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Pasay police capture murder suspect
Manila Times

17 minutes ago

The Pasay City police arrested one of the city’s Top 10 most wanted persons in an anti-criminality drive in Baclaran over the weekend.

Police Supt. Jenny Tecson, spokesperson of the Southern Police District, said the Baclaran Police Community Precinct conducted Oplan Galugad in Barangay 146 that led to the arrest of Romeo Pescadero, 45, a resident of Block 25 Lot 16, Barangay 145 Zone 16 in Pasay Ciy.

Pescadoro, who is wanted for murder, was tagged one of the most notorious criminals in the city and has an outstanding arrest warrant issued by Judge Eugenio dela Cruz of Pasay City Regional Trial Court Branch 117. JAMES KONSTATIN GALVEZ

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UK not keeping up with Russia threat, head of army to warn
The Manila Times Online

52 minutes ago

LONDON: Britain would struggle to match Russian military capabilities on the battlefield and risks falling further behind potential adversaries without more investment, the head of the army will warn Monday.

In a rare public speech, Chief of the General Staff Nick Carter is expected to say that Russia is building increasingly aggressive and expeditionary forces while it has already demonstrated the use of superior long-range missiles in Syria.

Last year Moscow also initiated simulated attacks across northern Europe, from Kaliningrad to Lithuania, Carter will outline in an afternoon speech at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London.

“The time to address these threats is now — we cannot afford to sit back,” he is expected to say, according to the Ministry of Defense.

“Our ability to pre-empt or respond to threats will be eroded if we don’t keep up with our adversaries.

“We must take notice of what is going on around us or our ability to take action will be massively constrained.

“Speed of decision making, speed of deployment and modern capability are essential if we wish to provide realistic deterrence.”

The stark comments, rare for a serving defence chief, will be delivered in a speech focused on “the increasingly real threats that pose a risk to the UK’s way of life,” according to RUSI.

They come as years of austerity and public sector funding cuts have left Britain’s armed forces strained and finance minister Philip Hammond under pressure to act.

Defence minister Gavin Williamson, who only took over the role in November after his predecessor Michael Fallon stepped down over a sexual harassment scandal, is reportedly calling for increased funding.

Carter’s expected remarks will add to the pressure on Hammond to bow to those demands.

“State-based competition is now being employed in more novel and increasingly integrated ways and we must be ready to deal with them,” the general is set to tell an invited audience at RUSI.

“The threats we face are not thousands of miles away but are now on Europe’s doorstep — we have seen how cyber warfare can be both waged on the battlefield and to disrupt normal people’s lives — we in the UK are not immune from that.”

Carter’s anticipated warning follows similar comments from retired defence chiefs in recent months.

Sir Richard Barrons, until last year the head of Britain’s Joint Forces Command which prepares for future conflicts, called for the defence budget to be raised to ensure the country’s armed forces could adequately protect against potential attacks from China or Russia. AFP

AFP/CC

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Thousands in Ireland honor late Cranberries singer O’Riordan
The Manila Times Online

56 minutes ago

LONDON: Thousands of people lined up in the Irish city of Limerick Sunday to pay respects to Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan, who died suddenly in London last Monday, local media reported.

Irish singer Dolores O’Riordan AFP PHOTO

O’Riordan’s mother, as well as her five brothers and sister, accompanied the coffin holding her body into St Joseph’s Church in the city, in Ireland’s southwest, according to the RTE national broadcaster.

Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy said Sunday was Limerick’s public moment to bid farewell to O’Riordan, it added.

Footage of the crowds showed mourners braving adverse weather and sheltering under umbrellas as they queued to enter the church and file past the open coffin.

The 46-year-old frontwoman of the multi-million selling Irish rock band was found dead in a London hotel on Monday, aged 46.

Her private funeral, which will be attended by around 200 family members and friends, will take place in the Church of Saint Ailbe, in Ballybricken just outside Limerick, on Tuesday, the church said.

Following her death, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar was among the first to pay tributes, calling O’Riordan “the voice of a generation.”

London coroner Stephen Earl said Friday that he was awaiting test results following a post-mortem, with a full inquest set for April 3, although her death is not being treated as suspicious.

The Cranberries achieved international success in the 1990s with their debut album “Everyone Else is Doing it, So Why Can’t We?”, which included the hit single “Linger.”

The follow-up album gave rise to politically-charged single “Zombie”, an angry response to the deadly Northern Ireland conflict, which hit number one across Europe.

