McIlroy, Cantlay the sole survivors to par at Olympia Fields

By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. (AP) — Rory McIlroy doesn't need fans to keep his head in the game at the BMW Championship. Olympia Fields is so tough it won't allow anything but his full attention on every shot. McIlroy and Patrick Cantlay made their share of mistakes Friday and shrugged them off because that's bound to happen on the toughest test the PGA Tour has seen this year. By the end of another steamy afternoon south of Chicago, they were the sole survivors to par. One week after McIlroy admitted to going through the motions without spectators around to provide the cheers, he had a 1-under 69 to share the 36-hole lead with Cantlay. It was plenty tough for Tiger Woods, whose PGA Tour season appears to be two rounds from being over. He didn't have enough good shots to atone for his bad ones, and he had to make a 35-foot par putt on his final hole to shoot 75, leaving him nine shots behind. Woods was toward the bottom of the pack at a tournament where he needs to finish around fourth to be among the top 30 who advance to the Tour Championship. Cantlay holed a 50-foot chip for birdie, and holed out a 50-yard wedge for eagle. He also missed the green on three of the par 3s, the last one leading to a double bogey. He finished with a 6-iron out of the thick rough and made a 40-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole. It added to a 68, matching the best score of the round. They were at 1-under 139, one shot ahead of Hideki Matsuyama and Dustin Johnson, who were going in opposite directions when it was time to sign their scorecards. Matsuyama, the only player to reach 4 under at any point this week, dropped four shots over his last 10 holes for a 73. Johnson finished birdie-birdie for 69. The phrase “U.S. Open” is being heard a lot more than “FedEx Cup” this week. “I think the test is what’s helped me focus and concentrate because if you lose focus out there for one second ... just one lapse in concentration can really cost you around here,” McIlroy said. “I think one of the big keys this week is just not making big numbers. If you hit it out of position, get it back in position, make sure that your worse score is bogey and move on. Honestly, bogeys aren't that bad out here.” He made a mistake on the 14th hole by going long and left, and only a great wedge to a back pin to 5 feet kept him from a big blunder, even though he missed the par putt. He flirted with trouble later in his round on the fifth hole with a wedge from 134 yards that came up 30 yards short, the pin tucked behind a big bunker. He left that in collar short of the green and got up-and-down for bogey. Cantlay doesn't expect to hole out twice a round with wedges and hopes he can sharpen up his game a little. Still, he loves the idea of having to think and plot his way around the course. “It's about as stiff of a test as you would want,” Cantlay said. “It's very, very difficult, and you have to play from the fairway, and you have to play from below the hole, frankly. The greens have so much slope on them that you really need to be putting uphill. And so if you're in the rough, it gets exponentially harder to do that.” For those playing well — anywhere within a few shots of par in this case — it was an enjoyable challenge. For everyone, regardless of the score, it was a grind. “I don't know if any rain will matter, really,” Kevin Kisner said after a bogey-bogey finish ruined an otherwise good day and gave him a 70, leaving him three shots behind. “I think even par wins the golf tournament.” Doesn't 280 always win the U.S. Open? That's what Arnold Palmer used to say. And this feels like a U.S. Open. Go back to Shinnecock Hills two years ago in the U.S. Open to find the last time someone won at over par (Brooks Koepka). For non-majors, the tour said over par hasn't won since Bruce Lietzke at the Byron Nelson Classic in 1981. It's a massive change from last week, when Johnson won by 11 shots at 30-under 254. “Last week was fun, too,” Johnson said. “But this week is more of a grind, that's for sure. Every single hole out here is difficult. You've got to really be focused on every shot that you hit.” Among those two shots behind was Louis Oosthuizen, whose birdie in the dark on the final hole last week at the TPC Boston moved him to No. 70 to qualify for the BMW Championship. “This is the golf course I needed to do what I must do,” he said of moving into the top 30. “Look, this can go really south on you quickly. You can shoot 6, 7 over on this golf course very quickly. But if you really stick to it and play middle of the greens and lag those putts, you can make a lot of pars. And you're not going to lose spots if you're making pars.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnAug 29th, 2020

