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The US has 'screaming level' of Covid-19 transmission, expert says, as country adds nearly 4 million cases this month

CNN Top Stories - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 16:11
Just a little more than halfway into January, the US has added a staggering 3.9 million new Covid-19 cases and more than 51,000 virus-related deaths.
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Japan PM vows to press ahead with Olympics despite virus surge

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 16:07
TOKYO - Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga vowed on Monday to forge ahead with preparations to hold the Tokyo Olympics this summer, in the face of growing public opposition as Japan battles a surge in coronavirus infections. Suga faces heightened scrutiny after Taro Kono, his administrative and reform minister, told Reuters last week the Games may not go ahead as planned, becoming the first cabinet member to voice doubt over their staging. Kono's comments added fuel to the fire after recent media polls showed close to 80% of Japanese believe the Olympics, already postponed by a year because of the pandemic, should be delayed again or canceled entirely. "We will press ahead with p...

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LOOK: Ice-cold diamond dust in Hokkaido

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 16:02
HOKKAIDO --- Ice crystals sparkle in the sunlight as they fly about at Mt. Izari, straddling the cities of Chitose and Eniwa in Hokkaido. The so-called diamond dust was seen in the mountain on Sunday, when Chitose recorded a temperature of minus 9.9 C at 8 p.m. In 168 of 173 locations in Hokkaido, the temperature was colder than the previous day's, with Shumarinai in the town of Horokanai recording a temperature of minus 29.9 C....

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PH COVID-19 count now over 502,000 with 2,163 new infections

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 16:00
MANILA, Philippines --- The total number of COVID-19 cases in the country is now over 502,000 after the Department of Health (DOH) logged additional 2,163 new infections on Monday. Of the 502,736 total cases, 26,839 are considered active, according to the DOH's daily case bulletin. The majority or 85.8% of the active cases have mild symptoms, 6.1% are asymptomatic, 2.8% are having severe symptoms, while 4.9% are in critical condition. The DOH only recorded two new recoveries, bringing the total to 465,988, while the death toll rose to 9,909 after 14 new fatalities. Davao City registered the most number of new coronavirus infections with 134 cases, followed by Cagayan (100), Q...

Keep on reading: PH COVID-19 count now over 502,000 with 2,163 new infections
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David Crosby on songwriting, ‘emotional voyages’ and Donald Trump

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 15:58
Like all entertainers, David Crosby --- the mustachioed co-founder of both the seminal folk rock band The Byrds and the supergroup Crosby, Stills and Nash (and Young) --- had a disappointing 2020 that saw the pandemic ground tours and thwart live performance. But the two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, songwriter and prominent Twitter personality has tried to make the most of it, working on a screenplay and new songs, catching up on music from jazz to bluegrass, and dreaming up a European museum tour for when it's safe to travel again. The 79-year-old is an adept social media user, dropping quippy tweets on everything from the music business to blasts of the Donald Trump admi...

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Roque: ‘If public won’t trust experts on vaccines, who must they trust? Not comedians’

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 15:57
MANILA, Philippines --- If the public will not heed experts' advice on coronavirus vaccines, then who should they trust about it?For presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, definitely not the comedians. Although he did not identify who he was referring to, the Palace official appears to be answering a tweet recently made by ABS-CBN comedian Vice Ganda. In a tweet last Jan. 12, Vice pointed out that Filipinos are already "choosy" even in the brand of detergent soap they use for laundry and what more on the vaccine that will be injected into their bodies. https://twitter.com/vicegandako/status/1348897789317574661 The Kapamilya comedian tweeted this after Roque said the publi...

Keep on reading: Roque: ‘If public won’t trust experts on vaccines, who must they trust? Not comedians’
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Uganda's lesson to other authoritarians: controlling the internet works

CNN Top Stories - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 15:56
Speaking to reporters after casting her ballot in the Ugandan capital Kampala last week, one local resident was overjoyed to have voted for opposition leader Bobi Wine.
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Indonesia grapples with earthquake, flooding, landslides and fallout from Sriwijaya Air crash

CNN Top Stories - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 15:50
As Indonesia continues to count the number of dead from last week's earthquake on Sulawesi island, search and rescue teams are being stretched to breaking point, as they grapple with a series of disasters unfolding across the country.
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China to sanction US officials for ‘nasty’ behavior over Taiwan

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 15:47
BEIJING --- U.S. officials who have engaged in "nasty" behavior over Chinese-claimed Taiwan will face sanctions, China's Foreign Ministry said on Monday, after Washington lifted curbs on exchanges between U.S. and Taiwanese officials. Ties have worsened as China has already condemned this month's easing, announced by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the waning days of President Donald Trump's presidency. Further adding to China's anger, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, spoke last week to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, after a planned trip to Taipei was called off. Asked at a daily news briefing how China would follow through on its pledge to make...

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India is the biggest prize in tech. Meet the gatekeeper

CNN Top Stories - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 15:44
Mukesh Ambani has spent years trying to turn his inherited oil business into a tech empire. In 2020, that pivot really kicked into overdrive.
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BSP chief on medical leave to remove blood clot after ‘minor head accident’

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 15:43
  MANILA, Philippines -- Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno went on medical leave this week in the wake of what was described as "a successful procedure to address a blood clot caused by a minor head accident." In a statement released on Monday afternoon, the central bank said the 72-year-old Diokno designated BSP Deputy Governor Francisco Dakila Jr. as officer-in-charge of the BSP while he recovers from a medical procedure performed yesterday. "According to his medical report, prognosis for the governor's complete recovery is "very good" as he was awake and conversant an hour after the procedure," the central bank said. "He is expected to be discharged fr...

