G7 countries call on Russia to end war on Ukraine

The G7 countries called on Russia on Saturday to end its war against Ukraine, pledging strong support for Kyiv. “We are steadfast in our support for Ukraine in its defence against Russia’s unjustifiable, unprovoked and illegal war of aggression and reiterate our constant call on Russia to put an end to the war it started and to end the suffering and loss of life it continues to cause,” the G7 nations said in a joint statement. The seven countries, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US, condemned…

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Asean, US commit to facilitate resilient global supply chains

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and the United States (US) announced Saturday that they are committed to facilitating resilient global supply chains. “We are committed to continuing to cooperate to promote trade and investment and facilitating resilient global supply chains and seamless regional connectivity, including for essential goods such as medical supplies, medicines, vaccines, food and agricultural products, commodities, high-tech products, and other essential supplies and services, contributing to sustainable economic recovery and resilience in the region,” a joint statement said. At the conclusion of the Asean-US Special…

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Wong delivers PH’s lone wushu gold

Agatha Wong saved her best for last to rule wushu’s taijijian (taolu) event and give Team Philippines its first gold medal in the sport it used to dominate in the Southeast Asian Games. Wong bagged the gold barely 24 hours after relinquishing her crown and settling for the silver in the taijiquan (taolu), the same event she won in the past two editions of the 11-nation event. “I’m so thankful,” said Wong, who admitted coming here with very little expectations because the Filipinos only had two months to train under…

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10 tons of mangoes at stake at Guimaras all-you-can-eat fest

Some 30 tons of sweet mangoes await visitors for the 2022 Manggahan Festival of the province of Guimaras that kicked off at the provincial capitol grounds in the municipality of Jordan on May 14 and will culminate on May 22 to mark the 30th year since the island has become a full-fledged province. “We return this Manggahan festival to support the recovery of our micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs),” said Liberty Ferrer, officer-in-charge of the provincial tourism office in an interview on Sunday. Ferrer said this year’s festival is…

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Finland prepares to apply to NATO on May 18: top diplomat

Finland may apply to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on May 18, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told the Aftonbladet newspaper. “Our permanent representative to NATO in Brussels will do this [apply] possibly on Wednesday. If talks with NATO begin, they will be taken care of by a delegation led by the foreign minister and the defense minister,” he said. On May 16, Finland’s parliament will hold debates on the prospects of the country’s accession to NATO. According to a joint statement by Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and…

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No Filipino casualties in New York shooting

The Philippine Consulate in New York announced on Sunday morning that there were no Filipino casualties in the reported “racially motivated” mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, that left 10 people dead on Saturday afternoon (US time). Consul General Elmer Cato said there are about 540 Filipinos residing in Buffalo. New York authorities reported that three others were wounded by the 18-year-old male suspect Payton Gendron, who wore a tactical gear and livestreamed the shooting. He was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, according to reports. He…

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Obiena keeps pole vault gold, sets new SEAG record

Ernest John Obiena proved that he is the region’s best pole vaulter right in his first leap, retaining his title with ease in the 31st Southeast Asian Games athletic competition at the drizzle-drenched My Dinh National Stadium on Saturday. With his Southeast Asian rivals either failing to clear the bar several times or suffering from cramps from too much exertion, Obiena nonchalantly cleared the bar at 5.4 meters to clinch the gold right on his first attempt. It was 40 centimeters better than the 5-meter leap of compatriot and eventual…

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Tennis superstar Djokovic reaches 1,000 career match wins

Serbian tennis superstar Novak Djokovic on Saturday secured his 1,000th match win in his career. Djokovic, 34, beat Norway’s Casper Ruud with sets of 6-4, 6-3 in the semifinals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia held in Rome to have a new career achievement. The Internazionali BNL d’Italia confirmed on Twitter that Djokovic scored his 1,000th match win after defeating Ruud. Djokovic, who turned professional in 2003, became the fifth man in the tennis’ Open Era to bag 1,000 wins. The Serbian top seed has joined Jimmy Connors (1,274), Roger Federer…

