German hostage abducted in PH appears in video

German hostage abducted in PH appears in video.....»»

Category: newsSource: manilatimes_net manilatimes_netJan 12th, 2017

German hostage abducted in PH appears in video

German hostage abducted in PH appears in video.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsJan 12th, 2017

Malaysians stranded in North Korea return home – BBC News

Nine Malaysians who were prevented from leaving North Korea have arrived home, after the two countries struck a deal to end a diplomatic row. The quarrel, over last month's killing of Kim Jong-nam in Kuala Lumpur, had resulted in both countries banning each other's citizens from leaving. Malaysia has also allowed North Koreans to leave and released Mr Kim's body. There is widespread suspicion that Pyongyang was responsible for orchestrating Mr Kim's murder. Mr Kim was the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The late Kim Jong-il's eldest son is thought to have fled North Korea after being passed over for the leadership. The nine Malaysian nationals were met by their relatives and a large media contingent at Kuala Lumpur airport early on Friday. Those who have returned include the country's counsellor to North Korea, Mohd Nor Azrin Md Zain, embassy staff, and their families. The counsellor said that when Pyongyang told them they could not leave North Korea, &'8220;we were very concerned especially since we had committed no wrong&'8221;. But he added they were &'8220;not particularly harassed&'8221; by North Korean authorities. &'8220;We were given the assurance that life could go on as normal,&'8221; he said. They were flown home in a business jet plane piloted by members of the Malaysian air force. Following Mr Kim's killing on 13 February, North Korean officials demanded that the body be handed to them immediately without an autopsy. Pyongyang reacted angrily when Malaysia refused their requests. Malaysian authorities said they had the right to conduct an autopsy as he had been killed on Malaysian soil, and said they would only release the body to Mr Kim's family. This prompted a war of words where North Korea's ambassador Kang Chol accused Malaysia of colluding with &'8220;hostile forces&'8221;, allegations which Kuala Lumpur dubbed as &'8220;delusions, lies and half-truths&'8221;. Kang Chol was expelled and the Malaysian ambassador to North Korea was also recalled. Pyongyang then said it would ban all Malaysians in North Korea from leaving until the &'8220;situation was resolved&'8221;, which Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak called an &'8220;abhorrent act&'8221; that effectively held his citizens hostage. Kuala Lumpur enacted a tit-for-tat exit ban on North Koreans. Malaysian officials have not hesitated in branding the return of their citizens as a triumph of diplomatic deal-making. On Friday morning Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman told reporters: &'8220;There can be no substitute for diplomacy, for level-headedness in dealing with such situations, and this has served Malaysia well in this instance.&'8221; But the exact circumstances of how the deal was struck remain unclear. Correspondents say that Malaysia appears to have acceded to North Korea's wishes to get the Malaysians released. Mr Najib had said earlier that, after challenging negotiations, all North Koreans would be allowed to leave Malaysia &'' which probably includes North Korean suspects in the murder who are wanted by Malaysian police. Japanese news agency Kyodo said two men resembling two of the suspects were seen on a Beijing-bound flight transporting Mr Kim's body on Friday. The suspects are Hyon Kwang Song, the second secretary at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and Kim Uk Il, an employee of North Korea's state airline Air Koryo. The two men were previously reported to have holed up in the embassy and refused to take part in investigations. Mr Kim's body was released to North Korea and flown to Beijing, where North Korean officials are expected to receive it. &'160; Malaysia had previously said they would not release the body until a request came from family members. On Thursday, Mr Najib said a formal request had been received from the family, but did not give further details. It is not known who exactly requested for the body. Mr Kim's own family previously lived in Macau but they are now thought to be in hiding. His son Kim Han-sol appeared in a video earlier this month confirming he was with his mother and sister at an unspecified location. It was with barely disguised relief that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced the deal with North Korea to release Kim Jong-nam's body, after what he described as &'8220;sensitive&'8221; negotiations posing many challenges. Dealing with a regime that, in Malaysia's view, was holding its citizens hostage and had carried out a lethal chemical weapons attack inside its main international gateway was a delicate task. Malaysia appears to have given North Korea what it wanted &'' the body and the North Korean suspects sought by the Malaysian police &'' in order to get its nine citizens back safely. To that end, North Korea has refused to recognise that the body was that of its supreme leader's half-brother, or to cooperate in clarifying the role of its agents in the attack. But by permitting a letter from an as-yet unnamed family member in North Korea to be forwarded to Malaysia, authorising the body's release, there is at least tacit acknowledgement from Pyongyang that the body is indeed Kim Jong-nam &'' something the Malaysian authorities say they have already confirmed through DNA samples obtained from his relatives outside North Korea. But with all the North Korean suspects in the attack now apparently out of Malaysia it is not clear how the investigation can move forward. The two women, an Indonesian and a Vietnamese, who smeared the nerve agent on Kim Jong-nam's face are in custody facing murder charges, but we do not know how [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 31st, 2017


