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AFP vows to reduce by half NPA s 3,700 fighters

MANILA, Philippines – Another year, another chief of staff, and another promise.  Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Rey Guerrero said on Tuesday, January 9, the military is committed to weaken by 50% the communist New People's Army (NPA), which he said has estimated 3,700 fighters nationwide.  "They have a manpower ........»»

Category: newsSource: rappler rapplerJan 9th, 2018

AFP’s vow to reduce Reds’ strength by half in 2018 ‘delusional’ — CPP

MANILA, Philippines — The Communist Party of the Philippines said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines is “delusional” for thinking that it could cut the.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 12th, 2018

AFP to reduce communist rebels by half in 2018

AFP to reduce communist rebels by half in 2018.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  pepRelated NewsJan 10th, 2018

Bicam reduces Senate-proposed excise on thermal coal by half

THE bicameral conference committee reconciling Senate and House versions of the tax reform package has agreed to reduce the proposed excise tax on thermal coal by half, approving a P50 per metric ton ton tax rate for the first year of implementation, P100 for the second and P150 for the third, Sen. Juan Edgardo M. […] The post Bicam reduces Senate-proposed excise on thermal coal by half appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsDec 8th, 2017

Duterte Order: ‘Shoot to Kill’

DAVAO CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered soldiers to shoot and kill armed communist rebels as security forces are readying to fight the New People’s Army following the total collapse of the peace talks. Duterte, who previously supported the rebel group when he was mayor of Davao City, gave the order recently and assured members of the armed forces that he shall take sole responsibility for it. He tagged the NPA as a terrorist group and vows to finish off the rebels who are fighting to overthrow the democratic government and install its own. “So what will be my orders to the? Shoot them, they will kill you anyway. So if there is an armed NPA there or terrorists, if he’s holding any firearms, shoot and tell any…ako na ang magsagot, you just shut up. Do not answer if that issue of human rights, you say, go to Duterte. It is and was his order para tumahimik ka, sabihin mo. And so? You are destroying my country, you expect me to pat you in the back and say, dahan-dahan ka lang,” Duterte told soldiers. He said an executive order declaring the NPA as terrorist group would be out soon. He said human rights organizations and fronts allied with the communist rebels would also be branded as terrorists. “I am preparing now. They are preparing the executive order declaring them to be terrorists and they will be afforded the treatment of being criminals. There will be no filing of cases under the public security like rebellion because rebellion is considered sometimes a noble undertaking, it’s only because you want your country to do better,” the tough-talking President said. Duterte said he would no longer negotiate peace the communist rebels, who also vowed to intensify their attacks on government and military targets. No. 1 Terrorist Communist rebel chieftain Jose Maria Sison also branded Duterte as the “No. 1 terrorist” in the country and accused him of mass murder after the President scrapped the peace talks. “Duterte is the No. 1 terrorist in the Philippines. He is culpable for the abduction, torture and mass murder of an increasing large number of poor people suspected drug users and pushers, peasants and indigenous people in suspected guerrilla fronts and Moro people suspected of aiding the Dawlah Islamiyah from the time of the indiscriminate bombing of Marawi City to the present in several Bangsamoro areas,” Sison, who is self-exile in The Netherlands since 1987, said in a statement sent to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner. Duterte has threatened to outlaw the Communist Party of the Philippines, which Sison founded; and its political wing, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and jail its leaders, including leftist and human rights organizations conniving with them. He scrapped the peace talks after rebels declined to sign a ceasefire accord and continue attacking government and civilian targets despite on-going negotiations. Sison called Duterte as a “bloodlust” politician whose mania for mass murder are boundless. “Duterte´s blood lust and mania for mass murder are boundless. He expects to wipe out through arbitrary arrests, torture, indefinite detention and massacre of suspected revolutionaries and legal social activists both the armed revolutionary movement and the legal democratic movement in order to set up a fascist dictatorship in the service of US imperialism and his fellow oligarchs among the big compradors, landlords and corrupt bureaucrats,” he said. “And yet Duterte is utterly malicious and shameless in threatening and scheming to label and outlaw as terrorists the suspected members and entireties of such revolutionary organizations as the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People´s Army and even such legal patriotic and progressive organizations as BAYAN and its affiliates,” added Sison, a former university professor. He said the Duterte administration, backed by the United States, is hell-bent on frustrating the people´s clamor for peace negotiations to address the roots of the civil war through the adoption and implementation of social, economic, political and constitutional reforms as the basis of a just and lasting peace. Sison said the Duterte government is striving to intimidate the people with its own terrorist scheme and crimes in order to seize absolute autocratic power for the President and limitless opportunity for the bureaucratic corruption of his family and ruling clique. He said the rebel forces now have no choice, but to wage all forms of resistance and fight for national sovereignty, democracy, economic development, social and cultural progress and independent foreign policy. “The Filipino people and revolutionary forces waging the people´s democratic revolution have no choice but to intensify the people´s war through an extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare in rural areas and partisan or commando operations in urban areas. The legal democratic forces and broad opposition have no choice but to develop the underground and encourage endangered activists to become fighters in the people´s army.” “Duterte is already discredited as a mass murderer, political swindler, a sycophant to foreign powers and a corrupt bureaucrat. These characteristics of his and the ever worsening chronic crisis of the semi-colonial and semi-feudal ruling system will surely limit his ability to stay in power and accelerate the growth and rise of a revolutionary united front against his rule of greed and terror,” Sison said. He said even within the armed forces and police, there are already rumblings against the “despotic, criminal and corrupt character of […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsDec 2nd, 2017

