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- Pope Francis asks European parishes to take in refugee families
As the image of Aylan, the Syrian boy who drowned off the Turkish coast continues to echo around the world; Pope Francis called on Catholic parishes in Europe to make a “concrete gesture” by taking in refugee families.
Telling thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, September 6, that “Christian hope is more combative,” the Pope – who has made poverty and migration a key theme of his papacy – called on Europe’s bishops to back his call in their dioceses.
Every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary in Europe should take in a family, Francis said, as he announced that the Vatican’s two parishes would lead by example.
Meantime, European authorities say it is their top priority to fight an army of an estimated 30,000 people-smuggling suspects blamed for such tragedies.
Read about the Pope’s call to help refugee families
Read about the efforts to fight migrant smuggling syndicates
- Who will decide on Grace Poe’s fate?
The Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) will determine whether or not Senator Grace Poe will be disqualified due to citizenship issues that have been hurled at her. The SET handles “all contests relating to the election, returns and qualification of members of the Senate of the Philippines.” The tribunal is currently deliberating on the case filed last August by 2013 senatorial candidate Rizalito David, who questioned the validity of Poe’s senatorial candidacy and victory. David was referring to the issue of whether Poe is a natural-born Filipino citizen, and whether she was able to fulfill the constitutional two-year residency requirement for seeking a Senate seat. According to informed sources, the decision on Poe’s disqualification can be expected within the year, as early as October.
Get to know the members Senate Electoral Tribunal
Review the documents Senator Grace Poe submitted before the SET
- NPC to meet with VP Binay
After 3 meetings with the prospective tandem of Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero, the Nationalist People’s Coalition will now meet with another presidential candidate: Vice President Jejomar Binay. The meeting, according to the media advisory sent by Binay’s office, will be held at the NPC Clubhouse in Quezon City at 12 noon today, Monday, September 7. The NPC gave contradicting statements earlier. NPC Executive Vice President and Rizal Representative Jack Duavit earlier said there would be no further political meetings with administration standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II beyond “work matters” after their meeting last August 11. Duavit also said there is no need to meet with Binay, as most NPC members already know him.
- Nepal’s best climbers risk all for sole Everest hopeful
Four months after a huge earthquake triggered a deadly avalanche at the Everest base camp, Nepal’s most experienced “ice doctors” – mountaineers who brave Mount Everest’s treacherous Khumbu icefall to prepare it for the climbing season — are readying the route for the autumn season. Many in the mountaineering community question the wisdom of asking the elite climbers to brave aftershocks and avalanches for the sake of a single summit hopeful. Japan’s Nobokazu Kuriki is the only climber planning an attempt on the summit in this year’s autumn season. A six-person support team is expected to accompany him to Camp 2, about 6,400 meters high and usually around two days of trekking beyond base camp. Even in a normal year only a handful of climbers attempt the summit during the autumn season, most opting for the more favorable conditions of spring.
Read more about Nepal’s “ice doctors” and the challenging Everest climb
- Why build Batangas-Manila LNG pipeline? – MVP
Manila Electric Company (Meralco) chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan reiterated the need for a government study concerning a planned 105-kilometer gas pipeline that will that run from Batangas to Manila in a bid develop the country’s natural gas industry. The project, popularly known as the Bat-Man 1 natural gas pipeline, had been proposed by previous administrations but failed to materialize due to concerns regarding supply of gas and sufficient demand.
Asked if his group is interested to join the auction should it push through this year, Pangilinan asked: “Who will be the consumers? Why will you build it when there is no sure market?” One concern that government should focus on is off-takers or buyers of liquefied natural gas (LNG), Pangilinan said. The need for infrastructure to convert the gas into a liquid state along the pipeline was another issue raised.
Read Pangilinan’s statements concerning the proposed Batangas-Manila LNG pipeline
- Fears of gang war as Japan ‘yakuza’ forms new group
Thousands of Japanese “yakuza” mobsters have officially formed a new group after splitting off from the country’s largest organized crime syndicate, raising concerns for possible inter-gang conflicts, reports said Sunday, September 6. Leaders of 13 factions kicked out of the “Yamaguchi-gumi” syndicate – Japan’s largest mobster or “yakuza” group which boasts 23,000 members and associates – held the first formal meeting on Saturday, September 5, in the western city of Kobe, local media reported. Like the Italian Mafia and Chinese triads, the yakuza engage in everything from gambling, drugs and prostitution to loan sharking, protection rackets and white-collar crime. Japanese police last week called for nationwide vigilance, holding an emergency meeting with special officers from the country’s 47 prefectures, on fears that the split could lead to a wave of gang violence.
Read about the new ‘Yakuza’ splinter group
- UK would vote to leave EU, new poll shows
A new opinion poll published Sunday, September 6, showed more Britons want to leave the European Union than want to stay ahead of a referendum to be held by 2017. The poll is the first to put the EU exit camp in the lead. Forty-three percent of respondents said they would vote to leave, 40% would vote to stay and 17% are still undecided, according to the poll by Survation research agency for the right-wing Mail on Sunday newspaper. The survey, which was conducted online on September 3 and 4 and had 1,004 respondents, had a margin of error of two percentage points.
Read about the new poll on UK’s EU membership
- Pacquiao on retirement: I know my body better
Philippine boxing hero Manny Pacquiao hinted he has several more fights left in him after his American promoter said he would likely retire next year. Pacquiao played down remarks by promoter Bob Arum that he would fight just once more in 2016 before hanging up his gloves to run for Senate. “I know better what is happening to my body,” Pacquiao defiantly said late Saturday, reacting to Arum’s statement. Arum was quoted on Thursday as saying that the 36-year-old Pacquiao wants to get on with his political career and run for the Senate in the Philippines.
- PH designers asked to help design national costumes for beauty queens
Would you like to design the national costume of the next Bb Pilipinas beauty queens? Last January, many criticized Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc (BPCI) for Miss Universe Philippines 2014 Mary Jean Lastimosa’s national costume, which was designed by Colombian designer Alfredo Barraza. This time, the pageant is calling all Filipino fashion designers to send in their creative sketches for national costumes. On Facebook, BPCI announced that the designs should be submitted on or before September 15. Bb Pilipinas chairperson Stella Marquez Araneta, Mrs. Conchitina Bernardo, ABS-CBN’s Chit Guerrero, fashion designer, will judge designs Christian Espiritu and Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Thelma San Juan. The chosen designs will be worn by Bb Pilipinas beauty queens in various international competitions.
Read about the Bb Pilipinas national costume design competition
- Timeline of the Torre de Manila case
After 6 hearings, the Supreme Court has wrapped up oral arguments on the controversial Torre de Manila condominium in Manila. The high court held the 6th and last hearing on the Torre de Manila petition on September 1. The 49-story residential project, dubbed the “national photobomber” by critics, is the subject of a petition filed last September 2014 by the Knights of Rizal. The group wants to have the building demolished because it mars the sightline of the historic Rizal Monument and because it allegedly violated zoning laws in the city of Manila. The issue has spanned 3 years, beginning in 2012 when heritage advocate Carlos Celdran began raising concerns over the building. Rappler looks at the progression of the complaint against Torre de Manila – from its beginnings in an online petition, to being the topic of discussion in the highest tribunal of the land.
Read the timeline of the Torre de Manila case