President Rodrigo Duterte watches as eight year-old Rexon Romoc is hugged by his mother Nora at the Malacañan Palace on February 28, 2017. Rexon was abducted by members of the Abu Sayyaf on August 5, 2016 and was released on February 27, 2017, a day after the bandit group beheaded German hostage Juergen Gustav Kantner. [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsFeb 28th, 2017

Abu Sayyaf releases video of German s beheading

MANILA — Abu Sayyaf extremists in the Philippines released a video showing the beheading of a German hostage in the first sign the brutal Filipino militants.....»»

Category: worldSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 28th, 2017

Philippine militants release video of German s beheading

MANILA — Abu Sayyaf extremists in the Philippines released a video showing the beheading of a German hostage in the first sign the brutal Filipino militants.....»»

Category: worldSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 27th, 2017

Abu Sayyaf beheads German hostage, releases video of grisly murder

Abu Sayyaf beheads German hostage, releases video of grisly murder.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsFeb 27th, 2017

AFP to confirm authenticity of German hostage video

AFP to confirm authenticity of German hostage video.....»»

Category: gossipSource:  pepRelated NewsFeb 15th, 2017

Video shows German hostage alive

Video shows German hostage alive.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsJan 12th, 2017

AFP obtains ‘proof of life’ of German hostage

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – A 70-year-old German that the Abu Sayyaf had snatched appears to be alive after the military got hold of a photograph of him ta.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 16th, 2016

Bishop: Maute burned Marawi cathedral, abducted priest

MANILA, Philippines — A group inspired by the so-called Islamic State took hostage of a priest, church staff and churchgoers after burning the cathedral in M.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 24th, 2017

6 clubs in danger as Bundesliga enters penultimate round

CIARAN FAHEY, Associated Press   BERLIN (AP) — Six clubs, including some big names, are locked in a fight for Bundesliga survival with only two matches remaining. Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg and Hamburger SV all need points to be sure of avoiding relegation, while Mainz, Augsburg and Ingolstadt hope to beat them to it. One of the six will go down automatically - Darmstadt is already relegated - while a relegation playoff offers a second chance for another against the side that finishes third in the second division. All their games take place at the same time. Ingolstadt, which plays at Freiburg on Saturday, is the worst placed side, four points from safety and ruing Kai Havertz's late equalizer for Leverkusen in their 1-1 draw last weekend. But Ingolstadt coach Maik Walpurgis isn't giving up. 'The Bundesliga has already written so many crazy stories. Why not this year, too?' Walpurgis said. Hamburg, currently with 34 points in the playoff place, plays at Schalke before its potential all-or-nothing meeting against Wolfsburg at home on the final weekend. Hamburg, the only founding member of the league to have played every season, is facing the prospect of its third playoff in four seasons. Schalke, with 41 points, has only theoretical chances of salvaging a European place but will be compelled to put on a good performance in front of its own frustrated fans. Mainz, level with Hamburg, hosts local rival Eintracht Frankfurt for a derby between the two worst sides in the second half of the season. Frankfurt's best chance of European qualification is by winning the German Cup final against Borussia Dortmund. Wolfsburg, the 2009 champion, hosts Borussia Moenchengladbach, which is led by former coach Dieter Hecking. Hecking was fired after a poor start by Wolfsburg in October. Andries Jonker is the Volkswagen-backed club's third coach of the season, its worst ever in the Bundesliga. 'We've given away the season,' Wolfsburg striker Mario Gomez said. Augsburg was the prime candidate for the drop but carved some breathing space with wins over Cologne and Hamburg, though former player Andre Hahn's late equalizer for 'Gladbach in last weekend's draw may yet prove decisive. Augsburg hosts Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, when the visitors will be hoping to consolidate third place for automatic Champions League qualification at Hoffenheim's expense. Dortmund is two points ahead of Hoffenheim, which visits Werder Bremen. Bremen is pushing for a European place after a remarkable recovery in the second half of the season. Leverkusen, which was playing Champions League soccer this season, appears to be in the worst shape of all the relegation rivals after six games without a win under new coach Tayfun Korkut. The decision to fire predecessor Roger Schmidt appears to have backfired in what sporting director Rudi Voeller has called a 'cursed season.' Korkut has only one win in nine games and his side is only three points above the relegation playoff place. It could get worse for Leverkusen with defeat at home to Cologne in the Rhine derby on Saturday. Cologne fans are taking particular 'schadenfreude' in seeing their old rivals struggle, particularly as Leverkusen was widely seen as a title-contender before the season began. Cologne is also bidding for a Europa League place. The team is only one point behind sixth-place Hertha Berlin and two behind fifth-place Freiburg. Hertha, which was previously third, is in danger of ending the season with nothing after nine straight losses away from home. The team has a chance to end that run at already-relegated Darmstadt, which will be looking for a good send off in front of its own fans. Bayern Munich, which wrapped up its fifth straight title with three games to spare, hosts promoted Leipzig, which is already assured of direct qualification for the Champions League. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 12th, 2017

