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

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

September 15, 2010 Major News Stories



Dengue cases reach 77,000

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA , Philippines – Dengue cases across the country have reached a record high of more than 77,000, the Department of Health (DOH) warned on Tuesday.

The DOH also believes that cases could rise to 100,000 before the yearend.

From January 1 to September 4, dengue victims reached a total of 77,012, up by more than 100% compared to 36,877 in the same period last year, government data showed. 

The hardest-hit areas are Western Visayas that accounted for 17.1% of all cases, Calabarzon (11%), and the National Capital Region (9.7%).

In Metro Manila, Quezon City topped the list of dengue hot spots with 21,104 cases, followed by Manila (1,125), Caloocan (828), and Valenzuela (590). 

Dr. Eric Tayag, head of the DOH National Epidemiology Center, said the surge in dengue cases can be attributed to many factors such as the El Niño phenomenon. 

He said a shortage in tap water forces families to store water in containers where dengue-carrying mosquitoes breed.

Tayag urged local government officials to help fight the outbreak by providing enough medical supplies to village health centers.

He said "dengue express lanes" should also be set up in health centers to detect the illness more quickly. 

Govt eyes halting special permit to import chicken

The government plans to stop issuing special permits to import chicken in the face of an oversupply of poultry products in the market, an agriculture official said Tuesday.

Senators question removal of rice subsidy from NFA

Senators on Tuesday questioned the move of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to transfer the P8-billion rice subsidy of the National Food Authority (NFA) to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DWSD).

Beware of text scams as Christmas nears

Cellphone subscribers were warned about text scams or fraudulent calls aimed at duping them of their money, especially as the Yuletide season draws near.

PNoy visits Cebu today: Aquino to meet biz leaders here

President Benigno Simeon 'Noynoy' Aquino III will visit Cebu for the first time as the nation's chief executive to grace the three different events.

Aquino is expected to arrive at 11 a.m. at the Mactan Benito Ebuen Air Base in Lapu-Lapu City and will immediately proceed to the Cebu City Marriott Hotel to grace the Regional Economic Managers Briefing and Dialogue, where 200 business leaders from Central Visayas will also be attending.

Aquino will be addressing the forum to inform business leaders about the economic plans of his administration and at the same time provide an opportunity for a dia-logue.

The briefing in Central Visayas will focus on the developments in the priority sectors such as tourism, food supply chain and business process outsourcing, among oth-ers.

Aquino will be joined by four cabinet secretaries, who will do the economic briefing. They are Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Trade and Industry Secretary Greg-ory Domingo, National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Cayetano Paderanga, Jr. and Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras.

After the dialogue, Aquino will proceed to Cebu Coliseum at 2 p.m. to meet the volunteers of his presidential campaign.

More than 4,000 volunteers coming from the Yellow Movement of Cebu, Yellow Army Movement, Doctors for Noynoy, Change Politics Movement, Urban Poor, Tuloy Pinoy, Filipino Cebuano Business Club Inc., Lawyers for Noynoy, religious groups, Accountants for Noynoy, and Cebu Army among others will be presenting their manifesto of support for Aquino's administration.

At 3 p.m., the president is scheduled to proceed to the conference room of Cebu Coliseum to grace an event organized by the Department of Social Welfare and Devel-opment.

Aquino will meet with the beneficiaries of the "Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino" Program (4Ps), which is a poverty reduction and social development program that pro-vides conditional cash grants to extremely poor households.

During this event, there will be testimonials from beneficiaries in Cebu on how the program has improved their lives.

According to the Philippine Information Agency, there is no word yet whether Aquino will stay overnight in Cebu or will immediately proceed to Davao City, which he is due to visit tomorrow.

Joavan should come out to clear his name: CCPO chief

HE is not really a bully, Cebu City Police Office Director Ramon Melvin Buenafe said of Joavan Fernandez.

Joavan is off the hook; Soc in trouble

Joavan Fernandez is now off the hook from his latest caper after an uptown mall security guard whom he allegedly threatened with a gun refuses to press charges.