ONE: Iniong looking for decisive win over Yamaguchi

SINGAPORE---Both Gina Iniong and Mei Yamaguchi have grown as fighters in the three and half years since they last faced off. Iniong has made name for herself as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the region and one of the fast rising female fighters in the ONE Championship promotion with two convincing wins just this year. For her part, Yamaguchi has gone 8-5 since with her latest win an impressive submission of Jenny Huang in June. READ:Two weeks after last fight, Iniong faces Yamaguchi in ONE Singapore card "Since our last fight, I think I've improved a lot. In a scale of 1-10, maybe my improvement is at eight," the soft-spoken Iniong told PH-based reporters aft...Keep on reading: ONE: Iniong looking for decisive win over Yamaguchi.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 22nd, 2017

Breastfeeding babies can reduce their risk of eczema as teens

  Individuals who are breastfed as babies exclusively from birth for a sustained period have a lower risk of developing eczema in their teenage years, according to a new international study. Carried out by researchers from King's College London, Harvard University, University of Bristol and McGill University, together the team looked at 13,557 teenagers in Belarus who were enrolled in the PROmotion of Breastfeeding Intervention Trial (PROBIT) in a follow-up study. The PROBIT study originally recruited a total of 17,046 mothers and their newborn babies between June 1996 and December 1997. Half of the maternity hospitals and pediatric clinics involved in the study prov...Keep on reading: Breastfeeding babies can reduce their risk of eczema as teens.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 15th, 2017

Bolts out to tie Finals at two games each

After finally scoring a win, Meralco is out to tie the 2017 PBA Governors' Cup Finals to make a whole new series against defending champion Brgy. Ginebra. Cutting their Finals deficit in half after a big Game 3 win, the Bolts look to pounce again in Game 4 to reduce The Rematch to a best-of-3 affair. The fourth quarter has been the deciding factor in these Finals so far and Meralco finally made its mark in the payoff period last Wednesday, riding the heroics of import Allen Durham and the re-emergence of Reynel Hugnatan's shooting. However, the Gin Kings were actually the ones in control for almost the whole game before Meralco's spirited rally in the final 12 minutes. A rally that allowed them to save their season. Game 4 will tip off at 7:00 p.m. Friday still at the Big Dome right after the annual Leo Awards......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 20th, 2017

Could North Korean, US threats of destruction cause an accidental war? – CNN News

