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Brazil holds off France in world basketball opener

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 19:25

Marcelinho Huertas had 16 points and five assists, and Brazil held on to edge France 65-63 on Saturday in its opening game at the Basketball World Cup.

Philippines peacekeepers rescued from militants in Golan - U.N.

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 18:57

By Avi Ohayon EIN ZIVAN Golan Heights (Reuters) - Thirty-two U.N. peacekeepers were rescued on Saturday from Islamist militants who fired at their post on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights and trapped them for two days, the United Nations said. Another group of U.N. soldiers - also from the Philippines - remained trapped by the Islamists, who surrounded their positions on Thursday, and a gunbattle was continuing, the U.N. press office said. The troops are part of UNDOF, a U.N. force that has monitored the disengagement zone between Israel and Syria since 1974, following the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.

Don't minimize ISIS terrorism threats (First of two parts)

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 18:51
“Palace Shrugs Off Reports Pinoys Recruited By ISIS….” — The Manila Times, 26 August 2014 Malacañang said four days ago that the government has yet to receive “confirmed intelligence reports” that Filipinos are training with militants in Iraq.  According to Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda, the AFP has not validated any information to this effect. If this Malacañang explanation is true (which manifests its “laid-back” position and unfazed attitude on just about every issue), then our Intelligence Services must be failing our people – because their job is to track down every bit of information that comes their way about possible terroristic threats to Philippine national security and/or to our people’s safety and welfare. The follow-ups by government of this kind of report about possible threats must be done ASAP and quietly without any fanfare.  However, any such efforts must be coordinated as comprehensively as possible due to the sensitive nature of the risks and collateral damage.  Because the Philippines has suffered so much and so long from militant jihadism, Muslim separatism, and Abu Sayyaf terrorism, we need not elaborate on what the possible dangers are emanating from the violent conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa today – since these events are too well-known, being on worldwide media almost daily.

PH’s rivers under 3D imagery for hazard maps

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 18:51
The Philippine light ranging and detection (PHILIDAR) has been taking 3D imagery of 138 minor river systems nationwide for flood hazard maps. PHILIDAR I and II succeeded the Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation (DREAM-LIDAR), which had earlier mapped the 18 major river basins of the country, the data already crafted into 3D Maps and Flood Hazard Maps.

DepEd assures commitment to formation of God-loving pupils

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 18:51
Phrase or no phrase, the Department of Education (DepEd) on Saturday gave assurances it remains committed to the formation of “God-loving” learners as reflected in revised Vision, Mission, and Core Values (VMV). Education Secretary Armin Luistro, in an official statement, stressed the importance of the DepEd’s new VMV as “one document to be appreciated in its entirety.” Luistro said the revised VMV, as stated in DepEd Order No. 36 s. 2013 issued on September 4, 2013, “was released to update the Agency’s directions and further strengthen our capacity to fulfill our constitutional mandate.” The review of DepEd’s Vision and Mission, he stressed, was anchored on the Filipino Core Values of “Maka-Diyos, Maka-Tao, Makakalikasan and Makabansa” as articulated in Section 40, Republic Act 8491. Various groups have been criticizing DepEd on the revised VMC which apparently omitted the phrase “God-loving.” From “By 2030, DepEd is globally recognized for good governance and for developing functionally-literate and God-loving Filipinos” the revised VMV now reads: “We dream of Filipinos who passionately love their country and whose values and competencies enable them to realize their full potential and contribute meaningfully to building the nation…” Earlier, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said removing the “God-loving” phrase from DepEd’s VMV is an “unfortunate” move.

KO format adopted in Peace Cup meet

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 18:51
The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) yesterday turned the format of the four-team Peace Cup into a knockout-style tournament due to a new regulation imposed recently by the International Football Federation (FIFA). PFF said in a statement that the change was made after FIFA reminded all participating teams to follow a rule that allows teams to play a maximum of two matches during the international window or dates where clubs are required to release their players for national team duty. ...

