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- Duterte reveals names for health, tourism, trade secretaries
President-elect Rodrigo Duterte announced on Monday evening that he has chosen secretaries for the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Tourism (DOT), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Ernie Abella, one of Duterte’s designated spokespersons, said Duterte has picked Dr Paulyn Jean Rosell Ubial for DOH, Wanda Corazon Teo for DOT, and Ramon Lopez for DTI. Ubial is an assistant secretary of the DOH. Teo is president of the National Association of Independent Travel Agencies. She also reportedly owns Mt Apo Travel and Tours, named after the Philippines’ highest peak found 32 kilometers west of Davao City. Lopez is the executive director of the entrepreneurship advocacy group Go Negosyo.
Read more on Duterte’s new cabinet secretaries
- PH terrorist group beheads another Canadian
The Abu Sayyaf terror group killed another foreign hostage Monday. An intelligence officer of Joint Task Force Sulu confirmed that Canadian Robert Hall was beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf in Talipao, Sulu. This comes after the lapse of a deadline for ransom payment for Hall. In April, the group killed Canadian John Ridsdel after a ransom deadline passed.
Read more on the beheading of a Canadian
- Envoys go to Davao
The ambassadors of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany separately visited Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City on Monday. Duterte aide Bong Go said, “It’s just a courtesy call.” Duterte met with US Ambassador Philip Goldberg, UK Ambassador Asif Ahmad and German Ambassador Thomas Ossowski. Before winning the presidency, Duterte warned that he is prepared to cut diplomatic ties with the United States and Australia after ambassadors criticized him for his joke about the jailhouse rape of a missionary.
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- Scarborough protesters: We were harassed by Chinese coastguard
Filipino protesters on Monday said Chinese coastguard ships harassed them as they sailed to Scarborough shoal for Independence Day. The Kalayaan Atin Ito group said 16 of its members arrived near the shoal early Sunday but two speed boats chased them, blocked their path, and sprayed water. Two swimmers were able to reach the ring and raised the Philippine flag. Scarborough Shoal lies just 230 kilometers off the Philippines’ main island Luzon but China claimed most of the strategic location after a 2012 standoff with the Philippine Navy. The Philippines brought the case to an international court for arbitration, with the ruling expected over the next few weeks.
Read more on the Scarborough flag stunt
- Orlando grieves, remembers 50 in mass shooting
Orlando residents grieve and remember the 50 people who died in the worst mass shooting in the history of the United States. On Sunday evening (Monday in Manila) many relatives kept anxious vigils at the bedsides of wounded loved ones at Orlando Regional Medical Center. Earlier in the evening, authorities appeared before family members gathered at a hotel and read out the names of those hospitalized. Some in the audience broke down when they failed to hear the names of their loved ones. At around the same time about 300 people gathered in El Calvario church not far from downtown Orlando to pray for the victims. Many of the victims were Hispanics.
Read more on Orlando’s grief
- Astronomers discover planet with 2 suns near Cygnus constellation
Astronomers discovered the largest planet outside our solar system orbiting two stars, at a distance that would make it potentially habitable for people. The gaseous planet – dubbed Kepler-1647 b – is the size of Jupiter and has a wide orbit, revolving around its two stars in 1,107 days, or around 3 Earth-years. Planets that orbit two stars – known as circumbinary planets – are sometimes called “Tatooines,” after the fictional planet in the movie Star Wars. It’s orbit puts the planet within the so-called habitable zone. It is gaseous like Jupiter, making the possibility life could exist there unlikely, but any large moons orbiting the planet could possibly host life.
Read more on the real-life Tattooine
- Apple 2016 WWDC: Open Siri API, macOS, keyboard for Watch
Apple held its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on Monday (Tuesday early morning in Manila). No new devices were unveiled, but the tech giant announced several under-the-hood updates. OS X is now macOS, with the latest iteration being called Sierra. A new iOS update includes an overhaul for Music and Maps, new notifications, and more use for 3D Touch. Watch OS 3 promised to be faster than its past 2 iterations, a new keyboard called “Scribble,” and an SOS function which dials 911 in case of emergency. Apple also opened Siri’s API to developers, and is also now on desktop. Apple Pay will now work on Safari.
Read more on Apple opening Siri’s API
- Microsoft to buy LinkedIn for $26.2 billion
Microsoft on Monday said it signed a deal to acquire the professional social network LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in cash. According to a joint statement LinkedIn “will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence,” with Jeff Weiner retained as CEO of LinkedIn. The move comes with Microsoft refocusing its efforts away from being a pure software firm, and LinkedIn seeking ways to boost growth. LinkedIn enables members to connect with professionals and facilitates job hunting.
Read more on Microsoft’s buyout of LinkedIn
- Eraserheads reunite for one night at PLDT-Smart event
This isn’t the first reunion since they broke up in 2002, but it’s always a big deal when Ely Buendia, Buddy Zabala, Marcus Adoro, and Raymund Marasigan get together and perform as the Eraserheads. On Monday, the former band reunited to perform for the crowd at “A New Day,” a PLDT and Smart event at the Makati Shangri-La, where the telecommunications companies unveiled the new look of their brands. The Eraserheads played more of their classics including “Ang Huling El Bimbo” and “Superproxy.”
Watch the Eraserheads’ reunion gig on Rappler
- Same-sex kiss cut from Singapore production of Les Miserables
A kiss between two male actors in a production of Les Miserables in Singapore has been cut after complaints from the public. The Media Development Authority said the routine – a quick peck on the lips between actors during the song “Beggars At The Feast” – contravened the show’s “general” rating. The show’s organizer Moses Lye told a local TV that the scene was meant to be comic. The state media regulator added it will “take action” against producers. The regulator keeps a strict eye on works that depict local politics and homosexuality despite relaxed censorship over the years. The change in choreography angered Singapore’s close-knit artistic community.
Read more on the same-sex kiss in the Les Miserables production