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Kazakhstan’s frozen billions sound alarm for sovereign funds

New 500 tenge banknotes are displayed in this picture illustration in Almaty, Kazakhstan November 22, 2017. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov/Illustration.....»»

Source: Interaksyon InteraksyonCategory: Top7 min. ago Related News

Are KC Concepcion and Aly Borromeo still together?

It is unknown whether KC Concepcion and footballer and Kaya team captain Aly Borromeo have called it quits, but the absence of their posts about each other have been noticed by many. When Concepcion and Borromeo first got together, they were avidly posting pictures of each other often on social media, with Borromeo paying regular visits to Concepcion's family home. These days, however, the two have quieted down, even during Valentine's Day last week. It can be remembered, however, that last Valentine's Day, Borromeo and Concepcion attended a service in Victory Church together, looking all loved up, as shared by Concepcion in her Instagram page back in Feb. 15, 2017. This Val...Keep on reading: Are KC Concepcion and Aly Borromeo still together?.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: 2 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

LeBron James helps spark new All-Star Game era

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com LOS ANGELES -- Before tipoff at the 2018 All-Star Game, LeBron James took the courtside mic and thanked the fans and the city for showing out. Two hours later, when he accepted the Kia All-Star MVP trophy, he was barely audible, his throat too scratchy to explain what just happened. Well: To quote an ex-All-Star and noted philosopher Rasheed Wallace, both teams played hard. Those words were never used to describe recent All-Star Games, especially the last two, when defense (196 and 192 points for the winning teams) and the competitive spirit took an extended break, embarrassingly so. The league’s midseason showcase absorbed a rather well-deserved thrashing from fans and even players themselves. Nobody was fooled. Something had to change and someone had to volunteer to be the game-changer. And so, on Sunday (Monday, PHL time), the NBA season took on an 83rd game, as in a real game, thanks to commissioner Adam Silver’s willingness to fix what was broken and LeBron’s desire to set the tone for the most meaningful All-Star Game in years. The players gave the Staples Center crowd the usual acrobatic thrills associated with the game, naturally, but also some spills. As in, bodies on the floor. Every player who checked in did so with a strut and a mission to make a February game feel like June, or close enough, and not just during the close finish, either. Virtually from the start, when LeBron soared and swatted a cross-course pass just minutes into the game, this atmosphere had an edge. As Kevin Durant said: “We just wanted to change the narrative of the All-Star Game being a joke.” It was Team LeBron 148, Team Stephen 145 in the new format where sides were chosen regardless of conference and captains were assigned by fan vote. This created a new and fresh mix of players, intriguing tandems and raised overall interest for the game. It also helped that prize money, $100,000 to each winning player, was increased and lent a financial incentive. Yet it wouldn’t have mattered if layups went unchecked and jumpers were uncontested. Everything had to fall in line, and everyone had to cooperate. And that’s what led to this, a game decided by defense when it truly mattered, with LeBron and Durant swamping Stephen Curry beyond the three-point line on the final possession, keeping Curry and his team from getting a potential game-tying shot off as time expired. This is what the NBA needed, a more representative effort and result from the collection of the game’s finest players. It was a much cleaner look and it’s not a stretch to say the format and intensity rescued the All-Star Game from itself. “The hope is that, as we go forward, it gets even better than this,” said Kyrie Irving. “The game started to get away and we took it personally.” It’s hardly a surprise that LeBron was the force of change. His 29 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in the win earned him his third Kia All-Star MVP trophy, yet those numbers didn’t accurately reflect how involved he was for four quarters. He lost his voice because of constant yelling and instructing and prodding his teammates to finish the job. He actually influenced both teams; his own by motivating them to play harder, and Team Stephen’s by issuing a challenge. Here’s the final sequence, dictated by LeBron: - His step-back three-pointer tied the score at 144; - He switched onto James Harden and forced the league’s scoring leader to badly miss a 3-pointer; - He put his team up for good on a driving layup on a give-and-go, thanks to a pair of timely passes from Irving and Russell Westbrook; - His double-team with Durant on Curry deep in the corner was the finishing touch. LeBron encouraged his team to apply a full-court press to end the first half -- has that ever been used in an NBA Game, let alone an All-Star Game? -- and simply took charge throughout. It was a personal mission to keep folks intrigued and interested. This was his game, his tempo, his personality taking over. “I believe I can make an impact and make a difference,” he said. At 33, and winning his first All-Star MVP in a decade, LeBron helped launch a standard that the game badly needed and, if this spirit holds true in the coming years, he’ll serve as the torch-bearer for a new age All-Star Game. Just one more productive layer to his lengthy legacy. “We all know how great a player he is,” said Team LeBron coach Dwane Casey. “I’m jealous of [Cavs coach Ty Lue] that he has someone like that. But tonight, he was on our team. He’s a joy to coach. He reiterates exactly what should be said, the right things. No BS. In the huddle, defensively, he got the guys jacked up and juiced as far as wanting to get a stop.” There was help; Durant was LeBron’s teammate for the first time in an NBA-sanctioned game and scored 19 points (the two were Olympic teammates in 2012). Irving rejoined LeBron after bolting from the Cavs last summer and they connected on the game-winning shot. Paul George was terrific defensively and chipped in 16 points. If not for Team LeBron winning, the MVP could have gone to DeMar DeRozan, who returned to his hometown and dropped 21 points (but threw an errant pass in the final seconds). Or maybe Damian Lillard, who matched DeRozan’s 21. Or Joel Embiid, a first-timer who supplied a big blocked shot right before LeBron’s layup. Therefore, an exhibition game that had grown stale and suffered from lapses and a lack of energy suddenly has a new beginning. East vs. West doesn’t exist anymore, and players purposely feeding a specific player so he can win MVP, and maybe no more matador defense, either, at least not for 48 minutes. It’s a small sample size, and the game must prove itself each year, but this is a push from LeBron and Silver into the right direction. The only possible tweak, perhaps next year, will be with televising the team selection. But that’s a nit-pick. This worked out well. “The format was great,” James said. “I think the fans did a great job of reacting to it in a positive way. It definitely worked out for everyone., not only for the players, not only for the league, but for the fans, everybody. It was a great weekend and we capped it off the right way.” Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports7 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

