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ZAMBOANGA CITY, OTHER PROVINCES PLACED WITH HIGH ALERT TERROR WARNING


DECEMBER 16 -The sun sets in the western horizon of Zamboanga City. (Alexander D. Lopez) (MB File Photo)
Some cities and municipalities in Mindanao and Visayas have been placed under terrorist threat level III” or a high terrorism threat level, the National Intelligence Board – Special Monitoring Committee said.The areas under terrorist threat level III are Zamboanga City, Palawan, certain areas in Boracay, Southern portion of Negros Island, Isabela City, Marawi City, Kidapawan City, the cities of Dipolog and Dapitan, Cotabato City, some municipalities in Sultan Kudarat province including the provinces of North Cotabato and Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. Zamboanga City Police Director Police Senior Supt Angelito Casimiro said that the areas were placed under alert level lll due to its nearness to Basilan and Sulu, the lairs of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the country. Terrorist threat level III is classified as high terrorism threat level due to persistent reports about the presence of the ASG and of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) awaiting for an opportune time to launch bombing attacks and engage in kidnap for ransom activities in the area. Casimiro said that Zamboaga City police has already adopted stricter measures to counter terrorism threat. THE FULL REPORT. RELATED, 18 killed in military, ASG clash in Basilan...

ALSO: China accuses US of serious military provocation


DECEMBER 19 -In this Monday, May 11, 2015, file photo, this aerial photo taken through a glass window of a military plane shows China's alleged on-going reclamation of Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in theSouth China Sea. China’s campaign of island building in the South China Sea might soon quadruple the number of airstrips available to the People’s Liberation Army in the highly contested and strategically vital region. That could be bad news for other regional contenders, especially the U.S., the Philippines and Vietnam. Ritchie B. Tongo/Pool Photo via AP, File BEIJING — China on Saturday accused the U.S. of committing a "serious military provocation" by flying an Air Force B-52 strategic bomber over a Chinese-controlled man-made island in the South China Sea.
China's Defense Ministry said in a statement that the U.S. is deliberately raising tensions in the disputed region where China has been aggressively asserting its claims to virtually all islands, reefs and their surrounding seas."The actions by the U.S. side constitute a serious military provocation and are rendering more complex and even militarizing conditions in the South China Sea.," the statement said. It demanded Washington immediately take measures to prevent such incidents and damage to relations between the two nations' militaries.The statement said Chinese military personnel on the island went on high alert during the Dec. 10 overflight and issued warnings demanding the aircraft leave the area. As it has in past, the ministry also said it would take whatever necessary measures to protect China's sovereignty and security. The U.S. takes no official stance on sovereignty claims in the strategically crucial sea, through which $5 trillion in international trade passes each year. However, Washington insists on freedom of navigation and maintains that China's seven newly created islands do not enjoy traditional rights including a 12-nautical mile (22-kilometer) territorial limit. There was no immediate Pentagon response to the latest Chinese protest. News reports quoted spokesman Cmdr. Bill Urban as saying in Washington that China had raised its complaints over the flight and the U.S. was investigating. READ MORE...RELATED, UN Resolution targets IS oil money...

ALSO: Megaworld transforms townships into Reindeer Parks


DECEMBER 19 -Megaworld’s Reindeer Parks like this one near McKinley Hill in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City showcase decorated reindeer which can be adopted by sponsors to benefit children of Operation Smiles Philippines Foundation. MIGUEL DE GUZMAN
Property giant Megaworld has simultaneously opened Reindeer Parks in seven townships across the country.
Santa Claus may be the man renowned to cheer kids with presents, but who helps him do the painstaking task of delivering each special gift to make sure that all children get a smile on their face during the happiest time of the year? The reindeer. This Christmas season, Megaworld, the country’s leader and pioneer in developing integrated urban townships, transformed its various townships into Reindeer Parks filled with reindeer displays made of wooden cut-outs in different sizes, depending on the amount of donation. Megaworld’s executives, employees, residents, BPO office partners and commercial tenants adopted their own reindeer, which they themselves painted and decorated last November in Megaworld’s participating townships. Around 300 reindeer were installed in various Megaworld integrated urban townships such as McKinley West and McKinley Hill in Fort Bonifacio; Eastwood City in Quezon City; Newport City in Pasay City; Southwoods City at the boundaries of Laguna and Cavite; The Mactan Newtown in Cebu. Through the help of Megaworld’s CSR arm, Megaworld Foundation, the company is helping deliver to kids a very invaluable gift – the gift of a smile. The proceeds of the purchased reindeers were handed over to Operation Smile Philippines Foundation, which gives free surgery to repair cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities for children throughout the country. Within a month since it was launched, the project was able to raise more than P4 million for the children of Operation Smile.READ MORE...

