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the Philippines:

    Ramona Diaz’s latest documentary, A Thousand Cuts, stars former CNN correspondent and Rappler co-founder Maria Ressa, a formidable Filipino reporter who was born in the country yet spent much of her youth, as well as her college years, in the U.S. Ressa became famous herself when she began being targeted by the violent populist government of President Rodrigo Duterte and its online followers. The attacks have intensified to the level of political retaliation, and the government has levied multiple charges, from cyber-libel to tax fraud, against Ressa and Rappler, a news website. On June 15, Ressa was convicted of the first cyber-libel charge against her.  A Thousand Cuts follows Ressa as well as a handful of her colleagues/employees at Rappler,...
    Nowhere is the circuitous insanity and national masochism of lockdown policies more evident than in the Philippines. This nation of over 100 million holds the distinction of having undergone the longest and most severe lockdown. They also have the highest rate of mask wearing in the world, according to a recent survey. In other words, they've done everything the propagators of corona panic porn every dreamt of. Yet… Cases are surging because you can't run or hide from a respiratory virus. Their answer? A new lockdown – all the while missing the irony that the first series of totalitarian mandates didn't work. Now they have a weakened and destitute population to face the virus, while countries like Sweden...
    Millions of Filipinos returned to confinement on Tuesday due to the worsening of the covid-19 epidemic, whose progression seems unstoppable, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean, where more than five million cases were exceeded. More than 27 million people, a quarter of the Philippine population, were forced to stay home again after the alert launched by medical associations. Since June, when the majority of the country ended confinement, infections multiplied by five and exceeded 100,000 cases. The return to confinement was announced only 24 hours in advance and led many inhabitants to remain blocked in Manila, with the interruption of transport, particularly flights. “We don’t have any more money. We can’t leave the airport because we don’t have family...
    Hong Kong (CNN)Questioning the world's toughest coronavirus restrictions can be a risky business in the Philippines.In mid-March, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered parts of the country to go into a quarantine that would eventually last up to 80 days, and become one of the world's longest and strictest lockdowns.Protests against job losses and food shortages during that period were met with a strong police response and mass arrests. In April, Duterte publicly said police should "shoot ... dead" anyone who violated virus restrictions. "I will not hesitate. My orders are to the police, the military and the barangays: If they become unruly and they fight you and your lives are endangered, shoot them dead," Duterte said during a speech.Though restrictions...
    Earthquake : Posted at 1:48 PM ET (5:48 PM GMT) Monday, April 22, 2019 Playing 0:44 Posted at 21:16 ET (01:16 GMT) Wednesday, July 22, 2020 1:08 Posted at 3:36 p.m. ET (7:36 p.m. GMT) Tuesday, June 23, 2020 3:05 Posted at 12:21 ET (16:21 GMT) Tuesday, June 23, 2020 1:04 Posted at 12:21 ET (16:21 GMT) Tuesday, June 23, 2020 Posted at 12:12 ET (16:12 GMT) Tuesday, June 23, 2020 Posted at 18:07 ET (22:07 GMT) Thursday, February 6, 2020 4:12 ...
    Bangkok, Jul 20 (EFE) .- The parks of Southeast Asia ended the sessions on Monday with losses, except for the Plaza de Manila, amid the outbreaks in some Asian countries and the negotiations for stimuli in Europe. In Singapore, the stock market fell 2.18 points, 0.08 percent, and the Straits Times composite indicator closed at 2,616.30 units. In Malaysia, the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange lost 6.88 units, 0.43 percent, and the selective KLCI ended at 1,589.45 whole. In Indonesia, the Jakarta place declined 28.48 points, 0.56 percent, and the JCI index ended at 5,051.11 points. In Thailand, the Bangkok parquet decreased 1.29 units, 0.09 percent, and the SET index ended the day with 1,358.29 integers. In the Philippines, the Manila...
    By Karen Lema MANILA (Reuters) - At the peak of the Philippines' war on drugs, people in the rundown neighbourhoods of Navotas in the capital Manila grew used to police knocking on doors, or bursting into the homes of drug suspects - who often wound up dead. Now, many residents of the Navotas area, which has been particularly badly hit by the coronavirus, fear another harsh police campaign after the government said officials will visit homes of patients with mild or no symptoms and escort them to isolation centres. Some Filipinos have labelled the plan "Tokhang 2", calling it the sequel to a police-led anti-drug campaign that became synonymous with thousands of killings. "We are afraid of the house-to-house. We...