LOOK: Michael Martinez talks about Olympic journey on ANC s Headstart

After his appearance in the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, two-time Olympian Michael Martinez sat down and talked with ANC's Migs Bustos about his journey and the things he endured before qualifying in the quadriennial affair. The Filipino, even though performing a flawless routine, just came up short, finishing 28th in a competition that took the top 24. Martinez was not even supposed to be in this competition, as he was named as a replacement for a Swedish skater that failed to meet requirements. The 21-year old revealed that he even thought of finally hanging up the skates for good after narrowly missing the cut in the 2017 CS Nebelhorn Trophy, where the top six automatically booked a spot in the Winter Olympics. #ANCHeadstart: Filipino figure skater Michael Martinez reveals he considered hanging up the skates for good after narrowly missing the cut for the Olympics. #ANCRecap pic.twitter.com/1LJBDh9kOH — ABS-CBN News Channel (@ANCALERTS) February 20, 2018 After failing to meet the cutoff, Martinez eventually ventured into bodybuilding to improve his body's strength, but eventually had to remove all his gained weight in order to retain the sleeker figure, which is more helpful in his sport. #ANCHeadstart: "Since I made it to Olympics, I have to lose everything." Michael Martinez talks about his preparations for the PyeongChang 2018 after switching to body building before the Olympics. #ANCRecap pic.twitter.com/idMPhbiOfp — ABS-CBN News Channel (@ANCALERTS) February 20, 2018 When the Swedish skater's failure to qualify was announced, Martinez was in great shock since he only had a mere two weeks to prepare for an event that showcases the world's greatest athletic abilities and talents. #ANCHeadstart: Figure skater Michael Martinez recalls getting the call that secured his spot in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. #ANCRecap pic.twitter.com/C9kbUi3LAf — ABS-CBN News Channel (@ANCALERTS) February 20, 2018 Martinez, who achieved a score of 55.56 points in the short program, added that simply being a representative of the Philippines is already an accomplishment for him, but rued that his placing could have been higher if he had a much longer time to prepare. Despite having asthmatic bronchitis as a child, Martinez says that it did not hinder him from pursuing sports, let alone figure skating, which entails a lot of stamina for a successful and flawless routine......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports7 hr. 40 min. ago Related News

ANALYSIS | Zamora Reef surveillance pics indicate China island building despite diplomatic overtures

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, under the Center for Strategic and International Studies, has affirmed that aerial surveillance photographs published in early February by the Philippine Daily Inquirer reinforce a message that AMTI had delivered, most recently in December: Artificial islands built up by China in the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea “now host substantial, […].....»»