DILG to Soc: Probe misuse

THE Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) yesterday advised Mayor Socrates Fernandez to look into how a government vehicle issued to him was being driven like a private car by a person not connected with the Talisay City Government at all.

House probe sought into Compostela mess

Cebu fifth district Rep. Ramon "Red" Durano urged the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability to investigate the "highly irregular actions" of the Commission on Elections and the Department of Interior and Local Government regarding the plight of the people of Compostela who have no mayor until now.

Rep. Durano, in his privilege speech, denounced the Comelec for its unjust, oppressive and reckless acts against his constituents in Compostela town.

According to Durano, since July 6, 2010, none of those duly proclaimed mayor, vice mayor and council members have been allowed to perform their functions by the Comelec and the DILG.

Instead of the duly proclaimed officials, Durano said the Municipality of Compostela has been under the control and supervision of a caretaker designated by the DILG in the person of DILG-7 regional director Pedro Noval.

Durano also said that the ruling of Comelec 2nd Division commissioner Nicodemus Ferrer suspending the proclamation of mayoralty candidate Joel Quiño, his vice mayor and seven councilors of the town is highly irregular for many reasons.

For one, Durano said the ruling was rendered without any hearing and the respondent was not given any notice nor given a copy of the motion.

He also said contrary to the rules of the Comelec, it was only Ferrer who made the ruling. The other members of the Comelec 2nd Division did not affix their signa-tures, nor is there proof that they participated in its discussion.

What is even worse, Durano said, is that the order of suspension against the said officials was made effective despite a pending motion for reconsideration duly filed by Quiño, and the rules of the Comelec state that the filing of a motion of reconsideration of a ruling, resolution, or order suspends the execution of the order.

He said the town of Compostela is in a sorry state with the town's treasury nearing bankruptcy, some parts without electricity and the peace and order deteriorating.

For all intents and purposes, Durano said the Comelec is dragging its feet on the case, when decency and justice require that the said resolution should have been acted with dispatch.

"I also call on this August body that after the investigation, and when evidence so warrant, to cause the filing of appropriate charges for gross ignorance of the law, as well as graft and corrupt practices against those responsible, including the filing of the necessary impeachment proceedings against impeachable officials concerned," Durano said.

Noval continues to sit as officer-in-charge of Compostela while the Comelec has yet to resolve the issues of Quiño and his rival for the mayoralty, Ritchie Wagas.

Some residents in the town are complaining that the lack of a chief executive there has affected the delivery of basic services.

Pending project inspections: City Hall withholding contractor payments

The Cebu City Accounting Office is temporarily withholding all payments due to contractors pending the ongoing investigation and inspection of all barangay projects implemented using the city's money given as aid to the barangays.

Court recalls arrest warrant vs Palawan mayor, orders reinvestigation of case

The Regional Trial Court has recalled the arrest warrant it issued against a municipal mayor in Palawan who is accused of rape to give way for a reinvestigation of the case.

RTC Judge Gilbert P. Moises granted yesterday the urgent omnibus motion for reinvestigation and lifting of the warrant of arrest filed by Mayor Nicolas T. Montaño, Sr. of Rizal town in Palawan.

City offers free vaccination for female dogs

The personnel of City Hall's Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries (DMDF) has offered free vaccination of female dogs in Cebu City if their owners allow that their pets be subjected to ligation.

Joker hits media for 'putting country in bad light'

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA, Philippines - Senator Joker Arroyo blamed the local media for allegedly placing the country in a "bad light" abroad due to its extensive coverage of the botched rescue of Hong Kong tourists last August 23 in Manila.

Media admit lapses in Manila hostage coverage

(UPDATE 3) After four hours of hearing, executives of media organizations finally admitted committing "major, major" lapses in their coverage of the August 23 hostage-taking that left eight Hong Kong tourists and the hostage-taker, a dismissed police officer, dead.