ALSO: Pope marks 79th birth anniversary popular as ever – but with criticism


DECEMBER 19- HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LOLO KIKO! – Pope Francis blows the candle on his birthday cake presented to him by a youth group belonging to the Catholic Action during a private audience at the Vatican Thursday. The Holy Pontiff turned 79 in his third year as pope. (AP)
Vatican City – Pope Francis entered his 80th year with the celebration of his 79th birth anniversary on Thursday amid hopes among his critics that it will be his last – at least as Pope. While Francis remains enormously popular among most rank-and-file Catholics, a small but vocal group of conservatives who have never much cared for his radical agenda have grown increasingly strident in criticizing the Pope now that there is little doubt left about his priorities. They have taken aim at the just-concluded synod on family issues, where the divisive issue of Communion for the civilly remarried took center stage. They have raised alarm at Francis’ call for a more decentralized church and his loosening of the Vatican’s marriage annulment process. They have winced at his environmental alarmism, wondered what’s in store for Catholic orthodoxy in this Holy Year of Mercy and blasted as sacrilege the recent screening of nature shots on St. Peter’s Basilica. The Remnant, a small, traditionalist US newspaper, last week penned an open letter begging Francis to change course or resign, arguing that his papacy was “causing grave harm to the church.” Organizers say a few thousand people have signed onto the petition. “Pope Francis is no longer trusted by many conservative Catholics and the number who don’t trust him has grown enormously since the synod,” conservative columnist Damian Thompson wrote in Britain’s Spectator last month. He said he doesn’t see the dust settling until the next conclave, “which lots of conservative Catholics want to happen as soon as possible.” The Argentine Jesuit Pope, who has rarely backed down from a fight, seems unfazed and quite possibly emboldened by the criticism. And there is no indication that it poses any real threat to his broad popularity since the concern has been confined in the public sphere at least to mostly Anglo-Saxon and Italian pundits writing in predictably conservative publications, claiming to speak for a growing number of otherwise anonymous Catholic laity and clergy.
Next Monday will be a good litmus test to show just how far Francis is willing to push the envelope when he gathers the Curia for his traditional Christmas greetings. READ MORE...

ALSO: Pope recognizes second Mother Teresa miracle, sainthood expected


DECEMBER 18 -Mother Teresa (Photo from Commons) Mother Teresa (Photo from Commons) Pope Francis has recognized a second medical miracle attributed to the late Mother Teresa, clearing the path for the beloved nun to be elevated to sainthood next year, Catholic newspaper Avvenire reported Thursday.
Mother Teresa, celebrated for her work with the poor in the Indian city of Kolkata, is expected to be officially canonized in Rome on September 4 as part the pope’s Jubilee year of mercy, according to the newspaper’s Vatican expert Stefania Falasca. The move comes after a panel of experts, convened three days ago by the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, attributed a miraculous healing of a Brazilian man with multiple brain tumors to Mother Teresa, Avvenire reported. Teresa, who was born to Albanian parents in what is now Skopje in Macedonia, was known across the world for her charity work. She died in 1997 at the age of 87. Nicknamed the “Saint of the Gutters”, she dedicated her life to the poor, the sick and the dying in the slums of Kolkata, one of India’s biggest cities. She won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. She was beatified by then Pope John Paul II in a fast-tracked process in 2003, in a ceremony attended by some 300,000 pilgrims. Beatification is a first step towards sainthood. In 2002, the Vatican officially recognized a miracle she was said to have carried out after her death, namely the 1998 healing of a Bengali tribal woman, Monika Besra, who was suffering from an abdominal tumor. The traditional canonization procedure requires at least two miracles. Her canonisation is again expected to draw large crowds to Rome for what will likely be one of the highlights of the special Jubilee year. READ MORE...

