PHNO HEADLINE NEWS EARLY THIS PAST WEEK

NEW 7  WONDER CITIES OF THE WORLD:  VIGAN MAKES IT 

DEC 10 ---This city has been named one of the New7Wonders cities of the world, 15 years after its inscription in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) list of World Heritage Sites and Monuments. Joining Vigan in the list of New7Wonders cities are Beirut in Lebanon, Doha (Qatar), Durban (South Africa), Havana (Cuba), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and La Paz (Bolivia). The winners were named on world.new7wonders.com and YouTube at 3 a.m. yesterday. In a statement, Vigan City Mayor Eva Medina thanked everyone who voted for their city. “We hope that this feat will send a stronger message that heritage conservation, interwoven with good governance and community participation, is a very significant tool for development. We did it in Vigan, it can be done by any local government unit,” Medina said. Bernard Weber, founder and president of New7Wonders, said they will conduct validation of the winning cities before their inauguration. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Obama riffs on his presidency with Stephen Colbert

DEC 10 ---President Barack Obama talks with Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report during a taping of the program in Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University in Washington, Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. AP Photo/Susan Walsh WASHINGTON (AP) — His daughters mock his big ears, he leaves his socks on the floor and sitting behind Stephen Colbert's desk, he said, gives him a greater sense of power. When President Barack Obama was not seriously defending his economic record, his executive actions on immigration and his delayed decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline Monday on "The Colbert Report," he was playfully confiding that the trappings of the presidency really don't go to his head. "When I go home, Michelle, Malia and Sasha give me a hard time," he told host Stephen Colbert. "There are no trumpets, and they tease me mercilessly." It was Obama's third appearance on the show, his second as president, and marked the beginning of the final two weeks for the Comedy Central program. Colbert will take over for David Letterman on CBS' "Late Show" next year. Obama kicked off the show sitting in for Colbert to perform a regular feature of the program called "the Word" wherein Colbert's rants are accompanied by snarky messages to the audience. READ FULLL REPORT...

ALSO: Filipino netizens share the #ThingsToDoPagMalamig

DEC 9 ---MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Ruby has kept the sun hiding, leaving some Filipinos cooped up under their roof and wondering how they would spend the dragging cold days until the rain finally stops. Given the gloominess of the weather, netizens took to the Twitterverse to create a little amusement amidst the heavy rainfall. Trending worldwide since #RubyPH hit the country is the hashtag #ThingsToDoPagMalamig. Curious about how Filipinos spend or would like to spend the cold weather? Here are some of the tweets from our amusing netizens. VIEW THE TWEETS...

ALSO: US 'the ultimate guarantor of peace' in Philippines-China dispute

DEC 9 ---SEOUL, Korea - Security in East Asia remains "brittle," highlighting the need for continued dialogue among countries in the region and the participation of the United States (US), speakers at an annual policy forum said on Monday. "The reality is, (the situation) is brittle. There is a possibility of accidents," said Richard Haas, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, at the 7th World Policy Conference. Jean-David Levitte, a distinguished fellow at the Washington-based Brookings Institution, agreed, noting that China's interest in the region is "less about fish, oil and gas, it's more about sovereignty."  It wants to be "recognized" and "accepted" as a major player in the region, he pointed out, something its neighbors, particularly the ASEAN and Japan, feel uncomfortable of.  "That is why there is one actor that we need and this is the US. The US has to play the role as the balancing power. The US should serve as the ultimate guarantor of peace," Levitte explained during the plenary session. The Philippines, together with its colleagues in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), is embroiled in territorial disputes with China in the islands in South China Sea. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: JV remains CA member after Enrile suspension lifted 

DEC 9 ---Sen. Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito is still a member of the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA) despite the lifting of the 90-day suspension against Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile last week. Senate acting minority leader Vicente Sotto III made the manifestation before plenary on Tuesday, barely a week after Senate President Franklin Drilon lifted the suspension against Enrile. Enrile had nominated Ejercito as to take his seat in the 25-man CA body after he was detained last July at the Philippine National Police (PNP) General Hopsital at Camp Crame in Quezon City. Sotto was also appointed as acting minority leader in Enrile’s behalf. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: UNICEF provides supplies as typhoon Ruby batters Phl