Jake Maderazo, spokesman of Radio Mo Nationwide, said he made a "major, major" mistake when the station continued to interview the hostage-taker, former Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza, even after the latter fired a warning shot before killing eight of his captives.

"Kung meron man kaming major major na kamalian dito, it would be at the point what we perceived to be a normal interview na sasabihin nya lang ang prolema, magpapaliwanag ang hostage taker (If there is a major, major mistake that we made, it would be at the point what we perceived to be a normal interview that he would just air his problems, the hostage taker would explain)," Maderazo said when he testified at a joint hearing by the Senate committees on public information and public services.

"Pero ang nangyari po na-witness namin ang negotiation. Hindi namin alam na nag away ang negotiators at si Mendoza (But what happened was we witnessed the negotiation. We had no idea there was already a fallout between the negotiators and Mendoza)," he said.

Maderazo said he only realized there was a "danger of failed negotiation" after they heard the warning shot from the bus.

RMN anchorman Michael Rogas was interviewing Mendoza when the hostage taker fired a warning shot after seeing on television his brother, Police Officer 2 Gregorio Mendoza, being arrested by police.

Minutes after the warning shot, the hostage-taker started shooting the hostages inside the tourist bus.

"(A)ng tinanong namin sa sarili namin, itutuloy pa ba namin (ang interview) … o hihinto na kami after that warning shot? So it was a question of itutuloy mo ba ang istorya o after ng warning shot huwag mo nang ipaliwanag sa publiko kung bakit sya nagpaputok? (We were asking ourselves then, should we still continue with the interview or stop it after the warning shot? So it was a question of do we continue with the story or after the warning shot we should not explain to the public why he did that)," said Maderoza.

"On our part, we felt that we have to go back to Mendoza and ask him why did you make a warning shot? Our regret is we should have done that I think. But as journalists, we think we owe the public explanation on why he fired that warning shot," he further said, responding to Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr.'s questions.

ABS-CBN senior vice president Maria Ressa cited at least two instances that the network should not have done during the hostage drama.

First, was the mention in one news report of what one group of policemen was doing.

"It lasted for a short time. But if we had it to do over again, we would make sure that that would not happen again," said Ressa.

And second, was carrying a live report of the arrest of the hostage-taker's brother.

"We really did think long and hard as much as you could in a moment whether or not you carry the arrest of Gregorio Mendoza. That instance when he was being arrested by police," she said.

"Please keep in mind that when that happened, our cameras were already live before he went to us...He was (panicking) and pleading for his life. So we're at the dilemma," she said.

"Our hope was that the people in-charge, the police would have taken action, that would have controlled the situation .When we realized that that wasn't quite happening , we then started talking to authorities about it," Ressa further said.

GMA7 vice president Jessica Soho did not mention any specific lapses in the network's coverage of the incident but acknowledged that they should have restrained better.

"We do acknowledge that we should have done a better job at restraining ourselves and we should have not assumed that the police were in control of the situation," said Soho.

To avoid the same from happening in the future, Sohos said GMA7 came up with a set of guidelines that included knowing "when and how to restrain ourselves and assumed that the police may not be able to handle media or a crowd."

But while admitting some lapses in their reporting of the incident, Ressa blamed the authorities for their failure to set a parameter that would have restrained the media.

She said that in the past, media had been following the guidelines that the police had imposed during the same situations.

"I think the difference with August 23rd was the failure of authorities to actually create a functioning chain of command and to also be able to regulate, to set the parameters—where is the area, where should media go," she pointed out.

But Senator Joker Arroyo countered: "You know, the problem Maria is this: everybody is scared of the media. I mean let's face that, we're scared of media. You publish something unfavorable about today, you publish something unfavorable, then we are finished."

"The point is we hesitate because you are media. If you weren't media, we would craft the law immediately," said Arroyo, who initiated the hearing.

In the end, Soho and Ressa insisted on self-regulation instead of a law that would regulate the media.

"I'm of the opinion, we'd rather self-regulate but in instances or scenarios where lives are stakes, I believe the most prudent and wise thing to do is to accede to the wishes of the authorities," Soho said.

