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

Thursday, September 23, 2010

September 24, 2010 Major News Stories

DoH in Cebu Conducts Thorough Anti-Dengue Activity

from mb.com.ph

CEBU CITY – The Department of Health (DoH) 7, through the Regional Epidemiological Surveillance Unit (RESU) Thursday conducted house-to-house inspection in various areas here to check for places and areas that can be used as breeding grounds of dengue-carrying mosquitos.

RESU 7 head Renan Cimafrance led a team of epidemiologists in inspecting at least 100 houses in Felina Village, barangay Tisa, this city, and found water containers that might be used by dengue mosquitoes as veritable breeding grounds.

Cimafranca said he was surprised that there are still household owners not fully aware that areas where dengue mosquitoes might breed include empty tires, cups, water containers, and even unused pairs of shoes.

He, however, clarified Thursday that his office still has no reason to recommend to the DoH 7 director that a dengue outbreak be declared. As of press time Thursday, he said, "no area in the region has reached a point where we can say an outbreak exists."

Continued Cimafranca, "We are continually monitoring the dengue hotspots in the region and if we would declare an outbreak, it would be particularly on a barangay level and not a general declaration."

As this developed, the DoH 7 has started to conduct orientations on the use of treated nets at schools in Barangays Guadalupe and Labangon, two of the six barangays that belong to the so-called epidemic threshold in Cebu City.

These treated nets, which look like ordinary screens, are said to have chemical mosquito repellants that can kill within contact. One roll costs P7,000 and is effective for five years.

According to the 37th Morbidity Week dengue update of RESU 7, a total of 7,241 cases were identified, examined and updated at different RESU7 disease reporting units from January 1 - September 18, 2010. There were 52 deaths which is 46.4 percent higher compared to the same period last year.

Most of these cases involve the six-10 years age group and majority of cases were in Cebu City (26 percent) followed by Tagbilaran City (6.2 percent), Lapu-Lapu City (4 percent) and Toledo City (3.1 percent).

Susanna Madarieta, DOH-7 Regional Director, is asking the public to clean all possible mosquito breeding places including flower vases, dish drains, old tires, roof gutters, and even bougainvillea, banana and other plants where pools of water may accumulate.

AFP: Some members of NPA may run in October elections

by By Niña G. Sumacot

As the barangay and SK elections draw near, the Armed Forces of the Philippines is intensely monitoring the New People's Army, particularly those who may plan to run for public positions.

Comelec gun ban starts Saturday

by abs-cbnNEWS.com

MANILA, Philippines – People are banned from bringing firearms outside their homes starting on Saturday, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced on Thursday.

Dumpit denied bail again

by By Mylen P. Manto

Controversial policeman SPO1 Adonis Dumpit will remain under police custody after the court denied his motion for reconsideration to post bail for his murder case.

FESAGSS: NBI error led to trader's arrest

Supt. Rex Derilo, chief of the Firearms, Explosives, Security Agency and Guards Supervisory Section denied responsibility for the arrest of businessman Robert Nicolas Granthom saying it was the National Bureau of Investigation that submitted them faulty information.

2 suspects in slay of DPWH engineer plead not guilty

by By Mylen P. Manto/BRP

Two men accused of killing of Department of Public Works and Highways engineer Ciriaco Salazar last August 5 pleaded not guilty to the crime during yesterday's arraignment.

Choy Torralba forgives 'gunman'

by By Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon/JPM

Broadcaster Cirse "Choy" Torralba has already forgiven the man who shot him six years ago, after the latter was acquitted by the Court of Appeals for the crime of frustrated murder.

Talisay's vet found dead in his room

by By Liv G. Campo

Talisay City veterinarian Galileo Larawan was found dead yesterday morning in his house in barangay Lagtang, Talisay City.

Barangay leaders to COA: "We can't find documents"

by By Garry B. Lao/JPM

Documents that the Commission on Audit (COA) requires for the release of the honoraria of barangay officials in Cebu City are impossible to produce, considering that these pertains to transactions made by their predecessors.

