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- Poe to declare presidential bid September 16
Senator Grace Poe is expected to declare she will run for president in 2016 on, Wednesday, September 16. The event would be held at the Bahay ng Alumni in the University of the Philippines Diliman in Quezon City. Sources said she’ll be doing it alone. Sen. Chiz Escudero, expected to be her running mate, is scheduled to declare his plans a day later. Poe, who had consistently led popularity surveys, is being courted by the ruling party to be it’s standard bearer’s running mate. President Benigno Aquino said his ruling Liberal Party is taking it in stride. Aquino said, “Worried? Why should we be worried of her announcing her plans? We really would like to hear what she says.” Earlier, Aquino said he’s not giving up on Poe.
- Aquino ‘not convinced’ to lower income tax rates
President Aquino is not convinced lowering income tax rates will benefit the majority saying improving tax collection is part of his 2010 presidential. He says the proposal to raise VAT in exchange for lowering income tax levels will not benefit the majority. This comes after Aquino rejected a House bill seeking to lower income tax rates in the Philippines. If approved, the government is estimated to lose at least P30 billion or $641.49 million during its first year of implementation.
Read more on Aquino’s rationale for not lowering income taxes.
- Butch Abad’s brother joins Binay party
The estranged brother of administration stalwart Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad joined Vice President Jejomar Binay’s party on Monday, September 14, saying there was nothing personal in him joining a party opposed to his brother’s. Nicanor Abad took his oath as an UNA member at the Coconut Palace, the Vice President’s office. Secretary Abad said his brother will run against his wife, Batanes Representative Henedina Abad. The budget secretary added that Nicanor is lived for the most part in the United States, and that “sometimes, blood is not thicker than water.”
Read more on the Abad brothers.
- Critics call on SC to junk Comelec ‘spending splurge’
Critics of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday, September 14, requested the Supreme Court (SC) to strike down the poll body’s recent “spending splurge” over vote-counting machines. In a 41-page petition, Francisco Aguilar Jr and Guillermo Santos said the SC should nullify Comelec Resolution 9980. In Resolution 9980, the poll body unanimously approved the lease of 93,000 voting machines, called optical mark readers (OMRs), from Smartmatic. At the same time, it decided not to reuse its old precinct count optical scan (PCOS) vote-counting machines in 2016. They also said the lease was illegal because it was not included in the Comelec’s annual procurement plan, as required by law.
Read more on the petition vs Comelec’s spending.
- UP regulates trademark, requires permit for merchandise
In a memorandum released on Monday, September 14, the University of the Philippines (UP) announced that 4 names and marks identifiable to the university are now registered marks. Citing both the university’s Intellectual Property Rights Policy and the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, UP president Alfredo Pascual said no person will be allowed “to use the trade and service marks of UP without its permission or license.” The memorandum effectively bans the unauthorized use of these registered marks on commercial merchandise such as apparel, bags, and novelty items, among others. But the prohibition does not apply to entities officially recognized and affiliated with the university. UP units, recognized student organizations, accredited academic and administrative organizations, and affiliated foundations will be allowed to continue using the marks “in accordance with existing guidelines.”
Read more on the new UP moratorium on merchandising.
- Abbott out, Turnbull in as Australian PM
Australian conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott was dramatically ousted Monday, September 14, in a snap party vote forced by challenger Malcolm Turnbull, a former banker and millionaire. Abbott, who came to power in 2013, was forced into a leadership ballot among his Liberal Party colleagues after Turnbull said the coalition government faced defeat without change at the top. Moves against the unpopular Abbott had been in the works for months. He survived a leadership challenge in February after poor polling, policy backflips and an unpopular budget generated a backbench revolt, fueled by questions about the prime minister’s judgment.
Read more on the new Australian leadership.
- North Korea hints at October rocket launch
North Korea hinted Monday, September 14, at a possible satellite launch, fuelling speculation that it might attempt to fire a long-range rocket to coincide with a key political anniversary in October. This move could invite fresh international sanctions and jeopardize a reunion organized with South Korea of families divided by the 1950-53 Korean War. The North insists its rocket launches are intended to put peaceful satellites into orbit, while the US and its allies see them as disguised ballistic missile tests. North Korea is banned under UN Security Council resolutions from carrying out any launch using ballistic missile technology, although repeated small-range missile tests into the sea have gone unpunished.
Read more on North Korea’s possible rocket launch.
- Hungary closes main entry point for migrants
Hungarian police on Monday, September 14, closed off the main crossing point for migrants entering from Serbia. Almost 200,000 people travelling up from Greece have entered Hungary in 2015 alone, most seeking to go to northern Europe, particularly Germany and Sweden. The sharp increase came ahead of tough laws coming into force Tuesday under which people entering Hungary illegally can be jailed for up to three years.
Read more on Hungary’s closure.
- Djokovic defeats Federer in the US open
Tennis player Novak Djokovic clinched his third Grand Slam title of 2015 and 10th career major over sentimental favorite Roger Federer in the US Open final on Sunday, September 13. The defeat shattered the 34 year-old Federer’s bid to become the oldest US Open champion in 45 years and left him marooned on 17 Grand Slam titles, the last of which came at Wimbledon in 2012. Undaunted, Federer said during the awarding ceremony “I’ll see you guys next year.”
Read more on the Djokovic vs. Federer match.
- Carly Rae Jepsen: Life after ‘Call Me Maybe’
Stepping out of the shadow of her 2012 megahit Call Me Maybe, Canadian pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen performed in Manila for the second time Monday, September 14 to promote her new album Emotion. Jepsen’s critically-acclaimed third album took two years in the making, a project something that she says she did not want to rush.