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Thai Supreme Court jails tycoon over wildlife poaching

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 12/08/2021 - 15:51
BANGKOK --- A Thai tycoonaccused of poaching wildlife in a national park lost his final appeal Wednesday, in a long-running saga that drew public outrage over the elite's perceived impunity. Construction magnate Premchai Karnasuta was arrested in February 2018 when park officials found guns, animal carcasses -- including of a kalij pheasant and a red muntjac --and the pelt of a black leopard at his campsite. Premchai was found not guilty of possessing a leopard carcass, but he was convicted of three other poaching-related charges and sentenced to 16 months jail. It was raised to three years and two months by the Appeals Court. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court upheld the guilt...

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Poe bats for stable internet service despite ongoing telco developments

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 12/08/2021 - 15:47
MANILA, Philippines --- "Our definition of the new normal should include internet access for all," Senator Grace Poe said Wednesday, noting that Filipinos' long wait for faster, reliable, and affordable internet would end with the foray of telecommunication companies (telcos) into more advanced technologies. "Our people deserve the same quality of connectivity as the rest of the world," she said. According to Poe, the public anticipates that the upgrade and expansion by telcos would help in sealing the digital divide critical to the country's COVID-19 recovery. Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services, called on government regulators to ensure that developments ...

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Miss Universe PH Beatrice Gomez opens up on being raised by a single mom

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 12/08/2021 - 15:47
Miss Universe Philippines 2021 Beatrice Luigi Gomez candidly spoke about her life before the pageant, sharing how she was raised by a single mother and her being a part of the LGBTQ community. "I was raised by a single mom and she had quite a hard time managing our household," she said in an introduction video on the Miss Universe YouTube page last Monday, Dec 6. Gomez shared how she needed to get into a volleyball varsity team to secure an athletic scholarship that got her through high school and college. "Being a part of the volleyball varsity team is not just something I take as an achievement but it is something that really changed my life for the better because I was ab...

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On Africa’s ‘chocolate islands’, cocoa producers target luxury market

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 12/08/2021 - 15:46
SO TOM, Sao Tome and Principe --- A morsel of chocolate sits on the tongue, and a strong yet subtle flavor starts to blossom. "When the chocolate starts to soften, you bite into it," orders chocolatier, Claudio Corallo. The chocolate tasting then expands into different flavors -- ginger, coffee, pepper, sea salt -- but underpinning each of these delights is an earthiness, a richness that comes from cocoa trees that grow in volcanic soil, wafted by the tropical Atlantic breeze. They grow in Sao Tome and Principe, a tiny island nation off the west coast of Africa that has a rich but also tragic association with chocolate. Once named the "chocolate islands", the Portuguese-s...

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WATCH: ‘The Matrix Resurrections’ trailer shows return of Jada Pinkett Smith as Niobe

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 12/08/2021 - 15:42
"The Matrix Resurrections" has released a new official trailer, giving fans a first look at Jada Pinkett Smith's transformation as a much older Niobe. The trailer features action-packed scenes with Keanu Reeves' Neo, confirming that the film series' protagonist still has a handle for kung fu, as seen on Warner Bros. Pictures' YouTube channel yesterday, Dec. 7. Neo also seems to have no recollection of the events in the past three films, as he was seen talking to the human rebel Niobe about the Matrix. "It's so easy to forget how much noise the Matrix pumps into your head. Something else makes the same kind of noise: war," she tells him. https://youtu.be/nNpvWBuTfrc "Th...

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20 Bangladesh students sentenced to death for brutal murder

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 12/08/2021 - 15:36
DHAKA --- Bangladesh sentenced20 university students to death on Wednesday for the brutal 2019 murder of a young man who criticized the government on social media. The battered body of Abrar Fahad, 21, was found in his university dormitory hours after he wrote a Facebook post slamming Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for signing a water-sharing deal with India. He was beaten with a cricket bat and other blunt objects for six hours by 25 fellow students who were members of the ruling Awami League's student wing, theBangladesh Chhatra League (BCL). "I am happy with the verdict," Fahad's father Barkat Ullah told reporters outside court after the verdict. "I hope the punishments wil...