Council to decide on Sitio Alaska families today

by By Rene U. Borromeo/JPM

The fate of the more than 1,000 urban poor families who are beneficiaries of the government's Slum Improvement and Resettlement (SIR) program at Sitio Alaska in Barangay Mambaling will be discussed during the regular session of the Cebu City Council this morning.

Tañada optimistic of FOI passage

by By Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon/FPL

One of the authors of the "Freedom of Information Bill" remains optimistic that the proposed measure will be passed into law during the 15th Congress.

The 2nd ASEAN-U.S. Summit: What's on the Menu in Manhattan?

by By Ernest Bower, Director, South East Asia Program-CSIS

President Barack Obama will host 8 of the 10 leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)—Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam—in New York City on Friday, September 24, at the second U.S.-ASEAN Summit. The meeting underlines renewed U.S. policy energy being invested in Southeast Asia.

Aquino entourage pays $54 for lunch of hotdogs on NY sidewalk

After a morning of meetings in his room at the Sofitel hotel here Thursday morning, President Benigno Aquino and his entourage took a break for lunch— hotdogs on a New York sidewalk at a total cost of $54.

Binay mum on Roxas presence in delegation

Don't ask me, ask Mar. Vice President Jejomar Binay would rather not comment on the presence of former Senator Manuel "Mar" Roxas II in the delegation of President Benigno Aquino III's trip in the United States.

De Lima not pleased by withholding of part of IIRC report

Is Justice Secretary Leila de Lima thinking of resigning?

De Lima said Thursday she was "a little bit" surprised that President Benigno Aquino had ordered a Palace team to go over the findings and recommendations of the Incident and Investigation Review Committee (IIRC), which he himself formed, on the August 23 hostage-taking.

Eight Hong Kong tourists and the hostage-taker were killed during the incident, which sparked outrage in China and its southern territory.

In New York, where he is on a weeklong visit, Aquino told reporters he was not "100 percent sold" on the committee's report to him last Friday after five days of marathon hearings and that was why he had ordered a Palace review.

"We are preparing already," De Lima said in a news conference. "What the committee will do next will depend really on the results of that review by the presidential legal team," she said. "What the chair of the committee will do next will also depend on the results of the review."

Asked if she was considering quitting, De Lima said, "I don't want to say anything about it."

De Lima admitted that the IIRC had expected the Palace would release the entire report to the public to prevent any confusion and speculation.

"Ideally, that was the thinking of the committee, that it would have been much better if the full report has been released to preclude speculations," De Lima said.

Only 53 pages of the 83-page report have been posted on the government website, although the entire document was turned over to the Chinese Ambassador. The section on conclusions and recommendations were withheld from the Philippine public, pending the Palace review.

She said that because the Palace did not release the entire report, the IIRC was becoming "defensive" in light of the speculation going around.

"But again we respect the decision of the President to withhold it for now pending the review of the legal team," De Lima said.

"But I have to be candid also of the sentiments of the IIRC," she added. "We do not want to be put on the defensive."

"Look at what's happening. So many are criticizing. Many are also speculating because the report [has not been released] completely," she said.

When asked if she was surprised by the President's decision , De Lima said: "Medyo (a little bit)."

She said she did not ask Aquino to reconsider his decision to have the IIRC recommendations reviewed because she respected it.

"Well, I could only defer to the decision of the President," De Lima said.

Asked if she agreed with it, De Lima said: "Well the committee cannot... you know... that's the problem when you cannot really publicly express your own (views)."

Asked whether the President's decision was ill-advised, she said: "Can I just defer my comments after we receive the results?"

De Lima said allegations that the IIRC recommended the prosecution of certain individuals and organizations for personal or political reasons were "very unfair, irresponsible and unfounded."

"The members of the IRCC are also human. We have our own feelings. It's not fair. It's very unfair that certain personalities are imputing alleged personal and even political motives in the work of IIRC," De Lima said.

"That is most ridiculous," she added.

De Lima said the committee did not recommend the immediate prosecution of anyone and only called for the "initiation of appropriate administrative and criminal proceedings" against some individuals to determine if there was enough probable cause to go after them.