The war of words between North Korea and the United States could be pushing the region closer to the brink of an accidental conflict. While neither country is outwardly moving towards an actual war footing, military displays of power, mixed with threats and counter threats may result in an ugly outcome, Stratfor Vice President of Strategic Analysis Rodger Baker told CNN. &'8220;The North Koreans assume that the threats will be enough to restrain US action but the US might be thinking the same thing, so you end up in a situation where a provocation from one side is seen by the other as an actual move towards war,&'8221; he said. North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho announced on Monday that US President Donald Trump had &'8220;declared a war&'8221; on his country by tweeting that North Korea &'8220;won't be around much longer.&'8221; Ri's interpretation of Trump's tweet was roundly dismissed by the White House later that day. The South Korean government has been desperately calling for calm on both sides, as the country's citizens would be among the first to suffer in any war. Speaking in Washington on Monday, South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said the United States has to help to reduce tensions on the peninsula. &'8220;It is very likely that North Korea will conduct further provocations,&'8221; she said. &'8220;It is imperative that we, Korea and the US together, manage the situation &' in order to prevent further escalation of tensions or any kind of accidental military clashes which can quickly go out of control.&'8221; Foreign Minister Ri told reporters Monday North Korea would shoot down any US bombers which flew near the Korean Peninsula, even if they didn't enter North Korea's airspace. &'8220;In light of the declaration of war by Trump, all options will be on the operating table of the Supreme leadership of DPRK,&'8221; Ri said, according to his official English translator. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was quick to respond, saying Monday the US had not declared war and any suggestion along those lines was &'8220;absurd.&'8221; Euan Graham, director of the International Security Program at Sydney's Lowy Institute, said while the physical threat of war had not increased, every unfulfilled threat from the US did damage to its international position. &'8220;When threats are made and not followed through US credibility suffers both in the eyes of North Korea and its allies,&'8221; Graham said. &'8220;The US is very unlikely to engage in a preventative war against North Korea, so it's more the risk of stumbling into this because the North Koreans decide they have to escalate or they believe something US is doing is a preventative strike or a decapitation attack (against the leadership).&'8221; Over the weekend, North Korea moved airplanes and boosted defenses on its east coast, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported Tuesday, quoting intelligence agencies. It followed a flyover by US bombers close to North Korea on Saturday. US B-1B bombers from Guam flew in international airspace over waters east of North Korea, according to the Pentagon, a move they said underscored the seriousness of Pyongyang's &'8220;reckless behavior.&'8221; It was the furthest north of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), the area of land between North and South Korea, which US fighters or bombers had flown in the 21st Century, the Pentagon said. Stratfor's Baker said he was concerned any moves by North Korea to shadow US planes or to engage in displays of military might could lead to accidental conflict. &'8220;There haven't been many incidents where they've engaged in this sort of behavior so they don't know how to deal with each other in this situation, they don't know how to read the way that each side is acting, so you can get accidents and the North Koreans, again, they may overestimate their hand,&'8221; he said. But Baker added it was important to note that neither side had engaged in the large movement of troops or evacuation of civilians which would precipitate a full blown war. &'8220;We don't see the US taking action to rapidly reduce the number of civilians and non military personnel in South Korea &' at the same time, rhetoric is working to increase the potential of an accident.&'8221; The latest standoff between Washington and Pyongyang came as a North Korean Foreign Ministry official flew to Moscow to meet with a representative of the Russian government. According to state media KCNA, director general at the Foreign Ministry's North American Department Choe Son Hui left for Moscow on Monday. She'll meet with Oleg Burmistrov, a &'8220;roving ambassador&'8221; with Russia's Foreign Ministry. The meeting comes amid cooling relations between Pyongyang and Beijing, with China's Ministry of Commerce announcing on Saturday it would immediately restrict petroleum exports to North Korea in line with UN sanctions. &'8220;Russia has been a supplier of petroleum products either directly or not paying attention to what it's own countries are doing in regard to North Korea,&'8221; Baker said. The latest round of sanctions, agreed to on September 11, were reportedly amended by the US after it became clear Russia and China wouldn't allow stronger restrictions. &'8220;Russia is a potential helpful card for the North Koreans to use particularly if they're worried that China is going to get more hostile and especially as secondary sanctions (from the US) come into play,&'8221; Graham said.(&'8220;Russia is a potential helpful card for the North Koreans to use particularly if they're worried that China is going to [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsSep 26th, 2017

