Sunday, January 21, 2018
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Assad regime promotes Syria as a ‘vacationer’ destination

It is over a 12 months since Bashar al-Assad’s regime, with the assistance of Russian air strikes and barrel bombs, pounded the rebel-held east of Aleppo into submission.

Buildings had been flattened, those that survived had been left terrorised, hungry and crammed with despair, and the stench of useless our bodies rose up from the rubble as households searched for his or her family members.

Now, having largely destroyed town it sought to regulate, the Assad regime needs the world to go to what stays: as a vacationer destination.

This week the Syrian authorities is promoting Aleppo, together with different locations in Syria, on the Fitur International Tourism Trade Fair in Madrid, “promoting” the nation’s sights to the world.

It is the primary time Syria has attended the commerce truthful since 2011, earlier than the battle broke out.

Along with the ruins of Aleppo, it additionally encourages individuals to go to the traditional Roman-era ruins of Palmyra, the UNESCO-listed archaeological website which was twice managed by the Islamic State (IS) group.

IS fighters blew up a number of the temples and burial towers earlier than being compelled out of town for the ultimate time final 12 months by Syrian authorities forces and their Russian backers.

“This year is the time to rebuild Syria and our economy,” Bassam Barsik, director of promoting on the Syrian Ministry of Tourism, instructed AFP.

Barsik stated 1.three million international guests travelled to Syria final 12 months, though that determine contains those that got here from neighbouring Lebanon for under in the future.

“We’re targeting two million visitors this year,” he stated.

He argued that spiritual locations, such as the historic Christian city of Maaloula, one of many final locations on earth the place Aramaic remains to be spoken, are nonetheless a draw to vacationers.

Damascus, Tartus, Latakia and the historic Crusader citadel of Krak des Chevaliers near the border with Lebanon, though broken by bombing, are different potential sights.

“In 2017, the army controlled much of the country, and that was a big help to promote Syria abroad and attract tourist groups again,” stated Barsik.

Most nations advise residents towards all journey to Syria.

The battle has displaced hundreds of thousands of individuals and is estimated to have claimed the lives of a minimum of 340,000 individuals since 2011.

( Agence France-Presse )

Source: politics.com.ph

Honorary consuls not authorized to process passports

Honorary consuls are not authorized to process purposes for passports, Filipinos within the United States had been reminded over the weekend.

The Philippine embassy in Washington D.C. careworn solely seven Philippine authorities workplaces are authorized to process such purposes within the US.

“The Philippine Honorary Consulates General and Honorary Consulates in the US do not accept and process said applications,” it mentioned (https://www.philippineembassy-usa.org/information/5941/589/PUBLIC-ADVISORY-Philippine-Honorary-Consulates-General-and-Honorary-Consulates-in-the-US-do-not-accept-process-passport-applications/d,phildet/).

It listed the seven workplaces as:

– Philippine embassy in Washington D.C.
– Philippine Consulate General in Agana, Guam
– Philippine Consulate General in Chicago
– Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu, Hawaii
– Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles
– Philippine Consulate General in New York
– Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco

Starting this month, the Philippine authorities points passports with a validity of 10 years.

Source: politics.com.ph

Protestors flock in droves to anti-Trump Women’s Marches

By Veronique DUPONT, with Catherine Triomphe in New York

Protestors took to the streets en masse throughout the United States Saturday, hoisting anti-Donald Trump placards, banging drums and donning pink hats for a second Women’s March opposing the president — one yr to the day of his inauguration.

Hundreds of hundreds of marchers assembled in Los Angeles, New York, Washington, Chicago, Denver, Boston and different cities nationwide, many donning the well-known pink knit “pussy hats” — a reference to Trump’s videotaped boasts of his license to grope ladies with out repercussions.

Protestors hoisted indicators emblazoned with slogans like “Fight like a girl”, “A woman’s place is in the White House” and “Elect a clown, expect a circus.”

