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- ‘Moro Convention’ planned to craft new Bangsamoro law
Muslim rebels plan to gather hundreds of stakeholders in Manila or Davao City in a weeks-long “Moro Convention” that aims to craft a new proposed law to end decades of conflict in the southern Philippines. In a news conference on Sunday evening, June 19, Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chairman Abul Khayr Alonto said the proposed Moro Convention will include members of the MNLF and its rival group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Through the BBL, advocates hoped to end 4 decades of conflict that has killed at least 150,000 people and forced 3.5 million others out of their homes.
- BPI expects peso to hit P50 vs dollar next year
Good news for Filipinos working overseas and for exporters though maybe not for local consumers. The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) expects the peso to slide to P50 to the dollar due to higher infrastructure spending and the US Federal Reserve raising interest rates. In the bank’s latest commentary, BPI lead economist Emilio Neri Jr said the Philippine peso is more likely to hit P50 rather than P45 to $1 through to 2017. The peso has appreciated in recent weeks due to the US Fed’s decision not to raise rates. The peso closed at P46.44 to the dollar last Friday, June 17.
- US aircraft carriers start drills in Philippine sea
As China expands its maritime strength and engages in massive island building activities in disputed waters, the US made its continued presence in the Asia-Pacific felt by conducting drills in the Philippine sea. Two US aircraft carriers, the USS John C. Stennis and USS Ronald Reagan, among the world’s largest warships, began conducting air defense drills, sea surveillance, and long range strikes on Saturday, June 18, according to the US Pacific Command. The command said the drills, which it described as an “impressive” concentration of combat power, synchronized the activities of over 12,000 sailors, 140 aircraft, 6 combatants, and the two carriers. The drills were meant to promote freedom of navigation and overflight in the region’s airspace and waters, the command said.
- China “bullying” blamed for ASEAN U-turn on South China Sea
Chinese pressure was blamed Thursday, June 16, for a stunning diplomatic U-turn by Southeast Asian Nations that saw them retract a statement sounding alarm over Beijing’s island building in the South China Sea. The chaotic events at the end of a meeting of foreign ministers from China and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Tuesday have led to allegations of bullying by Beijing. The document, released by ASEAN member Malaysia and described as a joint statement from the bloc, warned developments in the hotly contested South China Sea could “undermine peace, security and stability.”
- Trump on racial profiling: use “common sense”
Donald Trump said Sunday, June 19, he is open to racial profiling, touching another raw nerve on the issue of race in America. African-Americans, Latinos, Muslims, and other minorities in the United States have complained bitterly for decades about the practice in which police use a person’s race, religion, national origin, or ethnicity as grounds for suspecting them of committing a crime. Trump, the free-talking presumptive Republican presidential nominee, came close to endorsing racial profiling outright in an interview aired Sunday on CBS. Trump noted that other countries, like Israel, practice racial profiling. “I hate the concept of profiling, but we have to use common sense.”
- Humanitarian disaster unfolds in Fallujah as Iraqi forces retake city
Aid workers scrambled Sunday, June 19, to cope with a massive influx of Iraqi civilians who fled Fallujah after government forces retook much of the city from the Islamic State group. Tens of thousands of civilians escaped the city, just 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of Baghdad, on the back of a major advance that saw Iraqi forces thrust into central Fallujah in recent days. The humanitarian community has been struggling to cope, with thousands of people already suffering from hunger and trauma now stranded in the scorching summer heat with no shelter.
- Orlando shooting: ‘limited transcripts’ of negotiations with gunman to be released Monday
US authorities will release “limited transcripts” Monday of Orlando gunman Omar Mateen and police negotiators’ telephone conversations during his attack at a gay nightclub that left 49 people dead, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Sunday, June 19. Lynch said the conversations included Mateen’s pledge of allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS) group, and his views of US policy. But those statements will not be included in the transcripts released to the public, she said. Lynch said the transcripts would cover only portions of the telephone exchanges with police negotiators so as “to avoid re-victimizing those who went through this horror.”
- Agos holds #MMShakeDrill workshop for racers, volunteers
Rescue groups, local government officials, racers, and volunteers from various organizations are preparing for the June 22 #MMShakeDrill. To help them, Agos, powered by eBayanihan and in partnership with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), held a workshop on Saturday, June 18. The workshop focused on how these groups can help in the earthquake drill happening on June 22. The second quarter National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill, known online as #Pagyanig, will also take place at the same time.
Read: Agos holds #MMShakeDrill workshop for racers, volunteers
- Out of the way PH beaches that are worth the travel
Picture this: just you and a long stretch of white sand lapped by clear blue waters. Occasionally, you may see locals, or a few other people who dared to visit this beach like you did, but mostly, the beach – or a large stretch of it – is all yours. Of course, this quiet scenery comes with a price, particularly long hours of not exactly comfortable travel. Rappler compiles a list of these out of the way beaches that are definitely worth that troublesome journey.
Read: Getting to these PH beaches isn’t easy – but it’s worth it
- ‘Star Trek’ actor dies in car accident
Anton Yelchin, a rising young actor who starred as Chekov in the new “Star Trek” film, was killed early Sunday in an automobile accident, his publicist confirmed. He was 27. The accident took place in the driveway of Yelchin’s San Fernando Valley home around 1:10 am (0810 GMT), when he was preparing to meet friends for a rehearsal and momentarily left his car, Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman Jenny Hauser said.
Read: ‘Star Trek’ actor Anton Yelchin dies in car accident