this is us - updates

Rappler's latest stories on this is us


Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood backs Michael Bloomberg – report

Feb 23, 2020 - 11:45 AM

The actor has supported Donald Trump when he ran for president 4 years ago

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 03: Director-producer Clint Eastwood attends the 20th Annual AFI Awards at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on January 03, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AFI/AFP

Sanders claims big win in Nevada, tightens grip on Democratic race

Feb 23, 2020 - 10:59 AM

Bernie Sanders' win is a substantial accomplishment in a state seen as an important bellwether because it is the first diverse electorate to weigh in on the 2020 presidential race

VICTORY. In this file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) takes the stage during a primary night event on February 11, 2020 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Photo by Joe Raedle/AFP

Bloomberg to release accusers from contracts requiring silence

Feb 23, 2020 - 10:46 AM

There are at least 3 non-disclosure agreements presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg signed with women in the past 30 years

END TO SILENCE. In this file photo taken on July 24, 2019 Michael Bloomberg, addresses the NAACP's (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) 110th National Convention at Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Jeff Kowalsky/AFP

Londoners rally for Assange ahead of extradition hearing

Feb 22, 2020 - 11:24 PM

Supporters of Assange's freedom gather outside the Australian government's representative office, then march though central London for a rally outside parliament

'HANDS OFF'. Protesters hold up placards as they gather outside Australia House to take part in a march in support of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in London on February 22, 2020, as he fights extradition to the United States. The main hearing in extradition proceedings against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange begins at the end of February. Photo by Tolga Akmen/AFP

U.S. prepares to sign withdrawal deal with Taliban on February 29

Feb 21, 2020 - 9:36 PM

Both US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Taliban issue statements saying they have agreed to sign the accord on February 29 in Doha, following the one-week partial truce

US-TALIBAN TALKS. In this file photo taken on August 27, 2017 US Marines and Afghan Commandos stand together as an Afghan Air Force helicopter flies past during a combat training exercise at Shorab Military Camp in Lashkar Gah in Helmand province. File photo by Wakil Kohsar/AFP

Russia meddling in U.S. election to boost Trump, lawmakers told

Feb 21, 2020 - 7:15 PM

A US intelligence official reportedly told lawmakers Russia is once again meddling in the US election on Donald Trump's behalf, according to The Washington Post and New York Times

US ELECTIONS. In this file photo, then Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testifies before a hearing of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on September 26, 2019, in Washington, DC. File photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP

Makati Business Club: 'Strong' U.S. ties important for PH economy, security

Feb 21, 2020 - 4:59 PM

The Makati Business Club expresses concern over the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States, saying it may 'affect other security agreements'

ALLIES NO MORE? The Philippine and US flags during the opening ceremony of the yearly Balikatan joint military exercises in April 2016. File photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

U.S. counter-terror analyst pleads guilty leaking secret info

Feb 21, 2020 - 10:49 AM

The leaks include details about foreign countries' weapons systems

MISSILES. Leaks may have included info on China installing anti-ship cruise missiles. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Septuagenarian Democrats spill their baggage on debate stage

Feb 21, 2020 - 10:16 AM

There are mentions of the heart attack suffered by Sanders in October and coronary stents Bloomberg received 20 years ago

DEBATE. Democratic presidential hopeful Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (L) speaks next to former Vice President Joe Biden during the ninth Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season. Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP

Trump seeks to tighten grip on Arizona, likely swing state in 2020

Feb 21, 2020 - 7:28 AM

In the border state, US President Donald Trump stands by his campaign promise of building the wall

ALLIES. US Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) hugs President Donald Trump at a rally at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Caitlin O'Hara / Getty Images North America/AFP

'Same values': Meet Trump's unlikely supporters

Feb 20, 2020 - 6:47 PM

A Filipino-Japanese immigrant, a Mexican, and a few other Latinos are among the unlikely supporters Rappler meets at President Donald Trump's campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona

Photo by Cui Chentao

LIVE: Senate hearing on Senate concurrence in ending treaties

Feb 20, 2020 - 10:03 AM

Watch the Senate hearing live on Rappler

Benefits of China trade truce 'limited' – U.S. Fed officials

Feb 20, 2020 - 9:00 AM

United States Federal Reserve officials note the 'phase one' trade deal with China 'would still leave a large portion of the tariffs in place'

TRADE WAR. This photo taken on June 24, 2019, shows containers at the Qingdao Port Foreign Trade Container Terminal in Qingdao, China. File photo by AFP

'Fortunately,' there won’t be pushback from military over VFA – Trillanes

Feb 19, 2020 - 8:10 PM

The former Navy sailor who led two mutinies says the Armed Forces of the Philippines is a professional institution, and will weather the President’s order to repeal the pact with its biggest military ally

