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Philippine News for Filipinos
Updated: 24 min 29 sec ago

Duterte vouches for Galvez: Why focus on alleged corruption in vaccine pricing?

2 hours 39 min ago
MANILA, Philippines --- President Rodrigo Duterte vouched for the government's national COVID-19 vaccination plan on Monday, questioning critics why they were preoccupied with alleged corruption in the procurement of vaccines. In his taped briefing, Duterte defended vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. from accusations of corruption arising from the variations in the prices of CoronaVac, which is made by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech. Galvez had nothing to do with the payment schemes, the president said. Approval for the payment for the vaccine would have to go through him and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez. "All Galvez can do is to come to an agreem...

Keep on reading: Duterte vouches for Galvez: Why focus on alleged corruption in vaccine pricing?
Categories: Breaking News

Exposing trafficking a life-or-death pursuit for Mariana van Zeller

3 hours 31 min ago
When people turn a blind eye, black markets flourish. That, for the most part, is the overarching theme characterizing each episode of Peabody-winning investigative journalist Mariana van Zeller's eight-part documentary "Trafficked," which begins its run on Friday at 10 p.m. on National Geographic. Nope, these aren't just third-person accounts of crime-related cautionary tales. In fact, the eight-part series follows the pretty 44-year-old Portuguese journalist as she goes off the deep end to take viewers inside the most dangerous black markets on the planet. Along the way, Mariana manages to lift the tight lid on the complex inner workings of smuggling networks involved in---ho...

Keep on reading: Exposing trafficking a life-or-death pursuit for Mariana van Zeller
Categories: Breaking News

‘Radio Romance,’ other digitally restored Pinoy classics featured in Sagip Pelikula film fest

3 hours 42 min ago
"Films aren't just mere reels. They are photographs of moments in our history; proof of who we were, what we are, and what we will become." Thus said writer-filmmaker Jose Javier Reyes on the importance of restoring old Filipino movies. Through ABS-CBN's "Sagip Pelikula" campaign, another one of Reyes' hit movies, the 1996 romantic flick "Radio Romance," has been digitally restored and made available to film enthusiasts online. "Radio Romance" is the opening film of this year's Sagip Pelikula Film Festival, which is going on until Jan. 31. It is currently being streamed along with classic hits, like "Moral," "Tisoy," "Langis at Tubig," "Bulaklak ng City Jail," "High School S...

Keep on reading: ‘Radio Romance,’ other digitally restored Pinoy classics featured in Sagip Pelikula film fest
Categories: Breaking News

Adiwang to show ‘technical’ side vs Japanese foe

3 hours 52 min ago
MANILA, Philippines --- Expect a different Lito Adiwang when he returns against Namiki Kawahara of Japan in ONE: Unbreakable on Friday in Singapore. Coming off a heartbreaking loss that snapped a seven-fight winning streak, a highly-motivated Adiwang vows to be a better fighter and not make the same mistakes again. "I think the one big thing that will change is my approach. Before, I rely more on my power and be there or go out there and smash. I can show a side that I can play with a technical side also," said Adiwang during a press conference via Zoom on Monday. Adiwang felt one of the reasons why he lost a close decision to Japan's Koha Minowa in his previous bout was bec...

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Categories: Breaking News

CPP joins condemnation of DND move to terminate deal on anti-Red operations in UP

3 hours 59 min ago
MANILA, Philippines---The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), which the defense establishment had accused of recruiting rebels in University of the Philippines (UP) campuses, expressed solidarity with those condemning a decision by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to unilaterally terminate a deal with UP that required prior notice to university officials for anti-communist operations in UP campuses. Marco Valbuena, CPP spokesperson, said that the government "is using anticommunism as pretext to further empower military and police forces to the detriment of academic freedom and other democratic rights." "We join the UP community in condemning Secretary Lorenzana for unilater...

Keep on reading: CPP joins condemnation of DND move to terminate deal on anti-Red operations in UP
Categories: Breaking News

Video game sales hit US high in pandemic-plagued 2020

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 23:41
Sales of video games, consoles and accessories hit a record high in the United States last year as people hunkered down at home due to the pandemic turned to play. Video game spending in the U.S. totaled $56.9 billion last year, 27% more than what was spent in 2019, according NPD market research group analyst Mat Piscatella. A total of $7.7 billion of that was spent in December, which posted the highest sales figures ever for that month, NPD figures showed. And that did not even count money spent on smartphone games. Nintendo Switch was the top selling console last year, with the PlayStation 5 coming in second, according to Piscatella. Sony's PlayStation 5 and Microsoft's...