Mariners beat Phillies 11-6, Rockies defeat Cubs 3-0

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Carlos Ruiz hit a three-run double against his old team while Robinson Cano and Danny Valencia homered as the Seattle Mariners beat the Philadelphia Phillies 11-6 Wednesday. Ruiz earned another standing ovation a day after he returned and was honored with a video tribute that highlighted his career with the Phillies. The former All-Star catcher was 3 for 30 this season before clearing the bases with a liner off the left-field wall in the seventh against Joaquin Benoit (0-2). Seattle swept the two-game interleague series. The Phillies have lost 10 of 12. Tony Zych (2-0) pitched a scoreless inning. ROCKIES 3, CUBS 0 DENVER (AP) — German Marquez (1-2) allowed three hits over eight innings, struck out eight and got his first major league hit with a two-run single in the seventh off Kyle Hendricks (2-2) . Marquez had a no-hit bid until Kris Bryant's double leading off the seventh inning. Greg Holland threw a perfect ninth for his 14th save in as many chances to help the Rockies take two of three from Chicago. Ian Desmond hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the fourth that was set up by shortstop Javier Baez's error. GIANTS 6, METS 5 NEW YORK (AP) — Hunter Pence hit a tying single and Christian Arroyo had a three-run double against Jeurys Familia (1-1) in a four-run ninth as San Francisco, a major league-worst 12-23, took advantage of third baseman Wilmer Flores' error to stop a five-game losing streak. Flores nearly tied the score with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, hitting a two-run double off the top of the left-center fence for his third hit. Derek Law, subbing for injured closer Mark Melancon, retired Kevin Plawecki on a dribbler in front of home plate for his second save. Bryan Morris (1-0) tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Buster Posey homered in every game of the series, connecting in three straight for the third time in his career and first since June 2013. ASTROS 4, BRAVES 2 HOUSTON (AP) — Carlos Correa had two doubles and two RBIs for Houston, off to its best 34-game start at 23-11. Correa's fifth-inning double off Jaime Garcia (1-2) drove in two runs for a 3-2 lead. Joe Musgrove (2-3) allowed two runs and four hits in six innings, and Ken Giles pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save in 10 chances. Atlanta tied a season high with its sixth straight loss. ATHLETICS 3, ANGELS 1 OAKLAND, California (AP) — Andrew Triggs (5-2) walked his first three batters on 14 pitches and allowed Jefry Marte to hit into an RBI forceout but lasted six innings and didn't allow another run. Liam Hendriks, Ryan Madson and Santiago Casilla finished the four-hitter, with Casilla striking out his first two batters in a one-hit ninth for his sixth save. Jesse Chavez (2-5) allowed two runs and three hits over 5 2/3 innings in the first start against his former club. Chad Pinder homered for Oakland. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 11th, 2017