FIREBRAND. Former Navy officer and senator Antonio Trillanes IV. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Pompeo closes Africa tour with warning about China's 'empty promises'

Feb 19, 2020 - 7:43 PM

'Countries should be wary of authoritarian regimes with empty promises. They breed corruption, dependency,' says US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

AFRICA TOUR. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo enters the plane before departing from the Addis Ababa Bole international Airport in Addis Ababa on February 19, 2020, as he travels to Saudi Arabia. Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool/AFP

Despite trade wars, Trump says U.S. 'open for business'

Feb 19, 2020 - 1:20 PM

'We don't want to make it impossible to do business with us,' says United States President Donald Trump, even as he has launched disputes with trading partners

US President Donald Trump speaks to the press before boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base February 18, 2020, in Maryland. - Trump is heading to California at the start of a four-day western state campaign swing. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP)

No more VFA? PH, U.S. ‘will work out something else’ – Romualdez

Feb 18, 2020 - 7:22 PM

Nothing’s certain, but based on history, the two countries will figure out a way to move bilateral relations forward, says the Philippine ambassador to the US

PRESENTING CREDENTIALS. Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel 'Babe' Romualdez presents his credentials to US President Donald Trump on November 29, 2017. Photo courtesy of Romualdez's office

China to waive tariffs on U.S. medical imports amid virus outbreak

Feb 18, 2020 - 7:20 PM

Products that will qualify for the exemptions include patient monitors, blood transfusion equipment, and instruments to measure blood pressure

TARIFFS SUSPENDED. Containers are shown at the foreign trade container terminal in Qingdao, in China's eastern Shandong province, on November 21, 2019. File photo by AFP

Villar says banning single-use plastics may be 'impossible'

Feb 18, 2020 - 4:10 PM

The plastic industry resists banning single-use plastics even as environmental group EcoWaste points out that it's the solution to plastic pollution

REGULATION FEASIBLE. Senator Cynthia Villar, chairperson of Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, presides the Senate hearing on single-use plastics. February 18, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

In U.S. politics, height matters and Trump knows it

Feb 17, 2020 - 11:41 AM

Taller guys tend to win the White House

HEIGHT. US President Donald Trump speaks to the press after arriving on Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, September 26, 2019. Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP

Senators to question VFA termination at Supreme Court

Feb 16, 2020 - 6:35 PM

No less than Senate President Vicente Sotto III is preparing the petition raising the need for Senate concurrence in ending treaties

SENATE CONCURRENCE. Led by Senate President Vicente Sotto, veteran senators are set to file a petition before the Supreme Court to raise the question of Senate concurrence before ending treaties. Photo by Joseph Vidal/PRIB

U.S., Europe clash over Washington's global retreat

Feb 16, 2020 - 12:20 AM

French President Emmanuel Macron warns of a 'weakening of the West,' as the world leaders face a more assertive China and Russia

SECURITY. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo adresses the audience on the podium during the 56th Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Munich, southern Germany, on February 15, 2020. Pool photo/AFP

U.S. defense chief warns of Huawei 'threat' to NATO

Feb 15, 2020 - 8:47 PM

US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper says Huawei is the 'poster child' for China's 'nefarious strategy' to infiltrate and dominate crucial Western infrastructure

SECURITY THREAT? Chinese telecommunications equipment provider Huawei beefs up its presence in Africa after the United States blacklisted it. Photo from Shutterstock

[OPINION | NEWSPOINT] Where is the outrage?

Feb 15, 2020 - 11:42 AM

The case takes a Shakespearean quality. King Rodrigo swings away with his sword screaming, proffering a crazy deal: the VFA for an American visa for a favorite horse – Bato de la Rosa.

U.S. bans visits by Sri Lanka army chief over war crimes

Feb 14, 2020 - 11:25 PM

'The allegations of gross human rights violations against Shavendra Silva, documented by the United Nations and other organizations, are serious and credible,' says US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

BANNED. Sri Lanka's Army chief Shavendra Silva (R) oversees a military operation to revive abandoned rice paddies, as part of a nationwide effort to improve agricultural productivity, near Colombo on January 14, 2020. Photo by Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP

Trump insists he can intervene in criminal cases

Feb 14, 2020 - 11:08 PM

President Donald Trump has been accused by opponents in Congress of trying to strip away the Justice Department's independence to benefit himself and his allies

TRUMP. In this file photo, US President Donald Trump pauses while speaking at the Economic Club of New York at the New York Hilton Midtown November 12, 2019, in New York, New York. File photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP

Billionaire candidates shake up Democratic White House race

Feb 14, 2020 - 4:14 PM

Billionaires Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer invest hundreds of millions of dollars in their efforts to win the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. And so far, it seems like that strategy is working.