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New coronavirus variant hits posh Swiss resort of St Moritz

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 15:37
ZURICH--- Health authorities quarantined two hotels and closed ski schools in the posh Swiss resort of St Moritz on Monday to try to curb an outbreak of the highly infections new coronavirus variant. The eastern canton of Grisons ordered everyone to wear masks in the town of 5,200 that prides itself as a birthplace of modern winter sports. Mass testing of residents will take place on Tuesday. "About a dozen cases are currently known in two hotels. To protect the health of the population and guests, the health department has quarantined the two hotels and ordered corona tests for their employees and guests," the canton said in a statement. It did not give the guests' nationaliti...

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Spike Lee vows to ‘delay Father Time’ as Hollywood bestows honor

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 15:37
Spike Lee voiced hope for the "next wave" of Black filmmakers, but warned his own trail-blazing career was far from done, as he was honored by Hollywood at a virtual ceremony Thursday. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Lee accepted the prestigious American Cinematheque Award online rather than at the usual star-studded Beverly Hills gala. The prolific 63-year-old director, who has entertained and provoked audiences with frank depictions of Black America for decades, promised he has "got some more joints to make," referring to his films. "If you love what you're doing, you can delay Father Time," he told ceremony host Jodie Foster. The livestreamed event saw Lee heaped with...

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Bill strengthening AMLA gets final Senate nod

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 15:31
MANILA, Philippines --- The Senate has approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to strengthen the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA). Senate Bill No. 1945 garnered 21 affirmative votes and no negative votes during Monday's session. Under the bill, the functions of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) were strengthened by "enhancing its investigative powers through express powers of deputization, power to apply for search warrants, and power to obtain information on ultimate beneficial ownership." The proposed law also sought to fortify the functions of the AMLC by: Authorizing it to implement targeted financial sanctions on proliferation financing Authorizing...

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Indonesian medics overwhelmed by quake casualties

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 15:30
MAMUJU, Indonesia --- Medics battled exhaustion and the risk of Covid-19 as they raced Monday to treat scores of people injured by a devastating earthquake on Indonesia's Sulawesi island. At least 81 people were killed and thousands left homeless by the powerful 6.2-magnitude quake that struck early Friday, reducing buildings to a tangled mass of twisted metal and chunks of concrete in the seaside city of Mamuju. Masked doctors treated patients with broken limbs and other injuries at a makeshift medical centre set up outside the only one of the city's hospitals that survived the quake relatively intact. "The patients keep coming," Nurwardi, manager of operations at Mamuju's ...

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Escaping coronavirus lockdowns, tourists flock to Dubai

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 15:27
DUBAI --- As much of the world tightens lockdowns to stem coronavirus, Dubai has flung its doors open, branding itself as a sunny, quarantine-free escape -- despite a sharp rise in cases. While mask-wearing and social distancing are strictly enforced, life in the tourism-reliant emirate looks much like normal, with its restaurants, hotels and mega-malls open for business. Images of sports stars and television personalities enjoying life at beach clubs and cocktail bars have flooded social media -- sometimes to disapproval back home. Emirates, which restored its network to about three quarters of pre-pandemic levels, is again operating A380 super-jumbos - the world's largest ...

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Punk band Converge gets complaints from Filipinos over internet woes

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 15:23
An American rock band has been receiving extra attention from Filipinos --- not exactly for its music, but because it has been mistaken for an internet provider. Converge, a band known for its hardcore punk and metal music, released a statement on Saturday, Jan. 16 to clarify to Filipino Facebook users that it is not "an internet provider in the Philippines yet." The actual Facebook page of the internet provider is Converge ICT Solutions Inc. The band shared a screenshot of comments left on one of its posts, some of which include expletives, while others chide fellow Filipinos for complaining on the wrong page. "Hey everyone... still just a hardcore band over here," i...

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Senate OKs 10-year extension of power rate subsidies for poor consumers

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 15:21
MANILA, Philippines --- The Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to extend for another 10 years the granting of lifeline electricity rate subsidies to low-income consumers. Voting 19-0, senators approved Senate Bill No. 1877, which seeks to amend the Electricity Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA). Under the EPIRA law, signed in 2001, the lifeline rate or a subsidized rate was given for a period of 10 years to low-income captive market end-users who cannot afford to pay at full cost. In 2011, the lifeline rate was extended until 2021. Under the new bill, the provision of the lifeline rate subsidies will be extended until 2031. READ: Senate...

Keep on reading: Senate OKs 10-year extension of power rate subsidies for poor consumers
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Inoculated individuals still have to follow travel protocols, for now — Duque

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 15:19
MANILA, Philippines --- Even those who have already been inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine have to follow travel protocols imposed by the government, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Monday. During the hearing of the House committee on health, Duque was asked whether those who have been inoculated will be exempted from travel protocols once the vaccination program begins in the country. Duque said that current policies state that inoculated individuals still have to follow protocols. "Perhaps [they can be exempted] down the road when we can get more data as the vaccines are rolled out or administered to a growing number of individuals---both locally and international...

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Fire guts General Santos City’s historic landmark

Inquirer Breaking News - Mon, 01/18/2021 - 15:14
GENERAL SANTOS CITY ---- An early dawn fire gutted the historic Jose Catolico Puericulture Center here on Monday even amid a heavy downpour. Built during the early 1950s along the city hall drive here, the two-story wooden structure had been a popular go-to place for expectant mothers for the affordable services there. The facility was one of the few remaining old landmarks in the city. Maila Ismael, a midwife at the center, said the fire started around 2:30 a.m. when a loud explosion was heard at the upper floor of the building and lights went off, said Ismael. "Flames immediately spread on the second floor," Ismael added. She said they were able to move to a hospital a ...

Keep on reading: Fire guts General Santos City’s historic landmark
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