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Trump baby blimp lands at London museum

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 21:15
LONDON --- A blimp depicting U.S. President Donald Trump as a snarling, nappy-wearing orange baby has found a home in one of London's most popular museums. The helium-filled balloon, originally paid for through crowdfunding, first took to the skies over London during protests against Trump's visit in 2018 and has flown in other locations including France, Argentina, Ireland, and Denmark. Gladly accepting the donation, the Museum of London said the blimp would join its protest collection, which includes artifacts from the Suffragette movement as well as climate change and peace rallies. "By collecting the baby blimp, we can mark the wave of feeling that washed over the city t...

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World’s tourist hubs, ‘ghost towns’ for how long?

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 21:10
The coronavirus pandemic has brought the world's top tourist draws, from the ruins of Machu Picchu to Thailand's sandy beaches, to a standstill. Now tourism professionals and local authorities are hoping against hope for an economic recovery that will bring the punters back. Here are some key examples. Not so serenissima Venice The Renaissance city of Venice on Italy's northern Adriatic coast is almost entirely dependent on tourism. The first nine months of 2020 saw a drop of 73.1% in foreign tourist arrivals, according to a study published by an employment consultancy in December. The overall decrease was 59.5%. "Without the tourists, Venice has become a ghost town, a...

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Sinovac says its COVID-19 vaccine more effective with longer dosing interval

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 21:06
BEIJING --- China's Sinovac Biotech said Monday that a clinical trial in Brazil showed its COVID-19 vaccine was almost 20 percentage points more effective in a small sub-group of patients who received their two doses longer apart. The protection rate for 1,394 participants who received doses of either CoronaVac or placebo three weeks apart was nearly 70%, a Sinovac spokesman said. Brazilian researchers announced last week that the vaccine's overall efficacy was 50.4% based on results from more than 9,000 volunteers, most of whom received doses 14 days apart, as outlined in the trial protocol. The spokesman said a small number of participants received their second shot late d...

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How to serve on MLK Day while quarantining at home

CNN Top Stories - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 21:00
Caught between colliding pressures of a pandemic, political unrest and outcries for social justice, this Martin Luther King Day of Service is unlike any other. But despite the limitations of the season, this federal holiday doesn't have to be any less impactful. Now more than ever, MLK Day of Service is enabling everyday people to roll up their sleeves and help their communities -- even while stuck at home. Here's how:
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Suspect caught selling P17,000 in meth in Leyte town

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 20:55
ORMOC CITY---A man who sold P17,000 worth of crystal meth, or shabu, has been arrested in the town of Hilongos, Leyte province last Saturday (Jan. 16). Emerito Zarco was caught allegedly selling 2.5 grams of meth, according to Cleveland Villamor, agent of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. Charges of violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 would be filed against Zarco, said Villamor. TSB...

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Coronavirus infection of 7 employees shutters NBI Bacolod office

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 20:52
BACOLOD CITY---The National Bureau of Investigation office in the city was closed to the public this week after seven of its employees tested positive for SARS Cov2, the virus that causes novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Renoir Baldovino, NBI Bacolod chief, said all seven NBI employees had already been sent to a quarantine facility. The Bacolod Inter-Agency Task Force advised the NBI to close its office for a week for disinfection and contact tracing. The NBI Bacolod office will reopen on Jan. 25. In La Carlota City, Mayor Rex Jalando-on ordered government employees to return to a five-day work week, ending work-from-home arrangements and deactivating skeletal work ...

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Kremlin critic Navalny decries ‘mockery of justice’ at hearing

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 20:50
MOSCOW --- Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said Monday his treatment was beyond a "mockery of justice" as he was brought before a hastily organized court a day after his dramatic airport arrest. With calls growing in the West for Navalny's release, he was brought into a courtroom set up at a police station in Khimki on the outskirts of Moscow where he was taken following his detention on Sunday night. Police seized Navalny, President Vladimir Putin's most prominent opponent, at a border control post at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport less than an hour after he returned to Russia from Germany for the first time since he was poisoned with a nerve agent in August. In a v...

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Super fast 5G in the US still a work in progress

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 20:45
Marketing pitches in the United States are bullish on superfast 5G telecom networks, but they remain more of a promise than reality. Promoters of the technology say it will bring such innovations as fast-thinking self-driving cars and rapid-fire video downloads. And nationwide coverage with 5G could add $1.5 trillion to GDP in the next five years. But actually deploying it here is "very fragmented" given the maze of local regulations and agencies that telecom companies have to navigate across 50 states, said Jefferson Wang, head of 5G strategy at Accenture. Approvals need to be sought and, typically, hearings held when it comes to where on streets, buildings, or other struct...

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Samsung chief jailed for 2.5 years over corruption scandal

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 20:19
SEOUL --- The de facto chief of South Korea's Samsung business empire was convicted Monday over a huge corruption scandal and jailed for two and a half years, in a ruling that deprives the tech giant of its top decision-maker. Lee Jae-yong, vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics, the world's biggest smartphone and memory chip maker, was found guilty of bribery and embezzlement in connection with the scandal that brought down president Park Geun-hye. Lee "actively provided bribes and implicitly asked the president to use her power to help his smooth succession" at the head of the sprawling conglomerate, the Seoul Central District Court said in its verdict. "It is very unfortuna...

