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Philippine News for Filipinos
Updated: 27 min 45 sec ago

AboitizPower hikes stake in coal-fired plant

Fri, 02/23/2024 - 08:38
MANILA, Philippines ---Aboitiz Power Corp. has raised its stake in a coal-fired power plant in Mindanao to boost its portfolio without adding new coal capacity to the power grid. In a stock exchange filing on Thursday, AboitizPower said it had signed a share purchase agreement with Essen-based STEAG GmbH to acquire the latter's remaining 15.6-percent equity interest in the 210-megawatt (MW) coal power plant managed by STEAG State Power Inc. This brings AboitizPower's total equity interest in the Misamis Oriental facility to 85 percent. READ: AboitizPower assumes control of Mindanao coal plant operator "With the energization of the Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project (MVI...

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IPO seen to strengthen LandBank, DBP

Fri, 02/23/2024 - 08:26
MANILA, Philippines ---An initial public offering (IPO) by Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) could help the two state-run banks better perform their respective mandates by strengthening their balance sheet with fresh capital and improving governance. "An IPO can raise capital from the public markets to strengthen their respective balance sheets," said Calixto Chikiamco, president of Foundation For Economic Freedom, a policy advocacy group. "Being publicly listed will also help in bank governance as the management and board of the banks must answer not only to the government but also to private shareholders," Chikiamco added. RE...

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UK authorities seize ‘biggest ever’ cocaine shipment

Fri, 02/23/2024 - 08:18
LONDON --- British authorities said Friday they had seized 5.7 tons of cocaine from a port in southern England, in what is believed to be the biggest-ever seizure of Class A drugs in the UK. The haul, worth an estimated 450 million pounds ($570 million) based on UK street prices, was discovered on Feb. 8 at Southampton Port, hidden in a container within a shipment of bananas from South America. READ: Cocaine worth P16.5 million seized from a passenger at Naia The National Crime Agency (NCA) said it believes the shipment was headed for the Port of Hamburg in Germany and that it was in touch with international agencies across Europe to identify the criminal networks involved. ...

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US Fed official warns of inflationary risk of over-consumption

Fri, 02/23/2024 - 08:09
WASHINGTON, United States ---A senior Federal Reserve official said Thursday that the US central bank will likely start cutting interest rates "at some point this year," but warned against the potentially inflationary effect of over-consumption. "If the economy evolves broadly as expected, it will likely be appropriate to begin dialing back our policy restraint later this year," Fed vice chair Philip Jefferson told an event at the Peterson Institute of International Economics (PIIE) in Washington. The number two man at the US central bank said he still expects growth in spending and production in the US to slow in 2024. "Even so, without a clear understanding of why consumer spe...

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US warns Iran against providing ballistic missiles to Russia

Fri, 02/23/2024 - 08:01
WASHINGTON --- The Biden administration on Thursday cautioned Iran of a "swift and severe" response from the international community if Tehran provided ballistic missiles to Russia. The US warning comes after Reuters reported earlier this week that the Islamic Republic shipped the powerful weapons to Moscow. Speaking at a virtual briefing with reporters, White House National Security spokesperson John Kirby said Washington has yet to see confirmation that missiles have moved from Iran to Russia. Reuters exclusively reported on Wednesday that Iran has provided Russia with a large number of powerful surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, citing six sources, a move that illustr...

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Nvidia adds record $277B in stock market value

Fri, 02/23/2024 - 07:56
Nvidia added $277 billion in stock market value on Thursday, Wall Street's largest one-day gain in history after the heavyweight chipmaker's quarterly report beat expectations and reignited a rally fueled by optimism about artificial intelligence. The company's stock soared 16.4 percent to close at $785.38, a record-high close, lifting its market capitalization to $1.96 trillion after its January-quarter report late on Wednesday showed demand for its specialized chips used in AI computing continued to outpace analysts' already-high expectations. The Santa Clara, California-based company's results fed new fuel to a global rally in technology stocks linked to AI, propelling the S...

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Pagasa: Chance of tropical cyclone disturbing PH this Feb still low

Fri, 02/23/2024 - 07:45
MANILA, Philippines --- It looked like the state weather agency's earlier prediction that no tropical cyclone would disturb the country this February will become a reality. A week before the month ends, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said it still does not see any tropical cyclone forming or entering the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) until Feb. 29. "Based on our latest animation, we have not monitored any tropical cyclones or low pressure areas and there is also a low chance of a weather disturbance until the end of this month," Pagasa weather expert Benison Estareja said. At the start of the month, Pagasa ...