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Comelec eyes to proclaim winning senators, party-lists Tuesday

The Commission on Elections (Comelec), sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), is eyeing to proclaim senators and party-list representatives by Tuesday. Acting Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said as of Saturday, May 14, the NBOC has canvassed 86.13 percent or 149 out of 173 certificates of canvass (COC). “We are on track with our timeline. ‘Yan po talaga ang projection namin even that sabi naman po namin sa inyo (That’s our projection even that we told you that it will be) early next week and Tuesday is still…

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PNP secures post-election assemblies, mass actions

Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. has declared that all post-election public assemblies and other mass actions held in some places around the country have been secured to prevent any form of violence. “We are glad that those assemblies or gathering(s) of supporters went smoothly without any major incident recorded,” he said in a statement on Saturday. Danao added the active deployment of police personnel in areas of convergence greatly contributed to maintaining peace and order to the identified areas. The PNP recorded at least 40…

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Rain showers seen in most parts of PH due ITCZ, frontal system

Parts of the country will experience cloudy skies with rains due to the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) and frontal system, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said on Sunday. In its 4 a.m. bulletin, the weather bureau said ITCZ will bring cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms over Northern Mindanao, Caraga, Davao Region, Soccsksargen, Eastern and Central Visayas. Meanwhile, frontal system or a transition-boundary separating two air masses of contrasting properties is affecting extreme Northern Luzon, particularly Batanes. Metro Manila and the rest of the…

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Duterte to PMA cadets: ‘Be many things at the same time’

President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Sunday called on new graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) to “be many things at the same time” while ensuring they always remained true to their oath. Speaking during the graduation rites of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Bagsik Diwa” class of 2022, Duterte said although there is “some degree of change or transformation” among the cadets, they remain rooted to the basic concept of “soldiering.” “Today, the man in uniform must be many things at the same time if he is to be…

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PMA valedictorian inspired by father’s military career

Krystlenn Ivany Quemado, valedictorian of this year’s Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class “Bagsik-Diwa” (Bagong Sibol Kinabukasan Didigma Hanggang sa Wakas), did not have it easy even if she is a military officer’s daughter. As the daughter of Col. Nicolas Quemado Jr. of PMA Maalab Class of 1993, she always had to prove herself. “Many people think that I grew up in a sheltered, privileged life. People do not see the other side of the coin, where I carry the burden of proving myself. That I can create my own identity…

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SEAG serves as exposure for Asian Games, Olympics

The 31st Southeast Asian Games here will function as a springboard for Filipino athletes to prime up for the 2023 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China and the 2024 Paris Olympics. “We are expecting that the SEA Games will be a great exposure for our athletes going to the Asian Games up to the Olympics just like what we did last time,’’ said Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William Ramirez in Manila where he has been closely monitoring the progress of Team Philippines in the Games. No wonder the PSC never wavered…

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Mobile phone purchase surge not linked to vote-buying

The surge in mobile phone sales in Surigao del Sur cannot be automatically attributed to vote-buying, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Sunday. Acting Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said reports that popular mobile phone brands were sold out in three shopping malls in the towns of Tagbina, Barobo, and Lianga should not be linked to poll-related violations. “Coming not from the Comelec but coming from siguro (perhaps) a lawyer’s point of view, the escalation of the purchases in itself does not automatically mean anomalies or crimes,” he said in…

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PH urged to integrate cybersecurity in smart city planning

Urban planners are urged to integrate cybersecurity investments in smart city blueprints to avoid attacks on the operational technology infrastructure of the country’s future smart cities, a cybersecurity firm said. Cyfirma president for delivery and operations Saurabh Lal told the Philippine News Agency that it is critical to integrate cybersecurity investments during the planning stage for a smart city, and not after all digital technologies are already in place. “If you don’t take them into account while at the planning stage—because this is what we call shift left approach—considering all…