Source: Interaksyon InteraksyonCategory: Top12 hr. 19 min. ago Related News

Metals production hits P109 billion in 2017

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s metals production inched up by six percent to P109 billion in 2017 following improved trend in world metal prices and rob.....»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: Finance13 hr. 6 min. ago Related News

Barangay Babylon goes to Berlin

For filmmaker Keith Deligero, persistence has paid off, big-time. To be more accurate, being a persistent prankster has taken him places---most notably, to this year's Berlinale short film competition, ongoing in Germany until Feb. 25. Three years ago, he submitted material to QCinema fest. "But it was rejected on the first round. It was 'experimental' or just absurd, I guess." In the 2017 edition of QCinema, he "lifted" the material's third act and turned it into a short film. "I submitted it, almost as a prank. But this time, I got lucky." That was how "Babylon," the short film, was born. He admitted that he used to prefer making full-length features, like his Cinema On...Keep on reading: Barangay Babylon goes to Berlin.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: 14 hr. 53 min. ago Related News

MSM’s link to HIV epidemic in PH

"There is nothing wrong with going to bed with someone of your own sex; people should be very free with sex and they should draw the line at goats,"Elton John declared in public after marrying his longtime partner in 2014.   In 2017, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)reported that our Christian nation has the fastest growingHIV epidemic in Asia-Pacific.   That males comprise 95 percent of the 1,962 new cases in 2018, and that 19 out of 30 male Filipinos who get infected every day are 15 to 24 years old.   That in early 2018 the PH National Youth Commission (NYC) is extremely alarmed, crying out: It's a "youth epidemic!" with Aiza ...Keep on reading: MSM’s link to HIV epidemic in PH.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: 14 hr. 53 min. ago Related News

Canadians can’t stop using their homes as piggy banks — analyst

OTTAWA — Canadians are borrowing against their houses at the fastest pace in more than five years, as home equity lines of credit (HELOC) emerge as a preferred means of accessing funds. HELOC balances jumped 7.2% in December from a year earlier, the fastest annual growth since 2012, reaching a record C$230 billion ($184 billion), […] The post Canadians can’t stop using their homes as piggy banks — analyst appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Source: Bworldonline BworldonlineCategory: Finance17 hr. 19 min. ago Related News

SM Prime recurring profit up 16%

NEW MALLS and sales of residential properties continued to drive SM Prime Holdings, Inc.’s earnings higher in 2017. In a statement issued Monday, SM Prime said recurring profit grew 16% to P27.6 billion, after a 14% increase in consolidated revenues to P90.9 billion. The company attributed the growth to higher rental revenues from malls opened […] The post SM Prime recurring profit up 16% appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Source: Bworldonline BworldonlineCategory: Finance17 hr. 19 min. ago Related News

Jan. external payment balance back in deficit

THE COUNTRY’s balance of payments (BoP) position reverted to a deficit in January amid bigger outflows due to debt payments and as the central bank smoothed out foreign currency swings. The Philippines posted a $531-million BoP deficit last month, a reversal from December’s $917-million surplus and widening from the $9-million deficit logged in January 2017, […] The post Jan. external payment balance back in deficit appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Source: Bworldonline BworldonlineCategory: Finance17 hr. 19 min. ago Related News

Arnold Schwarzenegger named to ‘Kung Fury’ cast

Action hero actor of the 1980s and '90s, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is joining the cast of action comedy "Kung Fury II," a feature-length sequel to 2015's cult hit short. As with the free 2015 short "Kung Fury," Swedish creative David Sandberg returns as director, producer and star for a feature-length riff on the titular time-traveling kung fu cop. Together with the producers from 2017's $700m-grossing Stephen King adaptation "It," Sandberg has recruited David Hasselhoff, Michael Fassbender, and now Arnold Schwarzenegger. The "Austrian Oak" (and ex-Governor of California) was synonymous with the action movie genre in the 1980s and '90s thanks to leading role appearances in the ...Keep on reading: Arnold Schwarzenegger named to ‘Kung Fury’ cast.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Feb 19th, 2018Related News