It's on: Triple G and Canelo ready for big middleweight bout

em>By Tim Dahlberg, Associated Press /em> LAS VEGAS (AP) — It's the kind of fight Gennady Golovkin has been chasing from the moment he walked off an airplane six years ago to make his new home in Los Angeles. It's the fight boxing fans have been waiting for almost as long. Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez meet Saturday night in a middleweight showdown that has been brewing for years. They do it in their prime, and they both bring the kind of power that could make for a night that will be talked about in boxing for years to come. Three weeks after Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor met in an odd spectacle, boxing shows off its best side in a scheduled 12-round fight that will pay both men millions and make one of them the undisputed top 160-pounder in the world. 'It's a true fight,' Golovkin said. 'You can go back home or go to the hospital. It's dangerous. Everyone understands that.' Indeed they do, which is one reason Golovkin has had trouble getting fighters in the ring with him. The fearsome slugger from Kazakhstan has stopped almost everyone put in the ring with him, winning all 37 of his fights, 33 by knockout. But Alvarez packs power, too, and the red-headed Mexican is a savage counterpuncher with a style that should match up perfectly against the onrushing Golovkin. 'I don't back down,' Alvarez said. 'I'm a counter puncher, and I like to fight.' The combination of styles has boxing fans salivating over what will happen in the same ring where Mayweather stopped McGregor three weeks ago. The fight quickly sold out and is expected to do well on HBO pay-per-view, though it will not reach the level of last month's spectacle. Still, it promises to be a can't miss fight that brings back memories of the great middleweights of the 1980's. Both fighters weighed in Friday at the middleweight limit of 160 pounds. 'It all depends on who lands the punch that defines the fight and I think Gennady is going to do that,' said Abel Sanchez, Golovkin's trainer. 'They're going to hit each other and give fans the kind of fight they want and expect.' It won't be the first time the two have met, but it will be under far different circumstances. They sparred together at Golovkin's camp in Big Bear, Calif., in 2011 as both were preparing for fights and, though accounts vary, both had their moments with each other. But this is a real fight, with Golovkin's titles at stake and a lot more. Both will make millions of dollars in a fight that holds risks — and plenty of rewards — for both of their careers. 'These are the fights that define your career,' said Oscar De La Hoya, who promotes Alvarez. 'Both guys are not going to back down.' Alvarez is already an established superstar, arguably the most popular athlete in Mexico. Golovkin, who won a silver medal in the 2004 Olympics, is hoping for the kind of performance that will finally win over fans not overly impressed by a 23-fight knockout streak of 18 middleweight title defenses. Between them they have 86 wins, against only one loss. That was suffered by Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 knockouts) in 2013 against Mayweather in a fight he admitted he was too young to take. Oddsmakers in this gambling city have made Golovkin a slight 7-5 favorite, but the fighters themselves say anything could happen. 'It's not an easy fight for him or me,' Golovkin said. 'I think the first couple of rounds will be very close. I think the second half will be much crazier, like a street fight.' For Golovkin, the fight is the culmination of a long battle to establish himself as the top middleweight in the world. Triple G came to the U.S. in 2011 to pursue bigger fights, and has collected the major middleweight titles while trying to get Alvarez into the ring. It finally happened after Golovkin (37-0, 33 knockouts) was forced to go 12 rounds earlier this year against Danny Jacobs in a fight where he got hit a lot and barely escaped with a decision. Some in boxing thought it showed some vulnerability or suggested that at the age of 35 Triple G is getting a bit old. Nonsense, he says. 'I am the champion and I bring all my belts,' Golovkin said. 'This is my game, my fight. I am the boss, not Canelo.' Golovkin, who speaks limited English, backed his comments up with a tweet warning Alvarez what was yet to come. 'If you go in the ocean the shark knows,' he wrote. 'He's home. It's the same for me in the ring. ... Let's do it.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 16th, 2017

Nearly half of remaining Maute fighters in Marawi are children

Nearly half of remaining Maute fighters in Marawi are children.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  pepRelated NewsAug 27th, 2017

McGregor vows fast finish with smaller gloves

LOS ANGELES – Conor McGregor believes he will knock out Floyd Mayweather inside two rounds but is ready for all scenarios when the two fighters clash in thei.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 17th, 2017

Curry vows to be more aggressive

OAKLAND – Two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry promises more aggressive play in Monday’s fifth game of the NBA Finals after being kept to half his.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 12th, 2017

ISIS claims London terror attacks that killed 7; police arrest 12 in raids – Fox News

