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

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October 2, 2009 Major News Stories

Pagasa may raise storm signal no. 4 by Friday

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said it could raise public storm signal number 4 over Northern Luzon Friday night if Typhoon "Pepeng" continued to strengthen in its current track.

According to PAGASA Director Prisco Nilo, storm signal number 4 means winds of up to 185 kilometers per hour over a region.

"Its possible that we will have to raise storm signal number 4 over Northern Luzon by Friday around 11 p.m.," Nilo told reporters Thursday.

Not since supertyphoon Reming in 2006 has storm signal number 4 been raised over any part of the country.

Nilo said Pepeng could reach the category of supertyphoon at 215 kilometers per hour or more by Friday noon or afternoon. "But this could change. It may still slow down, weaken or become stationary."

As of 4 p.m. Thursday, the eye of Pepeng was spotted 440 kilometers east of Catarman, Northern Samar. It is packing maximum sustained winds of up to 230 kilometers per hour and moving west northwest at 24 kilometers per hour.

Pagasa raised public storm signal number 1 over Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay, Quezon, the Polilio Island and Aurora.

If Pepeng continues on its current track, Metro Manila, Nothern Luzon and Central Luzon will experience moderate rainfall by Friday and possibly moderate to heavy rainfall by Saturday when Pepeng hits land in Aurora and Isabela.

For Metro Manila, Nilo predicted that they might raise at most public storm signal number 2 by Friday night or Saturday morning.

By Thursday night, Eastern Visayas including Eastern Samar and parts of the Bicol Region would experience inclement weather with strong winds and moderate to heavy rains.

Pagasa Deputy Director Nathaniel Cruz said there was no indication Pepeng would be changing its course.

Nilo said the typhoon could weaken if it hit the Sierra Madre range "but only by about 30 percent. When that happens, it would still be a strong typhoon."

Philippines on full alert ahead of 'super typhoon'

(UPDATE) The Philippines went on high alert Thursday as a "super typhoon" threatened to unleash more devastation for millions of people already struggling to recover from deadly floods that claimed 277 lives.

RP to evacuate by force those in storm's path

The Philippine police said Thursday they will forcibly evacuate residents refusing to leave their homes in the direct path of an approaching strong typhoon.

DepEd prepares schools for more evacuees

Although many public schools in Metro Manila are already overcrowded with evacuees, the Department of Education said Thursday it was bracing itself for more evacuees if Typhoon Pepeng unleashes more flooding in the capital.

Ondoy death toll climbs to 280

The death toll from Storm Ondoy rose to 280 on Thursday and the number of people crammed in more over 700 temporary shelters ballooned to more than 680,000 as government agencies scrambled to prepare for a new typhoon roaring toward Northern Luzon.

Sagip Kapamilya aids thousands of families

Mahigit 100,000 pamilya na ang naabutan ng tulong ng Sagip Kapamilya sa iba't ibang lugar na sinalanta ng bagyo! Kaya labis ang pasasalamat ng Sagip Kapamilya sa mga volunteer, donors, at sa mga inaasahan pang dadamay sa napakarami nating mga kababayang nangangailangan pa ng tulong.

Cash donations subject to tax, BIR chief says

Cash donations made to privately-led groups assisting typhoon victims remain subject to donor's tax, the Philippines' tax chief said.

Gov't ready to release 13th month pay

The national government is now ready to release the balance of the 13th month pay to employees who want to avail of it in the aftermath of tropical storm "Ondoy."

GSIS hit for slow processing, service fees on calamity loans

Aburido na ang ilang kawani ng gobyerno na nag-a-apply ng calamity loan sa GSIS! Ito'y dahil sa bagal umano ng serbisyo ng ahensya! Pinaghihimutok din nila ang inaawas na service fee sa kanilang loan, gayung sinalanta na sila ng bagyo.

DTI urges public to report price violators

The Department of Trade and Industry encouraged consumers to report supermarkets and other vendors overpricing basic commodities following the government's declaration of a state of calamity in Metro Manila.

Concern grows for flood orphans

Welfare workers say they are tracking the whereabouts of potentially hundreds of children who lost their parents in devastating weekend floods that submerged most of Metro Manila.

Disease control, treatment needed for 'Ondoy' victims

by by Purple Romero,
MANILA - Disease control should be the utmost priority now of government officials, as victims of Tropical Storm Ondoy grapple with skin infections and signs of flu - according to Gawad Kalinga (GK).

Crop damage from 'Ondoy' now P3.6 B

The value of crops damaged by flooding caused by tropical storm "Ondoy" in Luzon has reached P3.6 billion, the Department of Agriculture said Wednesday.

5 more children die of dengue

Five more children died of dengue in Cebu City in the past two weeks, bringing to 30 the total number of dengue-related casualties from January to September 30 this year, health officials said yesterday.

P350T lost in two fires

At least P350,000 worth of properties were damaged to two fires that gutted down two houses and partially burned two others in Cebu City yesterday.

P10M drainage master plan

IN THE wake of typhoon Ondoy that left large parts of Metro Manila underwater, the Mandaue City Government is in the process of de-clogging its drainage networks.

Plaza Independencia closes for restoration, tunnel's final phase

The Cebu City Government is temporarily closing from public the Plaza Independencia starting yesterday until December 15 for its restoration and to give way to the construction of the final phase of the subway that is part of the viaduct section of the Cebu South Coastal Road Project.