The band sold around 40 million records worldwide.

She was in London to record a version of “Zombie” with the hard rock band Bad Wolves, the group said on Tuesday.

The Cranberries’ greatest hits collection “Stars: The Best Of 1992-2002” has hit number 16 on Britain’s album chart, higher than when it was released in 2002. AFP

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Pope targets corruption in politics ahead of final Peru mass
The Manila Times Online

1 hour ago

LIMA: Pope Francis took a tough stand against political corruption on Sunday, and wrapped up his Latin American trip with a mass at an air base before more than a million faithful.

It was the second time since arriving in Peru on Thursday that the leader of the world’s Catholics attacked the “virus” of graft.

“There are exceptions. But by and large, Latin America’s political culture is sicker than it is healthy,” the pontiff told bishops earlier Sunday from across Peru, a country whose political parties and presidents have been plagued by dishonesty and kickbacks.

“What is wrong with Peru, that when one finishes being president one ends up behind bars?” Francis wondered aloud.

“(Ollanta) Humala, is in jail, (Alejandro) Toledo is in jail (living in US awaiting extradition);(Alberto) Fujimori was detained until just now; Alan Garcia, isn’t sure if he’s in or out: What is wrong morally?” he asked.

Leaders of other Latin American nations have also been accused of graft.

“If we let ourselves be led by people who only speak the language of corruption, we are done for,” the Argentine pontiff warned, using a popular Peruvian slang term and earning some laughter.

Under a hot sun with a temperature around 25 C (77 F), plenty of thirsty worshipers made their way later to the air base, near a residential part of Lima’s south end.

Numerous locals took the opportunity to turn their homes into pitstops offering water and soft drinks for the pilgrims.

One of them, Teofila Romero, 84, said the temperature was of no concern. She had already travelled from Puno, 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) away.

“I am here with my children. I don’t care about the heat. I knew that we were just going to have to deal with the crowds and heat,” Romero said, crammed between other faithful and souvenir sellers, in a crush of emotional believers.

In his last homily this pope, known for reaching out to people in the poorest slums, argued that there is no person without value, even if some are not treated as though they belong.

“There are a lot of people who are … like half-citizens, while others are seen as urban overflow,” Francis said before departing for Vatican City.

On the edge of Lima, where millions live in slums, he spoke of those “who live on the margins of our cities without conditions in which to live a humane existence.”

Earlier Sunday, the 81-year-old pope delivered a homily to 500 nuns, and met with bishops.

The pontiff on Saturday had urged Latin America’s faithful to fight rampant violent crime against women, comments which came during a mass in Peru’s largest northern city of Trujillo.

“I wish to invite you to combat a plague across our Latin American region: the numerous cases of violent crimes against women, from beatings to rape to murder,” Francis told the crowd.

Half of the 25 countries with the greatest number of murders of women are in Latin America, according to the UN Women agency.

While in Peru, the pope railed against “great business interests” for endangering the Amazon and its indigenous people and lashed out again at corruption in politics.

“There is so much damage done by this… thing that infects everything,” Francis said. “And it’s always the poorest and the environment that get the short end of the stick.”

On Friday, he sounded a stark warning about the future of the rainforest and indigenous tribe members, saying they had “never been so threatened.”

Thousands of indigenous people had traveled to meet the pontiff from throughout the Amazon basin region of Peru, Brazil and Bolivia to meet the pope in the Peruvian city of Puerto Maldonado.

Francis began his Latin American visit in Chile last Monday.

There, he highlighted the plight of vulnerable immigrants, apologized to victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, prayed with survivors of Augusto Pinochet’s brutal dictatorship, and called for protection of Chile’s persecuted indigenous people. AFP

AFP/CC

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Maria Ressa appears at NBI for cyber libel complaint
Rappler

1 hour ago

MANILA, Philippines – Rappler CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa appeared before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Monday, January 22, for an initial hearing over a complaint for cyber libel.

Ressa was complying with a subpoena  served by the NBI Cybercrime Division. Others who were subpoenaed – ...


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Abbas to ask EU to recognise Palestinian state: minister
The Manila Times Online

1 hour ago

BRUSSELS: Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas will ask the EU to officially recognise the state of Palestine when he meets foreign ministers from the bloc on Monday, a senior official told Agence France-Presse Sunday.

Palestinian foreign minister Riad al-Malki said Abbas will tell the EU it should take the step “as a way to respond” to US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

Abbas will also “reiterate his commitment to the peace process” in the Middle East, Malki said in an interview with Agence France-Presse in Brussels.