'Focus on issues, not on media witch hunt'

MANILA, Philippines - Instead of going on a "media witch hunt," Philippine politicians should focus on the issues surrounding the August 23 hostage crisis, an editorial board member of The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said Tuesday.

Belmonte: House to abide by SC stay order

For now, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said the House of Representatives will abide by the order of the Supreme Court to suspend proceedings on the impeachment case against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.

Solons protest SC suspension of Ombusman impeach proceedings

Lawmakers pushing for the impeachment proceedings against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez raised a howl over the decision of the Supreme Court to suspend the hearings, with the chairman of the justice committee, Iloilo Representative Niel Tupas Jr. warning of a possible "constitutional crisis."

2 Ampatuans seek exclusion from massacre rap sheet

Two members of the powerful Ampatuan clan have asked Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to resolve their petition for exclusion from the charge sheet in connection with the Nov. 23 Maguindanao massacre.
Former Maguindanao acting governor Sajid Islam Ampatuan and former Datu Saudi, Maguindanao mayor Saudi Ampatuan Jr. said government prosecutors erred on April 15 when they charged them – along with 195 others – of multiple murder.

Ethics case filed vs fugitive Lacson

An ethics case has been filed against Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson for evading arrest and continued absence from Senate sessions.

At least 3 Cabinet officials to join PNoy's US trip

President Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III said at least three Cabinet secretaries will accompany him on his first official visit to the United States next week.
At a press conference in Camp Crame, Aquino said among those who are sure to join him in his first official foreign trip as chief executive are Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo.

A reliable Palace source told GMANews.TV that Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras is also very likely to join the delegation. 

The source, who requested anonymity as the list is still being finalized, said some lawmakers also want to join the president on his trip.

Aquino, however, wants a "lean delegation" and very few lawmakers will join him if he decides to include some of them in the US trip, the source said.

More than 20 lawmakers were reported to have joined former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo when she went to the US last year to meet US President Barack Obama. 

Several lawmakers used to tag along Arroyo in many of her foreign trips as president and their absence sometimes created quorum problems during Congress sessions. 

House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. earlier said he prefers that only a few lawmakers would accompany the president in his official trip so the House would not have difficulty forming a quorum.

Aquino will leave for the US on September 20. During his one-week trip to the US, Aquino will attend a number of business conferences, witness the signing of the Millennium Challenge Corporation's $434-million grant to the Philippines, and attend the United Nations summit on the millennium development goals in New York.

Aquino said he will also visit the alma mater of his mother, the late former President Corazon Aquino, who graduated from the Mount Saint Vincent College in New York City.

Imelda allowed to attend MDG summit in New York

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA, Philippines - The Sandiganbayan anti-graft court has allowed Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Romualdez-Marcos to attend the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Summit in New York.

Military to visit Kalayaan Group of Islands

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA, Philippines - Defense and military officials plan to visit a part of the disputed Kalayaan Group of Islands this month to renovate some of the military's facilities in the area.

New PNP chief vows to pursue reforms

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA, Philippines – Newly sworn in Philippine National Police chief Deputy Director General Raul Bacalzo promised to pursue reforms and empower policemen. He assumes leadership of the PNP on the heels of the August 23 hostage tragedy which has battered the institution's image.

Aquino vouches for 'integrity' of new PNP chief

President Benigno Aquino vowed on Tuesday a better-equipped and better-trained police force, with corruption in the procurement process weeded out during his watch.

Robredo: Special team to go after corrupt cops

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has formed a special team to go after corrupt police officers, DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo said on Tuesday. 

Catholic dioceses also getting 'jueteng' money - Cruz

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA, Philippines – Several dioceses of the Catholic Church are also receiving money from illegal gambling syndicates, retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz claimed on Tuesday. 

Aquino asks bishop to name gov't officials getting jueteng payoffs

President Benigno Aquino on Tuesday expressed exasperation with retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz for claiming that five administration officials have been receiving millions of pesos in monthly payoffs from gambling lords, without naming them and presenting proof that the government could act on.

