#ThewRap: Things you need to know, February 15, 2018

Hello! Here are the stories you shouldn't miss this Thursday.

BALIK MANGGAGAWA. As part of the labor department's Balik Manggagawa program, Filipino workers with prior contracts can still return to Kuwait despite a deployment ban.

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Hello!

Good morning Rapplers!

Kuwait's foreign minister condemned what he called an "escalation" by Manila after the Philippines expanded a ban on its nationals working in Kuwait. Manila announced a "total ban" on new employment in Kuwait, including Filipinos who had already obtained employment permits but had not yet left for the Gulf country.

Meanwhile, there is a new envoy for OFW concerns. President Rodrigo Duterte named Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo as his Special Envoy for Overseas Filipino Concerns. Politicians often court the INC during elections due to its practice of voting as a bloc.

Also in today's wRap: A profile on Harry Roque and his inconsistent stand on issues; the Philippine peso's weak performance; and a deadly U.S. school shooting.

Kuwait condemns ban on Filipino workers' deployment

Kuwaiti foreign minister: 'This escalation will not serve the relationship between Kuwait and the Philippines'

Harry Roque pirouettes for Duterte

The Presidential Spokesman changes his tune on at least 3 issues he championed as private lawyer – the West Philippine Sea, extrajudicial killings, and press freedom

INC head Eduardo Manalo is Duterte's new envoy for OFW concerns

The influential Iglesia ni Cristo endorsed the candidacy of then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in the 2016 presidential elections

Philippine peso weakest in over 11 years

Pressured by a record trade deficit, the local currency closes at P52.12 against the US dollar on Wednesday, February 14, its weakest since July 2006

17 dead in U.S. school shooting – sheriff

A 19-year-old former student opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at a Florida high school, the local sheriff says, calling the scene 'horrific'

Belo Medical Group may face charges over unregistered products – FDA

The Food and Drug Administration finds that Belo Medical Group is selling 11 skin care products without registration

How Duterte supporters swarmed the ICC Facebook page

'All the posts of the past two days have been swarmed and attacked by Filipino trolls – every single post. It is crazy and it is full of non-sequiturs,' says computer programmer Carlos Nazareno

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