A week ago Abbas denounced Trump’s efforts to resolve the long-running conflict as the “slap of the century” and caused alarm by saying Israel had sunk the so-called Oslo accords that underpin the stalled peace process.

“Since Trump’s decision has altered the rules of the game, he (Abbas) expects the European foreign ministers to come forward and collectively recognise the state of Palestine as a way to respond back to Trump’s decision,” Malki said.

Abbas’s talks in Brussels come as US Vice President Mike Pence visits Israel during a tour of the Middle East with Arab anger still smouldering over Washington’s hugely contentious decision on Jerusalem.

Abbas and the Palestinian leadership are refusing to meet Pence because of the declaration, making his visit a rare one by a high-ranking US official not to include talks with the Palestinians.

Demand for ‘fairness’

Abbas will urge the EU to take on a bigger role in trying to move peace efforts forward, declaring American “exclusivity and monopoly” in the process is over, Malki said.

“If the Europeans want to be a player then they have to be fair in their treatment of both parties and this should start with the recognition of the state of Palestine,” Malki said.

Abbas will meet EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini and the bloc’s 28 foreign ministers on Monday on the sidelines of their monthly meeting, after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a similar visit last month.

Diplomats and officials in Brussels say recognition for Palestine is not on the cards on Monday — the EU leaves recognition in the hands of individual members — and the best Abbas can hope for is progress towards an “association agreement” with the bloc.

Malki told AFP that while the Palestinian Authority was “very serious” about such an agreement, they also expected to be formally recognised as a state.

“One does not replace the other. Absolutely not,” he said.

Despite Abbas’s comments on the Oslo accord and his insistence that the United States can no longer serve as mediator, Malki said he was still committed to the peace process — effectively frozen since 2014.

“He wants to reiterate his commitment to the peace process. He’s going to say I’m not going to withdraw from the peace process, I will stay committed,” Malki told Agence France-Presse.

Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has been working for months with a small team to develop a new US proposal to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, but no details or even news of progress have emerged.

A senior EU official said Friday the bloc “believes a plan is in the making” but is still in the dark about “the content of this plan or the parameters.”

Malki said it was “very clear to us we should not wait until the Americans present their plan.”

“The Americans should understand that the Palestinians, the Arabs, everybody, will not accept an American plan that does not include Jerusalem, that does not include settlements, that does not include refugees,” Malki said. AFP

AFP/CC

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Lawmakers to vote on pulling US ‘back from brink’ on shutdown
Manila Times

1 hour ago

WASHINGTON,D.C.: The top senator from US President Donald Trump’s party urged lawmakers to “step back from the brink” as they gathered Sunday for a vote to keep the government shutdown from stretching into the coming work week.

Hundreds of thousands of federal employees are set to stay home without pay as of early Monday following the dramatic collapse Friday night of talks to agree on an urgent funding measure.

The shutdown cast a huge shadow over the first anniversary of Trump’s inauguration as president and highlighted deep divisions between Republicans and Democrats.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned that the shutdown would “get a lot worse” if federal workers have to stay home without pay.

“Today would be a good day to end it,” McConnell said from the Senate floor during a rare Sunday session aimed at reaching a deal ahead of a vote he said would take place at 1:00 am (0600 GMT) Monday, unless progress is made sooner.

A bipartisan group huddled for hours on Sunday trying to end the standoff.

“Encouraged that 22 members from both parties attended,” Republican Senator Susan Collins said in a tweet.

A member of that group, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, told reporters that McConnell has “included immigration in the mix for the first time,” addressing an issue at the heart of the dispute, if funding is provided until February 8.

“Mitch has got a proposal. We should rally around that,” said Graham, blaming “White House staff” for not working with lawmakers.

“I’m begging the White House to find a way to work with us,” Graham said.

Yet, rank-and-file Republicans expressed skepticism over the bipartisan effort.

“I don’t see any of our people interested in some half-baked idea that’s produced by a self-appointed group of senators,” Oklahoma Republican House member Tom Cole said.

Lawmakers have traded bitter recriminations for the failure to pass a stop-gap funding measure, and McConnell once again sought to blame Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Trump early Sunday encouraged the Senate’s Republican leaders to invoke the “nuclear option” — a procedural maneuver to change the chamber’s rules to allow passage of a budget by a simple majority of 51 votes to end the shutdown.