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Categories: Breaking News

Duterte to firms: No franchise until you settle your accounts with gov’t

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 23:36
MANILA, Philippines --- President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night said he would not allow any company to benefit from its franchise unless it had its obligations with the government. "There will be no opening. I assure you, all franchises will not be implemented. I will not implement them until they settle their full accounts with the government," Duterte said, speaking partly in Filipino, during a meeting with select Cabinet officials. "For all I care, you can have a thousand franchises. You will not see the light until you come to government with clean hands," he added. The President did not identify which company he was referring to. But he made this announcement after Batang...

Keep on reading: Duterte to firms: No franchise until you settle your accounts with gov’t
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Pandemic leads to slump in heart disease tests, says study

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 23:30
Procedures to diagnose and treat heart disease fell by almost two-thirds in spring 2020 compared to 2019, a study suggested Friday, in the latest sign of the coronavirus pandemic's effect on broader healthcare systems. The survey from the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) found there was a 64% reduction in cardiology diagnostic procedures in March to April 2020 compared with the same period in the previous year, with "abrupt and significant" impact on services evident across all regions. Around 718,000 cardiac diagnostic procedures were not performed in the centers surveyed in those two months due to the effects of the first wave of the pandemic, the author...

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Norway advises caution in use of Pfizer vaccine for the most frail

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 23:03
FRANKFURT --- Norway has changed its policy on the use of Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine to consider excluding the terminally ill, following reports of deaths in highly frail recipients after the inoculation was given, BioNTech said on Monday. "Norwegian Health Authorities have now changed (their) recommendation in relation to vaccination of the terminally ill (Clinical Frailty Scale 8 or higher)," BioNTech. The Clinical Frailty Scale, a widely used system of classification in elderly care, defines degree 8 patients as approaching end of life and typically unable to "recover even from a minor illness". The Norwegian Medicines Agency said in a statement posted on Frid...

Keep on reading: Norway advises caution in use of Pfizer vaccine for the most frail
Categories: Breaking News

‘We need you,’ German tenor Kaufmann tells pandemic public

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 23:00
German tenor Jonas Kaufmann says not being able to perform in front of a live audience for months has been hugely detrimental for musicians who thrive on connecting with real people. "What we miss is this connection and it doesn't matter if they wear masks or whatever," the 51-year-old told AFP on Thursday after performing at Madrid's Teatro Real opera house. "I would probably feel them, sense them even if they were behind a curtain. But they are there. This is what really matters," added the tenor, whose last performance before an audience was in November in Denmark. While many of the world's major venues are shut, Spain's main opera house has remained open, although with s...

Keep on reading: ‘We need you,’ German tenor Kaufmann tells pandemic public
Categories: Breaking News

Egypt makes ‘major discoveries’ at Saqqara archaeological site

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 22:45
Egypt announced Saturday the discovery of a new trove of treasures at the Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo, including an ancient funerary temple. The tourism and antiquities ministry said the "major discoveries" made by a team of archaeologists headed by famed Egyptologist Zahi Hawass also included more than 50 sarcophagi. The wooden sarcophagi, which date back to the New Kingdom, were found in 52 burial shafts at depths of 10 to 12 meters (40 feet), the ministry said in a statement. It quoted Hawass as saying that the "funerary temple of Queen Naert, the wife of King Teti" as well as three warehouses made of bricks were found on the site. Saqqara, home to more than a do...

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Vaccine nationalism puts world on brink of ‘catastrophic moral failure’ – WHO chief

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 22:31
GENEVA ---The world is on the brink of "catastrophic moral failure" in sharing COVID-19 vaccines, the head of the World Health Organization said on Monday, urging countries and manufacturers to spread doses more fairly around the world. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the prospects for equitable distribution were at "serious risk" just as its COVAX vaccine-sharing scheme aimed to start distributing inoculations next month. He noted 44 bilateral deals were signed last year and at least 12 have already been signed this year. "This could delay COVAX deliveries and create exactly the scenario COVAX was designed to avoid, with hoarding, a chaotic market, an u...

Keep on reading: Vaccine nationalism puts world on brink of ‘catastrophic moral failure’ – WHO chief
Categories: Breaking News

Tennis: Zverev splits with Federer’s management firm

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 22:28
German Alexander Zverev has parted ways with Roger Federer's sports management company Team8, the world number seven said. Zverev, who recently split with coach David Ferrer, reached his maiden Grand Slam final at the U.S. Open, picked up two ATP titles in Cologne and made the final of the ATP Masters 1000 event in Paris in 2020. "I reached my first Grand Slam final without my parents and brother being court-side due to them contracting COVID-19," Zverev wrote on Instagram. "For this reason and because of the ongoing worldwide restrictions, I have decided to go back to the roots and have my family help me with my coaching, as well as ... with my management. "I want to tha...