    By James Pearson HANOI (Reuters) - The United States this week hardened its position on the South China Sea, where it has accused China of attempting to build a "maritime empire" in the potentially energy-rich waters, despite regional concerns. The rivals have accused each other of stoking tension in the strategic waterway at a time of strained relations over everything from the new coronavirus to trade to Hong Kong. A statement from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on July 13 was the first time the United States had called China's claims in the sea unlawful and accused Beijing of a "campaign of bullying". But heated rhetoric has also been on the rise in the region, where Brunei, Malaysia, the...
    MANILA (Reuters) - Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is enforcing partial coronavirus restrictions in the capital for another two weeks, and warned that stricter curbs would be reinstated if the rise in new cases and deaths does not slow down. The Philippines this week recorded Southeast Asia's biggest daily jump in coronavirus deaths and saw hospital occupancy grow sharply, after a tripling of infections since a tough lockdown was eased on June 1 to allow more movement and commerce. "It was clear during our discussion that if the spread of the virus in Manila will not slow, it is possible that stricter quarantine measures would be reimposed after two weeks," presidential spokesman Harry Roque said late on Wednesday. Confirmed cases in...
    China has a “neo-imperial” ambition to make the entire world comply with its communist ideas, according to a senior State Department official. “We know that the Chinese Communist Party’s neo-imperial ways aren’t incidental to its character but are an essential feature of a nationalist and Marxist-Leninist mindset,” State Department assistant secretary David Stilwell, who leads the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said Tuesday. “Beijing wants to dominate its immediate neighborhood — and eventually impose its will and its rules on your neighborhood too, wherever you may be.” Noting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s denunciation of China’s claims to sovereignty over vast swathes of the South China Sea, Stilwell emphasized that the United States will aid “allies...
    Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg has called for the anti-terrorism law in the Philippines to be repealed amid fears that the law will impede human rights, as reported by The Phil Star. The 17-year old took to Instagram Tuesday to encourage her 10.4 million followers to sign a petition calling to repeal the law, one of several petitions that have been created to fight back against the new legislation. Thunberg voiced her support for Filipino climate activists due to fears that they would be prevented from protesting due to the terror law. The new law, which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte earlier this month, is said to use a vague and broad definition of terrorism, which may negatively...
    Palawan offers world-class diving and snorkeling. Getty Palawan in the Philippines has been voted the best island in the world in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards 2020. The lifestyle site's readers rated islands based on their activities and sights, natural attractions and beaches, food, friendliness, and overall value. Palawan emerged on top not for the first time, scoring 94.83 out of 100. Photos of its crystal clear waters, palm-edged beaches, and mountains show just why the island was voted the best in the world. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
    A tourist is pleading to be rescued after spending more than 100 days living in a Philippine airport during the coronavirus crisis.  Roman Tromifov has been stuck in the departures hall of Manila International Airport since he arrived from Bangkok on March 20.   He was denied entry to the country after the Philippines suspended entry visas because of the virus pandemic, but he could not get out either because AirAsia cancelled its entire schedule and there are no flights back to his home in Estonia.  His ordeal echoes the 2004 film The Terminal in which Tom Hanks plays an Eastern European tourist left stranded in JFK Airport after a coup in his home country. The film was loosely based on...
    By The Associated Press MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has reported its biggest spike in coronavirus infections in recent days as the government eases quarantine restrictions to revive the economy, raising the possibility its crowded capital may be placed back under a strict lockdown. The Department of Health reported a total of 2,434 cases in recent days, most of them in metropolitan Manila, raising the number of confirmed cases nationwide to more than 44,250, including 1,297 deaths. The infections and deaths are among the highest in Southeast Asia. Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano said there’s a possibility the capital area may revert back to a lockdown if the uptick continues and hospitals get filled to capacity again. At least one major...
    By Adrian Portugal MANILA (Reuters) - Thousands of jeepneys, flamboyantly decorated jeeps that serve as cheap public transport across the Philippines, were back on the streets of Manila on Friday, bringing relief to companies and commuters who have struggled with coronavirus curbs. Dubbed "the king of the road", an estimated 55,000 of these large, multi-coloured trucks, used to crawl through Manila's gridlocked roads on a typical day before being forced to a halt 15 weeks ago when the government imposed a coronavirus lockdown. Just 6,000 were back in business on Friday, operating at half capacity under strict social distancing rules. In pre-pandemic times, jeepneys routinely carried up to 15 passengers who sat knee-to-knee on twin benches in the windowless vehicles,...