"It is initiation. It's not direct filing of charges," De Lima said, adding there was one individual that the IIRC recommended to be investigated further for administrative liability.

"Of course, we had a very different recommendation for the Ombudsman and her deputy. We also had a very different recommendation for (broadcasters) Michael Rogas, Erwin Tulfo and the DZXL station manager," De Lima said.

"Of course, we also had a different recommendation for the three networks," she added, referring to ABS-CBN, GMA 7 and TV 5.

De Lima said that the committee did not recommend specific sanctions "precisely because the administrative and criminal proceedings would have to be initiated first."

She urged all those concerned—Filipinos, Chinese, government officials, and the media—to take time to analyze and make constructive observations about the IIRC action, pointing out that the entire report has not even been released.

"We feel that only a full understanding and comprehension of the report will aid the proper discussions of its merits as well as shortcomings," De Lima said.

"We know there are imperfections in the report. In the first place, we have limitations like time, materials or literature on what came out in the public proceedings," she added.

De Lima said that the committee, minus Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, met Thursday morning and discussed what steps to take for the "second phase" of their investigation, which is the "institutional review."

"We are also issuing an addendum—I think by Monday—on certain points not covered by the report because the corresponding documents came late in the sense that we were already finalizing the report when these documents came," she added.

De Lima also said that the Ombudsman's planned investigation into the hostage-taking might duplicate the work of the IIRC.

She noted that the supposed basis of the Ombudsman investigation, an August 23 letter from two Hong Kong councilors, asked for information that has already been answered by the IIRC inquiry.

"But again, as I said, that is the prerogative of the Ombudsman, especially it is an independent constitutional body," she added.

De Lima said that issues of "propriety and prudence" would only come to fore if the Ombudsman would look into her own involvement in the hostage taking.

Palace legal team won't revise IIRC report

by By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang's legal team will not be making changes to the Incident Investigation and Review Committee report on the August 23 hostage crisis but will instead "simplify" its contents for President Benigno Aquino III, Executive Secretary Paquito "Jojo" Ochoa said Thursday.

Senate mulls resumption of hostage probe

The Senate committee on public order is planning to resume its hearing on the August 23 bloody hostage-taking, but this time to focus on the "roles and relationships" between the police and local government officials.

Belmonte: No separate hostage probe by House

by abs-cbnNEWS.com

MANILA, Philippines - House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. junked a colleague's proposal that the House of Representatives do a separate investigation into the Manila hostage crisis.

Palace clears Robredo on jueteng bribes

by abs-cbnNEWS.com

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo is not tainted by jueteng money, Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said on Thursday.

DILG chief to probe local execs' links to 'jueteng'

The Department of Interior and Local Government is verifying reports on the purported involvement of several local government officials on the illegal numbers game "jueteng," Secretary Jesse Robredo said on Thursday.

Chavit dares Miriam: Don't hide behind Senate immunity

by abs-cbnNEWS.com

MANILA, Philippines -  Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis "Chavit" Singson on Thursday challenged Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago not to hide behind the cloak of congressional immunity while making wild accusations against other people.

BIR to look into taxes paid by alleged gambling lords

The Bureau of Internal Revenue is investigating the personalities named in the Senate hearing on jueteng to determine if they are paying the correct taxes, Revenue Commissioner Kim Jacinto Henares said Thursday.

'Tony Boy' blasts media over jueteng row

by abs-cbnNEWS.com

NEW YORK CITY, USA – Businessman Antonio "Tony Boy" Cojuangco Jr. lashed out at media on Thursday over reports linking him to the jueteng row in the country.

Ex-SC justice to represent House in impeach oral argument

The House of Representatives has tapped retired Supreme Court Justice Vicente Mendoza, a noted constitution expert, to lead it in the oral argument in the Supreme Court over the impeachment proceedings against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.

Aquino authorizes abolition of 10 agencies under his office

President Benigno Aquino III has authorized the abolition of 10 offices under the Office of the President (OP) to streamline operations and save on resources, Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa Jr. said Thursday.