ILO asks Philippines to probe trade union killings

The International Labor Organization (ILO) has asked the Philippines to investigate allegations of murder and abductions of trade union leaders, the head of a visiting mission said on Thursday.

Jailed in Saudi for adultery, Filipina cries rape

A 35-year-old Filipino janitress, jailed for being pregnant in eastern Saudi Arabia, has told visiting Philippine Embassy officials that she was drugged and raped by a coworker.

Marine killed, 9 others hurt in Sulu attack

A Marine soldier was killed and nine others were wounded when unidentified armed men fired at a military detachment in Bitan-ag in Panamao, Sulu Thursday morning.

DILG wants P64.54-B for 2010

The Department of Interior and Local Government is seeking Congress approval of a P64.547 billion budget for 2010, which includes the hiring of over 10,000 jail and fire officers and policemen.

Lacson asks SC: Stop probe on Dacer murder

MANILA - Sen. Panfilo Lacson has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking to stop the Department of Justice (DOJ) from investigating his role in the killings of publicist Salvador "Bubby" Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito in November 2000.

Joma happy with EU court decision

by By Loui Galicia, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau
Jose Maria Sison has scored a victory with the decision of the European Union Court of First Instance in Luxembourg that could result in his name being taken off the EU terrorist list. 

Are giving calendars, Christmas gifts premature campaigning?

MANILA - With the Christmas season barely two months away, reelectionist solons are in a quandary. Will the new Supreme Court ruling on premature campaigning prevent them from printing calendars, speaking in fiestas, or giving away groceries?

IMF sees stronger global economic rebound next year

The world economy is finally stirring from a deep recession led by a swift turnaround in Asia, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday, raising its forecast for global economic growth next year.

Turkey: student protester hurls shoe at IMF chief

ISTANBUL - A student journalist threw a shoe at IMF Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn on Thursday and ran toward the stage shouting "IMF get out!" as the finance official answered questions at a university in Istanbul.  The white sports shoe bounced off another student's head but missed the IMF chief before landing beside him on the speaker's platform. Some students applauded. Strauss-Kahn moved to the side, and a security guard rushed to protect him.

'Ketsana' kills 331 across Southeast Asia

Typhoon Ketsana (Philippine codename: Ondoy) extended its destructive rampage through Southeast Asia Wednesday, blowing away whole villages in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos as the regional death toll rose to 331.

At least 1,100 dead in Indonesia quake: UN

UNITED NATIONS - The death toll from the major earthquake in Indonesia has risen to at least 1,100 and was likely to worsen, UN humanitarian chief John Holmes said Thursday.

Peru's Fujimori gets six-year sentence for corruption

LIMA – Peru's former president Alberto Fujimori, already sentenced to 25 years behind bars for human right violations, was sentenced Wednesday to six years in jail for corruption.

China marks 60 years with spectacle of power

by Reuters
BEIJING - China celebrated its wealth and rising might with a show of goose-stepping troops, gaudy floats and nuclear-capable missiles in Beijing on Thursday, 60 years after Mao Zedong proclaimed its embrace of communism.

Roach predicts Cotto will be KO'd

Knock-out win! Yan ang prediksyon ni coach Freddie Roach dahil sa lakas at bilis na ipinakita ni Manny Pacquiao sa kanyang training sa Baguio City! Inihayag naman ni pacman ang kanyang target sa laban niya kay Miguel Cotto!

Roach says Pacquiao currently at 40% condition

BAGUIO City - Trainer Freddie Roach admitted Manny Pacquiao has yet to get his rhythm back for his 12-round title fight against Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto next month. No need to worry though, as Roach expects the boxing icon to get better and better as training camp builds up leading to the Nov. 14 fight in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Team Pacquiao awaits Cotto 'clone'

There was a faint, however palpable, murmur of doubt from the boxing online community when trainer Freddie Roach said Manny Pacquiao will weld Miguel Cotto's behind to the canvas when the two clash on November 14 in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao to fight for Ondoy victims

MANILA – "People's Champ" Manny Pacquiao revealed that his whole team was affected by the tragedy brought about by Tropical Storm "Ondoy," including his sparring partners.

Getting into the act

THE generosity of the Cebuanos is expected to pour in in the Run for Ondoy Victims on Oct. 18 at the Cebu Doctors' University Mandaue Campus at the North Reclamation Area.

Dionne Warwick hopes to comfort flood-weary Manilans

World-renowned singer Dionne Warwick says her music is a healing instrument she hopes would somehow "be of service" to those suffering from the recent floods and who can make it to her concert Friday night at the Araneta Coliseum.

Chavit says reconciliation with ex-lover is remote

A day after Rachel 'Che' Tiongson withdrew her petition for a permanent protection order against President Arroyo's deputy national security adviser, the controversial politician said a reconciliation was "very remote."

Miss Singapore World resigns after lingerie fraud

by Reuters
SINGAPORE - Beauty queen Miss Singapore World has given up her crown after it emerged that she had stolen credit cards to go on a shopping spree for lingerie.

Pay or be blamed for son's death, Travolta told

by Reuters
NASSAU – Actor John Travolta testified in a Bahamian extortion trial on Wednesday that he was told that unless he paid $25 million, stories would be sold to the news media implying his son's death was intentional and he was to blame.

Ted Turner  - "Sports is like a war without the killing."

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