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Bongbong-Inday Sara caravan causes heavy traffic in QC; Marcos camp apologizes

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 12/08/2021 - 15:30
MANILA, Philippines --- The camp of Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. apologized Wednesday for the heavy traffic congestion caused by the presidential aspirant's motorcade in Quezon City with his runningmate Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio. The Marcos camp issued the apology after the Quezon City government advised motorists to avoid Commonwealth Avenue, Elliptical Road, and Quezon Avenue due to the motorcade. "Humihingi na rin ng paumanhin at pang-unawa ang BBM-Sara UniTeam sa mga motorista, byahero, pamahalaang lungsod at maging sa MMDA kung ang nasabing Unity Caravan ay nagdulot ng pagsikip sa daloy ng trapiko," Marcos' camp said in a statement. "Hindi po kasi inaasa...

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Nets rally from 17 down to hand Mavericks fifth straight home loss

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 12/08/2021 - 15:14
Kevin Durant scored 11 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter as the visiting Brooklyn Nets erased a 17-point deficit and earned a 102-99 victory over the slumping Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night. James Harden added 23 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds. He shot 7 of 13 and hit two free throws that gave Brooklyn its first lead, 91-90, with 6:41 remaining. LaMarcus Aldridge added 15 points, James Johnson contributed 12 and Patty Mills chipped in 10 as Brooklyn shot 50.6 percent and won for the 15th time in 19 games. https://twitter.com/NBA/status/1468412696693465090 Luka Doncic led all scorers with 28 points and added nine assists after sitting out Saturday with a spra...

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Navy seeks to contest Hawaii health officials' order to halt operations at fuel site linked to contaminated tap water

CNN Top Stories - Wed, 12/08/2021 - 15:13
The Navy will contest an emergency order issued by the Hawaii Department of Health to suspend operations at a fuel site tied to contaminated tap water at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, officials said Tuesday.
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The show must go on: ‘Macbeth’ opens La Scala opera season despite COVID

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 12/08/2021 - 15:13
MILAN --- Giuseppe Verdi's "Macbeth" kicked off La Scala's opera season before hundreds of spectators on Tuesday just as the fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic is again forcing many theaters elsewhere in Europe to shut their doors. Italy's President Sergio Mattarella and celebrities attended the premiere that marks the opening of Milan's cultural calendar. While Italy's cinemas and theaters reopened to the public in late April, the government on Monday again restricted access to an array of venues, including theaters, for the unvaccinated. "When you see so many great theaters closed, like the Vienna State Opera, those in Munich, Dresden and Leipzig, I have to say we are...

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QC gov’t sad over Bongbong-Sara motorcade organizer’s refusal to coordinate

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 12/08/2021 - 15:07
  MANILA, Philippines --- The Quezon City government has expressed sadness with the organizer of the motorcade of Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte-Carpio on Wednesday as they refused to coordinate with the local government. The city government said they had a meeting with the organizers on Monday wherein authorities ensured that they will deploy 1,000 personnel from the Department of Public Order and Safety, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, Task Force Disiplina. and Bureau of Fire Protection. It also pledged to allot four ambulances as a staging area was put up in Liwasang Aurora inside Quezon City Memorial Circle for the event. However,...

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QC gov’t dismayed over Bongbong-Sara motorcade organizer’s refusal to coordinate

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 12/08/2021 - 15:07
  MANILA, Philippines --- The Quezon City government has expressed disappointment with the organizer of the motorcade of Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte-Carpio on Wednesday as they refused to coordinate with the local government. The city government said they had a meeting with the organizers on Monday wherein authorities ensured that they will deploy 1,000 personnel from the Department of Public Order and Safety, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, Task Force Disiplina. and Bureau of Fire Protection. It also pledged to allot four ambulances as a staging area was put up in Liwasang Aurora inside Quezon City Memorial Circle for the event. H...

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‘Metaverse’ hype fuels booming digital property market

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 12/08/2021 - 14:49
PARIS --- The idea of spending millions on non-existent land may sound ludicrous -- but feverish predictions of a virtual reality future are pushing investors to bet big on digital real estate. This week, New York-based company Republic Realm announced it had spent a record-breaking $4.3 million on digital land through The Sandbox, one of several "virtual world" websites where people can socialise, play games and even attend concerts. That came hot on the heels of a $2.4-million land purchase in late November on a rival platform, Decentraland, by Canadian crypto company Tokens.com. And days before that, Barbados announced plans to open a "metaverse embassy" in Decentraland. ...

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RJ Barrett’s 32 points help Knicks down Spurs

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 12/08/2021 - 14:42
RJ Barrett poured in 32 points and Mitchell Robinson added 11 points and 14 rebounds as the visiting New York Knicks knocked off the road-weary San Antonio Spurs 121-109 on Tuesday to snap a three-game losing streak. The game was the second of a road-home back-to-back for the Spurs, who lost in Phoenix on Monday. The Knicks led by six points at the half and stretched their advantage to 14 at the end of the third quarter with torrid 3-point shooting and a domination of the glass. Barrett carried New York in the first half, when he scored 19 points, and the Knicks collectively carted that momentum into the fourth quarter, when they fended off a tepid Spurs rally and pulled awa...