Appearing before the committee on appropriations to defend the OP's budget, Ochoa said the dissolution of the 10 offices created during the time of Aquino's predecessor, would save the government P304.6 million.

The OP is asking for P4.07 billion budget for 2011, which is 4.3 percent lower than its outlay this year.

The President said the government could do without some of the offices because the departments were doing their function.

The 10 offices to be abolished are: Mindanao Development Council, Office of the North Luzon Quadrangle Area, Office of External Affairs, Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC), Minerals Development Council, Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group (PASG), Luzon Urban Beltway Super Region, Bicol River Basin Watershed Management Project, Office of the Presidential Adviser on Global Warming and Climate Change, and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on New Government Centers.

Aquino will retain eight agencies under his helm, which are: Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process, Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission, Presidential Visiting Forces Agreement Commission, Commission on Information and Communications Technology, EDSA People Power Commission, Commission on Maritime Affairs, Philippine Truth Commission, and the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office.

PRC releases results of Marine Engineer Officers' Licensure Exams

by abs-cbnNEWS.com

MANILA, Philippines - The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) announced Thursday that 1,057 out of 1,759 passed the various grades of the written phase of the Marine Engineer Officers Licensure Examinations.

The successful examinees who garnered the ten (10) highest places in the SECOND ENGINEER Licensure Examination (Written Phase) are the following:

RANK

                       NAME

SCHOOL

RATING(%)

 

1

ERNESTO OROSCO VIRAY JR

PHILIPPINE MARITIME INSTITUTE-QUEZON CITY

88.25

 

2

ERICSON TIROL OFIANA

TECHNOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF THE PHILIPPINES-MANILA

87.75

 

3

BONIFACIO LUMONSOD BODIONGAN

PALOMPON INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY-PALOMPON

87.50

 

 

ALLAN CARITAS COHIT

PHILIPPINE MERCHANT MARINE SCHOOL-LAS PIÑAS

87.50

 

4

JOSE RONALD PACIENTE PALMARES

WESTERN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

86.75

 

5

ALEXANDER PUNONGBAYAN BANTILAN JR

PHILIPPINE MERCHANT MARINE ACADEMY

86.25

 

 

CHRISTIAN GANADO BIOCO

ZAMBOANGA STATE COLLEGE OF MARINE SCIENCES & TECHNOLOGY

86.25

 

 

EMMANUEL PAUL MONDEJAR DE LA CRUZ

JOHN B. LACSON COLLEGES FOUNDATION-ILOILO CITY

86.25

 

 

JUSTIN-LESLIE CAYOWET JUAN

PHILIPPINE MERCHANT MARINE ACADEMY

86.25

 

6

EDDIE MACIAS AYOP

AGRO-INDUSTRIAL FOUNDATION COLLEGES OF THE PHILIPPINES

85.75

 

 

BONIFACIO PALAGAM MANSOR

MARINERS POLYTECHNIC COLLEGE FOUNDATION-BARAS

85.75

 

 

ALAN PAQURING MARIVELES

UNIVERSITY OF CEBU

85.75

 

 

ROSAURO SARI QUIÑONES

PHILIPPINE MERCHANT MARINE SCHOOL-LAS PIÑAS

85.75

 

7

JEFFREY GERUNDA CABALIDA

UNIVERSITY OF CEBU

85.25

 

 

RONELO COLOT DATUIN

MISAMIS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

85.25

 

8

FRANCISCO ANGELES CALANDA

JOHN B. LACSON COLLEGES FOUNDATION-ILOILO CITY

85.00

 

9

HENRY RAQUEL AGALOOS

ASIAN INSTITUTE OF MARITIME STUDIES

84.75

 

 

AADREY ROD BRAVO CABARLES

PHILIPPINE MERCHANT MARINE ACADEMY

84.75

 

10

GEOFFREY MAGHANOY FLORIN

MISAMIS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

84.50

 

 

EXCELCER REYES IMPERIAL

UNIVERSITY OF SAINT ANTHONY

84.50

 

 

SANDY RICO MALONES

PHILIPPINE MERCHANT MARINE ACADEMY

84.50

 

$1: P44.120

$1: P44.120 (P43.88)

Euro 1: P58.8071

Asia wary as China asserts territorial ambitions

by by Sarah Stewart, Agence France-Presse

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - As a newly assertive China confronts Japan and the United States over its territorial ambitions, other Asian nations are growing wary of being crushed between brawling powers.

