January 15, 2015 Edition

Michelle Fernandez

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  1. PH all set for passionate, chaotic Pope visit

    Pope Francis will fly into Manila Thursday afternoon, January 15, from Sri Lanka, where a million worshippers gathered to watch him canonize that nation’s first saint and listen to a homily on religious tolerance. On his scheduled arrival in Manila, Tropical Storm Amang (Mekkhala) entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility, which might prompt residents of Tacloban and Leyte – which Francis is visiting – to evacuate. It’s a striking coincidence that Mekkhala threatens the Philippines during the visit of Pope Francis, who’s arriving because of another calamity: Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), which devastated the province of Leyte, including Tacloban City, in November 2013.

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  2. Tropical storm Amang is here

    Tropical Storm Amang (international name Mekkhala) entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) earlier than expected on Thursday, January 15, according to state weather bureau PAGASA. As of 4 am Thursday, Amang was located at 950 km east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, with maximum sustained winds of 65 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 80 km/h. The storm comes hours before Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines.  A northeast monsoon is also affecting Luzon.

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  3. Pope visit a security nightmare

    Authorities in charge of securing Pope Francis during his visit to the Philippines are not ruling out any plot against him. His visit, after all, comes at a time of restiveness among armed groups here and abroad, triggered by the emergence of a new breed of Islamic fighters who pledge allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Previous papal visits here have been marred by foiled plots to kill the head of the Catholic Church. The Pope will be leading 44 sub-events while in the Philippines, all of which are assigned a security commander and at least one medical team. The biggest events are his visit to Typhoon Yolanda-hit Leyte and the concluding mass in Luneta Park. Millions are expected to attend the two events.

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  4. Francis, hope and a warzone

    As Pope Francis exhorted Sri Lankans to unify and confront the “evils” of their sectarian conflict, a Hindu from the teardrop-shaped island’s Tamil minority was hanging onto his every word. M.K. Rajini, a bank worker from the war-ravaged Jaffna peninsula, travelled hundreds of miles January 14, to receive a blessing from the pope at a church which was on the front line of Sri Lanka’s 37-year ethnic war. Hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankans from across the country’s ethnic and religious divide flocked to the service on at the Our Lady of Madhu church, which was badly damaged during the war. The pope called for forgiveness from victims of the conflict, which killed 100,000 people and devastated the Tamil-dominated north of the country.

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  5. Muslims in PH hold protest vs Charlie Hebdo

    Around 1,500 people protested in one of the Philippines’ main Muslim-majority cities on January 14, against the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo’s caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, police said. Local politicians, teenaged students and women with veils covering their faces packed the main square in Marawi in the southern Philippines, some raising their fists in the air as a Charlie Hebdo poster was burnt. “What had happened in France, the Charlie Hebdo killing, is a moral lesson for the world to respect any kind of religion, especially the religion of Islam,” organizers said.

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  6. Paris killings underline need for global response

    Deadly attacks by militants in Paris and other Western cities underline the need for a “global response” to the Islamic State jihadist group, US envoy John Allen said on January 14. Allen said that 8 countries were carrying out strikes against IS in Iraq, while 12 have pledged to train the country’s security forces. The US and allied countries aim to eventually train 5,000 federal and Kurdish forces every six to eight weeks at five training sites in various parts of Iraq. “As we saw so tragically in Paris last week, Iraq is on the front lines of a global conflict,” Allen said, referring to violence including attacks on satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket which killed a total of 17 people.

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  7. Women managers: PH no. 4 in world

    The Philippines ranked 4th among 80 countries with the highest proportion of women managers in the world, according to a report by the International Labor Organization (ILO). The Philippines is only behind Jamaica, which took the top spot worldwide with 59.3%; Colombia with 53.1%; and Saint Lucia with 52.3%. In Asia, the Philippines has the highest proportion of women managers at 47.6%, according to “Women in Business and Management: Gaining Momentum” by ILO. Though still under-represented in top management, the number of women in senior and middle management positions has increased over the last 20 years, ILO said.

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  8. BlackBerry denies Samsung taking over

    Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry’s shares jumped before falling back January 14, following a report, which the firm promptly denied, that it was in takeover talks with South Korea’s Samsung. BlackBerry’s share price gained US$2.89 in the last hour of trading, closing on the Nasdaq up almost 30 percent at US$12.60 before falling back sharply to $10.53 in after hours trading. A report out of New York had earlier said Samsung had approached BlackBerry with an offer last week.  Analysts continue to be bearish on BlackBerry, setting targets of US$7 to US$10 for its stock.

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  9. For real? Pacquiao agrees to Mayweather terms

    Top Rank CEO Bob Arum said that Manny Pacquiao has agreed to the terms which were presented to him by Floyd Mayweather Jr. for a 12-round encounter on May 2 (May 3 in PH) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. He said Mayweather’s representatives have given a thumbs up to the deal but have not been able to get boxing’s pound-for-pound king’s approval as of the moment. Mayweather’s side has yet to confirm Arum’s claims. There have been dialogues between Pacquiao and Mayweather in the past, but for several reasons, the talks always collapsed.

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  10. What do popes wear?

    Popes elected to the Vatican have followed certain traditions that have been passed on and observed through the years. While some popes managed to follow the prescribed attire and decorations, others paved the way for slight deviations. Pope Francis was often described as very simple with his choice of vestment, and was often compared to the outfit chosen by Pope Benedict XVI. Aside from his simple ring and cross, observers also noted that Pope Francis opted to wear simple black shoes, as compared to the red papal shoes worn by his predecessor.

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