Puno refuses to name emissaries of 'jueteng' operators

Now it's the turn of Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno to refuse to name names.

After saying "jueteng" operators used his family, friends and retired police officials as emissaries to get to him to talk about the continuation of theoperation of the illegal numbers game, Puno refused to name the emissaries.

"Di na. (Not anymore)," Puno said. "Some of them are relatives. There are government officials. There were even priests sometimes. Some were friends of friends… they used all sorts of ways to get close to me," he continued.

Jueteng is an illegal numbers racket played mostly by the poor.

But Puno stressed he did not see the need to have the emissaries arrested. "Why should I have them arrested? Maybe they were just sent to talk to me. They were just going to talk to me. Is that any violation of the law?"

Puno also said he is waiting for retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz to give him his list of members of government allegedly collecting jueteng payola.

He said they would need more evidence to arrest those involved in illegal gambling, which he said was worth P10 billion a year.

"We need the evidence to effect arrests. If it's just a name and there is no evidence, then how's that? This might boomerang on us," he said.

Puno said he promised Cruz that "if there is evidence against these people, we will file cases against them. If there is none, I will activate our intelligence group to gather evidence and file cases."

He also explained that the current administration is working on a short-term solution to the problem, which is the continuation of operations against illegal gambling, and a long-term solution, which is the refinement of the Small TownLottery, a legalized form of the numbers game.

Puno said he has yet to hear of arrests because of jueteng. "I look forward to the day when there are people who are arrested and convicted because of illegal gambling ...," he said.

On Monday, Puno admitted that jueteng operators sent emissaries to talk to him about the continuation of illegal gambling from Northern Luzon to the Southern Tagalog region.

Over the weekend, Cruz said two members of the Aquino government were collecting P2 million in jueteng payola. Later, he said there were five more officials involved.


Robredo to submit anti-jueteng 'game plan' to Aquino next week

Acting Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo will submit to Malacañang a "game plan" against the popular illegal numbers game jueteng in the coming days following revelations by a retired bishop that some officials in the Aquino government are receiving monthly payola from it.

Aquino to meet with chief justice to address judges' pay issues

President Benigno Aquino on Tuesday asked the country's trial court judges to stop their plan to go on mass leave after they failed to get their increases in allowances under the proposed 2011 budget.

UK Catholic bishops support Pinay nurses

by By Danny Buenafe, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau
LONDON - Catholic bishops in the United Kingdom will help push for the retention of Filipino nurses and carers despite budget cuts in the National Health Service or NHS attributed to the  prevailing global recession.

Pinay OFW found dead in Saudi Arabia

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA, Philippines – A Filipino household service worker (HSW) was found in the kitchen of her employer's house with acid burns and stab wounds in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia last week.

The Filipino, whose name is withheld until her family is informed about her passing, died on September 8.

The Philippine Embassy in Saudi Arabia said in a statement that it has been closely coordinating with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) to make strong representations with Saudi authorities for the thorough investigation of the case.

Philippine Third Secretary and Vice Consul Paulo Saret added that if warranted, the Philippine Embassy will also assist in the filing of criminal charges against the victim's killer.

Not suicide

The HSW was taken to the King Fahd Hospital by the Red Crescent, the Muslim equivalent of the Red Cross, after she was found in the kitchen.  
 
The Filipino had acid burns in her mouth area, arms and legs plus knife wounds in her neck, abdomen and wrist.

Philippine Embassy representatives have met with the police and the victim's attending physician, who said that it was impossible for the HSW to have committed suicide by ingesting the acid and stabbing herself at the same time.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) also mentioned in the statement that "the medical staff purportedly said that the Filipina's internal organs could not sustain the acid ingestion, which caused her death."

An almost empty container of sulfuric acid was reportedly taken from the scene.  

Contract violation

Meanwhile, the DFA also plans to take action against the company that deployed the HSW to Saudi Arabia.

