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- Obama and Xi arrive in Manila for APEC Summit
Fresh off the G20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey, Air Force One lands in Manila late Tuesday morning, November 17, carrying US President Barack Obama. On Wednesday, November 18, Obama will speak at the APEC CEO Summit. He then joins the leaders of the other APEC member economies at the welcome reception and dinner that day, hosted by Philippine President Benigno Aquino III. Obama arrives in the Philippines with the world’s focus on the terrorist attacks in Paris claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS) group.Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi lands in the Philippines past noon on Tuesday, October 17. For his stay in the Philippines, both the Philippines and China agree that the APEC Summit, a mainly economic event, is not the right venue to discuss the sea dispute.
- Security rachet up for Obama and Xi arrival
US President Barack Obama and other Asia-Pacific leaders arrives in the Philippines Tuesday for a summit meant to foster trade unity but with terrorism and territorial rows in focus. The two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit will begin November 18, under the global shadow of last week’s rampage in Paris that killed at least 129 people. Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping are traveling to Manila from Turkey, where they attended a summit of the Group of 20 top economies. Philippine authorities, which had already deployed more than 20,000 security forces for the summit, said security had been ratcheted up even higher because of the Paris attacks.
Read more on the security shadow on APEC.
- Hollande vows to destroy ISIS
French President Francois Hollande promised to exact retribution for the atrocities of the Islamic State group in Paris, promising tough new anti-terror measures at home and intensified bombing of Syria. France and Belgium staged dozens of raids on suspected extremists as the manhunt continued for an eighth jihadist, including a known radical hotspot in Brussels. Describing the coordinated attacks that killed 129 people as “acts of war,” Hollande urged a global fightback to crush the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and said he would hold talks with his US and Russian counterparts on a new offensive. On the domestic front, Hollande called for an extension of the state of emergency by 3 months and announced 8,500 new police and judicial jobs to help counter terrorism. More than 100 people have been placed under house arrest, 23 arrested and 31 weapons seized. Meantime, US President Barack Obama said Monday the United States had no precise intelligence warning of the Paris attacks.
Read more on Hollande’s promise.
Read more on how US had no intel on attacks.
- PNP: No validated terror threats to APEC 2015
Philippine police urged the public “not to be intimidated… by disinformation” and to “stand as one” as security alerts all over the world tighten and world leaders arrive in the country for the week-long Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. The Philippines’ plans were put on the spotlight following terrorist attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Paris that killed more than a hundred last Friday (early Saturday morning Manila time). Over the weekend, a video showing two ISIS supporters went viral on social media sites. In a 5-minute long clip, two men – referred to as “Abu Ana” and “Abu Jihad” – said they would be launching attacks in the country.
Read more on terror threats.
- Indonesia trade minister Lembong on meeting TPP standards
In an exclusive interview with Rappler, Indonesian Trade Minister Tom Lembong said Jakarta can meet the rigid demands of a landmark US-led trade deal despite the skepticism of critics at home. Lembong made a renewed push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila, where US President Barack Obama will lead the first meeting of TPP leaders since the deal was finalized in October after 5 years of negotiations. The former investment banker said the statement of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, known as Jokowi, that Jakarta will join the TPP was an expression of “self-confidence” in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.
Watch the interview with Lembong.
- China brings 25% of APEC CEO delegates
Despite the sea dispute between Manila and Beijing, around 250 Chinese nationals flew to the Philippines to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit. While Manila is hosting the event, Chinese delegates even outnumber the Filipinos. Doris Magsaysay Ho, chairperson of the APEC Business Advisory Council said the Chinese make up around 25% of APEC CEO Summit delegates, while Filipinos make up only around 15%. Alluding to the dispute over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), Ho says “politics is definitely separate from trade.”
Read more on China’s APEC team.
- 2016 elections not a major concern among CEOs
The upcoming 2016 national elections is not a major cause of concern among Filipino CEOs according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2015 CEO Survey released on Monday. While the survey showed how confidence among CEOs in the Asia-Pacific is at its lowest in 3 years, it also highlighted how Filipino CEOs and business leaders are more optimistic about the growth prospects in the year ahead. PwC chairman and senior partner Alexander Cabrera said most CEOs in the country have the elections in their mind but they’re also seeing how the country’s economy is showing gains. Regardless who wins the next presidential race, he said the investor confidence in the country will remain.
Read more on the APEC CEO survey.
- Aquino to attend Paris climate talks
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III confirmed he will attend the 21st United Nations climate change conference (COP21) in Paris. Aquino will join around 115 world leaders, including US President Barack Obama, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The conference, scheduled to begin on November 30 in Paris, aims to secure a deal to stave off catastrophic levels of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions. There were doubts that the conference would push through following the deadly November 13 terror attacks in Paris but French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said it would go ahead as planned.
Read more on Aquino’s COP 21 trip.
- Fans of band in Paris attacks push song to top of charts
British fans of the US rock band Eagles of Death Metal, which was playing at a Paris concert hall targeted in the November 13 attacks, have started a social media campaign to push one of its songs to number 1. A Facebook page calling on supporters to download the song “Save a Prayer”, a cover of Duran Duran’s hit single of the same name, had more than 6,500 “likes”. The song is at number 96 in Britain’s charts and climbing, with a new ranking set to be released Monday ahead of the official ranking on Friday, November 20. The song is also at number 3 on the Amazon UK singles chart and number 1 on the iTunes rock chart. Gunmen attacked an Eagles of Death Metal gig at the Bataclan in Paris last Friday, gunning down fans and blowing themselves up as police stormed the building.
Read more on Eagles of Death Metal.
- Critics’ verdict on ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2’
Reviews roll in for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, where Katniss and her band of rebels go up against The Capitol, leading up to the decisive final battle. Alonso Duralde of The Wrap praised The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, calling it “one of the year’s most satisfying popcorn movies.” Entertainment Weekly gave the movie a B-, saying that this movie – compared to the previous installments – was much darker. The Guardian praises director Francis Lawrence’s work on the film and gives it points for tackling heavier topics for younger viewers without spoon-feeding, but also notes that Mockingjay – Part 2 fails at proper pacing. But Variety had no trouble with the pacing of the movie, as its “classical pace” has “become increasingly rare among breakneck modern blockbusters.”
Read more on ‘Hunger Games 2’ reviews.