Column: Woods gets to see and hear how the other half lives

By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. (AP) — Tiger Woods arrived at Olympia Fields for the first time in 17 years, this time with no one around to chase after his every move from the moment he stepped out of the car until he walked off the course. That's not a bad thing. He'll be in a red shirt on Sunday with about the same number of people. That's not good, at least not for him. Woods is learning after three tournaments what others have begun to realize over the last three months. Some players thrive on energy from the crowd as a pick-me-up. Now the reaction, the volume, is the same for a birdie as a double bogey. Woods is one of those players who feeds off noise. “Always have,” he said. “I've played in front of thousands of people ever since I turned pro 24 years ago. It's always been odd when I haven't played in front of people. In one way, it's been nice between tees not getting tapped or getting a glove pulled out of my pocket. Those are things I've had to deal with for a very long time. “But you hit good shots and you get on nice little runs ... we don't have the same energy, the same fan energy.” This is not his issue alone, nor is it the reason he has yet to finish in the top 35 in the three tournaments he has played since golf returned from the coronavirus-caused shutdown. Hitting good shots and making putts goes a long way in any environment. Graeme McDowell was walking along the ninth fairway in the middle of his second round last week at the TPC Boston when he said he felt like a “golf zombie.” “It's like I have no soul,” he said. The courses are different and look the same. They're empty. McDowell spoke of needing the adrenaline he gets from the crowd around the first tee at a U.S. Open or Ryder Cup. Maybe some players do better with no one watching, especially if they're on edge and need something to calm them down. McDowell isn't one of them. Neither is Rory McIlroy. He played the final two rounds with Woods, as big a draw as there is in golf, with hardly anyone watching. Woods began the final round with four straight birdies and the only buzz came from Twitter. McIlroy knows about ebbs and flows in his game. He once missed four out of five cuts and won three out of four tournaments, all in a span of four months in 2012. But his play since returning to an empty stage in June is worth noting. He had had seven consecutive top 5s, including a victory at a World Golf Championship, and reached No. 1 in the world. Since the return, he has seven straight tournaments out of the top 10 and has yet to reach the back nine with a chance to win. Coincidence? Maybe. Three months off surely cost him some momentum. “This is going to sound really bad,” McIlroy said, “but I feel like the last few weeks, I've just been going through the motions. ... And look, that's partly to do with the atmosphere and partly to do with how I'm playing. I'm not inspiring myself, and I'm trying to get inspiration from outside sources to get something going. I can definitely see where Graeme is coming from." That might allow McIlroy to reconsider what he once said about Woods. He played with Woods and Justin Thomas in the opening two rounds at Riviera a few years ago and was amazed by all the commotion around Woods. “I swear, playing in front of all that, he gives up half a shot a day on the field. Like, it's two shots a tournament he has to give to the field because of all that goes on around,” McIlroy said that day. “Whoever is teeing off at 8:30 in the morning doesn't get that and can just go about his business. He has to deal with that every single time.” McIlroy missed the point. If all that commotion costs Woods two shots to the field, what does it cost the players with him? Right now, nothing. Without spectators, has Woods lost an advantage he once had? “Absolutely,” Woods replied. "Anyone who has played in front of thousands of people, it is very different. That's always been one of the things I've become accustomed to. The guys who played with me, who haven't become accustomed to it, they have only experienced one round here and there. That's been every round I've played for over two decades. “That advantage — for me, and some of the other top players — trying to deal with all that noise and the movement, that experience is no longer there.” Nick Faldo touched on this when he was discussing the 10-year anniversary of Woods