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the latest London terror attack through its propaganda wing Amaq News Agency, the SITE intelligence group reported Sunday. The terror network reportedly claimed a &'8220;detachment&'8221; of its fighters crashed a rented van into a crowd of people on London Bridge before going on a stabbing rampage Saturday night, killing seven people and wounding nearly 50 others. However, ISIS gave no evidence to back up its claim. Earlier on Sunday, British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the “evil ideology” behind the London attacks. May addressed the attacks Sunday after a meeting of the government’s COBRA emergency committee. She called for a tougher stance against extremists and tougher controls on cyberspace to prevent its use by extremists. She said the measures were needed because “terrorism breeds terrorism” and attackers copy each other. Counterterrorism police carried out raids in east London and arrested 12 people in connection with the attacks. &'8220;Searches of a number of addresses in Barking are continuing,&'8221; London Metro Police said as the raids were being conducted. The homes raided included one belonging to one of the three terrorists who carried out the attacks, Sky News reported. &'8220;He's lived here for about three years,&'8221; neighbor Damien Pettit said. &'8220;He's one of our neighbors. I've said hello in passing more than 50, 60 occasions. He has two young kids. He was a very nice guy.&'8221; ISIS has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks in recent years &'8212; but police have pushed back in some instances. The terror network announced it was behind the deadly attack on a casino and shopping complex in the Philippines last Friday &'8212; but Manila police said the killer was a Filipino gambling addict heavily in debt, with no terror links. Saturday’s horror began around 10 p.m. local time when a white van veered off the road and barreled into pedestrians on London Bridge. The van’s three occupants then jumped out with large knives and attacked people at bars and restaurants in nearby Borough Market, police said. Elizabeth O’Neill said her son was stabbed in the stomach by a man who approached him and yelled “this is for Islam.” Daniel O’Neill, 23, suffered a 7-inch knife wound, she said, according to Sky News. He was recovering. &'8220;He had just stepped outside the bar for a second and a man ran up to him and said 'this is for my family, this is for Islam' and stuck a knife straight in him,” the mother said. Gerard Vowles, 47, told local media that he saw the three attackers stabbing a woman at the south end of London Bridge. He said he threw chairs, glasses and bottles at the attackers in a bid to stop them. &'8220;They went 'this is for Allah' and then they just started stabbing her multiple times,” he told Sky News. The Guardian quoted Vowles as saying, “They kept coming to try to stab me. They were stabbing everyone. Evil, evil people.” He added, according to the paper, &'8220;I want to know if this girl is still alive. I've been walking around for an hour and a half crying my eyes out. I don't know what to do.&'8221; Brad Myers, an American vacationing in London, told “Fox &'38; Friends” Sunday that he had just taken some pictures and was about to walk along the Thames River when he heard a noise. “Then I saw the van come on to the pavement and continue along the side of the road just right where I was a few moments before, just mowing down pedestrians,” he said. “Everyone was in shock,” he said. What he saw reminded him of the truck attack in Nice, France. “It’s crazy to think I was right there,” Myers said. Eight police officers killed the attackers after arriving on the scene within eight minutes. The officers fired 50 shots, London's assistant police commissioner Mark Rowley said at a press briefing Sunday, calling the number unprecedented. One of the bullets struck an innocent bystander. The person was recovering in a hospital. Rowley said that the officers had no choice. &'8220;The situation these officers were confronted with was critical &'' a matter of life and death &'' three armed men, wearing what appeared to be suicide belts, had already attacked and killed members of the public and had to be stopped immediately,&'8221; he said. It turned out the suicide belts were fake. Rowley said the van had been rented recently by one of the attackers. May said 48 people were injured and many had life-threatening injuries. Thirty-six remained hospitalized Sunday. A courageous cop was one of the wounded. He confronted the three knife-wielding terrorists armed only with a baton. He was stabbed in the face, head and a leg. He was in stable condition. British Transport Police Chief Constable Paul Crowther said of the officer that &'8220;it became clear that he showed enormous courage in the face of danger.&'8221; Crowther added that &'8220;for an officer who only joined us less than two years ago, the bravery he showed was outstanding and makes me extremely proud.&'8221; Those killed included a Canadian and a French national. May said the Thursday's national election would be held as scheduled because &'8220;violence can never be allowed to disrupt the democratic process.&'8221; Major parties suspended national campaigning Sunday out of respect for the victims. Speaking to Fox News from London, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly said the latest [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsJun 5th, 2017

The World: Trump meets Pope in Vatican, vows not to forget his message

VATICAN CITY -- US President Donald J. Trump met Pope Francis, one of his most high profile critics, at the Vatican on Wednesday and after an exchange of gifts he promised he would not forget the pontiff's message during their half-hour discussion......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsMay 24th, 2017