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Sabalenka reaches career-high world no. 7 after 3rd straight title

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 20:14
Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka climbed to a career-high WTA ranking of seventh on Monday after winning her third straight title at the weekend. The 22-year-old won the Australian Open warm-up event in Abu Dhabi, beating Veronika Kudermetova 6-2, 6-2 in Wednesday's final. Sabalenka finished her 2020 campaign with triumphs in Ostrava and Linz and will be one of the favorites for the delayed Australian Open next month. WTA top 20 1. Ashleigh Barty (AUS) 8,717 points 2. Simona Halep (ROU) 7,255 3. Naomi Osaka (JPN) 5,780 4. Sofia Kenin (USA) 5,760 5. Elina Svitolina (UKR) 5,260 6. Karolina Pliskova (CZE) 5,205 7. Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) 4,580 (+3) 8. Bianca And...

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Bayan: If we publicize cost of infra projects, all the more for Covid vaccines

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 20:13
MANILA, Philippines --- An activist group has pushed for the publication of COVID-19 vaccine prices even as the government has already maintained that it is bound by confidentiality agreements with pharmaceutical companies. According to Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), government officials' claims -- that they cannot divulge the real price due to ongoing negotiations -- is not enough reason to withhold the true prices of the vials, stressing that the lack of transparency invites corruption. Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes added that if people like to scrutinize the expenditures for road and infrastructure projects, then all the more should the government reveal the pric...

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House OKs bill for ‘enhanced’ protection, benefits to media workers

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 20:11
MANILA, Philippines --- The House of Representatives on Monday approved on final reading a proposed legislation that would provide "enhanced" protection, security, and benefits for media workers. Voting 218-0-0, the lower chamber approved House Bill No. 8140 or the proposed "Media Workers Welfare Act." Under the bill, media workers shall not receive less than the applicable minimum wage prescribed by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board, and shall be entitled to overtime pay and night shift premiums as well as other compensation stated in the Labor Code of the Philippines. Further, it mandates Social Security System (SSS), Pag-IBIG fund, and Philippine Health...

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Nadal in ATP top 10 for 800th successive week

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 20:11
Rafael Nadal on Monday became the first player to be ranked in the ATP top 10 for 800 consecutive weeks, a run spanning more than 15 years. The world number two broke Jimmy Connors' previous record of 789 straight weeks in the top 10 in November. The Spaniard first broke into the top 10 in April 2005, shortly before winning the first of his 13 French Open titles. The 34-year-old is still over two-and-a-half years short of matching Roger Federer's record of spending 931 weeks in total in the top 10. There were no changes at the top of the rankings as players prepare for the Australian Open next month. Some of the sport's biggest stars were among those told they would ge...

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Senate probe sought on state of financial consumer protections in PH

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 19:44
MANILA, Philippines --- After becoming a victim himself of "financial cyber-thieves," Senator Sherwin Gatchalian called on the Senate to conduct an inquiry into the state of financial consumer protections in the country. "If the banks want to avoid listening to the complaints of the consumers who have entrusted them with their life savings, then we will call them here to the Senate and make them listen," Gatchalian said in a privilege speech during Monday's session. Before this, the senator recalled how he himself suffered from nefarious individuals who racked up over P1 million of unauthorized transactions from his credit card earlier this month. READ: Gatchalian seeks NBI help...

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Tom Brady guides the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to playoff victory over the New Orleans Saints

CNN Top Stories - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 19:37
Tom Brady remains on track to win a seventh Super Bowl ring as he led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 30-20 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
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EXPLAINER: The whos and hows in the process of Covid vaccine approval

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 19:29
  MANILA, Philippines --- As our country tries to join other nations in combatting Covid-19 through inoculation programs, news about separate acquisition projects and agreements of the national and local government with vaccine manufacturers might confuse some Filipinos. Others might wonder who are the people or agencies in charge of the whole vaccine trials and procurements. While some might ask how and what are the important processes the doses have to go through before the vaccines reach the people? Who are the officials and agencies involved in the decision-making? In the Philippines, there are at least eight different agencies among the core agencies that perform separa...

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Comelec: Voter registration ‘still going very slowly’ despite topping 1 million

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 19:20
MANILA, Philippines --- Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesman James Jimenez announced Monday that the voter registration has breached the one million mark despite the pandemic. However, he emphasized that the registration progress remains to be very slow. "As of January 7, I think we've reached the one million mark. However, things are still going very slowly. Mostly because (the situation is still the same). Registration is still four days a week. It's still Monday to Thursdays only with Fridays reserved fordisinfection and Saturday and Sunday being non-working days," Jimenez saidat theTapatan sa Aristocratforum held online. "Our requirements for allowing people to come ...

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Shake-up continues: Defensor, Villafuerte lose more leadership posts in House

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 19:20
  MANILA, Philippines --- Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor and Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte lost more leadership posts in the House of Representatives---this time, they were stripped of their vice chairmanship posts in various committees. Right before the end of Monday's House session---the first session since the month-long holiday break---Defensor and Villafuerte were replaced as vice chairpersons in several committees in the lower chamber. Both lawmakers are close allies of former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano. Defensor was replaced by the following lawmakers: Rep. Dahlia Loyola as vice chairperson of the House committee on health Rep. Ca...

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3 PMA cavaliers disappointed over vaccination mess

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 19:19
MANILA, Philippines--- At the height of the controversy hounding the government's vaccination program, two senators and a Cabinet member "comforted" each other as they shared their disappointments by the turn of events. Senator Panfilo Lacson recalled feeling bad for President Rodrigo Duterte when he, and his fellow Philippine Military Academy cavaliers---Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez - recently talked about the issue in a Viber Chat. "Naawa kami kay Presidente Duterte kasi baka napapalusutan dahil sa tiwala nyang sobra sa kanyang mga tao," Lacson said on the Senate floor, right after delivering a privilege speech on the vaccination program. (We f...

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