The largest demonstrations have been in cities the place Trump carried out poorly on the polls: the Los Angeles mayor stated estimated turnout in his metropolis was 500,000, whereas New York police estimated about 200,000 protesters.

In Manhattan, a various crowd descended on Central Park West, the avenue that borders the town’s beloved park and arrives on the foot of the Trump International Hotel — a part of the magnate-turned-commander-in-chief’s actual property empire.

“We live in an alternate universe — it is so bad,” stated Althea Fusco, 67, who traveled to the town from upstate New York with two neighbors.

“I see an erosion of democracy,” she stated.

Speakers on the New York rally included activist and actress Rosie Perez and entertainer Whoopi Goldberg, who emphasised that “we are here to say — as women — we’re not taking it anymore.”

Throngs of demonstrators paraded in Los Angeles, the place actress Natalie Portman was among the many celebrities pumping up the gang: “Because of you the revolution is rolling.”

“The way Trump has treated women and still been elected — I want him to be aware that we are coming together as a powerful force and we’re going to change this,” stated 44-year-old artist Heather Arndt in the California metropolis.

The marches goal to construct on the motion launched final yr when greater than three million individuals turned out nationwide to voice opposition to Trump.

The weekend of demonstrations is geared toward translating enthusiasm into political motion with the theme “Power to the Polls” — a message designed to drive voter registrations and maximize ladies’s involvement in the 2018 midterm elections.

The president in the meantime posted a deadpan tweet referencing the rallies protesting his insurance policies, urging individuals to “get out there and celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months.”

“Beautiful weather all over our great country, a perfect day for all Women to March,” he wrote.

– ‘Cannot rest’ –
Many of the demonstrations certainly happened below sunny skies however marchers in Park City, Utah — the place the annual Sundance Film Festival is underway — braved chilly temperatures and regular snow to make their voices heard, led by celebrities together with activist and actress Jane Fonda.

This yr’s version of Sundance took on a political bent in mild of the #MeToo motion in opposition to [email protected] misconduct, a marketing campaign that has rippled by way of Hollywood and past since scores of actresses leveled [email protected] assault allegations in opposition to disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Crowds in the North Carolina metropolis of Charlotte heard an tackle from its first black feminine mayor, whereas Washington protestors rallied on the foot of the Lincoln Memorial and marched to the White House, talking out on a raft of points starting from immigrant protections to racial equality to [email protected] assault.

“We feel like our work isn’t done and that there’s so much more that we need to fix,” stated Tanaquil Eltson, 14, who additionally participated in Washington’s 2017 march.

“I know the world around me isn’t happy colors; it’s scary. But I’m excited to be able to fix it,” she stated, clad in a red and blue Superwoman outfit.

Her mom Vitessa Del Prete, a retired US military lieutenant colonel, pointed to the current flood of [email protected] abuse and harassment allegations in opposition to highly effective males that has galvanized ladies to combat again in opposition to injustice.

“I’ve lived through decades of [email protected]l harassment issues and it’s getting better — but it’s nowhere near where it needs to be,” the 51-year-old stated, sporting a Wonder Woman costume in coordination along with her daughter.

“Issues that face women are just not being represented well enough in our country, so it’s a privilege to be able to get out here and try to do something from a citizen standpoint.”

More than 300 cities and cities had organized anniversary marches and rallies. Other protests are set for Sunday, notably in Las Vegas, in addition to in a number of European cities together with Berlin.

“We cannot rest,” stated Pam Morris in Washington. “We have to keep energized until we overcome this administration.”

“We cannot get worn down. We have to be here.”

( Agence France-Presse )

Source: politics.com.ph

BP: 19 na Russian na iligal na nagta-trabaho sa isang membership, ipapa-deport

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BP: 19 na Russian na iligal na nagta-trabaho sa isang membership, ipapa-deport

Balita Pilipinas Ngayon rounds up the highest tales from across the Philippines GMA’s regional stations in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. It’s hosted by Mark Salazar and Maki Pulido and airs at four:00 PM (PHL Time), Mondays to Fridays on GMA News TV Channel 11.