Germany: Suspect bet against Dortmund then bombed its bus

FRANK JORDANS, Associated Press br /> BERLIN (AP) — A 28-year-old German-Russian citizen took out a five-figure loan to bet that Borussia Dortmund shares would drop, then bombed the soccer team's bus in an attack he tried to disguise as Islamic terrorism in a scheme to net millions, German officials said Friday. The suspect, identified only as Sergej W. in line with German privacy laws, was arrested by a police tactical team early Friday near the southwestern city of Tuebingen, federal prosecutors said. 'We are working on the assumption that the suspect is responsible for the attack against the team bus of Borussia Dortmund,' prosecutors' spokeswoman Frauke Koehler told a news conference Friday. She said the man came to the attention of investigators because he had made 'suspicious options purchases' for shares in Borussia Dortmund, the only top-league German club listed on the stock exchange, on the same day as the April 11 attack. W. had taken out a loan of 'several tens of thousands of euros' days before the attack and bought a large number of so-called put options, betting on a drop in Dortmund's share price, she said. 'A significant share price drop could have been expected if a player had been seriously injured or even killed as a result of the attack,' according to prosecutors, though Koehler said the precise profit W. might have expected was still being calculated. Ralf Jaeger, the top security official in North Rhine-Westphalia state, said the suspect had hoped to earn millions. 'The man appears to have wanted to commit murder out of greed,' Jaeger said. Investigators found notes at the scene claiming responsibility on behalf of Islamic extremists, which Germany's top security official, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, said was a 'particularly perfidious way to toy with people's fears.' He said the suspect had been under close surveillance for about a week and that the evidence against him was significant. 'The fact that someone wanted to enrich himself by killing people to influence the stock market is particularly reprehensible,' he said. The suspect faces charges of attempted murder, causing an explosion and serious bodily harm. He was brought before a judge, who ordered him held in custody after evaluating the evidence against him. She said investigators believe W. acted alone — there are 'no indications of possible helpers' — but would continue to probe the possibility he had accomplices. Dortmund defender Marc Bartra and a police officer were injured in the triple blasts as the bus was heading to the team's stadium for a Champions League game. Bartra had to have surgery on his wrist and arm and is out of action for several weeks. The team's shares did slide slightly after the attack, but quickly recovered. Dortmund's first-leg match against Monaco was postponed and the team lost 3-2 to Monaco the next day. Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel criticized UEFA and top soccer officials for forcing the team to play such a top-level match so quickly after an attack on their team. Prosecutors said they traced the computer used to purchase the put options to the luxury hotel in Dortmund where the team had been staying. They said W. had also booked a room there and placed three explosives, packed with shrapnel, along the route the bus would take to reach the stadium for their match against Monaco. 'The explosive devices were detonated at the optimum time,' prosecutors said, noting that the team bus was equipped only with security glass and not reinforced glass. The bomb shattered several windows on the bus, wounding Bartra. A police officer accompanying the bus also suffered trauma. The club thanked authorities in a statement. 'The fact that no further people were injured or killed was, as we now know, purely a matter of luck,' it said on Facebook. Dortmund captain Marcel Schmelzer said the team needed to learn all it could about the attack. 'This information is important to everyone who sat in the bus because it would make it significantly easier to process (what happened),' he was quoted as saying. After the three identical notes claiming responsibility for the attack were found at the scene, investigators initially considered the possibility that it might have been the work of Islamic extremists. The notes demanded that Germany withdraw reconnaissance jets assisting the fight against Islamic State group and close the U.S. Ramstein Air Base in Germany. But experts said the letter's mix of correct, complicated German and obvious mistakes suggested it was a red herring — as were two subsequent claims pointing to left-wing and right-wing extremists. ___ David Rising contributed to this report. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 22nd, 2017

From bottom in Bundesliga, Bremen now chasing European spot

CIARAN FAHEY, Associated Press   BERLIN (AP) — Previously bottom of the Bundesliga, Werder Bremen is now even thinking of European qualification after a remarkable turnaround under new coach Alexander Nouri. Only league leader Bayern Munich has claimed more points since the winter break. Last weekend's 2-1 win at home over old rival Hamburger SV lifted Bremen to eighth. It's just two points behind Freiburg in sixth — the last spot to guarantee a European place — and one behind Cologne in seventh, which may be enough depending on results in the German Cup. Nouri is just thinking of his next game on Saturday. 'We're not looking anywhere else,' Nouri said. 'We're focused on the next opponent, and that's called Ingolstadt.' Nouri's side is unbeaten in nine games since a 1-0 defeat to Borussia Moenchengladbach on Feb. 11, clocking up seven victories in that run which helped it escape the relegation zone. With five games remaining, Bremen appears safe, seven points clear of Augsburg in the relegation playoff place. Nouri, Bremen's former under-23 coach, endured a mixed start after taking over from the fired Viktor Skripnik in September. But he has transformed the side since the winter break, helping players shed the insecurity that led to mistakes earlier in the season. There were encouraging signs in narrow defeats to Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich before the unbeaten run started against Mainz. Results helped the team grow in confidence as players saw their hard work pay off. Midfielder Fin Bartels is playing like he's just discovered the joy of football, Zlatko Junuzovic is similarly liberated, and Max Kruse has scored five goals and set up four more in his last six games. Bremen top-scorer Serge Gnabry's absence due to a thigh problem has hardly been noticed. Now it seems odd that Bremen was ever involved in a relegation scrap in the first place. 'Our confidence is booming,' Bremen defender Niklas Moisander said on Wednesday. Bremen's run-in is far from straightforward, starting at Ingolstadt which is fighting for survival, before Bremen plays European-qualification rivals Hertha Berlin, Cologne, Hoffenheim and Dortmund. Bremen's players remain cautious with relegation-battle memories still fresh. 'The fans are welcome to sing about Europe, we did too a bit,' Bartels said. 'You can peer at what's going on up there for one or two days, but we're staying careful. Our focus is on the next game and the 40-point mark.' Bremen is only a point off that 40-point mark and a win in the next round could even move it past Cologne and Freiburg. Cologne hosts Hoffenheim and Freiburg welcomes Bayer Leverkusen. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 21st, 2017