ALSO: Thousands enjoy festivities at UST Paskuhan 2015


DECEMBER 19 -The threat of a stormy weather didn’t stop hundreds of thousand of students, professors, alumni and just about any lucky individual who trooped to the University of Santo Tomas (UST) on Friday for the annual Paskuhan festivities.
As one of the most anticipated events in the university, the night of merriment was filled with performances by local rock groups and school bands. Food bazaars with lots of choices treated the famished and the foodies. The event culminated with a lavish fireworks display. INQUIRER.net photographer Tristan Tamayo and video reporter Domingo Morcoso III were there to document the momentous occasion. RC/TVJ WATCH VIDEO AT BOTTOM OF PAGE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Zambonga City, other provinces placed with high terror alert warning


The sun sets in the western horizon of Zamboanga City. (Alexander D. Lopez) (MB File Photo)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, DECEMBER 21, 2015 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Nonoy E. Lacson December 16, 2015 (updated) Some cities and municipalities in Mindanao and Visayas have been placed under terrorist threat level III” or a high terrorism threat level, the National Intelligence Board – Special Monitoring Committee said.

The areas under terrorist threat level III are Zamboanga City, Palawan, certain areas in Boracay, Southern portion of Negros Island, Isabela City, Marawi City, Kidapawan City, the cities of Dipolog and Dapitan, Cotabato City, some municipalities in Sultan Kudarat province including the provinces of North Cotabato and Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

Zamboanga City Police Director Police Senior Supt Angelito Casimiro said that the areas were placed under alert level lll due to its nearness to Basilan and Sulu, the lairs of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the country.

Terrorist threat level III is classified as high terrorism threat level due to persistent reports about the presence of the ASG and of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) awaiting for an opportune time to launch bombing attacks and engage in kidnap for ransom activities in the area.

Casimiro said that Zamboaga City police has already adopted stricter measures to counter terrorism threat.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

18 killed in military, ASG clash in Basilan by Philippine News Agency December 16, 2015


Basilan map (Photo from wikipedia.org)

MANILA, Dec. 16 (PNA) — Three soldiers were killed along with 15 Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits following a two-day operation against the brigands in Barangay Macalang, Al-Barka, Basilan.

The operation which took place Monday until Tuesday, was aimed at reducing the ASG presence in the area.

Western Mindanao Command spokesperson Major Filemon Tan said 10 troopers were also hurt while another seven of the bandits were wounded.

ASG casualty reports are based on intelligence reports, adding that these figures are as of 5:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Tan did not give the names of the dead and wounded soldiers pending notification of their next-of-kin.

Western Mindanao Command units involved in the two-day offensive include troopers from the 104th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion, 4th Special Forces Battalion, Marine Special Operations Group, and 12th Light Armor Cavalry.


PHILSTAR

China accuses US of serious military provocation By Christopher Bodeen (Associated Press) | Updated December 19, 2015 - 5:09pm 1 75 googleplus0 0


DECEMBER 19 -In this Monday, May 11, 2015, file photo, this aerial photo taken through a glass window of a military plane shows China's alleged on-going reclamation of Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in theSouth China Sea. China’s campaign of island building in the South China Sea might soon quadruple the number of airstrips available to the People’s Liberation Army in the highly contested and strategically vital region. That could be bad news for other regional contenders, especially the U.S., the Philippines and Vietnam. Ritchie B. Tongo/Pool Photo via AP, File

BEIJING — China on Saturday accused the U.S. of committing a "serious military provocation" by flying an Air Force B-52 strategic bomber over a Chinese-controlled man-made island in the South China Sea.

China's Defense Ministry said in a statement that the U.S. is deliberately raising tensions in the disputed region where China has been aggressively asserting its claims to virtually all islands, reefs and their surrounding seas.

"The actions by the U.S. side constitute a serious military provocation and are rendering more complex and even militarizing conditions in the South China Sea.," the statement said. It demanded Washington immediately take measures to prevent such incidents and damage to relations between the two nations' militaries.

The statement said Chinese military personnel on the island went on high alert during the Dec. 10 overflight and issued warnings demanding the aircraft leave the area. As it has in past, the ministry also said it would take whatever necessary measures to protect China's sovereignty and security.

The U.S. takes no official stance on sovereignty claims in the strategically crucial sea, through which $5 trillion in international trade passes each year. However, Washington insists on freedom of navigation and maintains that China's seven newly created islands do not enjoy traditional rights including a 12-nautical mile (22-kilometer) territorial limit.

There was no immediate Pentagon response to the latest Chinese protest. News reports quoted spokesman Cmdr. Bill Urban as saying in Washington that China had raised its complaints over the flight and the U.S. was investigating.

READ MORE...