winning the 1997 Masters, a watershed moment in golf. Faldo said that when he slipped the green jacket on Woods that Sunday, he thought the Masters would be the only major he could win. Sure, Augusta National suited his game. “But also because the Masters was the only major that the media was kept outside the ropes,” Faldo said. "And I thought that was going to be his biggest challenge. Now it’s his greatest asset. Everyone joining him now on the weekend at a major goes into his world. That’s Tiger’s arena. Other guys will step into that arena one week and go back out. He’s there all the time. And good luck coming into his world.” It's a new world for everyone now. It's especially different for Woods, not so much for some of the players paired with him. For the less accomplished players who always wondered what it was like to be in his shoes, the absence of spectators has allowed Woods to see what it's like to be in theirs......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 26th, 2020

Coming home to a newly-improved Lanao del Sur

Marawi City is that one dreamy place that proves the Philippines has more to offer than meets the eye. [caption id="attachment_158168" align="aligncenter" width="525"] THE Islamic municipality of Tamparan has40 mosques.[/caption]   Imagine seeing the iconic and age-old Lake Lanao flanked by two majestic mountain ranges and the Grand Mosque, the great Islamic sanctuary of the nation. Prior to the pandemic, these were the lone attractions drawing visitors to the capital of Lanao del Sur. For those desiring a tourist experience, a mere half-day in Marawi gave you everything you needed. Times have changed, however. During a recent return to my beloved hometown, I found myself pleasantly taken aback by the exquisite accommodations I was provided at the newly established Ridge Hotel. This modern marvel boasts an array of state-of-the-art indulgences, a culinary haven curated by a gifted chef, a reliable and uninterrupted WiFi connection, elegant function rooms and staff composed entirely of graduates in the fields of tourism and hotel management, epitomizing maximum professionalism. My invitation to the momentous launch of the month-long celebration commemorating the 64th founding anniversary of Lanao del Sur, extended personally by the honorable Governor Datu Mamintal “Bombit” Alonto Adiong Jr., a longstanding friend, and his son, Vice Governor Mujam Adiong,  granted me a very endearing visit. The distinguished presence of Indonesian Ambassador Agus Widjojo as a special guest at the event further strengthened the shared kinship between the Philippines and Indonesia. Ambassador Widjojo noted that he felt a profound sense of belonging in the Philippines, given the shared commitment to the faith in Allah prevalent in the Muslim provinces of both nations. [caption id="attachment_158164" align="aligncenter" width="525"] indonesia Ambassador to the Philippines Agus Widjojo and Lanao Del Sur Governor Mamintal A. Adiong Jr.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_158166" align="aligncenter" width="525"] CHICKEN Satay with peanut sauce.PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF IG/ALTITUDECAFE22[/caption]   During this noteworthy occasion, the stunning performances of amateur talents and the captivating folk cultural ensemble known as Sining Kambayoka enraptured the audience. Their compelling Maranaw dances were accompanied by resonant melodies deriving from the kulintang ensemble. As the month unfolds, the province has laid out a comprehensive roster of events, including necessary medical outreach programs, magnetic agricultural exhibits, refreshing lake tours, a pivotal health summit and a scrumptious food festival, all to be held in the month of July.   Trip down heaven road Indeed, my favorite one, Heaven Road, echoes the preferences of both locals and visitors alike. Nestled atop a panoramic hill, this majestic thoroughfare is adorned with charming cafés that gracefully connect Mindanao State University to the provincial capitol. The place shows Marawi’s ability to reinvent itself, seamlessly integrating current trends with the preservation of its rich cultural heritage. A common sight along Heaven Road is that of baristas in their taqiyah, or men’s prayer caps, and servers adorned in hijabs, the traditional headscarves worn by women. In fact, Heaven Road has become an irresistible muse for countless vloggers, who capture spectacular vistas of the surrounding landscape. On sun-drenched days, the ethereal clouds nearly graze the towering mountains, while after rainfall, a mystical mist envelops the terrain, thus explaining