DEC 9--PHOTO: Children-evacuees received free chocolate rice porridge as they seek shelter at an evacuation center upon orders from the local government in anticipation of Typhoon Hagupit which is expected to make its fourth landfall in Batangas province south of Manila Monday, Dec.8, 2014 in the Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez) UNITED NATIONS (Xinhua) - The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Monday that it is providing lifesaving supplies and services for children and women in the Philippines as Typhoon Hagupit sweeps across the country. UNICEF Philippines Representative Lotta Sylwander cautioned in a press release that despite its downgraded status, the storm continued to pose "a serious threat" as tens of thousands of children and their mothers remained in "urgent need of emergency aid." UNICEF's Tacloban office, established after Super Typhoon Haiyan, activated its emergency response plan last week. Its 54 staff are on standby to deploy to affected areas to undertake expert assessments, and work with the government and partners to assist evacuees, said the press release. The agency added that it had strategically prepositioned supplies in warehouses in Tacloban, Manila and Cotabato, including water kits, hygiene kits, water pumps, generators, water storage and treatment facilities as well as nutritional therapeutic food items to combat malnutrition, oral rehydration salts and tarpaulins power for at least 12,000 families. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: PAGASA terminates heavy rainfall warning over Metro Manila, 11 areas  

DEC 9 -4.02 P.M. ---After Tropical Depression "Ruby" continued to weaken, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on Tuesday terminated its heavy rainfall warnings over Metro Manila and several nearby provinces. In a 3 p.m. update, PAGASA said only light to moderate rains are affecting Batangas, Metro Manila, Tarlac, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Quezon, Pampanga, Bulacan, Bataan, Zambales and Nueva Ecija. PAGASA said the rains may persist within three hours. "With this development, all heavy rainfall warnings over these areas [are] now terminated," the agency said. The weather bureau had issued heavy and even intense rainfall warnings for the said areas on Monday due to Ruby, which was still then a typhoon. But as of Tuesday afternoon, there are no longer rainfall warnings and storm signals hoisted in any part of the country after Ruby weakened into a tropical storm and later, a tropical depression. PAGASA spotted the cyclone's center at 135 kilometers west northwest of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro at 10 a.m. today. Ruby was packing maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center. It was moving west at 13 kph and was expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility by early Thursday morning. Metro Manila and nearby provinces would have improved weather condition starting Wednesday, PAGASA said. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

New Wonder Cities of the world: Vigan makes it


File photo shows a calesa on the cobblestone street of the Heritage Village in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur. Officials are expecting a surge in tourism after the city was chosen as one of the New7Wonders cities. FERNAN NEBRES VIGAN, Ilocos Sur, Philippines

MANILA, DECEMBER 15, 2014 (PHILSTAR)  By Ariel Paolo Tejada - This city has been named one of the New7Wonders cities of the world, 15 years after its inscription in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) list of World Heritage Sites and Monuments.

Joining Vigan in the list of New7Wonders cities are Beirut in Lebanon, Doha (Qatar), Durban (South Africa), Havana (Cuba), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and La Paz (Bolivia).

The winners were named on world.new7wonders.com and YouTube at 3 a.m. yesterday.

In a statement, Vigan City Mayor Eva Medina thanked everyone who voted for their city.

“We hope that this feat will send a stronger message that heritage conservation, interwoven with good governance and community participation, is a very significant tool for development. We did it in Vigan, it can be done by any local government unit,” Medina said.

Bernard Weber, founder and president of New7Wonders, said they will conduct validation of the winning cities before their inauguration.

“The winners represent the global diversity of urban society. For the first time in human history, more than half of our planet’s population live in cities and this election emphasizes the dramatically challenging character of our changing world,” Weber said during the announcement.