Why ISIS offered to kill this 4-year-old girl – CNN News

&'8220;I want my mommy,&'8221; Hawra' mumbles while cradled in the arms of her grandmother, Aliya. The four-and-a-half-year-old's lips barely move to form the weak but desperate plea. Her face is etched with small wounds, gauze wrapped around her throat and leg over burns that have yet to heal. She can't open her eyes; there is shrapnel in one of them, the other painfully closed. Doctors don't know if she will be able to see properly again. Her grandmother is lost for words. Tears start to fall. In one of the March 17 airstrikes, Hawra' suffered a broken leg and shrapnel to the face and lower back. She may never see again. &'8220;I am thinking it's better to be dead. I am thinking to die, rather than a life like this. (Hawra') was like a little flower. She would play and run. Now, she how has no mother, no eyes,&'8221; Aliya says. Hawra's mother was killed, we are told, in an airstrike on March 17. There were multiple US coalition-led strikes that day in their west Mosul neighborhood, where allegations of civilian casualties have since emerged. The series of airstrikes are now under investigation by both the US and Iraqi governments. But a US defense official has said that, so far, there has been no indication of a breakdown in US military procedures governing airstrikes. So far, 141 bodies have been recovered at the site of the airstrike on March 17, Col. Mohammad Shumari, head of Iraqi civil forces, told CNN on Thursday. He added: &'8220;There are still bodies under the rubble.&'8221; In reality, the number is probably much higher. &'8220;It was a mass killing,&'8221; Aliya says through her tears. Ala'a Al-Tai describes how he and his mother, Aliya (sitting on the left), pleaded with ISIS fighters to let them leave and find treatment for his wounded daughter, who is now recovering at West Erbil emergency hospital. Ala'a Al-Tai, Hawra's father, describes that day and the street their home was on. He says there was a row of houses that led to an intersection where ISIS fighters had gathered. The houses are interconnected by rat lines &'8212; holes carved out of the walls that are 40 centimeters wide and 100 centimeters high (about 15 inches wide by 39 inches high) &'8212; and allow ISIS fighters to move undetected. &'8220;ISIS did that?&'8221; I ask. &'8220;No, they (ISIS) made us do it,&'8221; Ala'a responds. The tunnels offered the families a shelter. Around 30 people, including women and children, sought refuge in a single home at one end of the street. Before the fighting broke out, little Hawra' along with her mother and two relatives used the rat lines to move through three buildings and return to their house to bake bread, wash and grab more clothes. the shooting intensified and then the strikes started. &'8220;There was dust everywhere,&'8221; Ala'a tells us.  &'8220;My mother started to scream &' Rocks and debris were falling down on the house we were in. She said go see what happened.&'8221; Three homes on the block were leveled including the one with his family still inside. Ala'a says all that was left of his wife was her left leg attached to her torso. He covered her with a blanket and saved his daughter. All he could hear was his daughter's feeble cry. &'8220;I could just hear her voice,&'8221; he recalls. &'8220;There was a block that had fallen on her. There was also a metal frame &'8212; that's what lodged the shrapnel in her face and her eyes. I screamed for her mother, my aunt and uncle but no response.&'8221; Pulling her from the rubble, she was barely recognizable; she was black and looked charred. They begged the ISIS fighters to allow them to leave. Instead, an Iraqi ISIS member offered to kill his little girl, Hawra'. &'8220;He (an Iraqi ISIS member) said 'I could just shoot her,'&'8221; Ala'a remembers. &'8220;He said 'why do you want to save her, she's going to die anyways.'&'8221; They even pleaded to go further into ISIS territory in pursuit of medical assistance, but Ala'a says an Egyptian ISIS member, who he thinks was the head of that unit, told them they couldn't leave because ISIS were using the remaining civilians as human shields. 16-year-old Fatima lies in a bed at a the same Erbil hospital with a broken back. She was injured in an airstrike in the last two weeks though she doesn't recall specifically which. She only remembers being pulled out of the rubble afterwards. Ala'a tried to clean Hawra' up; she was moaning as he tried to give her some water. He adds: &'8220;I saw my wife the next day, I saw her leg and her intestines so I covered her in a blanket and left.&'8221; It took three days for the Iraqi security forces to liberate the neighborhood. Three days to get his little girl medical help. Others helped by burying the bodies of his wife, aunt and uncle. Hawra' plays with her doll while recovering in hospital. It is not yet known if she will recover her sight. She keeps asking for her mother who died in the airstrikes on March 17. That was not the deadliest of the strikes that day. Around the corner, a multi-story building was also brought down, where more than 100 people are believed to have sheltered. And these are hardly the only allegations of civilian casualties. [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsApr 2nd, 2017