its moniker, Heaven Road. Aptly referred to as the “Baguio of Mindanao,” this sanctuary is well-known for its delicate climate and awe-inspiring sights of verdant forests, visible through the coffee shop windows. Earlier this year, the renowned Cebu-based chain, Bo’s Coffee, inaugurated its grandest Philippine outlet, sprawling across 1,000 square meters at Heaven Road. In addition to serving its signature homegrown coffee blends and refreshing cold beverages, this establishment boasts a panoramic 360-degree view of Marawi City. The exquisite interiors harmoniously incorporate traditional Meranaw architectural elements, such as the resplendent okir patterns, meticulously painted in vibrant hues along the facade. Its deign motifs ingeniously pay homage to the distinctive malong patterns. Haven Coffee and Tea, an establishment owned by a visionary entrepreneur hailing from Iligan City, has garnered significant attention on the social media platforms of the youthful Meranaw populace. Meticulously prepared to embody an original concept while fervently supporting local products and talent, this haven offers an unparalleled culinary experience. Its collection of lattés, rice meals, flavorful plates of pasta, delectable sandwiches, and sweet cakes are nothing short of extraordinary. Haven Coffee and Tea skillfully capitalizes on its sprawling al fresco dining area, affording patrons dazzling sceneries of the mountains during the day, and enchanting city lights after dusk. It is not uncommon to witness outdoor seminars hosted beneath sleek tents, as companies seek solace in the tranquil ambiance. As night descends, visitors are presented with a choice between submerging themselves in the melodious performances of live acoustic bands and Meranaw pop singers or opting for a quieter corner, where they can internalize the symphony of chirping crickets. Cafe Sindaw, renowned for its exquisite beverages and coffee offerings, goes beyond mere refreshments, upholding a hard-and-fast adherence to excellence. This reputable establishment prides itself on maintaining an impeccable standing among cafe shops in the city. In addition to its premium culinary offerings, Cafe Sindaw boasts a collection of fashionable function rooms, ideal for hosting both formal and informal gatherings with an air of sophistication. Other esteemed cafés in the vicinity provide an extensive selection of milk teas, accompanied by delectable sinkers, as well as an assortment of cold beverages and delectable pastries. Altitude Café in Marawi City offers a captivating dining experience that combines elegance with Asian-inspired flavors. With a chic and contemporary interior, the spacious and well-lit dining area provides a serene ambiance for a casual brunch or stylish evening out. The menu showcases a fusion of Asian and Lanao Del Sur’s culinary traditions, skillfully prepared by gifted chefs. From rich stir-fries to exquisite pastas, each dish echoes a devotion to culinary distinction, using locally sourced ingredients to herald the unique flavors of Marawi. Additionally, the café’s soaring location provides breathtaking scenic sights of Marawi City’s landscapes, enhancing the overall dining experience. For those in search of treasured souvenirs, Sarimanok Road unveils a trove of shops offering exquisite Meranaw crafts, timeless antiques, and an array of dry goods. Moreover, a diverse range of eateries grace this avenue, expertly preparing tantalizing halal meals, capable of satiating the desires of non-Muslim visitors. Determined to maintain my early morning exercise routine, I embraced the opportunity to embark upon invigorating jogs around the MSU track oval. As I briskly traversed the circuit, I reveled in the crisp, refreshing weather and inhaled the pure, unpolluted air. During my leisurely moments, I sought solace in reconnecting with long-lost friends and cherished relatives. Observing the burgeoning prosperity and urbanity prevalent throughout the city filled me with an overwhelming sense of pride. Once accustomed to witnessing influential families accompanied by their entourage of armed enforcers, I was pleasantly surprised to encounter neatly attired security guards, and their radiant smiles as they graciously opened doors. Marawi City, now blossoming into a haven incorporating every aspect that tourists seek, effortlessly negates the need to venture into neighboring cities. Entrepreneurs, driven by an unwavering faith in Marawi City’s resurgence, continue to establish small businesses, actively extending employment opportunities to their less-fortunate kin. Young individuals, armed with a quality education, now opt to remain in Marawi, actively participating in the monumental task of rebuilding the economy. Likewise, healthcare professionals, driven by an unwavering commitment to serve their homeland, have chosen to dedicate their skills within the city’s borders, rather than seeking greener pastures abroad.   