There were 1,200 cities from 220 countries that joined the contest.

More tourists expected

Medina said they will have to prepare for the expected surge of tourists in the city.

The mayor admitted that tourism has been among the major sources of income of locals for the past decade.

“It’s not just the business owners who will benefit from this but also our farmers and fisherfolk who supply major business establishments in the city, as well as the kalesa and tricycle drivers around the Vigan plaza,” Medina said.

She said they also intend to improve infrastructure facilities.

“The fact that we are expecting more tourists, we have to improve our compliance with the basic needs of our tourists,” she said. – With Jun Elias, Andy Zapata, Vic Alhambra


FROM PHILSTAR

Obama riffs on his presidency with Stephen Colbert
By Jim Kuhnhenn (Associated Press) | Updated December 10, 2014 - 12:00am 0 4 googleplus0 0


President Barack Obama talks with Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report during a taping of the program in Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University in Washington, Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. AP Photo/Susan Walsh

WASHINGTON (AP) — His daughters mock his big ears, he leaves his socks on the floor and sitting behind Stephen Colbert's desk, he said, gives him a greater sense of power.

When President Barack Obama was not seriously defending his economic record, his executive actions on immigration and his delayed decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline Monday on "The Colbert Report," he was playfully confiding that the trappings of the presidency really don't go to his head.

"When I go home, Michelle, Malia and Sasha give me a hard time," he told host Stephen Colbert. "There are no trumpets, and they tease me mercilessly."

It was Obama's third appearance on the show, his second as president, and marked the beginning of the final two weeks for the Comedy Central program. Colbert will take over for David Letterman on CBS' "Late Show" next year.

Obama kicked off the show sitting in for Colbert to perform a regular feature of the program called "the Word" wherein Colbert's rants are accompanied by snarky messages to the audience.

So when Obama, as Colbert, declared that there are aspects of "Obamacare" that people from both parties actually like, the text aside to the audience read: "Everything but the Obama."

Later, Colbert observed that the economy had been creating more jobs of late.

"You have employed a lot of people — mostly as secretary of defense," Colbert cracked in a reference to Obama recently nominating his fourth top civilian at the Pentagon.

"That's boosted our numbers a little bit," Obama replied.

Colbert, whose on-screen persona is that of an insufferable conservative scold, accused Obama of exceeding his authority on immigration. "When did you decide to burn the Constitution and become emperor?" he asked. The question was heard as a joke by many in the audience at George Washington University. But to Obama's critics, the question had a ring of truth.

Obama dropped the comedy and replied: "Actually, Steve, everything that we have done is scrupulously within the law and has been done by previous Democratic and Republican presidents."

As he wrapped up, Colbert had one last question: "Barack Obama — great president or the greatest president?"

"I'm going to let someone else decide — not you, but someone who knows what they're talking about," the president replied.

Colbert countered: "Stephen Colbert — great pundit or the greatest pundit?"

Obama didn't miss a beat: "The greatest pundit."


FROM PHILSTAR

Filipino netizens share the #ThingsToDoPagMalamig By Alixandra Caole Vila (philstar.com) | Updated December 9, 2014 - 5:47pm 6 27 googleplus0 0


Tumblr.com

MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Ruby has kept the sun hiding, leaving some Filipinos cooped up under their roof and wondering how they would spend the dragging cold days until the rain finally stops.

Given the gloominess of the weather, netizens took to the Twitterverse to create a little amusement amidst the heavy rainfall. Trending worldwide since #RubyPH hit the country is the hashtag #ThingsToDoPagMalamig.

Curious about how Filipinos spend or would like to spend the cold weather? Here are some of the tweets from our amusing netizens.