Ivanka Trump is making her White House job official – CNN News

Ivanka Trump is changing course and will become a government employee in the coming days, a White House official told CNN Wednesday. President Donald Trump's eldest daughter will be an unpaid employee working in the West Wing. &'8220;I have heard the concerns some have with my advising the President in my personal capacity while voluntarily complying with all ethics rules, and I will instead serve as an unpaid employee in the White House Office, subject to all of the same rules as other federal employees,&'8221; Ivanka Trump said in a statement. &'8220;Throughout this process I have been working closely and in good faith with the White House counsel and my personal counsel to address the unprecedented nature of my role.&'8221; A source with knowledge of the decision told CNN's Gloria Borger the decision was made after the &'8220;unease&'8221; expressed by people about the nature of her voluntary role, and ethics advocates Norm Eisen and Fred Wertheimer had sent White House counsel Don McGhan a letter last Friday. Now, Ivanka Trump will be an &'8220;adviser&'8221; to the President, and will file her own Form 278, which means she is legally bound by the ethics rules. An unsigned statement from the White House said: &'8220;We are pleased that Ivanka Trump has chosen to take this step in her unprecedented role as first daughter and in support of the President.&'8221; Trump's attorney, Jamie S. Gorelick, said: &'8220;Ivanka's decision reflects both her commitment to compliance with federal ethics standards and her openness to opposing points of view. She will file the financial disclosure forms required of federal employees and be bound by the same ethics rules that she had planned to comply with voluntarily.&'8221; Jared Kushner, Ivanka's husband and a top Trump aide, is also serving the White House as an unpaid government employee. News of Trump's new title was first reported by The New York Times. A White House official confirmed last week that, after a few months settling into Washington, Trump was officially moving into a West Wing office and would obtain top-secret security clearance. She will also receive government-provided communications devices, per the official. Ivanka Trump's elevation has prompted critics to note the potential violation of the nepotism law, passed in 1967, that says no public official &'8212; from the President down to a low-level manager at a federal agency &'8212; may hire or promote a relative. But the law states that any appointee found to have violated the law is &'8220;not entitled to pay&'8221; by the federal government, which appears to offer the opportunity for Trump and Kushner to forgo paychecks while still serving the administration. When Kushner officially joined Trump's team in January, the Justice Department concluded that his post as senior adviser was not in violation of federal anti-nepotism laws. &'8220;In choosing his personal staff, the President enjoys an unusual degree of freedom, which Congress found suitable to the demands of his office,&'8221; wrote Daniel Koffsky, deputy assistant attorney general in the DOJ Office of Legal Counsel, which serves as interpreter of federal law for the White House. Koffsky reasoned in January that the anti-nepotism law covers only appointments in an &'8220;executive&'8221; agency and that the White House Office is not an executive agency within the law. He cited a separate law that gives the President broad powers to hire his staff. That law authorizes the President to appoint &'8220;employees in the White House office without regard to any other provision of law regulating the employment or compensation of persons in the government service.&'8221; Ivanka Trump took a formal leave of absence from her eponymous apparel and accessories brand, as well as the Trump Organization, in January. She has long been a key trusted adviser to her father, through her young adulthood to her time as executive vice president of real estate development and acquisition at the Trump Organization, and, ultimately, to his 2016 presidential campaign. Trump will continue in that capacity, serving as the President's &'8220;eyes and ears,&'8221; per Gorelick. &'8220;She will not be his only source of input and insight, obviously, but she may be able to provide insights into the concerns of people whom he might not meet as President,&'8221; Gorelick told CNN via email last week. In the first several weeks of the administration, she's already been on hand for key happenings, including roundtable discussions with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a Florida school visit with her father and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, an Oval Office bill signing encouraging women in STEM, a visit to the National African American Museum of History and Culture and West Wing meetings on human trafficking and manufacturing, among others. She took an even higher profile this week, making formal remarks at an event encouraging women in STEM at Smithsonian's Air and Space museum on Tuesday. The broadening of Trump's role in her father's administration is unprecedented by any modern member of a first family. President George W. Bush, who worked on his father's campaign, is the most recent parallel to Ivanka Trump, said Kate Andersen Brower, author of &'8220;First Women: The Grace and Power of America's Modern First Ladies&'8221; and a CNN contributor. &'8220;But even he wasn't sitting in on high-level policy meetings when his father was in the White House. It definitely complicates matters when someone who can't be fired &'8212; aka a family member &'8212; is this involved in an administration,&'8221; [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 30th, 2017