Urban said the flight was not a "freedom of navigation" operation, indicating that the plane may have strayed off course. The U.S. uses pre-planned freedom of navigation operations to assert its rights to "innocent passage" in other country's territorial waters.

Critics in the U.S. say freedom of navigation operations around the man-made islands appear to contradict Washington's assertions that they have no right to territorial waters in the first place.

China's latest protest comes amid a simmering dispute over Washington's approval of the first arms package offered to Beijing's self-governing rival Taiwan in four years.

Beijing, which regards Taiwan as part of its territory, demanded the deal be scrapped to avoid harming relations across the Taiwan Strait and between China and the U.S.

On Wednesday, Beijing filed a formal diplomatic complaint and its Foreign Ministry said it would take "necessary measures, including the imposition of sanctions against companies participating in the arms sale to Taiwan."

The main contractor behind the weaponry is Raytheon. U.S. defense firms are forbidden to sell arms to China.

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MRELATED FROM THE ANILA STANDARD

Resolution targets IS oil money posted December 16, 2015 at 09:01 pm by AFP


A draft resolution to be submitted to the UN Security Council takes "explicit" aim at the Islamic State group and its lucrative trade in oil, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin told AFP in an interview.

PARIS—A draft resolution to be submitted to the UN Security Council takes “explicit” aim at the Islamic State group and its lucrative trade in oil, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin told AFP in an interview Wednesday.

Sapin said the resolution, to be debated Thursday, would send a “very strong political message: the fight against the financing of terrorism is one of the priorities of the United Nations’ members and every state must take the necessary measures.”

And ahead of Thursday’s meeting with of all 15 finance ministers of Security Council member states—the first of its kind—Sapin warned that countries that fail to turn off the tap on jihadists’ funding could potentially face sanctions.

France requested the meeting following the terror attacks in Paris last month that left 130 people dead and were claimed by IS.

Sapin has made cutting off extremists’ financing a key goal since the French capital was first hit by jihadists in January, when gunmen attacked the Charlie Hebdo magazine and a Jewish supermarket.

Based on an earlier resolution targeting Al-Qaeda, the new text “will be explicitly extended to Daesh”, Sapin said, using another term for IS.

He added that it will “in particular aim for the freezing of assets that in one way or another stem from oil smuggling”.

“It will also demand that states exercise special vigilance with regard to the smuggling of works of art that could feed big movements like Daesh,” the minister said.

READ MORE...

Adam Szubin, the US Treasury’s acting undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes, said last week that IS has reaped more than $500 million (460 million euros) in black market oil sales, looted bank vaults captured in Iraq and Syria, and raised millions more through extortion.


Smoke billows on the outskirts of Baiji oil refinery north of Tikrit, as the Iraqi army and Shiite popular mobilisation unit fighters conduct a joint operation to retake the refinery from Islamic State (IS) group jihadists Smoke billows on the outskirts of Baiji oil refinery north of Tikrit, as the Iraqi army and Shiite popular mobilisation unit fighters conduct a joint operation to retake the refinery from Islamic State (IS) group jihadists © Ahmad Al-Rubaye - AFP/File

But to run what amounts to a mini-state, it needs steady and renewable sources of funding -- so it needs access to the international financial system to move money and import supplies, according to Szubin.

Sapin said he expects the UN resolution to be passed unanimously.

“I cannot see what country could oppose effective action in the fight against the financing of terrorism,” he said.

The UN resolution would provide “legal support” to countries taking action against IS finances, Sapin said.

The international community would then need to ensure that states were taking the same measures—a task that would fall to the Financial Action Task Force, a Paris-based intergovernmental body that develops policies against money laundering and terrorist financing.

“Each country would be subject to review to see if it has taken all the necessary measures,” Sapin told AFP.

Topics: Paris | IS oil money


PHILSTAR

Megaworld transforms townships into Reindeer Parks (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 19, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Megaworld’s Reindeer Parks like this one near McKinley Hill in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City showcase decorated reindeer which can be adopted by sponsors to benefit children of Operation Smiles Philippines Foundation. MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

MANILA, Philippines – Property giant Megaworld has simultaneously opened Reindeer Parks in seven townships across the country.

Santa Claus may be the man renowned to cheer kids with presents, but who helps him do the painstaking task of delivering each special gift to make sure that all children get a smile on their face during the happiest time of the year? The reindeer.