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Nvidia fuels global stock records, bond yields rise

Fri, 02/23/2024 - 07:42
NEW YORK/LONDON ---AI chipmaker Nvidia's stunning results sparked a worldwide wave of record highs in equity markets on Thursday, including the first new peak for Japan's Nikkei since 1989, while bond yields mostly rose as economic data kept immediate hopes of interest rate cuts at bay. The benchmark S&P 500 index and Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wall Street, along with Europe's pan-regional STOXX 600 index and MSCI's all-country world index also hit record highs as Nvidia's shares surged 16.4 percent and lifted artificial intelligence-related chip stocks around the globe. National bourses in Frankfurt and Paris set fresh highs too, while Chinese stocks overnight extende...

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3 providers halt IVF after Alabama high court rules embryos are children

Fri, 02/23/2024 - 07:32
At least three in vitro fertilization (IVF) providers in Alabama have halted treatments since the state Supreme Court on Friday said frozen embryos in test tubes should be considered children, casting doubt on future access to the procedure in the state. The ruling by the court, whose elected judges are all Republican, left doctors and patients wondering how to legally store, transport, and use embryos in Alabama. Health advocates said by enshrining the idea of "fetal personhood," the ruling could inspire further restrictions on women's reproductive freedom around the country. In Alabama, would-be parents now have fewer IVF treatment options than they did a week ago, and one st...

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Nestle, Danone see price hikes slowing after years of sharp increases

Fri, 02/23/2024 - 07:18
LONDON/PARIS ---Two of the world's top consumer goods companies, Danone and Nestle, said on Thursday they will slow price increases in 2024 after two years of hikes that prompted many shoppers to seek cheaper alternatives for basic goods like yoghurt and coffee. But Danone, which owns brands including Evian and Badoit waters and Activia yoghurt, warned prices would still rise, citing a need to offset labor costs and shipping prices. Nestle said it is seeing less impact from freight costs than in previous years although there has been some stress from attacks on shipping in the Red Sea. Their comments follow British rival Unilever, the maker of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and...

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US weekly jobless claims unexpectedly fall

Fri, 02/23/2024 - 07:15
WASHINGTON ---The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting that job growth likely remained solid in February. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 201,000 for the week ended Feb 17, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 218,000 claims for the latest week. Claims are hovering at historically low levels, despite high profile layoffs at the start of the year. Difficulties finding labor during and after the COVID-19 pandemic have generally left employers reluctant to reduce head count. Worker productivity has also increased w...

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ChatGPT cranks out gibberish for hours

Fri, 02/23/2024 - 05:40
SAN FRANCISCO---ChatGPT spewed nonsensical answers to user's queries for hours Tuesday into Wednesday before eventually returning to its apparent senses. OpenAI did not explain what went awry with its generative artificial intelligence (AI) tool, considered the one to beat in the technology sector. "We are investigating reports of unexpected responses from ChatGPT," OpenAI said on its status website when the software seemed to go wacky on Tuesday afternoon. ChatGPT was giving "peculiar" responses, generating nonexistent words, incomplete sentences and general gobbledygook, developers using the tool said in a discussion forum on the OpenAI website. "It gives me meaningles...

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PH watching US presidential race closely, envoy says

Fri, 02/23/2024 - 05:36
MANILA---The Philippines is closely watching the US presidential race but would view any change in leadership as an opportunity to renew the strengthening alliance between the two countries, Manila's longtime envoy to Washington said on Thursday. Security engagements between the defense treaty allies have stepped up considerably under US President Joe Biden and Philippine counterpart, President Marcos, with both leaders keen to counter what they see as China's aggressive actions in the South China Sea and near Taiwan. The Philippines, a former US colony, is Washington's closest ally in Southeast Asia and its proximity to Taiwan makes it crucial to US efforts to counter a potent...

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Tim Cone reminds Gilas to stay focused for long haul

Fri, 02/23/2024 - 05:25
There was one line that national coach Tim Cone reached for over and over throughout Gilas Pilipinas' short visit here in Hong Kong for the curtain-raiser of the Fiba (International Basketball Federation) Asia Cup Qualifiers, a mantra that will guide the program through a long and arduous journey for the next four years. Keep that big picture in mind. "[If] we don't keep that big picture in mind, the [Fiba] window right here won't seem that important---the days, the things we do---when [the reality] is our goal is four years away," Cone told the Inquirer in one of the practices held at Tsuen Wan Sports Centre. "[The players] have to keep that big picture in mind so that they...