In west Mosul, ‘nowhere is safe for civilians’ – Al Jazeera

The Iraqi army on Sunday resumed operations against ISIL in Mosul after a one-day pause, amid growing concerns over an escalating civilian death toll as fierce fighting spreads to the city's most densely populated areas. The offensive was briefly put on hold after local officials and residents in west Mosul said suspected US-led coalition  air raids last week had killed scores of civilians at the ISIL-held al-Jadida  district. Security forces on Saturday did not permit journalists to get to where the strikes were said to have taken place, but the  coalition admitted that it had struck the area on March 17, and said it was investigating the reports of civilian deaths. Details about what exactly happened on March 17 are difficult to confirm as Iraqi forces battle with Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters to recapture the heavily populated parts of the western half of Mosul, the armed group's last stronghold in Iraq. Witnesses and local officials said that more than 200 bodies were pulled from a collapsed building after a coalition air raid. But in a statement on Sunday, the Iraqi army said there was no sign that the destroyed structure had been hit by a strike &'' blaming its collapse on booby traps set by ISIL instead. &'8220;A team of military experts from field commanders checked the building where the media reported that the house was completely destroyed. All walls were booby-trapped and there is no hole that indicates an air strike,&'8221; it said, adding that 61 bodies were recovered from the rubble. READ MORE: Grief and questions amid wreckage of Mosul air strikes Al Jazeera's Hoda Abdel-Hamid, reporting from a hospital in Erbil, northern Iraq, spoke to people who confirmed that they had lost family members in the air raids of March 17. &'8220;We've been speaking to some of the patients and certainly the words air strikes come up a lot in the conversation,&'8221; she said, referring to a man who said 22 of his relatives had been killed in an air raid, while he had to spend several days under the rubble before being rescued. &'8220;When you ask them what happened … people here say the main problem is that you have ISIL fighters who are roaming around, going in and out of houses, on top of rooftops to take positions and then disappearing. &'8220;So apparently many of the air strikes, according to the people we spoke here, hit the wrong target &'' simply by the time the air strike arrives and is called in, the ISIL fighters have disappeared.&'8221; The US-backed offensive to drive ISIL out of Mosul, now in its sixth month, has recaptured most of the city. The Iraqi government announced that eastern Mosul had been recaptured from ISIL in January, but residents still report almost daily fighting in some areas. Iraqi security and medical sources on Sunday said a t least 16 civilians, including two children, were killed by ISIL shelling in a popular marketplace in  eastern Mosul. Another 43 civilians were wounded in the attack, according to the sources. In western Mosul, the Iraqi army's advances have stuttered in the past two weeks as fighting enters the narrow alleys of the Old City, home to the al-Nuri Mosque where ISIL group's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a caliphate spanning large areas of Iraq and Syria in 2014. Iraqi forces on Sunday deployed snipers to target ISIL fighters who were using civilians as human shields, Joint Operations Command spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool told the AFP news agency. The military was relying on &'8220;light and medium weapons, among them sniper [rifles], to hunt for Daesh [ISIL] members&'8221; located among civilians, he said. Rasool accused ISIL of gathering civilians together and then blowing up explosives-rigged vehicles nearby to make it look like &'8220;Iraqi forces &' are targeting innocent civilians&'8221;. However, Iraqi forces have also frequently fired mortar rounds and unguided rockets during the battle for west Mosul &'' weapons that pose a much greater risk to residents of areas where fighting is taking place. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are still inside the Old City and are exposed to the intense fighting. &'8220;Patients here say there is nowhere safe in western Mosul for civilians,&'8221; Al Jazeera's Abdel-Hamid, reporting from the hospital in Erbil, said. &'8220;They say the fight in western Mosul is not the same as the fight that happened in the east part of the city. They say it's much more brutal, with many more air strikes and much more shelling.&'8221; According to Iraqi authorities, more than 200,000 people have fled west Mosul since the operation to retake the area was launched on February 19. But the United Nations has said that about 600,000 are still present inside the city. Caroline Gluck, a senior public information officer in Iraq with the UN's refugee agency, said the situation is deteriorating daily. &'8220;The fighting is coming closer to people's homes. It's a very densely packed area, particularly in the Old City, so families have been terrified by the mortars, the shelling and the air strikes,&'8221; she told Al Jazeera from Baghdad. Gluck said a major factor in many residents' &'8220;very difficult decision&'8221; to flee is growing hunger. &'8220;Families have told us they rely on one meal a day &'' and that meal is really just water and flour. People are getting desperate; there is no fuel, no heating, and they are burning furniture and old [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 27th, 2017