But Senate leaders have been wary of such a move in the past, as it could come back to haunt them the next time the other party holds a majority.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump had spoken during the day with McConnell and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn. She did not mention Trump’s speaking with any Democrats but said White House director of legislative affairs Marc Short had been in touch with members of both parties and updated the president.

“We are continuing to work hard towards reopening the government,” she said.

At the heart of the dispute is the issue of undocumented immigration.

Democrats have accused Republicans of poisoning chances of a deal and pandering to Trump’s populist base by refusing to back a program that protects an estimated 700,000 “Dreamers” — undocumented immigrants who arrived as children — from deportation.

Schumer said he and Democrats were willing to compromise, but Trump “can’t take yes for an answer — that’s why we’re here.”

“I’m willing to seal the deal, to sit and work right now with the president or anyone he designates — let’s get it done,” Schumer said.

Trump has said Democrats are “far more concerned with Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous Southern Border.”

Essential federal services and military activity are continuing, but even active-duty troops will not be paid until a deal is reached to reopen the US government.

There have been four government shutdowns since 1990. In the last one, in 2013, more than 800,000 government workers were put on temporary leave.

“We’re just in a holding pattern. We just have to wait and see. It’s scary,” Noelle Joll, 50, a furloughed US government employee, told AFP in Washington.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said Sunday that state funding would pay for the reopening Monday of the Statue of Liberty, which was among facilities affected by the shutdown.

A deal had appeared likely on Friday afternoon, when Trump — who has touted himself as a master negotiator — seemed to be close to an agreement with Schumer on protecting Dreamers.

But no such compromise was in the language that reached Congress for a stop-gap motion to keep the government open for four more weeks while a final arrangement is discussed.

Republicans failed to win enough Democratic support in the Senate to bring it to a vote.

They have a one-seat majority in the Senate, and on Friday needed to lure some Democrats to their side to get a 60-vote supermajority to bring the motion forward. They fell 10 votes short.

Highlighting the deep political polarization, crowds estimated in the hundreds of thousands marched through major US cities on Saturday against the president and his policies and express support for women’s rights.

They gathered again on Sunday in Las Vegas, Nevada, chanting: “Power to the polls.” AFP

AFP/CC

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Richest one percent made 82% of wealth created last year – Oxfam
Manila Times

1 hour ago

PARIS: The world’s richest one percent raked in 82 percent of the wealth created last year while the poorest half of the population received none, Oxfam said Monday, as the world’s elite prepared to mingle at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

A new report from the charity also found that the wealth of billionaires has grown six times faster than that of ordinary workers since 2010, with another billionaire minted every two days between March 2016 and March 2017.

Oxfam used its findings to paint a picture of a global economy in which the wealthy few amass ever-greater fortunes while hundreds of millions of people are “struggling to survive on poverty pay.”

“The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system,” Oxfam executive director Winnie Byanyima said in a statement.

Oxfam also emphasised the plight of women workers, who “consistently earn less than men” and often have the lowest paid, least secure jobs. Nine out of 10 billionaires are men, it added.

The report, titled “Reward Work, not Wealth”, used data from Credit Suisse to compare the returns of top executives and shareholders to that of ordinary workers.

It found that chief executives of the top five global fashion brands made in just four days what garment workers in Bangladesh earn over a lifetime.

“The people who make our clothes, assemble our phones and grow our food are being exploited to ensure a steady supply of cheap goods, and swell the profits of corporations and billionaire investors,”said Byanyima.

To fight rising inequality, Oxfam called on governments to limit the returns of shareholders and top executives, close the gender pay gap, crackdown on tax avoidance and increase spending on healthcare and education.

The study was released on the eve of top political and business figures meeting at a luxury Swiss ski resort for the annual World Economic Forum, which this year says it will focus on how to create “a shared future in a fractured world.”

“It’s hard to find a political or business leader who doesn’t say they are worried about inequality,” said Byanyima.

“It’s even harder to find one who is doing something about it. Many are actively making things worse by slashing taxes and scrapping labour rights.” AFP

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COMMENTARY | Man of the hour
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Pantaleon Alvarez is the only House Speaker who has dared undermine the Senate as the House’s co-equal in a bicameral Congress, when he recently advanced the notion that one senator is no more than one congressman.
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World's richest made 80 pct of wealth created in 2017: Oxfam
ABS-CBN - Business

1 hour ago

The world's richest one percent raked in 82 percent of the wealth created last year while the poorest half of the population received none, Oxfam said Monday, as the world's elite prepared to mingle at the World Economic Forum in Davos.


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