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BP: 19 na Russian na iligal na nagta-trabaho sa isang membership, ipapa-deport


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RevGov na? Alvarez wants a revolution if Senate blocks ConAss

By: Xave Gregorio

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez mentioned it might be higher to launch a revolution if the Senate continues to dam proposals to convene Congress into a constituent meeting (ConAss) to amend the Constitution.
Alvarez slammed as soon as extra what he known as the “obstructionist” angle of the higher home in direction of ConAss.

“Kung ganyan ang magiging attitude nila, obstructionist na sila, mag-revolution na lang tayo hindi naman puwede yung ganyang attitude. Yung gusto mo ikaw ang masunod kalokohan yan,” Alvarez mentioned Saturday (January 20) in a radio interview.

Senators haven’t been receptive on calls to convene Congress into a ConAss, after members of the decrease home floated the potential of abolishing the Senate beneath a unicameral setup.

Senator Panfilo Lacson has filed this week a decision convening the Senate into its personal constituent meeting, separate from the House.

Senators have additionally been warned that they are going to be expelled if they determine to hitch the House’s ConAss, which Alvarez mentioned will push by even with out senators.

Source: politics.com.ph

Recto proposes amending LGU Code to increase tax share of local gov’t

More public funds could be despatched to the grassroots “without tinkering” with the 1987 Constitution, Sen. Ralph Recto on Saturday stated.

He rejected the argument that solely via a Charter change (Cha-cha) can local authorities items (LGUs) have a much bigger share of tax collections.

“If the intention is to raise the share of provinces, cities, towns and barangays from government income, then such can be done through ordinary legislation,” Recto stated.

By Recto’s rely, LGUs stand to lose P121.5 billion this yr due to the “longstanding faulty interpretation of the rule on how the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) shall be computed.”

Republic Act No. 7160, or the Local Government Code of 1991, grants LGUs a 40-percent share from the national authorities’s inside income assortment.

But beneath the present system, the 40 % is taken from Bureau of Internal Revenue collections, “but does not include excise and VAT (value added tax) collections of the Bureau of Customs.”

“This is wrong because VAT and excise taxes are classified as internal revenue, and the BoC is a mere collecting agent of the BIR, so in computing the share of LGUs in determining their IRA, BoC’s VAT and excise tax collections must be factored in,” Recto stated.

Source: politics.com.ph

BP: Weather update as of four:34 p.m. (January 19, 2018)

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BP: Weather update as of four:34 p.m. (January 19, 2018)

Balita Pilipinas Ngayon rounds up the highest tales from across the Philippines GMA’s regional stations in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. It’s hosted by Mark Salazar and Maki Pulido and airs at four:00 PM (PHL Time), Mondays to Fridays on GMA News TV Channel 11.

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BP: Weather update as of four:34 p.m. (January 19, 2018)


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Gordon wants transparency in talks between DOH, Sanofi Pasteur over Dengvaxia

Senator Dick Gordon on Saturday pressed for transparency in the continuing “discussions” between the Department of Health (DoH) and Sanofi Pasteur on methods to cope with the Dengavaxia vaccine scandal.

Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, investigating the vaccine controversy, mentioned Sanofi shouldn’t solely meet with the DoH but in addition with numerous well being specialists.

“People are already very anxious and enraged by the latest developments in this anomalous issue, what with forensic examination on the exhumed body of several children who received the Dengvaxia vaccine showing emerging patterns that led to their deaths,” he mentioned.

“It may further fuel public suspicion if the meetings will not be made transparent,” Gordon mentioned.

He mentioned that whereas charges in courts could have already got been filed by sure teams towards the involved people, “the obligation of Congress to suggest suggestions in assist of laws, significantly on the undue haste of procuring the vaccines, stays to be in place.

It is Congress’ obligation to make individuals conscious of those points, Gordon added.