Philippine History: President Ramon F. Magsaysay: Champion of the masses

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 18:51
The 107th birth anniversary of President Ramon F. Magsaysay, the seventh President of the Philippines, is remembered today, August 31. There will be floral offerings and speeches at his gravesite at the Manila North Cemetery and at his monument at the Magsaysay ancestral house in Castillejos, Zambales. President Magsaysay was the first President who took his oath of office on Dec. 30, 1953, wearing the Barong Tagalog, the national costume for men. The Ramon Magsaysay Awards, Asia’s Nobel Prize, was established in his honor in 1957 to recognize courage and service among individuals and organizations in Asia.

On Jesus' passion and discipleship

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 18:51
Matthew 16:21-27 Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an obstacle to Me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after Me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay everyone according to his conduct.” THE FOLLY AND THE GLORY OF THE CROSS Simon Peter is shocked to hear Jesus predicting that he will suffer and die in Jerusalem.

DFA vows aid for Pinoy death convicts in Vietnam

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 18:51
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Saturday assured that the two Filipinos sentenced to death for illegal drug offenses in Vietnam will receive legal and consular assistance from the Philippine government. “Our Embassy in Hanoi will extend to them all necessary and appropriate assistance – consular and legal,” DFA spokesperson Charles Jose said. Consular assistance to be provided by the Philippine Embassy includes making sure that the Filipinos will be given due process and that their rights will not be violated.

Luzon Newsbits for August 31, 2014

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 18:51
‘PIGGY’S’ BACK FOR KIDS IN CLARK Clark Freeport, Pampanga — A two-day fun rugby and golf competitions with some “Pot Bellied Pigs” will be held here on September 5-6, to raise funds for children in disaster-stricken countries. A total of 18 teams from the Rugby Football Club (FRC) in Hong Kong and in other Asian countries and Europe, plus five teams from the Philippines will compete at the Challenger Field inside the Air Force City. Now on its 11th year, the Pot Bellied Pigs was first introduced in 1997 in Hong Kong. (Franco G. ...

Teaching the Lumad people: A fulfillment

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 18:51
For more than a decade, Rey Magullado, a lowly teacher, spent his “fruitful” years helping the Lumad people in one of the remotest villages in North Cotabato to alleviate their plight. “Many of the Lumad in the past were ‘cheated’ by many who would take opportunity of their ignorance.

Girl Scouts of Bulacan reshaping a better nation

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 18:51
Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado hailed this weekend the Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP)-Bulacan Council for staying vibrant in their endeavors in helping shape a better nation by guiding girls to realize the ideals of womanhood. With its theme “Once a Girl Scout, Always a Girl Scout,” the GSP-Bulacan Council celebrated its 65th anniversary last week by recommitting itself to the mission of enhancing the personal growth of young women to be nation builders at the Hiyas ng Bulacan Pavilion Center, here. Victoria R. Sy-Alvarado, GSP-Bulacan Council president, thanked the parents who allowed their children to join the Girl Scouts for fun, friendship and leadership skills. Rep. Alvarado said these young girls have learned the Girl Scout Promise and Law, which is “to serve God and my country.” She said the challenge to be always prepared equips the Filipino girl with knowledge and skills not only on how to meet natural and other major disasters, but more so in daily occurrences in life to secure herself, her family and other people from unnecessary harm and anxieties.

Angat Dam’s water level back to normal operating level

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 18:51
Angat Dam reached its 180-meter normal operating level on Saturday, more than three months after it dropped below the ideal level for domestic water supply, irrigation, and power generation. As of 6 a.m. Saturday, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) data showed Angat Dam’s elevation at 180.30 meters, which is 2.13 meters higher than the recorded level last Friday. Angat Dam’s water level has dropped consistently since April due to lack of rain, falling by 15 meters last May though it did not breach the 160-meter critical level. Continuous rains over the past few days due to a series of low pressure areas (LPAs), however, significantly contributed to the normalization of the dam’s water level.