Ko returns to ANA Inspiration with Jutanugarn in hot pursuit

GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer   RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — Lydia Ko remembers holding her arms above her head in a heart shape when she leaped into Poppie's Pond last year. The New Zealand teenager had to watch the video to learn she also held her nose for the winner's traditional plunge at the ANA Inspiration. 'I might be one of the only players to hold my nose,' the world No. 1 said with a grin. 'I must have been scared of the water going up my nose.' Ariya Jutanugarn didn't get to make that leap because she blew a two-stroke lead with bogeys on the final three holes of the Dinah Shore Course last year. Yet that major disappointment propelled Jutanugarn to where she sits now: Right behind Ko in the overall rankings, with a chance to rise at Mission Hills Country Club this weekend. 'I think I'm really lucky that last year (happened),' Jutanugarn said, recalling the thoughts that ran through her head. ''I'm never going to win my first tournament. I'm never going to win my first major.' I feel really happy that happened last year. After that tournament, I just said 'OK, just go have fun.'' Jutanugarn might be having a bit more fun than Ko lately, but the top two players in the world are leading a packed field that included 10 former champions at the ANA Inspiration. They're competing for the $2.7 million purse at the first major of the year in the desert just outside Palm Springs. Ko became the youngest player to win two majors when she took the trophy here last year with a birdie on the 72nd hole, while Jutanugarn remained winless on the LPGA Tour with her collapse. So much has changed for both young pros since that fateful Sunday. Jutanugarn has won a whopping five events since, including the British Open. With a newfound confidence and a steady demeanor, she has been ranked No. 2 in the world for 34 straight weeks. Ko has been consistently solid, but she hasn't dominated the tour — and she shockingly missed a cut last week at Carlsbad for only the second time in 95 LPGA starts. Ko has been No. 1 in the world for 75 weeks, but Jutanugarn's 21st-place finish in Carlsbad allowed the big-hitting Thai pro to close the gap to the smallest it has ever been. 'It's not important, because when I play, I really want to have fun,' Jutanugarn said of the No. 1 ranking. 'I really want to be happy on the course. And whatever happens, be really happy and have fun. That's my goal.' While Jutanugarn appears to be gathering momentum, Ko is returning to Mission Hills in search of the form that cleared her for takeoff into the pond last spring. After an unimpressive finish to 2016, Ko struggled with a sketchy putter in Carlsbad last week, leading to back-to-back bogeys on her final two holes. The missed cut was the low point of a year filled with change for Ko, who acquired a new coach, a new caddie and new clubs after last year's late disappointments. Jason Hamilton, the caddie who correctly advised her to lay up on the final hole and then belly-flopped into Poppie's Pond with her last year, has been replaced by Gary Matthews. Things aren't exactly terrible for Ko, however: She had three top-10 finishes in her first four tournaments before struggling in Carlsbad. To join Annika Sorenstam as the only repeat champion at this major, Ko must recapture the steady shot-making form that allowed her to come from behind last year. 'I think the biggest thing I remember about that whole day was that I really wasn't focusing on what anybody else was doing,' Ko said. 'I was just trying to play the best I can. And it really did come to the last hole, and I think that's why it was so exciting.' DIVOTS: Michelle Wie will play with 14-year-old Lucy Li in the first two rounds. Li, the Bay Area product who qualified for the U.S. Open at 11, made the current field by winning the ANA Junior Inspiration. Wie, now 27, also played this tournament at 14, and finished tied for fourth. ... Jutanugarn plays with Cristie Kerr, while Ko will start off with two-time tournament winner Brittany Lincicome. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 30th, 2017

WATCH: Pia Wurtzbach appears in Massari's 'So Long' music video

WATCH: Pia Wurtzbach appears in Massari's 'So Long' music video.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMar 25th, 2017

Bank that lent $300m to Trump linked to Russian money laundering scam – The Guardian

