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

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

June 25, 2009 Major News Stories

6 new H1N1 in Visayas, total up to 32

The number of confirmed influenza A(H1N1) cases in the Visayas rose to 32 on Wednesday following confirmation that six more people, including three more students from the Philippine Science High School in Leyte, have contracted the virus.

131 new H1N1 cases, total up to 604 – DoH

The Department of Health (DoH) confirmed 131 new cases of the Influenza A(H1N1) virus on Wednesday, the most number of cases confirmed in a day so far, bringing the total number of cases to 604.

A (H1N1) nears 56,000, 238 dead: WHO

DepEd to issue new guidelines on H1N1

To quell the growing panic among schools about the spreading Influenza A (H1N1) virus, the Department of Education is expected to issue new school guidelines within the hour that no longer require schools to suspend classes if they have a new confirmed swine flu case.

More OFWs abroad get A(H1N1)

The Department of Foreign Affairs has monitored more overseas Filipino workers with Influenza A(H1N1), prompting DFA spokesman Ed Malaya to remind them to be more careful.

Sen. Estrada's 2 kids survive H1N1

Senator Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada's two teenage children were stricken with a mild case of Influenza A(H1N1), but have fully recovered from the disease.

Arroyo to go on self quarantine – Palace

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will go on self-quarantine when she returns to the country from a three-nation swing as a precautionary measure amid the spread of the deadly H1N1 virus, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said Wednesday.

DOH: No quarantine for Arroyo 

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo need not undergo a 10-day self-quarantine for A(H1N1) after her latest foreign trip to Japan and Brazil, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Wednesday.

Palace open to delaying annual address

Malacañang said it was open to postponing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's State of the Nation Address next month if the ongoing problem with the H1N1 flu virus would worsen.

3rd suspected flu case in the House

Is there a doctor in the House? A third employee of the House of Representatives is suspected of being infected with the Influenza A(H1N1) virus that has sickened one other employee and triggered the death of another one last Monday.

Prices of flu drugs triple amid A(H1N1) 

Prices of flu drugs and vaccine have surged up to three times their normal prices, aggravating the Philippines" Influenza A(H1N1) crisis as demand from health-conscious buyers is making the product scarce and increasingly expensive.

US firm makes 1st A(H1N1) vaccine

A US company that was awarded a $35-million contract to develop an influenza vaccine using insect cell technology has produced a first batch against (A)H1N1 flu.

6 dead, 11 missing as Feria crosses Luzon

At least six persons have died and four more are missing as Tropical Storm Feria crosses Luzon, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said.

Feria: 45 flights cancelled, 9 delayed 

At least 45 departing and arriving domestic flights were cancelled Wednesday due to bad weather. At least nine other domestic and international flgiths were delayed.

Senate mulls dismantling NTC

Pinag-iisipan ngayon ng mga senador kung bubuwagin ang National Telecommunications Commission! Wala naman daw kasing magawa ang NTC para babaan ang singil sa text at tawag ng mga telecommunication companies.

DepEd chief sued over noodle scam

Public warned over new ATM scam

The Bankers Association of the Philippines reminded the public to be more careful when using of automated teller machines (ATM), after the a new scam was uncovered.  The scam involves capturing the stored personal identification number (PIN), card number, and other relevant information by skimming the magnetic strip of the ATM card using a specialized scanner. The captured information is then copied to produce a duplicate ATM card, allowing the scammers to make withdrawals without the card holder's knowledge.

The call for added vigilance was triggered by a recent case of ATM fraud in the United Arab Emirates.

"The Philippine banks are taking all precautionary measures to ensure the safety of its clients," said BAP. "Nonetheless, we are urging the people to take added care when using the ATM. By exercising vigilance, there will be lesser chance for users to be victimized by any fraud."

To avoid being victimized by such fraud, BAP advised users to adhere to the safety guidelines in using the ATM:

1. Never divulge your PINs to other persons. Change your PIN if you think it has been compromised.

2. Cover the ATM keypad when entering your PIN. In case there is a hidden camera attached to the machine, covering the keypad with your other hand while entering the numbers could prevent the capture of your PIN.