Keep on reading: Tennis: Zverev splits with Federer’s management firm
Categories: Breaking News

‘No special treatment’: Australia rebuffs tennis stars’ quarantine complaints

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 22:24
Dozens of tennis stars stuck in hotel quarantine ahead of the Australian Open were told Monday they would get no "special treatment" to leave their rooms to train, despite complaints from some players. Australian health authorities rejected demands for tough isolation rules to be eased, as players resorted to hitting balls off windows, walls and upturned beds in the hope of being ready for the year's first Grand Slam. The Australian Open is due to make a delayed start in Melbourne on February 8, but its troubled build-up hit further problems after positive coronavirus cases were detected on three of the 17 charter flights that carried players and staff. The 72 players on the...

Keep on reading: ‘No special treatment’: Australia rebuffs tennis stars’ quarantine complaints
Categories: Breaking News

OSG hits ex-chief for ‘malicious’ remark on SC deferral of anti-terror law oral debates

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 22:22
MANILA, Philippines --- The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has called out its former boss, lawyer Florin Hilbay, for his statements on the postponement of the Anti-Terrorism Act's oral arguments. Current Solicitor General Jose Calida has asked the Supreme Court to reset oral arguments on the anti-terrorism law as some OSG staff involved in the case got infected with SARS-COV-2, the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. On Monday, OSG said Hilbay's supposedly "malicious tweet" minimizes the serious threats of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the "wisdom of the Supreme Court" in granting Calida's petition. Hilbay tweeted last Friday that it is sad the government's top lawye...

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UN agency warns of another bad year for airlines

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 22:10
The United Nations aviation agency on Friday predicted "prolonged depressed demand" for air travel and more financial woes for airlines, following a year of fewer flights and big losses blamed on the pandemic Air travel plunged 60% in 2020 as nations closed borders and restricted travel to slow the spread of Covid-19, the International Civil Aviation Organization said in a report. The near-term outlook, it said, "is for prolonged depressed demand, with downside risks to global air travel recovery predominating in the first quarter of 2021, and likely to be subject to further deterioration." With just 1.8 billion passengers taking to the air during the first year of the pande...

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Categories: Breaking News

Senate sets 3rd hearing on government’s vaccine plan probe

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 21:52
MANILA, Philippines --- The Senate Committee of the Whole will resume its public hearing into the government's Covid-19 vaccination plan on Friday, January 22, as senators plan to raise more questions on the government's deals with vaccine makers, particularly China's Sinovac Biotech. Friday's hearing will be a continuation of the two hearings conducted by the Senate last week. "With the approval of my colleagues, we will schedule another hearing on Friday at 10 a.m.," Senate President Vicente Sotto III said during the chamber's session on Monday. This developed after Senator Panfilo Lacson, in a privilege speech, suggested an executive session where vaccine czar Carlito Galvez ...

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Categories: Breaking News

COVID-19 prompts rethink of mass tourism

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 21:39
The coronavirus pandemic has forced famous tourist destinations to question their business model, though economic realities are likely to stand in the way of major changes. Nature has quickly replaced hordes of visitors at sites like Machu Picchu in Peru, where sightings of elusive Andean bears have caused a buzz among conservationists. And in Thailand, which has seen a drop in arrivals of more than 83%, marine fauna including dugongs, turtles and whale sharks are enjoying a rebound. The Thai government has decided to close more than 150 national parks for an average of three months a year and to limit access so that animal and plant life can flourish. "From now on, we wa...

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Russians queue for COVID vaccine at luxury Red Square mall

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 21:26
MOSCOW --- Dozens of Moscow residents queued on Monday to be vaccinated against COVID-19 at the GUM department store, opposite the Kremlin on Red Square, where the shot is given on a first-come, first-served basis. Surrounded by Christmas decorations, with the shop fronts of Chanel and Rolex nearby, Muscovites of all ages waited for their first shot of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. Russia, with the world's fourth-highest number of COVID-19 cases, started large-scale vaccinations last month, initially for people in key professions, including medical workers and teachers. On Monday it opened the program to all. Moscow's health department announced it would be opening several ...

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Categories: Breaking News

Clashes erupt in Sudan’s South Darfur, killing 20 – tribal leader

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 21:21
Khartoum, Sudan --- Tribal clashes broke out Monday in Sudan's South Darfur state, killing at least 20 people, a tribal leader said, shortly after violence in a neighboring state killed over 80 people. "A force from the Arab Rizeigat tribe killed 20 people in an attack on the village of Saadoun inhabited by the Fallata tribe using vehicles, motorcycles, and camels," said tribal leader Mohamed Saleh. "The attack left several houses burned," said Saleh, from the ethnically non-Arab Fallata tribe, adding that bodies were still being counted. Monday's violence came after the killing of at least 83 people in clashes between Arab and non-Arab tribes over two days in Sudan's West Darfu...

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