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- Belgium launches huge manhunt
A huge manhunt is underway in Belgium after the deadly bombings claimed by the Islamic State. Authorities released photos of two of the suspected attackers pushing trolleys with their bombs through the terminal and said they were “actively searching” for a third whose bomb failed to go off. Raids are ongoing across Belgium, and in one apartment, there were chemicals, a bomb, and an Islamic State flag.
Get more details about the manhunt in Belgium.
Read about the vigil for the bombing victims at Brussels’ historic city square.
Take a look at the show of solidarity on social media.
- China slams Filipino fishermen
Beijing’s foreign ministry accused Filipino fishermen of throwing “fire bombs” and brandishing knives at Chinese government vessels in a confrontation off Scarborough Shoal this week. Spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the fishermen “defied” orders to leave the area and “deliberately provoked” the Chinese ships. China has occupied Scarborough Shoal since a 2012 stand-off, but it lies within the Philippines’ claimed exclusive economic zone.
Here’s the full story on China’s statements against Filipino fishermen.
- Obama highlights human rights in Cuba
US President Barack Obama thrilled Cubans with a call for democracy as he delivered an unprecedented speech during his historic visit to Cuba. Obama told the Cubans that they should be able to vote in free elections, and should be able to “speak their minds without fear, to organize and to criticize their government.” These repeated references may not have pleased Obama’s counterpart, Raul Castro, but drew loud applause from much of the audience.
- Pope to wash asylum seekers’ feet
On Maundy Thursday, Pope Francis will head to the Italian town of Castelnuovo di Porto to wash the feet of 12 young asylum seekers. The Vatican said the pontiff aims to highlight the need for the international community to provide shelter to refugees fleeing their war-torn countries. Pope Francis has long called for the global community, and Europe in particular, to open its doors to refugees.
Read this story on the Pope’s planned ritual for Holy Week.
- Ex-Toronto mayor dies at 46
Former Toronto mayor Rob Ford, who made international headlines in 2013 for admitting that he used crack cocaine while in office, died on Tuesday, March 22. He was 46. The Toronto Star said that Ford had suffered a rare and aggressive cancer. His successor, Mayor John Tory, said Ford was “a profoundly human guy whose presence in our city will be missed.”
Take a look at this story on Ford’s death.
- 38.5M ballots printed for elections
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said 38.5 million ballots have already been printed for the upcoming elections as of 1 pm on Tuesday, March 22. This is 69% of the 55.74 million ballots needed. Comelec Commissioner Christian Lim also said in a joint congressional hearing on Wednesday, March 23, that they expect the ballot printing to be completed no later than April 25.
- Roxas, Robredo defend Pineda couple
Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II and his running mate Leni Robredo both downplayed the supposed jueteng links of Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda and her husband, Rodolfo “Bong” Pineda. Roxas and Robredo had earlier gotten the support of the reelectionist governor of the vote-rich province. But the two candidates told reporters that Pineda is not asking for anything in return, and that she has performed well as governor.
Here’s more on the Roxas-Robredo tandem’s latest visit to Pampanga.
- Poe won Cebu debate – survey
Senator Grace Poe won the second presidential debate held in Cebu City, according to respondents of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) Bilang Pilipino Mobile Survey. Around half of respondents said they watched the debate, and 39% of them said that Poe came out best.
Check out the results for the other candidates.
- PH microsatellite Diwata-I off to ISS
The Philippines’ first-ever homegrown microsatellite, the Diwata-I, is now heading to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Cygnus resupply mission. The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, carrying the Cygnus resupply cargo ship, lifted off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Tuesday, March 22 (Wednesday, March 23 in Manila). Cheers and applause erupted from top officials of the University of the Philippines (UP) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), who were assembled at UP for a viewing session of the launch.
Find out more about the Diwata-I microsatellite.
- Kris Aquino: ‘I will see you again’
Kris Aquino signed off from her show Kris TV on Wednesday, March 23, after 5 years of being on air. But the TV host, who has been suffering from high blood pressure, told viewers that she would return. “I don’t want to say goodbye kasi babalik ako (I’ll be back). I’ll make sure of that.”