Going back to Tamparan During my journey, a valuable opportunity presented itself to reconnect with friends spanning different generations. Curiosity led me to venture into Tamparan, the sole Islamic municipality, merely a brief 30-minute ride from Marawi. To my awe, Tamparan revealed itself as a dynamic community, embellished with an impressive line of 40  mosques and inhabited by residents sporting their Islamic attire. The determined strength of their faith was palpable. I had the privilege of conducting an interview and was assured by one of the locals that exploring Tamparan is a safe endeavor, owing to the commendable leadership of Mayor Juhar Dimaporo Disomimba. Tamparan envisions itself as the agro-ecotourism and commercial center of Lanao del Sur. It aims to cultivate a community of God-loving and empowered citizens who thrive in a peaceful, resilient, safe and ecologically-balanced environment. This vision is supported by a progressive and transparent governance system that fosters growth and development. Representative Zia Alonto Adiong of Lanao del Sur eloquently encapsulates Marawi’s triumphant resurgence with an air of optimism, declaring, “Let us not only celebrate our past achievements but also embrace the boundless possibilities that lie ahead. The post Coming home to a newly-improved Lanao del Sur appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 15th, 2023

The blue plaques of London: An overlooked embellishment

Ask any visitor to London or a resident of the United Kingdom, they all have their all-time treasured landmarks or favored activities. From the regal Buckingham Palace to the historic Tower of London, to the dramatic Changing of the Guard Ceremony and the revered British Museum with a collection of over 8 million works, they form a core part or a nucleus of London’s history and heritage. Not to mention the vibrant West End plays and musicals, the exhibits and concerts in opulent palaces and well-attended halls, or even the red double decker buses and the Hackney carriages, fondly known as the London black cabs, which spice up the truly UK experience. For foodies, they often bring up English Roast Beef, Shepherd’s Pie and Fish and Chips, which are go-to must-have dishes while in town. Despite these hallmarks of culture and tradition — either permanent, mobile or edible — somehow, I wonder why my thoughts keep on wondering and wandering back to the Blue Plaques of London! Each 20-inch round badge of recognition with blue background and white lettering, features the name, the year of birth and death, plus their relationship with the abode where it is erected. These are commemorations which invite the passersby to delve into the lives of its illustrious past inhabitants. Affixed to the facades of buildings, it whispers fascinating tales of extraordinary individuals who have shaped London’s identity over the centuries. Meticulously administered by the charity English Heritage, the plaques have since become synonymous with historical preservation. The origins of this iconic tradition can be traced back to 1866 when the Society of Arts, now known as the Royal Society of Arts, initiated the concept of memorial plaques. The idea fully took off in 1867, when the first Blue Plaque was installed at the birthplace of English Poet Lord Byron, at 24 Holles Street. This inaugural plaque set the stage for an enduring legacy of remembrance. These more-than-just-nameplates signify stories of exceptional individuals who have contributed to various fields of human endeavor. From renowned artists and writers to groundbreaking scientists and social reformers, the Blue Plaques celebrate the diverse accomplishments that have shaped London’s cultural, scientific, and intellectual landscapes. The process of awarding is rigorous and impartial. A committee of historians, experts, and representatives from English Heritage carefully considers nominations, ensuring that the candidates recognized have made a significant impact on society. The concerned individual must have been dead for 20 years or passed the centenary of their birth, be esteemed by peers of their field or have greatly aided humanity, plus have worked or lived in the pertinent building. Foreigners and overseas visitors are likewise included in the selection process. To be honored is akin to a major laurel, being immortalized in history. Though major names are always a standout, the council remembers lesser-known figures who have made a significant impact in their respective arenas, to include suffragettes and social reformers to musicians and architects. While residing in the city for more than a decade, I played a self-made game where I challenged myself to know more about the personalities whose plates I usually passed by. Walk with me through some notable figures who have been engraved on these memorial medallions: [caption id="attachment_155031" align="aligncenter" width="525"] Photograph courtesy of creative commons/Simon Harriyott (CC BY 2.0)Charles Babbage’s plaque.