This Christmas season, Megaworld, the country’s leader and pioneer in developing integrated urban townships, transformed its various townships into Reindeer Parks filled with reindeer displays made of wooden cut-outs in different sizes, depending on the amount of donation.

Megaworld’s executives, employees, residents, BPO office partners and commercial tenants adopted their own reindeer, which they themselves painted and decorated last November in Megaworld’s participating townships.

Around 300 reindeer were installed in various Megaworld integrated urban townships such as McKinley West and McKinley Hill in Fort Bonifacio; Eastwood City in Quezon City; Newport City in Pasay City; Southwoods City at the boundaries of Laguna and Cavite; The Mactan Newtown in Cebu.

Through the help of Megaworld’s CSR arm, Megaworld Foundation, the company is helping deliver to kids a very invaluable gift – the gift of a smile. The proceeds of the purchased reindeers were handed over to Operation Smile Philippines Foundation, which gives free surgery to repair cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities for children throughout the country.

Within a month since it was launched, the project was able to raise more than P4 million for the children of Operation Smile.

READ MORE...

“The Reindeer Park project is very well participated. This would not be possible without the people who have the heart to share their blessings with those in need,” says Francis Canuto, president of Megaworld Foundation.

Studies show that a child is born with a cleft approximately every two and a half minutes. A cleft is an opening in the lip, the roof of the mouth or the soft tissue in the back of the mouth. It causes ear disease and dental problems, as well as difficulty in speech development and eating. But it can be repaired through surgery.

“Although many patients with facial afflictions have already received help, twice as many still need help. This is why we want to thank Megaworld for their initiative to help the children of Operation Smile Philippines,” says Gian Trebol, executive director, Operation Smile Philippines.

Simultaneously with the start of painting and decorating the giant reindeer was the country’s first-ever celebration of Smile Day Philippines, which Operation Smile Philippines hopes to celebrate every year with Megaworld townships leading the national event.


MANILA BULLETIN

Pope marks 79th birth anniversary popular as ever – but with criticism by AP December 19, 2015 Share1 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share6


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LOLO KIKO! – Pope Francis blows the candle on his birthday cake presented to him by a youth group belonging to the Catholic Action during a private audience at the Vatican Thursday. The Holy Pontiff turned 79 in his third year as pope. (AP)

Vatican City – Pope Francis entered his 80th year with the celebration of his 79th birth anniversary on Thursday amid hopes among his critics that it will be his last – at least as Pope.

While Francis remains enormously popular among most rank-and-file Catholics, a small but vocal group of conservatives who have never much cared for his radical agenda have grown increasingly strident in criticizing the Pope now that there is little doubt left about his priorities.

They have taken aim at the just-concluded synod on family issues, where the divisive issue of Communion for the civilly remarried took center stage. They have raised alarm at Francis’ call for a more decentralized church and his loosening of the Vatican’s marriage annulment process.

They have winced at his environmental alarmism, wondered what’s in store for Catholic orthodoxy in this Holy Year of Mercy and blasted as sacrilege the recent screening of nature shots on St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Remnant, a small, traditionalist US newspaper, last week penned an open letter begging Francis to change course or resign, arguing that his papacy was “causing grave harm to the church.” Organizers say a few thousand people have signed onto the petition.

“Pope Francis is no longer trusted by many conservative Catholics and the number who don’t trust him has grown enormously since the synod,” conservative columnist Damian Thompson wrote in Britain’s Spectator last month. He said he doesn’t see the dust settling until the next conclave, “which lots of conservative Catholics want to happen as soon as possible.”

The Argentine Jesuit Pope, who has rarely backed down from a fight, seems unfazed and quite possibly emboldened by the criticism. And there is no indication that it poses any real threat to his broad popularity since the concern has been confined in the public sphere at least to mostly Anglo-Saxon and Italian pundits writing in predictably conservative publications, claiming to speak for a growing number of otherwise anonymous Catholic laity and clergy.

Next Monday will be a good litmus test to show just how far Francis is willing to push the envelope when he gathers the Curia for his traditional Christmas greetings.

READ MORE...

It was at that usually jovial affair last year that Francis issued a blistering, public dressing down of his closest collaborators by diagnosing the “15 ailments of the Curia.” He accused the cardinals and bishops of the Vatican bureaucracy of using their careers to grab power and wealth, of living “hypocritical” double lives and of forgetting – due to “spiritual Alzheimer’s” – that they’re supposed to be joyful men of God.