    Curious: The real Count Dracula is alive and residing in the Philippines. This species of bat or flying fox is frighteningly larger than many people. He resides in the Philippines and it is hard to believe that he exists. Obviously we are not really talking about the fictional character, Count Dracula, by Bram Stoker, but after you see what we are going to show you … it would not be strange if the writer took a tour of the Philippines to get inspiration. There resides the Philippine diadem bat, the largest of all that exist. They live in the jungles of Maitum, Sarangani province. And yes, they are in danger of extinction because they are hunted for food....
    The Yulin Dog Meat Festival is a wildly known occasion that takes place in China every year and receives much criticism from people around the world. Dogs are stolen, starved, and slaughtered to be eaten by festival attendees. Although the festival has been going down in size, it is still going on today. Furthermore, this is not the only time or place where dog meat is consumed. Dog meat is still very popular in countries like South Korea and the Philippines. The dog meat trade was banned in the Philippines in 1998, however, it has not been widely enforced until recently. Even so, the illegal trade is still prominent and the ban also includes an exemption that allows the consumption...
    By The Associated Press MANILA, Philippines — Philippine officials say authorities in a central village may face criminal or administrative complaints for allowing a street parade and dance amid a strict coronavirus lockdown. Mayor Edgar Labella of Cebu city said officials of Basak village have been ordered to explain why the religious fiesta gathering in honor of St. John the Baptist was held Saturday despite a quarantine prohibition against public gatherings. Performers in native wear and face masks danced during the night procession, which drew a large crowd. While the Philippines has eased quarantine restrictions in most regions to revive its contracting economy, officials placed Cebu city back under a strict lockdown this month and deployed more policemen to enforce...
    (CNN)Here's a look at the life of former Philippines First Lady Imelda Marcos.PersonalBirth date: July 2, 1929 Birth place: Manila, Philippines (some sources say Leyte Province) Birth name: Imelda Remedios Visitacion RomualdezRead MoreFather: Vicente Orestes RomualdezMother: Remedios TrinidadMarriage: Ferdinand Marcos (May 1, 1954-September 28, 1989, his death) Children: Irene, Ferdinand Jr. "Bongbong" and ImeeOther FactsHer nickname in the Philippines was the "Iron Butterfly."Wife of the late Ferdinand Marcos, who ruled the Philippines for 20 years until he was ousted in 1986. The Marcos family were accused of stealing billions of dollars from the Philippine people during Ferdinand's presidency. Famous for her lavish spending while first lady. At the time of husband's ouster from office in 1986, she left over...
    Nearly two million babies are expected to be born next year in the Philippines due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new study by the University of the Philippines (UP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), local news site Coconuts Manila reported on Thursday. The study cited a lack of access to contraceptives caused by coronavirus lockdown measures as the main reason for the additional births. The Philippines’ population center and capital, Metro Manila, endured one of the longest and strictest lockdowns in the world during the ongoing pandemic. For 76 consecutive days, roughly 13 million people in Metro Manila lived under virtual house arrest. Restrictions on movement during the quarantine prevented women from visiting medical clinics that distribute contraceptives,...
    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine villagers near a restive volcano on a central island are bracing for possible evacuations that would require physical distancing because of the coronavirus pandemic, an official said Wednesday. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said it detected dozens of small earthquakes on the western flank of Kanlaon volcano, which emitted plumes of steam up to 300 meters (980 feet) in the air overnight. Kanlaon on Negros island is one of about two dozen active volcanoes in the Philippines. Those signs, along with a slight bulging of Kanlaon’s slope, “indicate that hydrothermal or magmatic activity is occurring beneath the edifice,” the institute said. It added that the volcano “is at an abnormal condition and has...
    Gary M. Kramer June 21, 2020 3:00PM (UTC) Maria Ressa, the cofounder of Rappler, an independent news website in the Philippines, was convicted for "cyber libel" on June 15. She faces six years in prison. (She is currently out on bail and can take her case to the Court of Appeals and then to the Supreme Court.) Her "crimes" have been described as politically motivated as Ressa has been critical of President Rodrigo Duterte. The case has attracted international attention and signals a threat to freedom of the press in the Philippines and elsewhere. "A Thousand Cuts," director Ramona S. Diaz's compassionate documentary, which recently screened at AFI Docs and will air on PBS' "Frontline," profiles Ressa — who was a Time...
