronavirus variant could be problematic for vaccines

CNN Top Stories - 1 hour 58 min ago
As researchers around the world race to see if new coronavirus variants will pose a problem for the vaccines, a second study in two days says a variant from South Africa could possibly do just that.
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SSS chief: Fund facing P14.9-B deficit amid halt in contribution hike

Inquirer Breaking News - 1 hour 59 min ago
Stopping the mandatory hike in private workers' monthly contributions to the Social Security System (SSS) this year would result in P41.37 billion in foregone collections and could place the state-run pension fund's bottom line in the red, its top official said on Thursday. During a hearing conducted by the House committee on government enterprises and privatization to tackle the pending measures aimed at halting the contribution rate hike to 13 percent, SSS president and chief executive Aurora Ignacio warned, "the provisions of the bills tend to weaken, rather than strengthen the SSS, especially in these difficult times." Having delayed the collection of contribution payments from...

Keep on reading: SSS chief: Fund facing P14.9-B deficit amid halt in contribution hike
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PH loan rates expected to remain low amid muted inflation outlook

Inquirer Breaking News - 2 hours 1 min ago
Local borrowing rates will remain low for the foreseeable future in an effort to boost economic growth after being savaged by the coronavirus pandemic last year, according to the central bank. In an online press briefing, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Francisco Dakila Jr. said last year's aggressive moves by the regulator to pump trillions of cash into the financial system had also met with some success as there were now emerging "encouraging signs of recovery." "The BSP is of the view that prevailing monetary policy settings remain accommodative to help quicken the economy's transition toward a sustainable recovery," he said referring to the country's record lo...

Keep on reading: PH loan rates expected to remain low amid muted inflation outlook
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Gilas pool eager to have Sotto in bubble

Inquirer Breaking News - 2 hours 2 min ago
  The national pool is eager to have Kai Sotto in the training bubble, something that is getting closer to reality after the 7-foot-3 teenager announced on social media that he is excited to have "an opportunity to play" for Gilas Pilipinas in the third window of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers. "We're excited to see how much he has already improved and what he can bring to the system," Jong Uichico, one of the national coaches handling the training of the Gilas pool in Laguna province, said on Thursday. Sotto posted a video entry on Instagram on Thursday morning saying: "I'm heading home soon. I'm excited that I have been given an opportunity to play for Gilas for th...

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Waiting for inspiration, PSEi still feeling blah on fifth day

Inquirer Breaking News - 2 hours 6 min ago
The local stock barometer dipped for the fifth straight session on Thursday as foreign investors continued to dump local equities. The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) lost 3.01 points or 0.04 percent to close at 7,140.29. "The PSEi ended flat as there was very little action in blue chips. There was increased selling pressure at the open, which lasted throughout the session. Last minute buying allowed it to recover some of its losses to end flat," said Christopher Mangun, head of research at AAA Equities. "The trend remains the same for the PSEi as sentiment remains cautious. This trend will continue until investors see clearer signs that the economy continues to recover,"...

Keep on reading: Waiting for inspiration, PSEi still feeling blah on fifth day
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Fact check: Is it constitutional for Trump to be tried in the Senate after leaving office?

CNN Top Stories - 2 hours 7 min ago
Questions have arisen over the constitutionality of former President Donald Trump's impending trial in the Senate. Trump is the first president to be impeached twice and would be the first ex-president to have his impeachment tried in the Senate while out of office.
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