UN summit ends with calls for tougher battle against poverty

by abs-cbnNEWS.com

UNITED NATIONS - US President Barack Obama called for greater urgency in the fight against the world's social ills as a UN poverty summit ended late Wednesday with tens of billions of dollars of pledges but lingering pessimism about the impact.

Obama urges world to back Middle East peace plan

UNITED NATIONS—President Barack Obama warned Thursday the Holy Land was doomed to perpetual bloodshed, unless the world unites behind his plan for a Palestinian state and a secure Israel within a year.

Roach: 'Tropical storm' to downsize 'Tijuana Tornado'

by abs-cbnNEWS.com

MANILA, Philippines – Trainer Freddie Roach is confident that his ward, boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, will be able to downsize the taller Antonio Margarito of Mexico.

Pacman trains with 'Pacman'

Halos isang linggo pa lang simula nang sumabak sa ensayo si Manny Pacquiao. Pero ngayon pa lang, bumilib na agad si Coach Freddie Roach sa kundisyon ng alaga. At para mas lalong ganahan, kasamang nag-eensayo ni Manny ang aso niyang si Pacman na galing pa sa Amerika.

Margarito trainer: Pacquiao KO'd in 11th

Robert Garcia, Antonio Margarito's soft spoken trainer, answered back and predicted the Mexican former two-time world champion would beat the hell out of Manny Pacquiao once they finally meet inside the ring on November 13 at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Hatton Stripped of License, Fined after Drug Use

from mb.com.ph

LONDON (AP) — Former world champion Ricky Hatton had his boxer's license withdrawn on Thursday following newspaper revelations of drug use.

Hatton was found guilty of misconduct by the British Boxing Board of Control at a hearing on Wednesday. He was also fined 20,000 pounds ($31,000) but kept his promoter's license.

Bata, Django top pool money list

by abs-cbnNEWS.com

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino billiard stars Efren "Bata" Reyes and Francisco "Django" Bustamante dominated the latest 2010 Player Money List, which also includes 3 other Pinoy pool wizards in the top 10.

According to AZbilliards.com, the 55-year-old Reyes remained at the top of the list with total earnings of $83,512.

The "Magician" won the $7,432 top prize in the Spanish Open last June and the $10,000 first prize money in the recently held Predator International 10-Ball in Manila.

The 47-year-old Bustamante, meanwhile, is at No. 2 spot with total earnings of $71,838.

His biggest purse of $36,000 came from winning the 2010 World Pool Championships in Doha, Qatar last July.

Both Reyes and Bustamante played for Puyat Sports.

Third in the money list is Briton's Karl Boyes with $59,488, followed by American's Shane Van Boening (4th) with $58,191, and two-time national open champion Lee Vann "The Slayer" Corteza (5th) with $50,722.

At 6th and 7th spots are Filipino Dennis "Robocop" Orcollo and Briton Darren Appleton, respectively.

Orcollo, a former fisherman from Bislig, Surigao del Sur, had $49,575 worth of winnings while Appleton had $45,106.

Rounding up the Top 10 are Rodney Morris ($43,137), Niels "The Terminator" Feijen of the Netherlands ($41,345), and another Filipino ace Jundel "Jano" Mazon ($40,000).

Asian Games body to bring in 30 RP delegates for free

Organizers of the 16th Asian Games will bring 30 Filipino athletes and coaches to the continental sports competition for free.

PNoy left phone in Manila

by By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines - Lawmakers and spectators burst into laughter after Presidential Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang candidly told the House of Reprentatives appropriations committee that President Benigno Aquino III left his phone in Manila.

This was during the budget hearing of the Office of the President before the House appropriations committee on Thursday.

Carandang and Executive Secretary Paquito "Jojo" Ochoa were defending their offices' budget proposals for 2011. Carandang came late.