3. Cover the screen while using the ATM. Ensure that the ATM screen is not seen by other people while you are making your transaction.

4. Use only ATMs that are in well-lit and located in secured areas.

5. Do not use ATMs that appear to have tampered card or cash slots. Report anything that seems suspicious to the corresponding bank immediately.

6. Be aware of your surroundings when using the ATM. Look around to check for suspicious characters lurking around the vicinity. Make sure that the person next in line to use the ATM is keeping a safe distance from you.

7. Do not entertain strangers who attempt to engage you in a conversation or pretend to offer help while you are transacting in an ATM. This person may just be after your PIN and card number.

The BAP has also issued an advisory to member banks to remind branch officers, employees and security guards to regularly inspect ATMs and booths for any unusual and non-bank installed devices, such as hidden cameras, cloning devices, and glued traps.

Bankers were also urged to instruct their security guards to maintain alertness and closely observe suspicious individuals within bank premises, particularly around ATM booths.

For assistance, ATM depositors are advised to immediately contact ATM hotline numbers which are normally posted on ATM machines.

Capitol to DOJ: Hear complaint v oil firms

Holding a hearing on the overpricing charges hurled against the country's three biggest oil companies might be the most convenient way to resolve the issue, said Provincial Legal Officer Marino Martinquilla.

Joavan asks court to quash information, arrest warrant

After posting bail for serious illegal detention charges, Joavan Fernandez, the controversial son of Talisay City Mayor Socrates Fernandez, has asked the court to quash the information and warrant of arrest issued against him in another case of robbery filed by a vulcanizing shop owner.

City sets aside P319M for SRP loan

CEBU City Hall set aside P391 million for the second loan amortization for the South Road Properties (SRP) this year, cutting the loan balance to around P5.2 billion, if computed using the current yen exchange rate.

City attorney resigns

Mayor Tomas Osmeña has accepted the resignation of acting city attorney Rodulfo Golez, saying he is getting a more aggressive lawyer to make him win particularly in running after the schools and hospitals that refuse to pay their business tax to the city.

No Minnie-Gwen face-off

MARIA Victoria "Minnie" Osmeña no longer has time to challenge Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, her brother Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said yesterday.

Fear ignorance, not H1N1, says SC chief

More than the spread of the Influenza A(H1N1) virus, Filipinos should be afraid of the "epidemic of ignorance," Chief Justice Reynato Puno said on Wednesday.

Lakas-Kampi shortlist out on July 31

The administration party Lakas-Kampi-CMD will reveal its shortlist of presidential candidates and other bets for the national level on July 31, party officials announced on Wednesday.

Comelec: No stopping automation deal

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will sign its contract with a technology consortium for the lease of election machines in 2010, a poll official said, as he dismissed questions raised by a senator on the deal as "political grandstanding."

2010 polls will push through - Ermita

Next year"s national and local elections will push through even if plans to automate the voting system do not materialize, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said Wednesday, quoting the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Sarangani to join Pacquiao political party

Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao claims people from Sarangani province are scrambling to become members of his political party, the People's Champ Movement. Will he finally emerge victorious in 2010 compared to his lopsided loss during the 2007 congressional race in South Cotabato's first district?

Pacquiao will have problem in winning 

Cory Aquino back in hospital

Former President Corazon Aquino is back at the hospital and is being fed intravenously as she continues to suffer from poor appetite, her son, Senator Benigno Aquino III said on Wednesday.

Teach maids to speak Arabic 

Officials of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) want Filipino and other expatriate domestic helpers to be taught to speak conversational Arabic before they are sent to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

174 Filipinos jailed abroad on drug raps

More than 170 Filipinos are detained in different countries on charges of smuggling illegal drugs, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency said Wednesday, reiterating its warning against international drug syndicates using Filipinos as drug mules.

Pope calls for release of Vagni

Khamenei vows no retreat on poll result

Casey Stengel  - "All right everyone, line up alphabetically according to your height."

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