[/caption] Charles Babbage (1791 — 1871) A mathematician and astronomer, he is considered by some as the father of the computer. The plaque is located at Dorset Street, Corner of Larcom Street and Walworth Road. Harold Bride (1890 —1956) He was the wireless operator aboard the RMS Titanic during her ill-fated maiden voyage. He relayed messages to ships in the vicinity which allowed survivors to be rescued. He remained at his post until the vessel lost power. His is situated at 58 Ravensbourne Avenue, Shortlands, Bromley. Anne Brontë (1820 — 1849) She was an English novelist and poet and the youngest member of the Brontë literary family. She authored The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, considered one of the first feminist novels. Hers is positioned at Grand Hotel, Scarborough, North Yorkshire. Charlie Chaplin (1889 — 1977) A comic actor and filmmaker, he is one of the masters of silent film and is treated as one of the most important figures in the industry’s history. His medal is posted at 39 Methley Street, Kennington, London. Sir Henry Cooper OBE KSG (1934 — 2011) Undefeated in the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles for three years, he is the only boxer to have been awarded a knighthood. Spot his at 4 Ealing Road, Wembley. [caption id="attachment_155033" align="aligncenter" width="525"] Photograph courtesy of creative commons/Simon Harriyott (CC BY 2.0)SIR Arthur Conan Doyle’s plaque.[/caption] Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 — 1930) A writer and physician, he is more popularly known as the creator of the pop culture character Sherlock Holmes, who has impacted the crime fiction scene since his conception. Sir Doyle’s green plaque — an updated color scheme — is found at 2 Upper Wimpole Street. John F. Kennedy (1917 — 1963) Better known as JFK, he served as the 35th president of the United States from 1961 until his untimely assassination. His tribute is on 14 Princes Gate, London, where the family lived when the patriarch served as the American Ambassador to the Court of Saint James. Karl Marx (1818 — 1883) The German-born philosopher is behind the 1848 pamphlet The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, which are defining pieces in the school of socialism and communism. His recollection is on 101-8 Maitland Park Road. [caption id="attachment_155035" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Photograph courtesy of creative commons/JOHN YUGIN (CC BY 4.0)KARL Marx plaque.[/caption] Sir Joseph Paxton (1803–1865) He is the architect behind The Crystal Palace, which housed the Great Exhibition of 1851. He likewise cultivated the Cavendish banana, the most consumed banana in the Western world. His memento is on Chatsworth Estate, Derbyshire. J. R. R. Tolkien (1892–1973) The one and only man behind the wildly popular Lord of the Rings books, which revitalized the fantasy genre and inspired many a writer to pick up a pen. His one of four — that’s right, he has a total of five — souvenirs may be seen at Sarehole Mill, Hall Green, Birmingham. Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804–1864) An American novelist and short story writer, he is most known for the groundbreaking novel The Scarlet Letter. You can find him on 4 Pond Road, Blackheath. [caption id="attachment_155034" align="aligncenter" width="525"] Photograph courtesy of creative commons/Spudgun67 (CC BY SA-4.0)NATHANIEL Hawthorne plaque.[/caption] Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) A Dutch Post-Impressionist painter who is respected as one of the most influential figures in the history of art. His token may be seen at 87 Hackford Road, South Lambeth. [caption id="attachment_155028" align="aligncenter" width="525"] PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF CREATIVE COMMONS/Spudgun67 (CC BY-SA 4.0)Vincent Van Gogh’s plaque.[/caption] Jose Rizal (1861-1896) How could we ever forget the Philippine National Hero’s very own recognition? His acknowledgment may be explored at Chatsworth Estate, Derbyshire, 37 Chalcot Crescent, Belsize Park, London, where he lived as he fended off criticisms on his character and the revolutionary Noli Me Tangere. [caption id="attachment_155027" align="aligncenter" width="525"] PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF CREATIVE COMMONS/Spudgun67 (CC BY-SA 4.0)Jose Rizal’s plaque.[/caption] The post The blue plaques of London: An overlooked embellishment appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 8th, 2023