When he arrived, he was asked by House minority leader Edcel Lagman if the President has responded to his text messages. This was in reference to media reports that Carandang has been on texting range with the President, who is on official travel.

Carandang responded: "I have been texting the president, but I was informed by the staff he left his phone in Manila. I don't think he got it. I started to text his close-in staff."

An embarrassed Lagman then promptly stopped his questioning of Carandang amid the laughter in the hall.

Appropriations committee chair Jun Abaya thanked Carandang for his "good answer."

Later on, Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay told Carandang that while they appreciated the candor, he should never say that again.  "I admire you for your honesty. I hope you don't repeat that."

Magsaysay asked Carandang if there are other ways he is in touch with the President. "Di po ba iniiwan ang data sa inyo on where you can contact him? Dun pa lang, miscommunciation na. How come you texted him using the wrong number?"

Carandang said: "There are different ways. We have 2 staff. There's a phone which is the more immediate way of contacting him. I've been sending him informal SMS, but we've been sending daily briefers. He's aware of what's happening."

'It's birthing pains'

Carandang was later joined by fellow Palace Communications Group members, Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda and Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma.

They were all quizzed on their lack of coordination, which had previously led to conflicting, oftentimes embarrassing messages from Malacañan.

Carandang stressed he crafts the messages Lacierda is supposed to deliver over Coloma's facilities.

Coloma is in charge of the old Office of the Press Secretary and the old government mass media group.

The 3 stressed they coordinate with each other.

Magsaysay, however, reminded them of the confusion over the release of media guidelines for hostage situations.

Carandang had said there was none [media guidelines] after Coloma said there already was one.

Carandang said: "I agree with you there has been confusion. Part of it comes from fact my office is a new office. Previous administration had a  press secretary in charge of everything . It's birthing pains."

Carandang told Magsaysay when she asked how long before the birthing pains are over that  there was no confusion already.

Why many talking heads

Coloma, meantime, justified the need for many talking heads.

He cited the 100 members of the Malacañan Press Corps, as well as various obligations to the media that makes it impossible physically for just one person to handle the job.

Coloma said:

"With the MPC [Malacañang Press Corps], there are more than 100 members, print, radio, TV, online media.  In the course of a day, many members of the MPC would be asking for information, and  it's physically  impossible to respond to all queries.

"From 5 a.m. to 10 a.m., if we tune into radio and TV, this is the news commentary period of the day, so many news and opinion programs wanting to get the side of Malacañan on almost every issue. They would want the Palace's reaction. That's why we endeavor to answer as many if not all of those queries.

"By 11 a.m.,  we need to conduct a press briefing because of the deadline of newspapers. There are also late breaking news [so there's] another presscon at 2 p.m.

"From 4-6 p.m., we continue to be interviewed by radio stations. After prime time news, there are also calls to answer and appear in programs."

Lacierda said inquiries via SMS are "normally...sent to all of us. Normally, a reporter would ask us and we coordinate with each other on the proper response to question."

The 3 stressed they coordinate and talk to each other.

Lacierda and Carandang both are under the Office of the President though they have Cabinet rank.

Carandang's office has a P50 million budget proposal for next year.

Cory Aquino alma mater honors Noynoy

The alma mater of the late icon of democracy Corazon Aquino has conferred on her son, President Benigno Aquino, the same highest honor it awarded his mother in 1984 when she was just the widow of a martyred opponent of the Marcos dictatorship.

In between meetings with World Bank president Robert Zoellick and a dinner hosted by the RP-US Business Council, President Aquino received the Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal from the College of Mount Saint Vincent in this city.

"In accepting this award, I am humbled by what this medal represents: your solidarity with my people. You stood with us in the dark days. You stand with us now, in brighter days: the greatest period of optimism my people have seen, since the fall of Ferdinand Marcos," Aquino said.

The award is given in recognition of outstanding achievements, generosity of spirit and extraordinary self-sacrifice reminiscent of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

"My mother closed her speech of thanks in 1984 with a prayer. She prayed that the faith that sustained my father and her would sustain our people until the day of their redemption," Aquino said.