TWITTING: Robert Quenery ✖️ @robertquenery
Follow #ThingsToDoPagMalamig wrap yourself
with a blanket and pretend that you're a burrito. 😂 9:05 AM - 8 Dec 2014


FROM PHILSTAR

US 'the ultimate guarantor of peace' in Philippines-China dispute By Prinz Magtulis (philstar.com) | Updated December 9, 2014 - 4:56pm 1 0 googleplus0 0

SEOUL, Korea - Security in East Asia remains "brittle," highlighting the need for continued dialogue among countries in the region and the participation of the United States (US), speakers at an annual policy forum said on Monday.

"The reality is, (the situation) is brittle. There is a possibility of accidents," said Richard Haas, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, at the 7th World Policy Conference.

Jean-David Levitte, a distinguished fellow at the Washington-based Brookings Institution, agreed, noting that China's interest in the region is "less about fish, oil and gas, it's more about sovereignty."

It wants to be "recognized" and "accepted" as a major player in the region, he pointed out, something its neighbors, particularly the ASEAN and Japan, feel uncomfortable of.

"That is why there is one actor that we need and this is the US. The US has to play the role as the balancing power. The US should serve as the ultimate guarantor of peace," Levitte explained during the plenary session.

The Philippines, together with its colleagues in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), is embroiled in territorial disputes with China in the islands in South China Sea.

The country, in particular, has lodged a complaint against China before the UN-led Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague.

For Haas, the persistent conflict among East Asian economies could be traced in the "complicated geography" of the region, but more so in the sense of nationalism that has played an important role in foreign relations.

Instead of answering the Philippines's complaint by the December 15 deadline, China published a position paper where it said it will "neither accept nor participate" in the arbitration, emphasizing instead its historical claim to the contested islands.

For his part, Han Sung-Joo, former Korean foreign minister, said that while the US pivot to Asia "gave security" to its allies, America should refrain from making countries choose between the two superpowers.

"The US seems to regard joining TPP as pro-US and those that join China's (efforts) as pro-China," he said, pertaining to the American-led trade pact, Trans-Pacific Partnership.

"This shouldn't be the case. China wants to find ways to cooperate with the US," he added.

Meanwhile, Russia, which is also at loggerheads with the US over the crisis in Ukraine, also expressed optimism that an East Asian security pact will soon be established and has extended an offer to help broker the agreement.

At this early though, Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov tried to allay fears of any illicit intentions, by saying Russia's interest in the region is "open and transparent."

"I just want to underscore that Russia does not have any hidden agenda... We remain hopeful for an improvement in interstate relations and this should be done on the basis of dialogue and participation of a maximum number of states," Morgulov explained.


FROM PHILSTAR

JV still CA member By Christina Mendez (philstar.com) | Updated December 9, 2014 - 4:46pm 0 23 googleplus1 0

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito is still a member of the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA) despite the lifting of the 90-day suspension against Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile last week.

Senate acting minority leader Vicente Sotto III made the manifestation before plenary on Tuesday, barely a week after Senate President Franklin Drilon lifted the suspension against Enrile.

Enrile had nominated Ejercito as to take his seat in the 25-man CA body after he was detained last July at the Philippine National Police (PNP) General Hopsital at Camp Crame in Quezon City. Sotto was also appointed as acting minority leader in Enrile’s behalf.

Ejercito has been given the marching orders from November 30 onwards to continue doing his duties as member of the powerful body that confirms the appointments of members of the Cabinet.

The senators present during Tuesday's plenary proceedings did not object to Sotto’s manifestation. Drilon concurred with the move.

Enrile, along with Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr, were suspended by the Sandiganbayan over the plunder charges filed against them in connection with misuse of their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

The 90-day suspension orders against Enrile and Estrada ended on November 28 and November 29, respectively. Revilla’s suspension will lapse next year.

Besides Drilon being the body's chairman, Senators Teofisto Guingona III, Sotto, Alan Cayetano, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Loren Legarda, Jinggoy Estrada, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr, Sergio Osmena III, Ralph Recto, Koko Pimentel III and Antonio Trillanes IV are also members of the Senate contingent.