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The architect trying to finish the Sagrada Familia after 138 years

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 12/08/2021 - 14:41
BARCELONA --- Jordi Fauli is the seventh chief architect of Barcelona's iconic Sagrada Familia since Antoni Gaudi began work on the basilica in 1883, and he had been expected to oversee its long-awaited completion. But the pandemic has delayed efforts to finish this towering architectural masterpiece, which has been under construction for nearly 140 years, and it is no longer clear whether Fauli will still be in charge when it is finally done. "I would like to be here for many more years, of course, but that's in God's hands," says Fauli, 62, a wry smile on his lips. He was just 31 when he joined the architectural team as a local in 1990 -- the same age as Gaudi when the inn...

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Vietnam gives longest ever jail term for trading rhino horn – NGO

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 12/08/2021 - 14:36
Hanoi,Vietnam --- A rhino horn trader has been sentenced to 14 years in jail, the longest ever prison term a Vietnamese court has handed down for the crime, a local conservation group said Wednesday. Vietnam is both a consumption hub and a popular transit point for the multibillion-dollar trade in animal parts. Authorities have long vowed to stem the flow of illegal wildlife crisscrossing its borders, but experts have warned the black market persists thanks to weak law enforcement. Earlier this week, Do Minh Toan, 36, received 14 years in jail for trading and trafficking rhino horns from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) into Vietnam. It came after a 2019 discovery by customs of...

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Nuggets’ PJ Dozier undergoes season-ending ACL surgery

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 12/08/2021 - 14:35
Denver Nuggets guard P.J. Dozier has undergone surgery to repair his torn left ACL and is out for the season. Dozier suffered the injury late last month in a collision at the rim against the Portland Trail Blazers. The 25-year-old appeared in 18 games (all off the bench) this season, averaging 5.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 18.9 minutes per contest. The Nuggets also are without standout guard Jamal Murray, who tore his ACL in last season's playoffs, and talented forward Michael Porter Jr., who is out indefinitely following back surgery. Reigning MVP Nikola Jokic has missed time due to a wrist injury as well. Denver sits at 11-12 heading into Wednesday's game ...

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Trail Blazers’ CJ McCollum diagnosed with collapsed right lung

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 12/08/2021 - 14:21
The Portland Trail Blazers revealed Tuesday that guard CJ McCollum was diagnosed with a collapsed right lung, or pneumothorax, following a CT scan. Portland said McCollum will undergo further evaluation before the team's medical personnel come to a prognosis for the 30-year-old. McCollum sustained the injury when he fell awkwardly during the fourth quarter of the Blazers' loss to the Boston Celtics on Saturday. He was held out of the Monday game against the Los Angeles Clippers and did not make the trip with the team for a Wednesday game against the Golden State Warriors. McCollum has spent his entire eight-plus seasons in the NBA with Portland, which made him the 10th overa...

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Oil prices ease as investors wait for assessment of Omicron’s impact

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 12/08/2021 - 14:21
TOKYO --- Oil prices eased on Wednesday, taking a breather after two days of gains, as investors waited for an assessment of the full impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant on the global economy and fuel demand as well as the effectiveness of existing vaccines. Brent crude futures dropped 19 cents, or 0.3%, to $75.25 a barrel at 0519 GMT, after settling 3.2% higher on Tuesday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $71.82 a barrel, down 23 cents, or 0.3%, having gained 3.7% in the previous session. Oil prices rebounded earlier this week from a collapse last week on rising optimism that the new Omicron variant will not cause major economic damage. "The recovery run took...

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Malaysian appeal court upholds ex-PM Najib’s 1MDB conviction

Inquirer Breaking News - Wed, 12/08/2021 - 14:16
PUTRAJAYA --- A Malaysian appeal court Wednesday upheld former leader Najib Razak's conviction and 12-year jail term over the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB scandal, which contributed to his government's downfall in 2018. "We dismiss the appellant's appeal," judge Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil told the Court of Appeal in administrative capital Putrajaya. "We affirm the High Court conviction on all seven charges." The 68-year-old was found guilty on all counts last year in the first of several trials he is facing related to the looting of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad sovereign wealth fund. Najib and his cronies were accused of stealing billions of dollars from the investment vehi...

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