The German bank that loaned $300m (£260m) to Donald Trump played a prominent role in a money laundering scandal run by Russian criminals with ties to the Kremlin, the Guardian can reveal. Deutsche Bank is one of dozens of western financial institutions that processed at least $20bn – and possibly more – in money of “criminal origin” from Russia. The scheme, dubbed “the Global Laundromat”, ran from 2010 to 2014. Law enforcement agencies are investigating how a group of politically well-connected Russians were able to use UK-registered companies to launder billions of dollars in cash. The companies made fictitious loans to each other, underwritten by Russian businesses. The companies would default on these “debts”. Judges in Moldova then made court rulings enforcing judgments against the firms. This allowed Russian bank accounts to transfer huge sums to Moldova legally. From there, the money went to accounts in Latvia with Trasta Komercbanka. Deutsche, Germany’s biggest lender, acted as a “correspondent bank” for Trasta until 2015. This meant Deutsche provided dollar-denominated services to Trasta’s non-resident Russian clients. This service was used to move money from Latvia to banks across the world. During this period many Wall Street banks got out of Latvia, citing concerns that the small Baltic country had become a centre for international money laundering, especially from neighbouring Russia. In 2013, and under US regulatory pressure, JP Morgan Chase ceased providing dollar clearing services to the country. From 2014, only two western lenders were willing to accept international dollar transfers from Latvian banks. They were Deutsche and Germany’s Commerzbank. Deutsche eventually withdrew correspondent services to Trasta Bank in September 2015. Six months later, Latvian regulators shut down the bank. They cited repeated violations, and said the bank had failed to deal with its money laundering risk. Latvia’s deputy finance minister, Maija Treija, said the money sent via Trasta was “either stolen or with criminal origin”. The defunct bank was being used as vehicle to get money out of the ex-Soviet Union and “into the EU financial system”, she added. Deutsche said it had significantly strengthened its systems and controls. It said that by the end of this year it will have hired more than 1,000 new staff in its compliance and anti-financial crime unit since 2015. It added: “The bank has comprehensively reviewed its client onboarding and know-your-client processes and where necessary is exiting higher risk client relationships and markets.” Commerzbank said it could not comment on its relationships with other banks. It said it put a high value on compliance. It said that suspicious transactions picked up during routine monitoring were reported to the authorities. Deutche Bank ended its relationship with Trasta soon after Latvia’s regulator issued a warning, it is understood. In August 2015, the Financial and Capital Markets Commission stopped all transactions above €100,000. Deutsche severed its relationship with the other key Laundromat bank &'' Moldova’s Moldindconbank – in 2012. Ties with Russia are a matter of acute sensitivity for Deutsche. In February, it emerged that Deutsche had secretly reviewed multiple loans made to President Trump by its private wealth division to see if there was a connection to Russia. Trump owes Deutsche about $300m. Deutsche refused to comment on its internal review. Sources say the bank discovered no evidence of any Moscow link. That covers other members of the US president’s family who are also Deutsche clients. They include Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, her husband, Jared Kushner, and Kushner’s mother, Seryl Stadtmauer. In January, the UK and US imposed record $630m fines on Deutsche for its role in another money laundering scam run out of its Moscow office. The bank failed to prevent $10bn of Russian money being laundered in a complex “mirror trades” operation. The wealthy Russians that used the scheme have not been identified. Deutsche’s Private Bank – the division that lends to Trump – appears in the Global Laundromat scheme. Sources suggest that many of its clients are rich Russians, typically with personal assets of $50m-plus. According to Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung, Deutsche processed more than $24m of Laundromat cash in 209 transactions. Records obtained by the Organized Crime and Corruption Project (OCCRP) and Novaya Gazeta from anonymous sources show how the money was spent. Much of it vanished into opaque offshore companies. Some of it went on luxury items including diamonds, leather jackets, and home-cinema equipment. One of Deutsche’s high net worth customers blew €500,000 at Mahlberg, a German jewellery firm. The payment in January 2013 was made by Seabon Limited, a Laundromat company registered in Tooley Street, London. More than $9bn was funnelled via Seabon, records show. Almost €1m went to a Munich electronics firm, Rohde &'38; Schwarz, which produces surveillance technology for security services and police. Often, the explanation for high-volume payments was fake. The money spent on watches was marked down on the bank wire transfer as a payment for “computer equipment”. Another $500,000 payment was made to a London fur broker, Gideon Bartfeld. Bartfeld said the money had arrived from Deutsche Bank New York, before being sent on to the Bank of New York Mellon, which paid the invoice. Trasta – the bank that first sent the money to Deutsche – did not appear in any paperwork, he added. Bartfeld said the payment came via two “highly reputable and respected” global banks. He said: “Consequently, we received this payment in full confidence [as they] were satisfied that the payment met their [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 22nd, 2017