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Germany accuses Russia of waging ‘grain war’

Germany on Saturday accused Russia of waging a “grain war,” endangering global food security. Addressing a news conference at the end of the G7 foreign ministers’ meeting at the Baltic resort town of Weissenhaus, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Moscow was consciously trying to expand the Ukraine war in the world, particularly in Africa. Accusing Russia of trying to prevent grain from being exported by blocking ports in Ukraine, she said this was not part of the war’s collateral damage. “We must not be naive,” the minister warned, saying Russia…

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Liberalized rice trading lowers staple food price for Filipinos

The passage and implementation since 2019 of the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL) has slashed prices of the country’s staple food to the current average of PHP39 per kilogram (kg) or a reduction of about PHP7 per kilogram compared to its cost in 2018 when it peaked to a per-kilo retail cost of around PHP46. Freed from local entrenched interests that took advantage of the protectionist policy on rice for decades, this staple food is now more affordable, especially for low-income Filipinos who spend about 16 percent of their total household…

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‘Consuming too much data, information causes digital obesity’

Consuming too much data, information, and media may lead to digital obesity, which could bring about negative effects on people’s lives, according to an expert. “Digital obesity is basically about overconsuming (of information), not giving enough rest. It is basically the same as constantly eating, never doing anything else,” said futurist Gerd Leonhard at a forum organized by the Turkish Education Association. The Zurich-based futurist said people are becoming “congested, fat, and dying from overconsuming of information.” Noting that people consume information via social media all the time, he said…

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Finland’s entering NATO could affect Russian-Finnish ties: Putin

The leaders of Russia and Finland on Saturday discussed the issue of Helsinki’s admission to NATO and its possible affects to relations between the two countries. According to a Kremlin statement, President Vladimir Putin talked to his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto over the phone and stressed that abandoning Helsinki’s traditional policy of military neutrality would be wrong since there were no threats to Finland’s security. Putin pointed out that Finland’s admission to NATO may negatively affect their countries’ mutually beneficial relations, which he said were built over the years in…

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Job opportunities abound as NorMin charts path to recovery

The Department of Labor and Employment Region Northern Mindanao (DOLE-10) opened some 3,600 job opportunities in Northern Mindanao as part of its economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. In an interview on Saturday at the podcast of the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security for Northern Mindanao (CORDS X), DOLE-10 Director Albert Gutib said 122 local employers participated in a job and business fair on April 28, a manifestation that the region is gradually recovering from the pandemic. Sixty-one applicants were hired on the spot while 581 were near-hires.…

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At least 10 dead in supermarket mass shooting in New York

A gunman opened fire at a supermarket in Buffalo city in the US state of New York on Saturday afternoon, killing at least 10 people, according to Buffalo Police Department. The mass shooting took place at the Tops Markets on Jefferson Avenue. The gunman was an 18-year-old white male, said Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia at a news conference. He is under custody. Gramaglia said 11 of the shooting victims were Black, while two others were white. FBI is investigating the shooting as a hate crime and as an act…

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PH victory over SCS pure law: Locsin

“What is ours is ours.” Thus, said Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. on the Philippines’ claim of the South China Sea that was ruled overwhelmingly in its favor by the Permanent Court of Arbitration on July 12, 2016 – determining that major elements of China’s claim – including its nine-dash line, recent land reclamation activities, and other activities in Philippine waters – were unlawful. “It can be taken from us by stealth or force; yet that would not diminish a whit of our sovereign ownership. What is stolen…

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DBM releases P1-B Covid-19 compensation for healthcare workers

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released PHP1.081 billion to the Department of Health (DOH) for the grant of sickness and death benefits to public and private healthcare workers (HCWs) and non-HCWs in health facilities who contracted or may contract coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in line of duty for this year. Specifically, HCWs and non-HCWs who contracted mild or moderate Covid-19 infection will receive a compensation of PHP15,000 while those who fall under the severe or critical case will be compensated for PHP100,000. A million peso is allotted…

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