The latest news stories from the major news organizations in Cebu and Manila in the Philippines, the US and other countries.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

January 15, 2009 Major News Stories

The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said that instead of a price hike prices of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) should be rolled back by P60.81 per 11-kg cylinder tank.

Oil prices sink, US inventories bulging

PDIC starts paying depositors in Feb

Floods, landslides kill 14; 10 missing

At least 14 people were killed when floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains this week struck parts of Mindanao and the Visayas, as well as Catanduanes province, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC).

1 missing, Agusan floods displace 16K 

Floods delay power restoration in WM

Floods hampered efforts by the National Transmission Corporation (Transco) to restore electricity in Western Mindanao and two other provinces, a Transco official said Wednesday.

Number of Sinulog contingents drops

In the free interpretation category, only 26 contingents registered this year compared with last year's 32.

For the float category, there are 27 participants, another 27 for the "higantes" category, and 10 puppeteers. Last year, there were 42 participants for the floats, 26 for "higantes," and 18 puppeteers.

In the Sinulog-based category, only two out-of-town contingents will be joining this year – Tangub City in Misamis Occidental for Sinanduloy Festival which won first prize in the same category last year, and Sta. Catalina of Oriental Negros for Pakol Festival.

Last year, there were three out-of-town contingents under the Sinulog-based category with the entry of Hagwa Festival of Bien Unido, Bohol.

For the free interpretation category, there are only seven out-of-town contingents compared with last year's nine. Winners of the Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan and the Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan are also joining the parade.

Police ready for Grand Parade

Gun ban ordered

Nene to Arroyo: Keep off drugs war

The President should not take charge of the fight against illegal drugs and instead give the job to Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Dionisio Santiago who is more capable, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said on Wednesday.

Arroyo to bust 26 drug syndicates

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who named herself anti-drug czar on Tuesday, should focus on busting the reportedly 26 remaining big drug syndicates in the country.

US to trace 'Alabang Boys' supply

The Dangerous Drugs Board would ask the US Drug Enforcement Agency to trace the international supplier of Ecstasy pills of the "Alabang Boys" who allegedly made orders via the Internet, said the board's chair Vicente Sotto III on Wednesday.

Name 'mistah' who offered bribe

The House committee on dangerous drugs is urging Marine Major Ferdinand Marcelino to reveal his ``mistah'' (Philippine Military Academy classmate) who he claimed offered him P3 million to drop the drug charges against the so-called ``Alabang Boys."

10 corrupt prosecutors being probed

About 10 prosecutors handling various cases are involved in alleged "cases for sale" at the Department of Justice, Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez told reporters on Wednesday.

Prosecutors warned: Leave is "illegal"

Administration Senator Miriam Santiago on Wednesday warned prosecutors who are planning to stage a nationwide leave following the directive of President Arroyo placing Justice officials implicated in "Alabang Boys" mess on an indefinite leave.

High schools to conduct drug tests

Solon for Drug tests for congressmen

Following President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's order to conduct random drug tests on students, a lawmaker on Wednesday suggested that members of the House of Representatives undergo mandatory tests "to set an example" among public officials.

2 SC magistrates inhibit selves

Two Supreme Court magistrates tasked to investigate the leakage of the unpromulgated decision on the Limkaichong election case resigned from the investigating committee Wednesday.

Puno on ouster attempts: 'Let it be'

Sandigan chief is new SC justice

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has appointed Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Disodado Peralta as Supreme Court associate justice, MalacaƱang announced on Wednesday.

SC seat reward for convicting Estrada 

The spokesperson of former President Joseph Estrada on Wednesday said President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo may have given Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Diosdado Peralta a seat in the Supreme Court (SC) as reward for convicting the deposed president of plunder in 2007.

Aquinos condole with Estrada

Former president Corazon Aquino dropped by the wake of former president Joseph Estrada's mother to extend her condolences.

90% of Pinoys interested in 2010 polls

Nine in 10 Filipino adults or 90 percent are interested in the coming May 2010 elections, even as only 87 percent are likely to vote in next year's national polls, a recent survey by Pulse Asia showed.

Presid'tiables dared to speak vs pork

A leftist group has challenged three leading presidential contenders in 2010 election to stand up against the alleged P20-billion additional pork barrel worked out by allies of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the House of Representatives.