FROM PHILSTAR

UNICEF provides supplies as typhoon Ruby batters Phl (philstar.com) | Updated December 9, 2014 - 7:00pm 0 0 googleplus0 0


Children-evacuees received free chocolate rice porridge as they seek shelter at an evacuation center upon orders from the local government in anticipation of Typhoon Hagupit which is expected to make its fourth landfall in Batangas province south of Manila Monday, Dec.8, 2014 in the Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

UNITED NATIONS (Xinhua) - The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Monday that it is providing lifesaving supplies and services for children and women in the Philippines as Typhoon Hagupit sweeps across the country.

UNICEF Philippines Representative Lotta Sylwander cautioned in a press release that despite its downgraded status, the storm continued to pose "a serious threat" as tens of thousands of children and their mothers remained in "urgent need of emergency aid."

UNICEF's Tacloban office, established after Super Typhoon Haiyan, activated its emergency response plan last week. Its 54 staff are on standby to deploy to affected areas to undertake expert assessments, and work with the government and partners to assist evacuees, said the press release.

The agency added that it had strategically prepositioned supplies in warehouses in Tacloban, Manila and Cotabato, including water kits, hygiene kits, water pumps, generators, water storage and treatment facilities as well as nutritional therapeutic food items to combat malnutrition, oral rehydration salts and tarpaulins power for at least 12,000 families.

Hagupit made landfall over the weekend, battering the Philippines' Dolores municipality with high winds and lashing rains, resurrecting fears of a repeat of the devastation caused by last year's Typhoon Haiyan.

Earlier in the day, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) said at least 21 people were killed in central Philippines due to Hagupit. Philippine agriculture sector has initially suffered an estimated damage of P1.02 billion ($22.8 million from the typhoon.

Latest government estimates indicate that more than a million people are affected, including over 400,000 children. Many of them are in evacuation sites.

".. there are still almost a million people - many still recovering from Haiyan - who have been driven from their homes," Sylwander said. "These people have made enormous progress in rebuilding their lives over the last 12 months, and they need our help to make sure these hard-won gains are not washed away by this new disaster."

UNICEF's efforts also focus on helping children overcome the effects of anxiety and extreme fear, including through the provision of psychosocial assistance.

School tents as well as education materials will also be provided so that children who are forced to evacuate, or whose schools have been closed or damaged by the storm, can continue learning.

Typhoon Hagupit, known locally as "Ruby", made landfall only 13 months after Super Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated parts of the Eastern Visayas.

The state weather forecasting agency said Hagupit has weakened and was downgraded to tropical storm. However, it is still on the move, bringing destructive winds, heavy rain, water surges and landslides. The full extent of the damage continues to remain unclear in certain provinces due to poor communication.


FROM PHILSTAR

PAGASA terminates heavy rainfall warning over Metro Manila, 11 areas By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated December 9, 2014 - 4:02pm 6 35 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - After Tropical Depression "Ruby" continued to weaken, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on Tuesday terminated its heavy rainfall warnings over Metro Manila and several nearby provinces.

In a 3 p.m. update, PAGASA said only light to moderate rains are affecting Batangas, Metro Manila, Tarlac, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Quezon, Pampanga, Bulacan, Bataan, Zambales and Nueva Ecija.

PAGASA said the rains may persist within three hours.

"With this development, all heavy rainfall warnings over these areas [are] now terminated," the agency said.

The weather bureau had issued heavy and even intense rainfall warnings for the said areas on Monday due to Ruby, which was still then a typhoon.

But as of Tuesday afternoon, there are no longer rainfall warnings and storm signals hoisted in any part of the country after Ruby weakened into a tropical storm and later, a tropical depression.

PAGASA spotted the cyclone's center at 135 kilometers west northwest of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro at 10 a.m. today.

Ruby was packing maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center.

It was moving west at 13 kph and was expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility by early Thursday morning.

Metro Manila and nearby provinces would have improved weather condition starting Wednesday, PAGASA said.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2014 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE