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Church raises $150,000 to pay off debts of college students

A church in Alexandria, Virginia has paid off the debts of a number of college students. How? After a month-long "fast" had its 8,000-strong congregationlimit not just their diets, but also their finances and social media use. Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley led the Alfred Street Baptist Church in a period of prayer and fasting for the month of January, as per Good Morning America on Feb. 15. Many of the church's members donated during the fast, including Wesley himself, who let go of his daily $4 (about P209) cup of coffee to give to the offering. In just a month, the church was able to raise $150,000 (P7.8 million). Members initially did not know where their donations would be going, a...Keep on reading: Church raises $150,000 to pay off debts of college students.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: 1 hr. 30 min. ago Related News

Vettel makes strong start to F1 preseason for Ferrari

By Joseph Wilson, Associated Press MONTMELO, Spain (AP) — For Sebastian Vettel, the opening day of the Formula One preseason couldn't have gone any better. Vettel, the runner-up to the title last season, clocked the fastest time, was the busiest driver with 169 laps and, most importantly, felt right at home behind the wheel of his new Ferrari. "We couldn't have hoped for a better day," Vettel said after setting a session-best lap time of 1 minute, 18.161 seconds. "It was unbelievable. The car was working very well. We had no issues slowing us down. "It is obviously very early and this will be meaningless in a couple of weeks, but for now, a huge compliment to everyone at the factory. What they put on the track today was very close to perfection." Vettel has the daunting goal of ending Mercedes' five-year dominance of F1. Defending champion Lewis Hamilton shared time behind the wheel for Mercedes with Valtteri Bottas and ended up with the ninth-fastest time, but it is more very likely that Mercedes was not aiming to top the leaderboard. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff acknowledged that Ferrari looked quick, but downplayed the importance of lap times in the preseason. "That is not what tests are about," Wolff said. "It's about going through all the parts and looking at all the data." Carlos Sainz put in the second-quickest lap in his first ride with McLaren, followed by Haas' Romain Grosjean and Red Bull's Max Verstappen. Renault's Daniel Ricciardo, who joined the team from Red Bull, and Nico Hulkenberg put in the slowest times of the day, finishing more than 2.8 seconds slower than Vettel. Williams, which finished last in the team standings last year, missed the first day of testing and is likely to miss Tuesday's session as well. Alfa Romeo, previously known as Sauber, unveiled its new burgundy-and-white car in the pit lane before testing began. Kimi Raikkonen, who joined the team from Ferrari, had the fifth-best time but also went off the track twice without damaging his car. The main focus of these tests is for teams to adapt to rule changes for their cars' front wing design. The goal is to make racing more exciting by facilitating overtaking. The new regulations should reduce the turbulence hitting trailing cars, which has slowed them down and made passing more difficult. Red Bull boss Chris Horner said that the new rules mean "there is a blank canvas this year." Testing will continue through Thursday and then again from Feb. 26-March 1 at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, home to the Spanish Grand Prix in May. The season-opening Australian GP is on March 17......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports8 hr. 4 min. ago Related News

In France, the Force is strong with lightsaber dueling

By John Leicester, Associated Press BEAUMONT-SUR-OISE, France (AP) — Master Yoda, dust off his French, he must. It's now easier than ever in France to act out "Star Wars" fantasies, because its fencing federation has borrowed from a galaxy far, far away and officially recognized lightsaber dueling as a competitive sport, granting the iconic weapon from George Lucas' saga the same status as the foil, epee and sabre, the traditional blades used at the Olympics. Of course, the LED-lit, rigid polycarbonate lightsaber replicas can't slice a Sith lord in half. But they look and, with the more expensive sabers equipped with a chip in their hilt that emits a throaty electric rumble, even sound remarkably like the silver screen blades that Yoda and other characters wield in the blockbuster movies . Plenty realistic, at least, for duelists to work up an impressive sweat slashing, feinting and stabbing in organized, 3-minute bouts. The physicality of lightsaber combat is part of why the French Fencing Federation threw its support behind the sport and is now equipping fencing clubs with lightsabers and training would-be lightsaber instructors. Like virtuous Jedi knights, the French federation sees itself as combatting a Dark Side: The sedentary habits of 21st-century life that are sickening ever-growing numbers of adults and kids . "With young people today, it's a real public health issue. They don't do any sport and only exercise with their thumbs," says Serge Aubailly, the federation secretary general. "It's becoming difficult to (persuade them to) do a sport that has no connection with getting out of the sofa and playing with one's thumbs. That is why we are trying to create a bond between our discipline and modern technologies, so participating in a sport feels natural." In the past, the likes of Zorro, Robin Hood and The Three Musketeers helped lure new practitioners to fencing. Now, joining and even supplanting them are Luke Skywalker , Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader. "Cape and sword movies have always had a big impact on our federation and its growth," Aubailly says. "Lightsaber films have the same impact . Young people want to give it a try." And the young at heart. Police officer Philippe Bondi, 49, practiced fencing for 20 years before switching to lightsaber. When a club started offering classes in Metz, the town in eastern France where he is stationed for the gendarmerie, Bondi says he was immediately drawn by the prospect of living out the love he's had for the "Star Wars" universe since he saw the first film at age 7, on its release in 1977 . He fights in the same wire-mesh face mask he used for fencing. He spent about 350 euros ($400) on his protective body armor (sturdy gloves, chest, shoulder and shin pads) and on his federation-approved lightsaber, opting for luminous green "because it's the Jedi colors, and Yoda is my master." "I had to be on the good side, given that my job is upholding the law," he said. Bondi awoke well before dawn to make the four-hour drive from Metz to a national lightsaber tournament outside Paris this month that drew 34 competitors. It showcased how far the sport has come in a couple of years but also that it's still light years from becoming mainstream. The crowd was small and a technical glitch prevented the duelers' photos, combat names and scores from being displayed on a big screen, making bouts tough to follow. But the illuminated swooshes of colored blades looked spectacular in the darkened hall. Fan cosplay as "Star Wars" characters added levity, authenticity and a tickle of bizarre to the proceedings, especially the incongruous sight of Darth Vader buying a ham sandwich and a bag of potato chips at the cafeteria during a break. In building their sport from the ground up, French organizers produced competition rules intended to make lightsaber dueling both competitive and easy on the eyes. "We wanted it to be safe, we wanted it to be umpired and, most of all, we wanted it to produce something visual that looks like the movies, because that is what people expect," said Michel Ortiz, the tournament organizer. Combatants fight inside a circle marked in tape on the floor. Strikes to the head or body are worth 5 points; to the arms or legs, 3 points; on hands, 1 point. The first to 15 points wins or, if they don't get there quickly, the high scorer after 3 minutes. If both fighters reach 10 points, the bout enters "sudden death," where the first to land a head- or body-blow wins, a rule to encourage enterprising fighters. Blows only count if the fighters first point the tip of their saber behind them. That rule prevents the viper-like, tip-first quick forward strikes seen in fencing. Instead, the rule encourages swishier blows that are easier for audiences to see and enjoy, and which are more evocative of the duels in "Star Wars." Of those, the battle between Obi-Wan and Darth Maul in "The Phantom Menace" that ends badly for the Sith despite his double-bladed lightsaber is particularly appreciated by aficionados for its swordplay. Still nascent, counting its paid-up practitioners in France in the hundreds, not thousands, lightsaber dueling has no hope of a place in the Paris Olympics in 2024. But to hear the thwack of blades and see them cut shapes through the air is to want to give the sport a try. Or, as Yoda would say: "Try not. Do! Or do not. There is no try.".....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports8 hr. 4 min. ago Related News

Huge Taiwanese contingent in golf - Manila Bulletin

Huge Taiwanese contingent in golf Manila Bulletin A 31-player strong Taiwanese contingent sets out for the Champion Philippine Ladies Amateur Open, all ready and raring to grab the spotlight in the c.....»»

Source: Manilanews ManilanewsCategory: News10 hr. 30 min. ago Related News

Toyota picks Philippines to lead launch of all-new Hiace

Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp. (TMC) has chosen the Philippines to be the first market to launch its new Hiace models given the strong demand in the country’s for the particular product......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: Finance13 hr. 17 min. ago Related News

D.M. Wenceslao sets P4-B capex

D.M. Wenceslao & Associates, Inc. (DMW) is allocating P4 billion for capital expenditures this year, following a double-digit profit growth in 2018 due to the strong demand for properties in the Bay Area......»»

Source: Bworldonline BworldonlineCategory: Finance14 hr. 30 min. ago Related News

Saso eyes strong start as PLO reels off

Yuka Saso hopes to cash in on good form and an early start as she kicks off her drive for a second straight championship in the Champion Philippine Ladies Amateur Open......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: Sports15 hr. 43 min. ago Related News

Cebu Landmasters Sees Strong Growth in Recurring Revenues

Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI), the leading local developer in VisMin, expects a significant increase in recurring revenues by 2023 as gross leasable area is seen to bolt past 200,000 sqm contributing 10% to the total revenue. Jose Soberano III, CLI president and CEO, sees the company further expanding recurring income streams within the next four […].....»»

Source: Metrocebu MetrocebuCategory: NewsFeb 18th, 2019Related News

UAAP Season 81: DLSU uses element of surprise in dismantling Ateneo

Defending three-time champion De La Salle University kept its team under wraps during the offseason and it worked wonders for the Lady Spikers. Head coach Ramil De Jesus thought that they had the element of surprise when DLSU demolished Ateneo de Manila University, 25-14, 25-17, 16-25, 25-19, Sunday in their UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament opener at the MOA Arena.         The Taft-based squad didn’t join any major pre-season tournament as a team, opting to field just a few of its regular players in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference and in the UniGames. “Mayroon siguro. Malaking advantage ‘yun na wala silang idea sa team namin kung sino ang starter, ano ang position, kung anong klase ng set play ang nangyayari sa team na pina-practice namin,”said De Jesus, whose squad defeated Ateneo for the fifth straight time since Season 79 Finals. DLSU lost three key players in Kim Kianna Dy, former MVP Majoy Baron and libero Dawn Macandili after graduating last season. During the pre-season, Gyra Barroga and Arriane Layug left the team to move up to the semi-pro league. Pundits thought that the Lady Spikers will have a hard time rebuilding but again, De Jesus' battle-tested system that produced 11 titles in two decades proved them wrong.      Graduating player Des Cheng delivered the same numbers that was expected from her but it was rookie Jolina Dela Cruz and fourth year player May Luna that did most of the damage with their production. Dela Cruz and Luna scored 11 points each to back Cheng’s 13 markers and Aduke Ogunsanya’s 10. Luna did the most damage in the fourth set as she helped the Lady Spikers pull away for good midway in the frame with her heady plays that frustrated the Lady Eagles.      As for their archrivals, the Lady Spikers were able to scout the Lady Eagles’ set plays and asses the tendencies of their players based on Ateneo’s performance in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference.     De Jesus and his coaching staff devised a good game plan to dismantle Ateneo in front of 17,166-strong crowd.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 17th, 2019Related News

SSS net income improves on strong premium collection

State-run Social Security System’s net income in 2018 improved slightly to P22.73 billion from P20.27 billion in the previous year as the growth in the collection of member premiums outpaced the increase in benefit payouts......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: FinanceFeb 17th, 2019Related News

Full Taiwanese force coming

A 31-player strong Taiwanese contingent sets out for the Champion Philippine Ladies Amateur Open, all ready and raring to grab the spotlight in the country’s premier championship unfolding tomorrow at the posh Manila Golf Club in Forbes Park. Koreans Park Eun Suk and Lim Mi Jin also aim to duplicate compatriot Lee Jeong Hwa’s title […].....»»

Source: Tribune TribuneCategory: NewsFeb 17th, 2019Related News

Cebu Landmasters sees strong growth in recurring revenues

Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI), the leading local developer in VisMin, expects a significant increase in recurring revenues by 2023 as gross leasable area is seen to bolt past 200,000 sqm contributing 10% to the total revenue. Jose Soberano III, CLI president and CEO, sees the company further expanding recurring income streams within the next four […].....»»

Source: Metrocebu MetrocebuCategory: NewsFeb 17th, 2019Related News

Strong evidence to convict ex-Cebu town mayor — Sandigan

The Sandiganbayan has found strong evidence against former mayor Celestino Martinez III of Bogo City in Cebu, who was indicted for graft in connection with the fertilizer fund scam......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: NewsFeb 16th, 2019Related News

'TheStrongSide: These UAAP 81 Volleyball Stars Get Real On Embracing Their Truest Selves

From embracing their body to pursuing their greatest passion, these athletes represent how strong every young Filipina should be......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: LifestyleFeb 16th, 2019Related News

UAAP Season 81: Lady Maroons survive opening day scare

University of the Philippines weathered University of the East’s upset scare with a hard-earned, 25-12, 22-25, 23-25, 25-19, 15-12, opening day win Saturday in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.   The veteran duo of Isa Molde and Tots Carlos delivered the goods for the Lady Maroons, who are considered as one of the top contenders after winning two pre-season titles, in the fifth set to silence the feisty Lady Warriors.   "They are very good five sets. We played as a team that is why we we're able to get the last two sets. As I said before nothing comes easy. We win but we struggle some times," said UP head coach Godfrey Okumu. "The sets we won we won with ease but the ones we lost, we lost terribly. I hope we put this behind us and move forward to our next game."     Molde posted 23 points off 19 kills, two aces and two kill blocks to pace the Dilima-based squad. The Season 78 rookie of the year added 10 excellent receptions for the Lady Maroons.  Carlos chipped in 17 markers icluding 15 off spikes while Justine Dorog added 12 points for UP, which landed 61 spikes behind setter Ayel Estranero's 44 excellent sets. The Lady Maroons recovered from a 1-2 match deficit to force a deciding frame but found the Lady Warriors a tough nut to crack. UP went up 13-9 before  UE answered with straight points. Dorog put the Lady Maroons at match point , Judith Abil saved a point for the Lady Warriors before Jessma Ramos sealed the win for UP with a strong swipe off UE's block.        The Lady Maroons survived a scare in the fourth set, staving off the Lady Warriors’ charge from a nine-point deficit, 1-10. UE chopped its deficit to 14-16 behind Judith Abil and Me-Anne Mendrez’s heroics but UP answered with a scorching rally to force a deciding frame.       Judith Abil led the Lady Warriors’ fightback in the third set after trailing, 13-19. The graduating hitter Abil tied the frame at 21. Both squads traded points in the next plays before Mariella Gabarda pushed UE at set point. The Lady Warriors stole the frame after Marist Layug’s soft shot went out.     Abil got 20 points and 21 excellent receptions while Mendrez had eight markers for UE. Prized libero Kath Arado tallied 32 digs and 18 receives in a lost cause.    --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 16th, 2019Related News

UAAP Season 81: They’re not an easy team -- Okumu on UE

University of the Philippines head coach Godfrey Okumu was not surprised when it took his wards five grueling sets to shoot down the pesky University of the East. The mentor, actually, expected that kind of tough match. “No, we’ve always struggled with UE,” said Okumu after the Lady Maroons’ 25-12, 22-25, 23-25, 25-19, 15-12, escape over the Lady Warriors Saturday to open their campaign in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre. The sophomore coach recalled the same struggle they had against UE during their pre-season meeting in the Philippine Superliga Collegiate Grand Slam.     “I remember last season I was sitting here the same way we won against them. When we played in the PSL we won 3-1 but it was all struggle,” he said. UP needed to come back from a 1-2 match deficit before hanging tough in the tight fifth set behind the veteran trio of Isa Molde, Tots Carlos and Justine Dorog.   “Siyempre naga-adjust din sila sa amin. And lumakas din naman sila compared last season,” said Molde, who had 23 points with 19 coming off kills. “Lalaban at lalaban din naman sila kasi may iba sa kanila na ga-graduate na eh.” Okumu also stressed that UE’s best asset is its floor defense and the presence of graduating libero Kath Arado. The defense specialist scattered 32 digs and had 18 receptions. Me-Anne Mendrez got 18 digs while Judith Abil posted 21 receives. “They have a good libero, she’s doing a good job. We have to accept that it’s very hard to play against a very strong defense,” he said. “We have to think on how we will execute in spiking. They played well and they are a very good team. They’re not an easy team.” UP hitter Tots Carlos shared the same sentiment. “Iba kasi talaga kapag mayroon kang first ball eh. Sobrang galing ni Kath kaya medyo nahirapan kami kaya medyo nag-lay low din kami sa defense namin so nahirapan kami lalo na laging nagi-struggle ang setter kaya nahihirapan din siyang mag-distribute,” she said. Okumu also rued UP’s atrocious number of errors. The Lady Maroons threw away 42 points off their miscues. “The sets we won we’re very, very up to standard but the sets we lost we gave away balls easily, and we have many unforced errors that we should correct. That’s what we talked about the unforced errors,” he said. “I think in the fifth set the opponent had one unforced error and we have around five or six,” Okumu added. “You can see the difference there and we need to work on that.”     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 16th, 2019Related News

You need more than just testes to make a penis

In prenatal ultrasounds or at delivery, many new parents look between their baby’s legs: the presence of a penis is taken as a strong sign that it’s a boy. For humans and other animals, development of a penis was thought to be driven by “male hormones” (androgens) produced entirely by ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsFeb 16th, 2019Related News

Philippines wants 625 cases delisted from UN record

The Philippines has commenced work with the United Nations to delist from its official records more than 600 cases of enforced and involuntary disappearances, mostly attributed to government forces between 1975 and 2012 and gave assurances that it has put in place a strong legal framework and institutional mechanisms to address the issue.   Senior Philippine officials led by Undersecretary Severo Catura of the Presidential Human Rights Committee formally moved for the delisting of 625 cases during a meeting with the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.   The move was made on Thursday during the first meeting day of the 117th session of the fiv...Keep on reading: Philippines wants 625 cases delisted from UN record.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Feb 16th, 2019Related News

Duterte ‘pissed off with fake news’ he had kidney transplant

"It's just hyperbole ... to dramatize that he's still virile at his age," presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Friday of President Duterte's angry remarks challenging former Sen. Francisco "Kit" Tatad to lend him his wife.   "He's pissed off with his fake news," Panelo said, referring to Tatad's newspaper column earlier this week in which he claimed that the President had undergone a kidney transplant operation on Jan. 29.   Duterte's remarks were just exaggerations meant to drive home the point that he still has a strong drive at 73, Panelo said.   "People have [become] used to this President's hyperbole; he uses certain situations and makes...Keep on reading: Duterte ‘pissed off with fake news’ he had kidney transplant.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Feb 16th, 2019Related News

Go in middle of Magic 12

Former Special Assistant to the President and 2019 senatorial candidate has sustained his strong showing in the senatorial race at the onset of the formal campaign period, landing middle of the “Magic 12” or ranking of 6 -12 based on the 26-31 January 2019 Pulse Asia survey. In the 14-21 December 2018 Pulse Asia survey, […].....»»

Source: Tribune TribuneCategory: NewsFeb 15th, 2019Related News