Clashes in Syria’s Damascus after surprise rebel attack – Al Jazeera

Heavy clashes rocked eastern districts of the Syrian capital on Sunday after rebel fighters launched a surprise assault on government forces, a monitor and state television said. Steady shelling and sniper fire could be heard across Damascus on Sunday as rebel factions allied with former al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Fateh al-Sham launched an attack on government positions in the city's east. The clashes centered on a government-held gap between two besieged opposition enclaves, the Jobar and Qaboun neighborhoods. The Ahrar al-Sham rebel group said fighters had &'8220;liberated&'8221; the area. Tahrir al-Sham &'' a umbrella group of rebels formed by Jabhat Fateh al-Sham last month &'' and the independent Failaq al-Rahman group also participated in the attack. Syrian state media said the military had repelled an attack by one group after &'8220;terrorists&'8221; infiltrated through tunnels in the middle of the night. Rebels detonated two large car bombs at 5:20am on Sunday close to the Jobar neighborhood. Tahrir al-Sham claimed responsibility for the attack. Rebels then advanced into the nearby Abbasiyn Square area, seizing several buildings and firing a barrage of rockets into multiple Damascus neighbourhoods, according to Rami Abdelrahman of the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Government forces responded with nearly a dozen air strikes on Jobar, he added. Al Jazeera's Mohamed Al Jazaeri, reporting from near Damascus, said that at least 15 civilians had been killed after government forces shelled residential neighborhoods in Eastern Ghouta, but that the fighting had since become less intense. &'8220;This advance is the largest for opposition groups in over a year and a half,&'8221; Al Jazaeri said. &'8220;Military operations have not stopped in the area but it has calmed down. There remains sniper shooting from both sides and regime forces are shelling Jobar neighborhood, as well as other areas controlled recently by the opposition.&'8221; Control of Jobar &'' which has been a battleground district for more than two years &'' is divided between rebels and allied fighters on one side, and government forces on the other. It is one of three pockets in the Syrian capital still in opposition hands. The recent fighting has resulted in rebel control of industrial areas in Al-Qaboun in addition to parts of Abbasiyn breaking a siege on the area and linking it to Jobar neighborhood, which is connected to Eastern Ghouta, Al Jazaeri said. Joshua Landis, an expert on Syria at the University of Oklahoma, told Al Jazeera that the offensive had taken the government by surprise and that its response was likely to be very significant. &'8220;I don't think it's going to change the trajectory of the war, which has been seeing the regime make important gains and the opposition getting increasingly restricted. But it shows the opposition is far from dead. It shows also that this new combination led by [Tahrir al-Sham] is very potent,&'8221; Landis said. &'8220;The regime is going to realise that it cannot allow these two areas to linger there because they are beachheads for this Tahrir a-Sham group to make inroads into the Damascus area,&'8221; he said, adding the government would likely withdraw some forces from areas such as Homs and Hama to refocus on Damascus. &'8220;It means that the fight is still on, there are many fronts to this war, and the opposition remains powerful.&'8221; Syrian state TV aired footage from Abbasiyn Square, typically buzzing with activity but now empty except for the sound of shelling. Residents said artillery shells and rockets were landing in the heart of the city. The Observatory said rebel shells hit several nearby districts in Damascus, including Bab Touma, Rukn al-Din and the Abbasiyin area. Several schools announced they would close through Monday, and many civilians cowered inside in fear of stray bullets and shelling. According to the Observatory, the Faylaq al-Rahman group and the Fateh al-Sham Front &'' known as al-Nusra Front before it broke ties with al-Qaeda &'' were present in Jobar. &'8220;This neighbourhood is the most important front line because it's the closest rebel position to the heart of the capital,&'8221; said Abdel Rahman. Government forces have long sought to push the rebels out of the district because of its proximity to the city centre in Damascus. But with Sunday's attack, Abdel Rahman said, &'8220;rebels have shifted from a defensive position in Jobar to an offensive one&'8221;. &'8220;These are not intermittent clashes &'' these are ongoing attempts to advance,&'8221; he said. One rebel commander told the Associated Press news agency they launched the assualt from Jobar as a way to relieve allied fighters in the nearby districts of Barzeh, Tishreen, and Qabun from government attacks. &'8220;This is to relieve the pressure on rebels with the regime not stopping its bombardment and artillery shelling,&'8221; said Abu Abdo, a commander from Failaq al Rahman. The attack on Damascus comes just days before a fresh round of UN-brokered peace talks in Geneva aiming to put an end to Syria's six-year war. Rebels and government troops agreed to a nationwide cessation of hostilities in December, but fighting has continued across much of the country, including in the capital. Rebels said the army had advanced in the last two days after weeks of bombardment and aerial strikes aimed at regaining control of strategic areas inside the capital, a few kms away from President Bashar al Assad's seat of power. The army had advanced towards a road between Qaboun and Barza, whose capture severed the links between the two besieged rebel districts where tens of thousands of [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 20th, 2017

Palace hails opening of Laguna Lake Highway as it will reduce travel time by half

Palace hails opening of Laguna Lake Highway as it will reduce travel time by half.....»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsFeb 10th, 2017

Duterte vows stronger family planning measures to reduce poverty

Duterte vows stronger family planning measures to reduce poverty.....»»

Category: newsSource:  bicolstandardRelated NewsDec 20th, 2016

Duterte vows state-of-the-art hospital for AFP

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is allocating half a billion pesos for the construction of a new state-of-the-art building at the Armed Force.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2016