RP wants MILF talks resumed soon

Government peace negotiators will fly to Kuala Lumpur next week to "seek all possibilities" for the early resumption of peace negotiations with Moro rebels.

3 abducted civilians in Sulu freed

The three civilians who were earlier reported seized in southern Philippines had already been released, a police official said Wednesday.

Mindanao evacuees won't to go home

People displaced by the fighting between government forces and Moro rebels prefer to remain in evacuation centers rather than return home, despite assurances their communities are again safe, a military spokesman said Wednesday.

12 prisoners bolt Sulu jail, 1 killed

Police launched a massive manhunt for 12 prisoners who escaped from jail in Sulu in southern Philippines. One of the inmates was shot dead in his escape try.

Navy inaugurate rapid response fleet

The Philippine Navy will inaugurate on Thursday a new fleet whose mission is to respond immediately to any threat to national security in any part of the country, a spokesman Wednesday.

Victims rejoice over Leviste conviction

The prosecutor of the murder case for the late Rafael de la Alas is happy at the conviction of former Batangas Gov. Jose Antonio Leviste, even though it was for the lesser crime of homicide.

Pinoy priest gets 13 more years in jail

P107.8M for anti-poverty projects 

RP & Qatar hike flights for more OFWs

Manila and Doha agreed to add three more flights on the route serving both cities, bringing the total to eight trips weekly.

US sen. vows to support veterans bill

The chairman of the United States Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee has reassured the Philippines of his continued support for the US Veterans Bill, which seeks to grant Filipino World War II veterans equal recognition as their American counterparts.  Senator Daniel Inouye said he would "do everything" to ensure the veterans equity measure is passed by the US Congress, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo said Wednesday.

Asian units rise, peso hits P47.035 : $1

Asian currencies rose moderately Wednesday as investors bought regional stocks, but traders warned the currency rally could be temporary as risk aversion still prevailed.

GSIS expects P4-B from thrift bank

State-run pension fund manager Government Service Insurance System expects to raise between P3 billion and P4 billion from the sale of a portion of its interest in GSIS Family Bank.

GSIS abandons bid for Philamlife

Importing rice won"t solve food woes 

Importing millions of tons of rice would not solve the country's food security woes, Sen.Edgardo Angara warned Wednesday.

Vietnam rice trade halts on Manila buy

Vietnamese exporters halted trade in a popular grade of rice on Wednesday after traders said the Philippines had agreed to buy one million tons of the grain from Vietnam, although Manila remained tight-lipped about the deal.

Scientists develops rice w/ +50% yield

An international team of scientists is attempting to develop a new rice strain that will use less water and fertilizer but could boost yields by up to 50 percent to meet growing demand.

Fertilizer prices continue to fall

Bin Laden urges jihad against Israel

Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden has issued a new audiotape urging Muslims to launch a jihad, or holy war, to stop the Israeli offensive in Gaza.

Israel shells Lebanon after attack

Lebanese security officials say the Israeli army has fired eight shells at southern Lebanon after rockets were fired into northern Israel.

Cargo vessel sinks off Sumatra

China is world's 3rd largest economy

Arum warns: 50-50 or Hatton fight off

'Ploning' fails to make Oscar shortlist

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nine films that made it to the next round of voting in the foreign language film category of the 81st Oscar Awards. Despite an aggressive nomination campaign by its filmmakers, "Ploning" did not make it to the shortlist.

Who's the 3rd party in Angel-Luis LQ?

Beyonce, Wonder, Bono at Obama gig

Judging by the lineup, Sunday's inaugural celebration for Barack Obama at the Lincoln Memorial is a coveted gig for music's top names.  Beyonce, Bono, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Usher, Shakira, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban and James Taylor are among the musicians scheduled to perform Sunday afternoon. The president-elect and his family are due to attend, with Obama expected to speak.  Other performers include Stevie Wonder, Renee Fleming, Garth Brooks, Mary J. Blige, Herbie Hancock, Heather Headley, John Legend and Jennifer Nettles.  Historical passages will be read by Jamie Foxx, Martin Luther King III, Queen Latifah and Denzel Washington, with other celebrities expected to join them.

What drives sexy women to infidelity?

Baguio temp. drops to 9.4 degrees

The failing world economy has driven away much-needed sponsorship for the centennial programs of Baguio City, so the city government is now relying on the pockets of tourists who love the weather here.

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