Source: politics.com.ph

Kulang ang isang bilyon! Koko wants Sanofi to pay gov’t P3.5B over Dengvaxia fiasco

Sanofi Pasteur, the producer of the controversial Dengavaxia, should reimburse the complete P3.5 billion vaccine contract because it reneged on its obligation.

Senate President Koko Pimentel burdened on Saturday after studying that Sanofi has agreed to reimburse the Philippine authorities P1.four billion for the unused vaccine photographs saved on the warehouses of the Department of Health (DoH).

“Ang buong kontrata ay P3.5 billion. Ang ating pagkakaintindi nuon (is that Dengavaxia is designed) to give protection to our children from possible future dengue infection, hindi ba?” he mentioned.

“E, iyun pala sila mismo nagsabi na ‘yung mga hindi nakagat na (nabakunahan) noon ay may posible (magkaroon ng) mas severe infection (kapag nakagat ngayon ng dengue virus-carrying mosquito),” he mentioned.

Pimentel added, “So hindi po naibigay ‘yung ating expectation. So, parang in effect parang walang kontrata. Wala tayong nabiling tamang vaccine.”

“So, para sa akin (dapat) ibalik ang P3.5 billion. Iyun ‘yung halaga ng buong kontrata,” he mentioned in a radio interview.

“Eh, ang problema ang DoH ata nag-offer kaagad sa mas mababang halaga na P1.4 billion. Eh, di siyempre kinagat na agad ‘yun (ng Sanofi),” Pimentel mentioned.

Source: politics.com.ph

Koko tells public to ignore Alvarez’s bullying ways: Style niya yan!

Senate President Koko Pimentel on Saturday defended House Speaker Bebot Alvarez in opposition to accusations that the latter is a “bully.”

Alvarez earned the “tag” after blurting a sequence of threats in opposition to senators and native authorities officers opposed to Charter change to shift to federal type of authorities.

The Speaker on Friday threatened to present “zero budget” to native goverment officers not supportive of federalism.

Asked to touch upon Alvarez’s risk, Pimentel mentioned, “Style nya ‘yan e. Pabayaan na po natin s’ya. This is a free country.”

He mentioned the crafting of your complete national and native funds isn’t managed by one man.

“Pagdating sa budget e that is lawmaking. Mahaba na proseso ‘yan. Ang layo pa ng budget process. It’s a process that no one man can control,” Pimentel mentioned.

“Hayaan naman natin si Speaker na magsalita ng gusto nang nasa isip n’ya,” mentioned Pimentel, Alvarez’s partymate with the ruling PDP-Laban.

Source: politics.com.ph

BP: Pres. Duterte: Giyera sa Mindanao, posibleng mangyari

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BP: Pres. Duterte: Giyera sa Mindanao, posibleng mangyari

Balita Pilipinas Ngayon rounds up the highest tales from across the Philippines GMA’s regional stations in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. It’s hosted by Mark Salazar and Maki Pulido and airs at four:00 PM (PHL Time), Mondays to Fridays on GMA News TV Channel 11.

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Nagtatrabaho lang ang NBI! Palace denies hand in subpoena vs. Maria Ressa

Malacañang has denied any involvement in the National Bureau of Investigation’s issuance of a subpoena to on-line multimedia web site Rappler’s chief, Maria Ressa over a criticism filed by a businessman relating to an article it posted in 2012.

“That subpoena was in connection with the complaint filed by a businessman who demanded that Rappler remove an article which said that, according to intelligence reports, he was engaged in the drug trade,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque stated in a press briefing in Kalibo, Aklan Saturday (January 20).

“Rappler did not comply, and hence the business filed suit. Uulitin ko po, wala na naman po kaming kinalaman diyan. Mayroon pong pribadong partido na naghain ng reklamo, natural, didinggin po iyong reklamo,” he added.

