Headlines for Saturday, December 7, 2013
Nelson Mandela in Manila was in love
It was during his historic visit to Manila 16 years ago that the world first confirmed talk going around that Nelson Mandela was in love. For it was the first time that the former South African president took with him his special friend Graça Machel on a state visit as his “official companion.” The romance with Machel nearly stole the show from the significance and euphoria of the visit by Mandela, the revered antiapartheid hero and the first South African president to visit the Philippines.
Yolanda death toll hits 5,786
MANILA, Philippines - The death toll from Super Typhoon Yolanda in the Visayas is approaching 6,000, with more than a thousand people still missing, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). As of yesterday, 5,786 people were reported dead, 26,233 injured and 1,779 missing, NDRRMC executive director Eduardo del Rosario said. The number of confirmed dead is 27 more than last Thursday’s 5,759, while the number of injured and missing remains unchanged.
De Lima: DOJ to probe Miriam accusations vs Enrile
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Friday said the Justice Department will be looking into the flurry of criminal allegations hurled by Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago against Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile. In her fiery privilege speech delivered on Wednesday, Santiago linked Enrile to various crimes under the Penal Code — smuggling, illegal logging, and gambling in the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), as well as plunder.
Philippines to miss tourism targets due to disasters
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines is unlikely to hit its target of five million tourists this year due to damage caused by twin disasters, a tourism official said Saturday. Killer Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan) hit on November 8 and a 7.1-magnitude earthquake on October 15, causing devastation in tourist areas which resulted in many cancelled reservations, said Domingo Enerio, chief of the government’s Tourism Promotions Board. Both the 2013 target and the 6.8 million target for 2014 may have to be revised in the face of the damage, he said.
Police to file kidnap raps vs Abu Sayyaf
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — The Sulu provincial police are set to file charges against the Abu Sayyaf in the kidnapping of Jordanian broadcast journalist Baker Atyani. Sulu provincial police spokesman Chief Inspector Kris Conrad Gutierrez said Atyani has identified the bandits who held him captive for 18 months in the jungles of Sulu. “We are just awaiting the result of the debriefing that they will forward to us and we are ready to file the necessary charges against those who kidnapped Atyani,” Gutierrez said yesterday.
US Embassy Manila issues first fiancé visas for same-sex couples
Noel "Aeinghel" Amaro received this week his fiancé visa so he can marry his American boyfriend, Robert Cotterman, a US soldier who is ending his stint in Afghanistan. It is the US Embassy in Manila's first same-sex fiancé visa under a new US State Department policy world-wide that treats same-sex fiancé couples just as it does straight couples.
World Bank, Asian Development Bank approve $1-B additional typhoon aid
MANILA, Philippines - Emergency loan facilities amounting to $1 billion have been approved by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for areas devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda. The World Bank board formally approved the $500-million loan facility in Washington – part of nearly $1 billion committed to the Philippines by the WB. Axel van Trotsenburg, WB regional vice president for East Asia and the Pacific, told The STAR about the expected approval of the loan facility after he visited Tacloban yesterday.
Use of locally made materials pushed
Two lawmakers want to require local contractors to use Philippine-made materials for the construction, alteration or repair of any public works. Cagayan de Oro City 2nd district Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and his brother Abante Mindanao partylist Rep. Maximo Rodriguez, Jr. authored House Bill 3285 to promote and encourage the use of Philippine made products, materials and supplies in every contract for construction.
Five fishermen slain in Sulu sea attack
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines—Gunmen aboard a speedboat shot dead five members of a fishing crew in a mysterious attack in the seas of the southern Philippines, the coast guard said Saturday. The five were part of a fishing fleet off the troubled southern islands of Sulu when the gunmen attacked them on Friday, said Philippine Coast Guard spokesman Lieutenant Jomark Angue. Even as the five leapt overboard, the gunmen riddled them with bullets, then sped off.
First Filipino Astronaut named
Manila, Philippines – A psychology graduate from De La Salle University (DLSU) has been officially named as the first Filipino astronaut. Chino Roque, the 22-year-old crossfit trainer, will be the first Filipino to travel in space in 2015 after he was personally chosen by legendary spaceman and AASA Space Camp judging committee chairman Buzz Aldrin in awarding ceremonies at the Rocket Garden of the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, Florida, USA.
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