From glory to humiliation: PSG loses in dramatic style

JEROME PUGMIRE, AP Sports Writer br /> PARIS (AP) — The man hired to lead Paris Saint-Germain to Champions League glory delivered the most embarrassing result imaginable. PSG became the first team to throw away a 4-0 lead from the first leg in the Champions League, losing to Barcelona 6-1 in the second. The awful outcome was made worse by the calamitous way PSG conceded three late goals. In the previous four seasons, PSG had reached the quarterfinals. That was insufficient in the eyes of Qatari owners QSI, who fired coach Laurent Blanc — despite Blanc winning back-to-back domestic trebles — and replaced him with Unai Emery. When PSG dismantled Barcelona at home with an electric display of attacking soccer three weeks ago, the back-slapping and congratulations were in full swing. There was a growing confidence, if not certainty, that Emery was the perfect man to lead PSG to its first European Cup. He was credited with instilling the breathtaking energy the players showed that night. Now, he and his players will be known as the ones who threw it all away. 'We had everything in hand and we gave them the game,' PSG right back Thomas Meunier said. 'We made an enormous amount of errors.' On a disastrous night, the club's initials could have stood for something else: Pathetic. Spineless. Gutless. The French press let rip. Shortly after the loss, sports daily L'Equipe's website carried the headline 'A Historic Disaster' along with a picture of midfielder Marco Verratti lying on his back with his hands covering his face. L'Equipe's newspaper called it 'Unqualifiable' — underlining the shock while delivering a scathingly sarcastic verdict on PSG's inability to progress in the most favorable of circumstances. 'We weren't worthy of playing for PSG,' Meunier said. Angry fans gathered at the airport to jeer and heckle the players when they arrived back. ___ LACK OF LEADERS As the exasperated Emery gesticulated wildly on the sidelines, there was no one on the field to stop the damage. From the first minute, PSG sat far too deep, inviting Barcelona to overrun midfield and camp around the penalty area. That gave PSG the look of a small, retreating army with a massive one bearing down on it, attacks coming from all sides. Thiago Motta's absence in central midfield was sorely missed. A great organizer, strong tackler and neat passer, Motta would have added steel and calmness. The hard-nosed Italian is also a relentlessly competitive character and would have got a response from his flagging teammates. 'We were a bit lost,' Meunier said. 'We allowed ourselves to be victims.' PSG also missed veteran left back Maxwell, with Layvin Kurzawa out of position all game and scoring an own-goal. ___ CHANGING A WINNING TEAM When PSG routed Barcelona at Parc des Princes, observers marveled at Emery's tactical innovation. His three-pronged attack of Edinson Cavani, Julian Draxler and Angel Di Maria worked to perfection, while his decision to pick inexperienced center half Presnel Kimpembe paid off as he contained Lionel Messi. Then he changed a winning team. Kimpembe was on the bench for the return leg. Worse, with PSG needing only to see out the last few minutes, Emery kept him there. Di Maria was overlooked in favor of Brazilian player Lucas. When Di Maria came on, PSG looked sharper going forward and soon pulled a goal back. If Barcelona had to defend the whole game against Cavani, Draxler and Di Maria, they might have had fewer occasions to charge forward. ___ SHEER COMPLACENCY PSG's lethargic absenteeism on the field was mirrored by a complacent approach before the game. Two days before the match, the club released a video on YouTube called 'Supper Club' with four players sitting around a table. As they pick at their pizzas and slurp soft drinks, Blaise Matuidi and Verratti are joined in conversation by Draxler and Meunier. They are casually discussing the game ahead. 'The first 20 minutes are going to be tough, eh Marco? The field is really big,' Matuidi says. '(Barcelona) attack, attack, and they leave a lot of spaces.' Draxler then intervenes, telling Matuidi 'you will need to run a lot' and they both laugh when Matuidi retorts 'I'll need you to (run) as well.' The players certainly appeared to taking Barcelona lightly. ___ BAD GOALKEEPER When Emery took over he recalled goalkeeper Alphonse Areola from a loan spell and made him his No. 1. Then, uncertain about Areola's level, he picked Kevin Trapp. Against Barcelona, Trapp exposed all of his limitations: Poor composure, weak handling, erratic decision making. On the first goal, the German keeper came up to claim a looping ball with his fists bunched rather than his hands apart, reducing his own surface area. Trapp appeared to be terrified and his inability to command his back four made sure that panic set in — and stayed throughout. ___ WHAT NEXT? Emery's future clearly hangs in the balance. PSG trails Monaco by three points in the French league and Emery's position will be further undermined if he does not win the title. PSG also faces Monaco in the League Cup final next month. After the Barcelona match, PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi was asked if Emery was still the right man for the job. 'That's not a question for now,' Al-Khelaifi said. It will be soon, though. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 10th, 2017

Military to bring remains of German hostage to Manila

JOLO, Philippines - The military is scheduled to transport the remains of beheaded German captive Juergen Gustav Kantner on Tuesday, security official said......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 7th, 2017