"A generation from now, perhaps another Filipino will stand here and say to you: I am glad to say that we remain not only free, but are now prosperous. We not only have the blessings of democracy, but are free of poverty. This is my prayer," he added.

Charice's 'Glee' performance earns praise

by abs-cbnNEWS.com

MANILA, Philippines – International singing sensation Charice has earned much applause from the hit American TV show's viewers who watched her debut on the second season of "Glee."

Gates tops list of richest Americans; Facebook's Zuckerberg 35th

WASHINGTON, September 23, 2010 (AFP) - Microsoft founder Bill Gates topped the Forbes magazine list of the 400 richest Americans on Thursday as Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg leapfrogged Apple's Steve Jobs in the rankings.

Of wars and moon cakes

by abs-cbnNEWS.com

MANILA, Philippines - The Mid-Autumn or the Moon Cake Festival, celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese calendar (late September or early October in the Gregorian calendar), when the moon is said to be at its fullest and brightest.

Since it is usually celebrated with moon cakes -- or pastries that may contain lotus seed paste, yolks and salted duck eggs -- the occasion was eventually dubbed as the Moon Cake Festival.

 

In a recent interview on ABS-CBN's Umagang Kay Ganda (UKG), Charlie Chao, a feng shui expert, noted that moon cakes are not only delectable treats.

At one point in Chinese history, he said these were crucial in achieving liberation from Mongol rule.

It was widely believed that Chinese leaders used the delicacy to plan their attack on the Mongol empire.

Since the Mongols don't eat moon cakes, Chao noted that the plan to overthrow the government was successfully disseminated among the Chinese community by inserting messages in the cakes and passing them from one house to another.

New moon cakes

Nowadays, moon cakes are no longer limited to the usual lotus seed and egg yolk variants.

Pastry chef Richard Hong of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, for one, recently introduced his latest moon cake creations, which offer a twist to the traditional Chinese treat.

 

These include the Snow Skin moon cakes which melt in your mouth, and those made with taro, white bean, chocolate, and red paste with rhum.

For the adventurous eaters, Hong has also created a moon cake with durian, a fruit known for its distinct smell and odor.

Moses had help parting the Red Sea—study

WASHINGTON – US researchers think they have narrowed down where Moses parted the Red Sea 3,000 years ago, and also how he did it – with a little help from the wind.

"People have always been fascinated by this Exodus story, wondering if it comes from historical facts," Carl Drews of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the lead author of the study, said.

 

"What this study shows is that the description of the waters parting indeed has a basis in physical laws," he said.

 

The Bible speaks of the Israelites going "into the midst of the sea on dry ground" with a wall of water on either side of them as a strong wind from the east blew through the night after Moses stretched his hand out over the sea.

 

The researchers couldn't simply refer to the Bible to pin down the geographical location of the crossing because "although the author of Exodus tried very hard to pinpoint where Moses crossed, unfortunately the three place names used are no longer recognized," Drews told Agence France-Presse.

 

Drews and his co-author Weiqing Han, an oceanographer from the University of Colorado, focused their search for where the crossing might have happened on a place where there was a bend in the water, ruling out sites used in earlier studies – in the Gulf of Suez or near Aqaba in modern-day Jordan.

 

The two researchers focused on a place with a bend in the water, reasoning that when the wind blows, the water would shift and split at the point of the bend, leaving water on both sides, Drews explained.

 

"A bunch of refugees can come running across, and when the wind stops, the water suddenly goes back together again, trapping anyone who's pursuing," he said.

 

The two researchers narrowed down their hunt to a place in the eastern Nile Delta at an archaeological site later called Tell Kedua, situated north of the Suez Canal on the Mediterranean coast.

 

At this site, an ancient branch of the Nile and a coastal lagoon are believed to have come together in a U-shape.

Two new horned dinosaurs discovered

by Agence France-Presse

WASHINGTON - Two new species of large horned dinosaurs -- close cousins of the famous herbivorous Triceratops -- have been unearthed in the western desert of the United States, paleontologists have revealed.

 

 


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