LOOK: Alexa Ilacad is blooming in her prom gown

Alexa Ilacad sent netizens awestruck when she showed off her dress and overall look for her prom night. The Star Magic actress posted photos of her prom gown on her Instagram page and proudly shared about doing her own makeup for the Treston International College school prom, held at the Discovery Suites, Ortigas. She wrote on one of her posts, "Did my own hair & makeup for prom last night. I enjoyed the whole process & was really happy with the result. Thanks to all those who complimented my look! Kilig ako(I feel giddy)." She even enumerated the special specs of her makeup, stating her use of a primer, eye enhancers such as 3D browtones, plus a bronzer. The ...Keep on reading: LOOK: Alexa Ilacad is blooming in her prom gown.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Feb 19th, 2018Related News

BIR-Bicol surpasses 2017 tax collection target

BIR-Bicol surpasses 2017 tax collection target.....»»

Source: Bicolstandard BicolstandardCategory: NewsFeb 19th, 2018Related News

AP source: Hosmer, Padres reach preliminary eight-year deal

By Janie McCauley, Associated Press PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Just the thought of free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer joining the downtrodden, youthful San Diego Padres sent a morning jolt through the spring training clubhouse. The on-field vibe seemed equally cheery, as country music blared as players went to work under sunny skies in the Arizona desert. Hosmer reached a preliminary agreement on an eight-year contract with the Padres, pending a physical. A person with direct knowledge of the deal confirmed the tentative deal, speaking on the condition of anonymity Sunday because there had been no formal announcement of Hosmer's potential signing. It would become official once he passes a physical early in the week. While the final position players reported Sunday — most were already in spring camp — ahead of Monday's first full-squad workout, Hosmer wasn't expected in the desert until at least Monday. Hosmer, who spent his first seven major league seasons with Kansas City, would receive a reported $144 million. Padres manager Andy Green could only discuss the acquisition of Hosmer in generalities since it isn't final, but was hopeful of having his full team together Monday. "I can't replicate the magic of the first day twice, so, yeah, you want him or anyone to be there when you're talking," Green said. "... Not that there is any real magic on the first day, but it's always nice to have your camp settled as early as possible." The 28-year-old Hosmer batted a career-high .318 in 2017 and matched his best from the previous season with 25 home runs. A four-time Gold Glover and All-Star in '16, he drove in 94 runs and scored 98 for the Royals last season. He also had a career-best .385 on-base percentage. Veteran right-hander Chris Young also came to the Padres this offseason after most recently pitching three seasons for the Royals, calling Hosmer "one of my all-time favorite teammates" who brings "a competitive fire" that will be much-welcomed. He hadn't been in touch with Hosmer in recent days but they did communicate earlier in the winter when Young chose San Diego and discussed that it was among Hosmer's top choices, too. Young said he didn't want to add any pressure to Hosmer making a decision. "Hos is a legitimate All-Star," Young said. "I think he brings a veteran experience, he's a winner, he's a champion and a great mentor for young guys. So I think he fits all the categories I think you're looking in terms of a teammate, a leader, a competitor. I think he makes any clubhouse better, much less this one." While most every club feels a sense of optimism this time of year with a fresh slate as spring training begins, the Padres were especially upbeat as they got going early Sunday at the idea of the power-hitting Hosmer in their lineup and at first base. San Diego went 71-91 last season for fourth in the NL West above only the San Francisco Giants, and the Padres haven't been to the playoffs since losing in the 2006 NL Division Series. Green knows what someone such as Hosmer could mean to a club's chances of turning it around. "It was always time to start contending for me," said Green, beginning his third season as San Diego skipper. "It was always go out and win opening day and go out and win every game. I haven't been very good at that, I have to acknowledge that. At this point in time, opening day has been cruel to me so far. "But I think we show up with the expectation of winning the first game of the season and don't waver from that no matter who's in that clubhouse. Does it get easier if certain people are in that clubhouse? Yeah, it sure does." Wil Myers, who played 154 games at first for San Diego last season, was ready to move positions as needed. He can play elsewhere in the infield and all three outfield spots and Green said he would be "magically" taking fly balls in right field Sunday. "Wil's been great with everything that's ever been asked of him," Green said. Myers said the Padres communicated with him during the offseason about the possibility of adding Hosmer, saying: "When I saw that possibility I was very excited. To be able to add a player like that I think is very cool." Myers played in 2010 with Hosmer in the minors with the Royals. "I know nothing's definite right now but just to be able to hopefully add a guy like that is pretty special," Myers said. "He's a great guy. He's going to be a guy that fits really well in this clubhouse. ... You've heard a lot of great things about him, what he does in the clubhouse and who he is as a person.".....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 19th, 2018Related News