According to the POLO, the HSW was deployed by PRA Solidworks Manpower Resources & Promotion on May 31 as a nursing aide, only to find herself working as an HSW.
 
The DFA-Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA) and the Philippine Embassy requested the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) to put PRA Solidworks' deployment on hold because of its contract violation.

The DFA-OUMWA is also coordinating with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) for the repatriation of the Filipino's remains and extension of other assistance.  

It is locating the HSW's family members to inform them of the incident as well.

RP embassy asks Saudi authorities for answers on maid's murder

The Philippine Embassy in Saudi Arabia has made "strong representations" with its host government for a thorough investigation of the September 8 murder of a Filipina domestic helper in Al-Khobar, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

PRC: 13 new professional electronics engineers

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA, Philippines - The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) announced Tuesday that 13 passed the Professional Electronics Engineer Examination given by the Board of Electronics Engineering in Manila last July 2010.

P700-M funding for Mindanao food programs OKd

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA, Philippines - The US Department of Agriculture has approved a grant worth P700 million for 3 food-for-progress projects supporting agricultural development in Mindanao.

Aquino promises better deal for Muslims

President Benigno Aquino vowed Monday night his government would do better in attending to the needs and concerns of Muslim Filipinos, and that included bringing peace to Mindanao.

Arroyo bill seeks to split ARMM into two regions

Saying that governing the region has become difficult because of geographical constraints, Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is seeking to divide the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) into two separate regions.

2 Ampatuans seek exclusion from massacre rap sheet

Two members of the powerful Ampatuan clan have asked Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to resolve their petition for exclusion from the charge sheet in connection with the Nov. 23 Maguindanao massacre.

Hearing to discharge Mancao as accused to resume Wednesday

A Manila court will resume on Wednesday hearing the motion of government prosecutors to discharge former Senior Supt. Cezar Mancao II as one of the accused in the sensational Dacer-Corbito murder case.

$1: P44.260

$1: P44.260 (P44.13)

Euro 1: P56.6021


'HLI drops SDO, agrees to land distribution'

by By Ira Pedrasa, abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA, Philippines - The Hacienda Luisita, Inc. (HLI) has agreed to distribute 4,100 hectares of the sugar estate owned by the Cojuangco and Aquino families, to farmer beneficiaries, a lawyer said.

Pacquiao opens camp in Manila

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA, Philippines – Seven-division world champion Manny Pacquiao opened training camp in Quezon City on Tuesday.

Pacquiao shows good form after long break from boxing

Pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao looked good in only his second day of training despite the six-month layoff following his March 13 WBO welterweight title defense against Ghana's Joshua Clottey.

Hatton admitted to rehab clinic, spokesman says

MANCHESTER, England - Ricky Hatton's spokesman says the former boxing champion has been admitted to a rehabilitation clinic following British newspaper reports of cocaine use.

Pacquiao saddened by Hatton's crisis

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao has expressed hope that his erstwhile opponent Ricky Hatton will overcome the personal crisis he is going through.

Pacquiao, Donaire remain in Ring Magazine P4P list

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxing stars Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao and Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire kept a hold on their positions in the Ring Magazine Pound for Pound Ratings list.

Pichay, NCFP firm on banning GM Antonio from national team

The National Chess Federation of the Philippines remained firm in its decision to drop Grandmaster Joey Antonio from the national team, saying there should not be any room in the Russia-bound squad for "prima donnas."

Man in Claudine-Angelica rift tops Google search in RP

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA, Philippines - Rumors about actress Claudine Barretto's extra-marital affair with a married man spread like wildfire in the past weeks. Barretto has already pointed her finger at Angelica Panganiban as the source of the controversy. The guy caught in the middle of the tiff, Martin Castro, eventually became the top newsmaker of the week among Filipinos.

George Michael jailed for driving under influence of drugs

LONDON - A British court sentenced pop singer George Michael to eight weeks in jail on Tuesday after he admitted driving under the influence of cannabis when he crashed his car into a shop.

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