BIRTHDAY CAKE

At the Vatican, a chorus burst of “Happy Birthday” and the smell of birthday cake filled the Vatican today as a crowd of young people from the Italian lay movement “Azione Cattolica” gathered to festively wish Pope Francis a happy birthday as he turned 79 years old.

After the Pope blew out his birthday candle, he addressed the young people who were gathered for their annual Christmas audience, thanking them for the birthday cake and well wishes. The Holy Father went on to bless the movement’s commitment to the mission of welcoming migrants and encouraged them to become missionaries of Christ.

To “journey toward the Lord means to take the good road – not the evil one; it means to put oneself on the road of forgiveness, of peace, of solidarity,” Pope Francis told the youth. “In this regard, your initiative in favor of Migrants in the Agrigento diocese is a very good one,” he continued.

“Azione Cattolica” is an association of Italian lay people who aim to proclaim the Gospel through their community and in education. One of their recent projects includes working with migrants, for which Pope Francis offered prayers and blessings.

“So many brothers and sisters of ours who arrive full of hope, but are also wounded and in desperate need of so much, including peace and bread,” the Holy Father noted, asking the movement to continue their contributions to their community and to migrants in need.

Pope Francis encouraged the youth gathered to be charitable with their possessions, saying that they should share with those less fortunate than themselves. He also offered a blessing and greeting to the leaders of “Azione Cattolica” was only one among many well-wishers who expressed birthday greetings to the Pope on his birthday.

Yesterday at the general audience in St. Peter’s Square, Mexican journalist Valentina Alazraki gave Pope Francis a birthday cake in the shape of a sombrero. Alazraki noted on Twitter that the cake was given “in the name of Mexico, who awaits you” – speaking of Pope Francis’ upcoming trip to Mexico in February.

In addition, thousands of users on Twitter, including various news stations and dioceses, wished the Holy Father a happy birthday under the hashtag #HappyBirthdayPopeFrancis. (With a report from CNA/EWTN News)


MANILA BULLETIN

Pope recognizes second Mother Teresa miracle, sainthood expected by Agence France-Presse December 18, 2015 Share3 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share13

Mother Teresa (Photo from Commons) Mother Teresa (Photo from Commons) Pope Francis has recognized a second medical miracle attributed to the late Mother Teresa, clearing the path for the beloved nun to be elevated to sainthood next year, Catholic newspaper Avvenire reported Thursday.

Mother Teresa, celebrated for her work with the poor in the Indian city of Kolkata, is expected to be officially canonized in Rome on September 4 as part the pope’s Jubilee year of mercy, according to the newspaper’s Vatican expert Stefania Falasca.

The move comes after a panel of experts, convened three days ago by the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, attributed a miraculous healing of a Brazilian man with multiple brain tumors to Mother Teresa, Avvenire reported.

Teresa, who was born to Albanian parents in what is now Skopje in Macedonia, was known across the world for her charity work. She died in 1997 at the age of 87.


In this file picture taken, 15 August 1982, Mother Teresa hugs a child in West Beirut.

Nicknamed the “Saint of the Gutters”, she dedicated her life to the poor, the sick and the dying in the slums of Kolkata, one of India’s biggest cities. She won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

She was beatified by then Pope John Paul II in a fast-tracked process in 2003, in a ceremony attended by some 300,000 pilgrims. Beatification is a first step towards sainthood.

In 2002, the Vatican officially recognized a miracle she was said to have carried out after her death, namely the 1998 healing of a Bengali tribal woman, Monika Besra, who was suffering from an abdominal tumor.

The traditional canonization procedure requires at least two miracles.

Her canonisation is again expected to draw large crowds to Rome for what will likely be one of the highlights of the special Jubilee year.


INQUIRER

Thousands enjoy festivities at UST Paskuhan 2015 @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net 02:04 AM December 19th, 2015

The threat of a stormy weather didn’t stop hundreds of thousand of students, professors, alumni and just about any lucky individual who trooped to the University of Santo Tomas (UST) on Friday for the annual Paskuhan festivities.

As one of the most anticipated events in the university, the night of merriment was filled with performances by local rock groups and school bands.

Food bazaars with lots of choices treated the famished and the foodies. The event culminated with a lavish fireworks display.

INQUIRER.net photographer Tristan Tamayo and video reporter Domingo Morcoso III were there to document the momentous occasion. RC/TVJ

 
https://youtu.be/ikvvy8afPYI


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