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 13: A television screen shows Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg as he speaks to a crowd on February 13, 2020 in Houston, Texas. The former New York City mayor launched "Mike for Black America," an effort to focus on key issues relating to black Americans on his fifth campaign trip to Texas. Callaghan O'Hare/Getty Images/AFP Callaghan O'Hare / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

PH-US break-up on Valentine's week

Feb 14, 2020 - 3:00 PM

Need we ask who – or which country – is the third party?

Pentagon shifts $3.8 billion to Mexico border wall construction

Feb 14, 2020 - 10:35 AM

The move takes to $9.9 billion the total the Pentagon has been forced by President Donald Trump to reallocate to the barrier, after Congress repeatedly blocked funding

THE WALL. In this file photo taken on March 13, 2018 US President Donald Trump inspects border wall prototypes with Chief Patrol Agent Rodney S. Scott in San Diego, California. Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP

U.S. Senate votes to restrain Trump on Iran

Feb 14, 2020 - 8:09 AM

One Republican who voted yes is Mike Lee, who says a classified session by the Trump administration after the Soleimani killing was the 'worst' defense briefing he ever received

RESTRAINED. US President Donald Trump speaks before signing an executive order for sanctions on Iran's supreme leader in the Oval Office of the White House on June 24, 2019. Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP

Environment group lauds VFA termination, cites toxic waste U.S. troops left behind

Feb 13, 2020 - 8:29 PM

Ending the key military pact with the US is the first step towards exacting justice for thousands of Filipinos whose health suffered because of the hazardous waste the US military left behind in its former bases, says Kalikasan

ENVIRONMENT HAZARD. The activist group Kalikasan lauds the termination of the Philippines' Visiting Forces Agreement with the US, which allowed for military exercises that were an environment hazard, the group says. File photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

'Stop whining,' Locsin says after PH sends notice of VFA termination

Feb 13, 2020 - 8:23 PM

'Time to grow up,' says Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr

DFA CHIEf. Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr during a Senate hearing on the Philippines-United States Visiting Forces Agreement  on February 6, 2020. Photo by Voltaire F Domingo/Senate PRIB

Panelo contradicts Panelo: No Trump, Duterte phone call after all

Feb 13, 2020 - 5:56 PM

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo admits to reporters there was no scheduled call to begin with

FRIENDS. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and US President Donald Trump share a light moment prior to their bilateral meeting at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City in November 2017. Malacañang file photo

Iowa Democratic Party chief resigns after caucus mess

Feb 13, 2020 - 1:16 PM

In his resignation letter, Troy Price says, 'it is time for the Iowa Democratic Party to begin looking forward.' But 'my presence in my current role makes that more difficult.'

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 06, 2020 Troy Price Chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, addresses the media about the aftermath of the Iowa caucuses on February 7, 2020 in Des Moines, Iowa. Price, chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, resigned on February 12, 2020, a week after overseeing the chaotic Iowa caucuses that embarrassed the state and national party and left Democrats open to accusations of incompetence. Steve POPE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

No more military exercises with U.S. when VFA lapses – Lorenzana

Feb 13, 2020 - 12:47 PM

Although planned joint exercises may still continue in the next 6 months, there won’t be any when the termination of the military pact takes effect, says the defense chief

JOINT DRILLS. A Philippine Marine soldier watches as amphibious assault vehicles approach the beach in Ternate, Cavite, during the 2019 Kamandag joint exercises with the US. Photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

Trump 'fine' with end of Visiting Forces Agreement

Feb 13, 2020 - 7:46 AM

'If they would like to do that, that's fine, we'll save a lot of money,' Trump tells reporters at the White House, touting his 'very good relationship' with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte

Robredo to Duterte: Why so quick to act on VFA but slow on novel coronavirus?

Feb 12, 2020 - 11:13 PM

Vice President Leni Robredo questions the President's motive for scrapping the VFA, especially since members of his own Cabinet warned that it would largely be against the Philippines' own interests

WHY HURRY? Vice President Leni Robredo questions President Rodrigo Duterte's "hasty" move to scrap the Visiting Forces Agreement with the US. Photo by Charlie Villegas/OVP

U.S.-Taliban breakthrough appears closer as Ghani reports progress

Feb 12, 2020 - 7:26 PM

Washington and the insurgents have been locked in grueling talks that have stretched over more than a year for an agreement that would see the US pull thousands of troops from Afghanistan

TALKS. Afghan's President Ashraf Ghani looks on during a bilateral meeting with US President Donald Trump at Bagram Air Field during a surprise Thanksgiving day visit, on November 28, 2019 in Afghanistan. File photo by Olivier Douliery/AFP