SEATCA pushes for smoke-free ASEAN

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 18:51
While leaders and organizers of the Southeast Asian Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) are pushing for a “smoke-free ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations),” they also moved for higher taxes imposed on cigarettes. These points were discussed by delegates from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines at a three-day regional workshop in Balanga City, a smoke-free Component City in Region 3, recently. Their meeting, dubbed “Benchmarking of Smoke-free Policies and Strengthening Mechanism of Enforcement,” was a bid to curb smoking in ASEAN-member countries. Led by SEATCA Director Ms. Bungon Ritthiphakdee of Thailand, the group’s focus was to “build the capacity of smoke-free coordinators of countries and cities in moving towards a Smoke-free ASEAN.” SEATCA, however, refused to call on government leaders for the total ban on smoking but recommended, instead, for a higher taxes and dissemination of information to minimize if not prevent the prevalence of smoking in ASEAN region.

Flowers extravaganza

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 18:51
[caption id="attachment_179331" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Flowers are in full bloom at the Annual Orchid and Garden Show at the Quezon Memorial Circle, Hardin ng mga Bulaklak Area (Flower Garden) at the East Avenue Gate entrance on Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City, August 30, 2014. The Philippine Orchid Society in cooperation with the Manila Bulletin holds the show on August 29-September 8. (Linus G. Escandor, II)[/caption]

Duathlon set Sept. 7

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 18:51
Another enduring run-bike-run challenge awaits the country’s finest duathletes as the 2014 Active Health Duathlon will commence on Sept.7 at the Sandbox, Alviera in Porac, Pampanga. ...

Information: 2014 Ramon Magsaysay Awardees: Beacons of progress in Asia

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 18:51
A FILIPINO school teacher in the hinterlands of Mindanao is among five individuals and one organization in Asia to be conferred the 2014 Ramon Magsaysay Awards, Asia’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize, in ceremonies on August 31, 2014, the birth anniversary of Philippine President Ramon F. Magsaysay, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Since 1958, the awards have been given to persons and groups that “manifest the same sense of selfless service that ruled the life of the beloved Filipino leader.” Randy Halasan, who teaches children of the Matigsalud tribe at Pegalongan Elementary School, situated in a remote area in Malamba, Marilog District, Davao, will receive the award for Emergent Leadership for “his dedication in nurturing his students and their community to transform their lives through quality education and sustainable livelihoods, in ways that respect their uniqueness and preserve their integrity as indigenous people.” The school is seven hours away from Halasan’s home in Davao City.

Visayas Newsbits for August 31, 2014

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 18:51
CEBU'S BEST JOINS CATBALOGAN FEST Catbalogan City, Samar (PIA) – For the first time, Cebu's Sinulog’s best tribal performer - Lumad Basaknon stepped on Samar soil to join the grand parade and showdown as guest contingent in this city's Manaragat Festival. Lumad Basakanon is known in Cebu for being top Sinulog performer for four successive years. The Manaragat Festival parade and ground competition was the highlight of Catbalogan's month-long Manaragat celebration, with dancers portraying the culture, tradition and way of life of a “manaragat (fisherman). ...

Use of abandoned container vans as dwellings for poor pushed

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 18:51
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph G. Recto asked yesterday the national government to buy or simply seize abandoned container vans and “repurpose” them for public use or dwellings for the poor or victims of calamities. Recto made the proposal as an estimated 90,000 unclaimed or overstaying vans reported waiting in the yards of the port of Manila and the Manila International Container Port (MICP) are waiting to be processed as of last June. Even a fraction of the vans, now down to 75,000, cluttering the two busy ports could make a difference as emergency housing for disaster victims, he said. ...

Mindanao Newsbits for August 31, 2014

Sat, 08/30/2014 - 18:51
HEALTHY DEMOCRACY Davao City – After exchanges of words in the social media and news networks, City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte clarified that he is not in squabble with his son City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte. The statement aims to dismiss public perception that he and his son are into a row over the issue of making comedian Ramon Bautista a persona non grata. Recently, Mayor Duterte said the apology of Bautista was enough but Vice Mayor Duterte still declared the comedian as “persona non grata” in Davao City through a resolution.