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- China slump rattles global markets
Stock markets worldwide slumped after another cut in the value of the Chinese yuan triggered a plunge in shares on Chinese exchanges, resulting in a second suspension of trading on the Shanghai Exchange. There was a tidal wave of losses recorded in global bourses, equity markets from Tokyo to Frankfurt to New York to Mexico City, averaging from 2% to 3%. On Wall Street, the US S&P 500 index sank to 2.4%, marking the worst 4-day open to a year in index history. Chinese authorities lowered the yuan’s central rate against the US dollar by 0.51% to 6.56, the lowest since March 2011.
Read more about the effects on world markets on Rappler.
- US: China plane landings in S. China Sea raising tensions
The US Pentagon warned Thursday, January 7, that China’s recent landing of aircraft on Fiery Cross reef in the disputed Spratlys island group is raising tensions and promoting instability in the region. Three civilian flights are believed to have landed on one of the islands, a defense department spokesman said. The Philippines said it would file a protest.
Read more about the Pentagon’s reaction on Rappler.
- Anti-graft court denies bail petitions of Jinggoy, Janet Napoles
The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan denied the bail petitions of detained Senator Jinggoy Estrada and co-accused Janet Lim Napoles in their plunder case involving the misuse of “pork barrel” funds. On Thursday, January 6, the Sandiganbayan said there was proof of Estrada’s “active participation” in the diversion of his funds supposed to be earmarked for development projects. The court said his involvement was evident in requests to release these funds to non-governmental organizations associated with Napoles, triggering the illegal transactions.
Read more about the court’s decision on Rappler.
- PH 2016 growth forecast still at 6.4% – World Bank
The World Bank is maintaining its growth forecast of 6.4% for the Philippines in 2016. The forecast is however below the government’s target of 7% to 8% growth. The Philippine economy is expected to grow above 6% over 3 years, with expansion expected to hit 6.2% in 2017 and 2018. The World Bank said the growth projection for this year reflects accelerated implementation of public-private partnership projects and election-related spending.
Read more about growth forecasts on Rappler.
- Caguioa defends President over DAP in JBC interview
Justice Secretary Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa on Thursday, January 7, said the President should not be held liable for the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program and cannot be criminally charged in court for it. Among 16 candidates vying for the post of Supreme Court justice, to be vacated by Associate Justice Martin Villarama Jr on January 16, Caguioa told members of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) he will maintain his independence even from appointing powers. Caguioa was a former classmate of Aquino and had helped in his 2010 presidential campaign.
Read more about the Caguioa interview on Rappler.
- Palace replaces immigration chief Mison
Deputy Executive Secretary Ronaldo Geron Jr was appointed new immigration chief to replace Siegfred Mison. The Department of Justice announced Geron’s appointment on Wednesday, January 6, saying he took his oath that same day. Said to be closely associated with Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr, Geron had served as provincial administrator of Batangas under the late governor Armand Sanchez, and is a graduate of the University of the Philippines College of Law.
Read more about the issues at the immigration bureau on Rappler.
- Transport officials push double decker bus dry run
As part of efforts to modernize the metro bus system, transport officials held a dry run of the point-to-point (P2P) double decker bus service along major roadway EDSA on Thursday, January 7. Froehlich Tours, operator of the P2P buses, showcased its air-conditioned, WiFi- CCTV camera-, and lavatory-equipped bus that traveled non-stop from SM City North EDSA in Quezon City to Glorietta 5 in Makati City in the south. Launched in December 2015, the P2P system promises a faster and more comfortable ride for commuters.
Read more about the P2P double decker on Rappler.
- P1B-cut in contraceptives budget ‘totally unacceptable’ – Pia Cayetano
The principal sponsor of the reproductive health law said her office is looking into the surprise cut in the 2016 budget that will have an impact on the health department’s family health and responsible parenting program. “This is totally unacceptable,” Cayetano said of the P1 billion cut, which she was kept in the dark about. The deduction made in the bicameral conference committee was based on the Supreme Court decision to temporarily stop the distribution and sale of the Implanon implant, a contraceptive.
Read more about the budget cut on Rappler.
- Authorities set for Saturday’s Black Nazarene procession
Government agencies will be on heightened alert Saturday, January 9, as part of preparations for the annual Feast of the Black Nazarene – one of the biggest religious events in the Philippines. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said its operations center will be on the 2nd highest alert level during the massive religious gathering, while the Philippine Red Cross will be deploying 400 personnel, 20 ambulances and other emergency equipment.
Read more about preparations on Rappler.
- PH entertainment icon German Moreno dies
Popular TV host German Moreno died early Friday, January 8, reports said. In a statement, GMA Network said “Kuya Germs”, Moreno’s more popular name, “was responsible for building the careers of the biggest stars we now have.” The 82-year-old Moreno suffered a mild stroke last year. He is also known for hosting GMA supershow, That’s Entertainment, and had appeared in many TV shows and films.
Read more about the death of Moreno on Rappler.