Wilfredo Keng had accused Ressa, former Rappler reporter Reynaldo Santos Jr. and businessman Benjamin Bitanga, a shareholder of Rappler Holdings Inc., of violating the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 due to the article which named him as the one who gave the late former Chief Justice Renato Corona a sports activities utility automobile.

Earlier this week, the NBI issued subpoenas on the three respondents, ordering them to seem earlier than the bureau on January 22.

The subpoena on Ressa got here on the heels of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s revocation of Rappler’s articles of incorporation for violating the overseas possession restriction for media entities.

Source: politics.com.ph

Di yan sabi ni Duterte! Roque distances President from proposed change in free speech clause

Malacañang on Saturday (January 20) stated the advice of a committee underneath the Office of the President to amend the Bill of Rights to mandate “responsible” free speech doesn’t characterize President Rodrigo Duterte’s views.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque stated the Presidential Human Rights Committee Secretariat just isn’t or doesn’t have the rank of a cupboard member.

“This means that when they spoke, they did not speak as alter-ego of the President. So that is a recommendation of the Secretariat. It is not in any way the position of the President,” he defined in a press convention in Kalibo, Aklan.

Deputy Speaker Fredenil Castro earlier stated the proposed modification to the Bill of Rights didn’t come from lawmakers, however the Palace.

Section four of the Bill of Rights at present reads: “No law shall be passed abridging freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.”

As an abogado, Roque stated Duterte sees no have to amend the Bill of Rights.

“I repeat that’s not the position of the President, unless it comes from a member of the Cabinet who is an alter-ego of the President, their recommendations cannot bind the President,” he stated.

Source: politics.com.ph

BP: Phivolcs: Bulkang Mayon, nananatili sa alert level 3

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BP: Phivolcs: Bulkang Mayon, nananatili sa alert level 3

Balita Pilipinas Ngayon rounds up the highest tales from across the Philippines GMA’s regional stations in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. It’s hosted by Mark Salazar and Maki Pulido and airs at four:00 PM (PHL Time), Mondays to Fridays on GMA News TV Channel 11.

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Robredo bonds with PNoy at LP’s anniversary

Vice President Leni Robredo caught up with former President Benigno Aquino III like a protracted misplaced good friend at the celebration of the Liberal Party’s 72nd anniversary Friday (January 19).

Robredo was snapped sharing a number of laughs with Aquino and Oriental Mindoro Governor Alfonso Umali. Interestingly, the Vice President opted to put on an all-black ensemble moderately than LP’s signature yellow.

Based on photographs,it appeared that Robredo engaged in a light-hearted speak with Aquino and Umali at the anniversary.

Other LP stalwarts who attended the celebration embrace Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Reps. Raul Daza, Kit Belmonte and Kaka Bag-ao, and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Governor Mujiv Hataman.

Source: politics.com.ph

Sarili lang iniisip! Alvarez scores senators for putting personal interest first in Cha-cha

By: Xave Gregorio

Exchanges between the House of Representatives and the Senate proceed to warmth up, as House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez mentioned senators are solely pondering of themselves in blocking strikes to convene Congress right into a constituent meeting (ConAss).

Alvarez scored senators for allegedly putting their personal pursuits first as an alternative of pondering of what can be helpful to the nation.

“Pag-usapan natin to with an open mind objectively huwag yung ating personal interest,” Alvarez mentioned.

“Takot tayong ma-abolish. Takot na tayong hindi maging presidente kasi marami naman diyan may ambition para maging pangulo,” he mentioned.

Some members of the decrease home of Congress have floated the potential abolition of the Senate in the occasion the proposed new structure mandates a unicameral legislature.

The present legislature is bicameral, which means there are two homes of Congress: the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Several senators have voiced out issues towards a potential abolition of the Senate – an establishment which had been in existence for over a century.

But Alvarez mentioned senators shouldn’t be defending the Senate as an establishment. “Ang hirap kasi nito puro tayo pang sariling interest. Gusto nila pino-protektahan nila yung institution nila kalimutan muna natin lahat yan.”

Source: politics.com.ph

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