VFA termination a 'national tragedy,' says Del Rosario

Feb 12, 2020 - 4:01 PM

'It is not what we do; it is not what is right,' says former foreign secretary Albert Del Rosario, urging the Duterte government to reconsider its decision

HARMFUL DECISION. Former Philippine foreign secretary Albert del Rosario urges the Duterte government to reconsider its decision to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement. File photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Bernie Sanders wins in New Hampshire as Joe Biden crashes and burns

Feb 12, 2020 - 12:39 PM

(UPDATED) The 78-year-old US senator from Vermont went into the race as the newly anointed national frontrunner and was expected to win New Hampshire

GIDDY. Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders  takes the stage during a primary night event on February 11, 2020 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP

U.S. defense chief: Terminating VFA 'a move in the wrong direction'

Feb 12, 2020 - 12:37 PM

(UPDATED) Losing the Visiting Forces Agreement would be a setback in countering China’s aggression in the Asia Pacific region, says US Defense Secretary Mark Esper

PENTAGON CHIEF. US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper during the wreath-laying ceremony at the American Cemetery in Manila on November 19, 2019. Photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

Democratic presidential frontrunner Sanders in early New Hampshire lead

Feb 12, 2020 - 10:03 AM

While Sanders is expected to win, a solid second place for Buttigieg could provide the biggest bounce from New Hampshire, after he won narrowly in Iowa

BERNIE DOLL. A supporter holds a Bernie action figure outside a campaign event of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at Ingersoll Tap February 2, 2020 in Des Moines, Iowa. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP

Yang announces withdrawal from U.S. Democratic presidential race

Feb 12, 2020 - 9:55 AM

Andrew Yang is known for his campaign promise of giving every adult American $1,000 a month

WITHDRAWAL. In this file photo Democratic presidential hopeful Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang gestures during the third Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season hosted by ABC News in partnership with Univision at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas on September 12, 2019. Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP

Military members disagree with VFA termination – senior officers

Feb 11, 2020 - 8:21 PM

Scrapping the key military pact with the US is disadvantageous to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, say two senior military officers who spoke on condition of anonymity

END OF AN ERA? A Filipino marine and his American counterpart watch a US Osprey fly by during a joint military exercise in Ternate, Cavite, in October 2019. Photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

TIMELINE: Duterte's threats to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement

Feb 11, 2020 - 7:26 PM

The Philippines' notice it is terminating the military pact triggers a 180-day countdown until the agreement expires. How did we get here?

COMMANDER IN CHIEF. President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech during the oath-taking ceremony of the newly-appointed government officials at Malacañang on February 6, 2020. Malacañang photo

Iraq commemorates top commander killed in U.S. strike

Feb 11, 2020 - 7:10 PM

Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was the deputy head of the Hashed al-Shaabi, a loose network of paramilitary groups formed in 2014 to fight jihadists that has since been absorbed into the Iraqi state

TRIBUTE. Iraqi's national security adviser Faleh Fayyad (L), who also is a leader of the Popular Mobilisation Froce known as the Hashed al-Shaabi, addresses a memorial service held in Baghdad's high-security Green Zone on February 11, 2020 to mark 40 days since the killing of Iran's late top general Qasem Soleimani (portrait-Centre-L) and Iraqi paramilitary commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (C-R) in a US drone strike near Baghdad airport last month. Photo by Sabah Arar/AFP

FALSE: U.S. embassy 'suspends' tourist visas due to virus, VFA scrapping

Feb 11, 2020 - 6:51 PM

The United States embassy in the Philippines denies issuing such an advisory. The screenshot supposedly from the embassy's website also contains spelling errors.

PH notice of VFA termination to have 'significant implications' on relations, says U.S.

Feb 11, 2020 - 6:05 PM

The United States says it will 'carefully consider' its next moves as it 'remains committed' to its friendship with the Philippines

BALIKATAN. Philippine and US soldiers hold an amphibious exercise during the 2019 Balikatan exercise in Zambales on April 11, 2019. Photo by Lito Boras/Rappler

New Hampshire votes in consequential Democratic primary

Feb 11, 2020 - 5:57 PM

(UPDATED) New Hampshire always hosts the nation's first primary, 8 days after Iowa kicked off the nomination process, and it could narrow the Democratic field of 11 current candidates

'FIRST IN THE NATION.' Town moderator Tom Tillotson walks past the results board after midnight voting at the Hale House at the legendary Balsams Resort in the New Hampshire hamlet of Dixville Notch February 11, 2020, where midnight voting took place on the day of the state's first-in-the-nation primary. Photo by Timothy A. Clary/AFP

In whose interest? Netizens question gov't scrapping of VFA

Feb 11, 2020 - 5:22 PM

‘Behold this President, his personal issues over [the] nation’s welfare,’ one netizen says