    Hong Kong (CNN)Shortly after his election in 2016, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte was asked about the murder of a crime reporter in Manila. His answer shocked a press corp that was already used to bizarre outbursts from the country's new leader."Just because you're a journalist you are not exempted from assassination, if you're a son of a bitch," Duterte said. "Freedom of expression cannot help you if you have done something wrong."These comments were a dark augur of a coming crackdown on journalists in the Philippines, as Duterte's administration has waged "lawfare" on his critics in the media: forcing a television station off the air, suing a media outlet over tax evasion, and prosecuting multiple reporters on spurious charges. Under...
    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Hundreds of activists in the Philippine capital staged protests Friday against a proposed anti-terror law they say could be used to quash dissent, ignoring police threats that they could be arrested for violating coronavirus restrictions against large public gatherings. The Anti-Terror Act, which Congress has sent to President Rodrigo Duterte to sign into law, allows the detention of suspects for up to 24 days without charge and empowers a government anti-terrorism council to designate suspects or groups as suspected terrorists who could then be subjected to arrests and surveillance. Military officials have cited the continuing threat of terrorism, including from Abu Sayyaf militants, as reasons the law is needed. Opponents say the legislation violates the...
    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine defense chief and top military officials flew to a disputed island in the South China Sea on Tuesday to inaugurate a beach ramp built to allow the “full-blast” development of the territory in a move likely to infuriate China. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana brought journalists to witness the ribbon-cutting ceremony on the island, internationally called Thitu, in what he said was a milestone in efforts to make the island, long occupied by Filipino forces and fishermen, more livable without militarizing it. The island, which Filipinos call Pag-asa, or hope, lies near one of China’s man-made islands in the Spratlys, the most hotly contested area of the South China Sea. Lorenzana said the Philippines...
    Filipino protesters in protective masks march towards a Philippine state university to hold a rally in protest over the government's new anti-terror law on June 4, 2020 in Queson city, Philippines.  Jes Aznar/Getty Manila — Hundreds of Filipinos took to the streets Thursday against a widely-opposed anti-terrorism bill that has now swept through Congress. The controversial legislation, which has drawn opposition from the United Nations and even pop star Taylor Swift, was approved by legislators just days after President Rodrigo Duterte certified it as an "urgent" measure.  Authors of the bill, which Duterte's office said Thursday would still be subjected "to a final review by the President to ensure that it is compliant with our Constitution," say it would...
    GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. human rights office called on the Philippine government in a new report Thursday to end all violence targeting suspected drug offenders and to disband private and state-backed paramilitary groups. The U.N. rights office chronicled long-standing concerns about state-backed and vigilante violence that it says has worsened in the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte, who has particularly drawn domestic and international condemnation for a deadly crackdown on drug offenders and users. “A heavy-handed focus on countering national security threats and illegal drugs has resulted in serious human rights violations in the Philippines, including killings and arbitrary detentions, as well as the vilification of dissent,” the report said. It said many of the human rights concerns...
    Hong Kong (CNN)The Philippines has reversed its decision to end an important military agreement with the United States as territorial tensions with China heat up in the South China Sea. President Rodrigo Duterte had decided to retain the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) "in light of the political and other developments in the region," said Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. in a social media post Tuesday.The agreement, signed in 1988, gives US military aircraft and vessels free entry into the Philippines and relaxes visa restrictions for US military personnel.The Philippine government gave the US 180 days' notice to end the deal in February, suggesting that Manila needed to rely on its own resources for its defense. On Tuesday, the...
    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine president has suspended his decision to terminate a key defense pact with the United States, at least temporarily avoiding a major blow to one of America’s oldest alliances in Asia. Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Tuesday he dispatched a diplomatic note to the U.S. ambassador in Manila informing the U.S. government that the Philippines is delaying its decision to abrogate the Visiting Forces Agreement by at least six months. Washington immediately welcomed the move. “Our longstanding alliance has benefited both countries,” the U.S. government said in a statement released by its embassy in Manila. “We look forward to continued close security and defense cooperation with the Philippines.” President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration notified...
    BANGKOK (AP) — Traffic jams and crowds of commuters returned to the Philippine capital on Monday, as the metropolis relaxed antivirus measures in a high-stakes gamble to slowly reopen the economy while fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Commuter trains, taxis, ride-sharing cars, special shuttle buses and motorcycles rumbled back on the road in metropolitan Manila but were only allowed to carry a fraction of their capacity as a safeguard. Public transport was still limited by the relaxed rules and many commuters waited for hours to get a ride despite the government’s deployment of buses. A larger swarm of private cars also helped choke roads. “Many people are now allowed to go out and many industries are reopening so you’ll...