LOOK: Chris Tiu displays piano skills

Rain or Shine guard Chris Tiu, who is also known to teach basic basketball drills in a segment on television, takes us off the court, where he displays his prowess in the piano. The former Blue Eagles skipper showcases his musical playing skills, as he served as background music player to Roadfill and Princess Sevillena's rendition of the Ed Sheeran hit 'Perfect'. The veteran again showed his great musical taste, playing a piano cover of  'Never Enough', a song from the soundtrack of the movie 'The Greatest Showman', a musical starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, among others. See for yourself how he fares as a piano player!   Because you guys requested it... Here's our cover of Perfect with Roadfil and super talented Princess Sevillena. A little late for Valentine's but hope you guys like it 😄😄🎤🎵🎶🎼 @roadfillsparks @wishfulprincessliezl A post shared by Chris Tiu (@chris_tiu17) on Feb 16, 2018 at 12:35am PST   Never Enough from The Greatest Showman. Love this movie and the soundtrack ❤️❤️🎶🎶🎼🎼 pic.twitter.com/ovB9ih63M3 — Chris Tiu (@chris_tiu) February 18, 2018 A long-time piano player, Tiu has also played the theme song of Disney classic 'Beauty and the Beast' on the musical instrument.      (1/3) Beauty and the Beast piano cover. Still high from the movie! Brought back childhood memories. Thanks to my brother Christian for patiently helping me record this 😄🎹🎶🎼🎵 A post shared by Chris Tiu (@chris_tiu17) on Mar 26, 2017 at 7:38am PDT     (2/3) Beauty and the Beast piano. 🎶🎶🎶 A post shared by Chris Tiu (@chris_tiu17) on Mar 26, 2017 at 7:44am PDT     (3/3) Beauty and the Beast piano. 🎵🎵🎵 hope you guys like it 😁😁 A post shared by Chris Tiu (@chris_tiu17) on Mar 26, 2017 at 7:47am PDT Maybe when his playing career's all said and done, Tiu can become a successful recording artist of his own.  .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 19th, 2018Related News

Meralco spoils Devance’s return with win over Ginebra

BOCAUE --- Joe Devance would have liked to mark his return from a foot injury with a victory. After all, his first game this season was interestingly at Philippine Arena, the site of Ginebra's 2017 Governors' Cup triumph last October, and against their Finals foes in Meralco. But the Bolts had other plans as they came away with an 84-82 win on Sunday night. "I'm just disappointed that we lost, especially since it's my first game back," Devance said. The most important thing is that Devance is slowly but surely getting himself back to his old form. "I'm okay. I still have quite a bit to go," he said after playing for 18 minutes and finishing with four points, three rebo...Keep on reading: Meralco spoils Devance’s return with win over Ginebra.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Feb 18th, 2018Related News

PCSO to modernize lotto system – Balutan

THE Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) is determined to implement its unified national online lottery system that will not only improve the handling of lottery games but will also save the agency a lot of money, its general manager, Alexander Balutan, said. The charity agency plans to bid out its P10 billion modernization project to [...] The post PCSO to modernize lotto system – Balutan appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Source: Manilatimes_net Manilatimes_netCategory: NewsFeb 18th, 2018Related News

General gov’t debt rises to 36.4% of GDP at mid-2017

GENERAL GOVERNMENT (GG) debt as share of the economy inched higher at the end of June 2017, the Finance department said yesterday. The Department of Finance reported that the general government debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio slightly rose to 36.4% as of end-June 2017 from 35.3% a year earlier. GG debt consolidates the outstanding debt […] The post General gov’t debt rises to 36.4% of GDP at mid-2017 appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Source: Bworldonline BworldonlineCategory: FinanceFeb 18th, 2018Related News

PLDT expands ultrafast broadband coverage in 2017

PLDT, Inc. continues to ramp up its fixed broadband connection, with four million homes passed as of end-2017. In a statement, the telecommunications giant said its “fiber-fast Internet connection” reached four million homes passed nationwide, 43% higher than end-2016. PLDT also doubled the capacity of its fixed broadband network to over one million ports at […] The post PLDT expands ultrafast broadband coverage in 2017 appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Source: Bworldonline BworldonlineCategory: FinanceFeb 18th, 2018Related News