Keep on reading: Tim Cone reminds Gilas to stay focused for long haul
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Israel to join truce talks in Paris amid heavy Gaza bombardment

Fri, 02/23/2024 - 05:19
    RAFAH, Gaza Strip/CAIRO/JERUSALEM - Israel will send negotiators on Friday to truce talks in Paris, Israeli media said, as Gazans hoped for a ceasefire that could hold off a full-blown Israeli assault on Rafah, after it endured one of its worst bombardments of the conflict. Israel's Channel 12 television reported on Thursday that the war cabinet approved sending negotiators, led by the head of Israel's Mossad intelligence service, to Paris for talks on a potential deal to free more than 100 hostages whom Palestinian militant group Hamas is believed to be holding. The head of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, has been in Egypt this week in the strongest sign in weeks th...

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Kim’s convenience: Playmaking wizard sets clear path for PLDT’s Final 4 bid

Fri, 02/23/2024 - 05:10
  Kim Fajardo was unsure of how she would orchestrate a brand new system after taking her act to PLDT for this Premier Volleyball League (PVL) season. "I was really nervous at first because it's my first time going out of my comfort zone," Fajardo said on Thursday. She turned out just fine. Fajardo lobbed a team-best 11 excellent sets to lead the High Speed Hitters to a dominant 25-22, 25-6, 25-9 victory against Galeries at Filoil EcoOil Arena. And she has her teammates---especially a noted veteran who plays her position---to thank."[I]t all became easier for me because coach Rald [Ricafort] is always guiding me as well as ate Rhea [Dimaculangan]," she added, refe...

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Biden met with Navalny’s wife, daughter on Thursday – White House

Fri, 02/23/2024 - 04:10
    WASHINGTON - U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday met the wife and daughter of Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader who died last week, "to express his heartfelt condolences", the White House said. During the meeting in California, Biden expressed his admiration for Navalny's "extraordinary courage and his legacy of fighting against corruption and for a free and democratic Russia in which the rule of law applies equally to everyone", the White House said in a statement. Biden also affirmed that the United States will announce major new sanctions against Russia on Friday in response to Navalny's death, Russia's repression and aggression and its war i...

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US nears first moon landing since last Apollo lunar mission

Fri, 02/23/2024 - 04:03
      A spacecraft built and flown by Houston-based company Intuitive Machines sailed around the moon on Thursday headed for an attempt at the first U.S. touchdown on the lunar surface in more than half a century and the first ever entirely by the private sector. The six-legged robot lander, dubbed Odysseus, was due to begin the final descent from lunar orbit with a blast of its main engine about an hour before landing, with touchdown planned for 4:24 p.m. EST (2124 GMT) on Thursday, according to the company's latest flight plan. The vehicle, targeting a crater named Malapert A near the moon's south pole, is carrying a suite of scientific instruments and...

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With strong push from Ty-led firms, PSEi reclaims 6,900

Fri, 02/23/2024 - 02:10
MANILA ---The Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) closed just above the 6,900 level on Thursday, bolstered by the strong performance of companies led by the billionaire Ty family. The PSEi gained 0.08 percent, or 5.79 points, to 6,903.15 while the broader All Shares index added 0.05 percent, or 1.73 points, to 3,601.83. The market was buoyed by gains of Ty-led Metropolitan Bank & Trust (Metrobank), which announced the declaration of record-high cash dividends after net income in 2023 jumped nearly 29 percent to P42.2 billion. The family holding firm GT Capital Holding also rallied. READ: Metrobank to pay record dividends as 2023 earnings post 29% growth Data from the s...

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Putin on Biden’s ‘crazy SOB’ remark: Shows why he is preferred US president

Fri, 02/23/2024 - 01:08
  MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Joe Biden's "crazy SOB" remark showed why the Kremlin felt that for Russia, Biden would be a preferable future U.S. president to Donald Trump. "We are ready to work with any president. But I believe that for us, Biden is a more preferable president for Russia, and judging by what he has just said, I am absolutely right," Putin told state television, with a slight smile. "It's not like he can say to me, 'Volodya, thank you, well done, you've helped me a lot,'" Putin said. "You asked me which is better for us. I said it then that, and I still think I can repeat it: Biden." The Kremlin earlier said that B...

Keep on reading: Putin on Biden’s ‘crazy SOB’ remark: Shows why he is preferred US president
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