#ThewRap: Things you need to know, September 27, 2017

Hello! Here's a roundup of news you need to know this Wednesday.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte speaks with Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on the sidelines of the 120th founding anniversary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City on September 26, 2017. ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

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Hello!

Hello Rappler readers,

President Rodrigo Duterte, in his two latest speeches, claimed a Taiwanese "triad" has "taken over the operations" of the Chinese, and the Philippines is a "client state" of that triad.

Ousted SBMA chairman Martin Diño, meanwhile, said he has accepted the post of DILG undersecretary for barangay affairs.

Over in Saudi Arabia, women will finally be allowed to drive beginning June 2018.

Below are the big stories you shouldn't miss.

Duterte blames Taiwan 'triad' for drugs

President Rodrigo Duterte shifted the blame from China to Taiwan, accusing the Taiwanese of "taking over" the drug operations of Chinese gangs. He said the Philippines is a "client state" of a Taiwanese triad.

Ex-SBMA chair Diño says he's now DILG usec

Martin Diño, who was removed from the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, said he's now been named undersecretary for barangay affairs under the Department of the Interior and Local Government. But Diño said he's disappointed that he wasn't told properly that he had already been replaced at the SBMA.

Bird flu: 90-day waiting period begins in Pampanga

An official from the Bureau of Animal Industry said San Luis, Pampanga may be declared bird flu-free by December 20. The 90-day waiting period at ground zero has begun.

Saudi Arabia to finally allow women to drive

In a historic decision, Saudi Arabia will finally allow women to drive beginning June 2018. The Gulf kingdom is the last country in the world to permit women behind the wheel.

PH falls behind more ASEAN neighbors in competitiveness index

The Philippines slipped behind more Southeast Asian neighbors in this year's Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum. Still among the top challenges: the country's inadequate public infrastructure and inefficient government bureaucracy.

DSWD to test new emergency communication equipment

The Department of Social Welfare and Development will test new emergency communication equipment during the 3rd Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill. The drill takes place Wednesday, September 27, after it was postponed due to the "national day of protest" last September 21.

Twitter has new 280-character tweet limit

Twitter users will be able to go beyond 140-character tweets, as the social media site is rolling out a new 280-character tweet limit. Twitter said it aims to address "a major cause of frustration" for many users.

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