Expanding Malampaya key to affordable energy

  President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. believes that expanding the Malampaya gas field and blending it with imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) would provide the Philippines with a more stable and affordable energy supply, Malacañang said on Wednesday. According to the Presidential Communications Office, Marcos made this remark after meeting with Prime Energy on Tuesday to discuss ensuring stability, affordability, transparency, and competition in the Philippine natural gas market. The energy operator told the President that it plans to find and develop new sources of natural gas in the Philippines, import LNG to supplement the country's current gas production, and create a gas aggregation framework to make the gas market more stable, competitive, and accessible. "It seems that this gas aggregator idea is the key. Again, we have work to do," the PCO said, citing Marcos. The President also underscored the government's commitment to ensuring the stability of supply, affordability, transparency, and competition in the Philippine natural gas market, particularly with the introduction of imported LNG for the first time. Meanwhile, Prime Energy – the company responsible for Service Contract 38 (SC 38) – gave President Marcos an update on the developments in the nearby areas covered by the contract. Prime Energy is a company engaged in exploring and developing natural gas. They hold a 45 percent operating interest in SC 38, which includes the renowned Malampaya Gas-to-Power Project. The Malampaya gas field is the country's sole indigenous source of gas. Last 15 May, Marcos approved the Renewal Agreement for SC 38, extending the contract until February 2039. With the contract renewal in place, Prime Energy has outlined plans to initiate drilling activities in the Camago and Malampaya East fields by 2025. These fields are located near the existing Malampaya Platform, and the company also intends to participate in other Service Contracts. The commencement of drilling for Prime Energy's two deep wells is planned for the final quarter of 2024, and it is anticipated that additional production from the Malampaya field will begin by the first half of 2026. The post Expanding Malampaya key to affordable energy appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 5th, 2023

Kim climbs US Open leaderboard with sizzling third-round start

    Tom Kim turned in a record-equalling front nine at Los Angeles Country Club then found himself holding on for dear life as he tried to play his way into contention at the US Open. The 20-year-old from South Korea had seven birdies in the first 10 holes -- his 29 on the front nine matching the championship nine-hole scoring mark. Kim joined Vijay Singh in 2003 at Olympia Fields, Louis Oosthuizen in 2015 at Chambers Bay and Neal Lancaster, who did it back to back in 1995 and 1996 at Shinnecock and Oakland Hills. Coming in, however, there were bogeys at 13, 15 and 16 by Kim as the sun-baked course, hosting a US Open for the first time, showed its teeth. "Those three bogeys really don't feel like bogeys because I barely missed it by a yard or two," said Kim, whose four-under par 66 put him at three-under 207 for the tournament. "But major championship golf, US Open, really brings it out of you. "Would have been nice to kind of par in and see that bogey-free or see one or two more birdies, but if you told me at the start of the day, I'd take that score." One of Kim's bogeys came at the par-three 15th, playing Saturday at just 81 yards. Birdies were proving even harder to come by there than they had in the first two rounds, when it played at 124 and 115 yards and saw three holes in one. Kim said it still offered one of the few "realistic" birdie chances on the back nine because players are hitting a wedge off the tee. "If you have a wedge, you have a chance to get it close and have a chance," he said. - No room for error - But at 81 yards, there's certainly no room for error. "I mean, it was 76 yards, 80 something to the hole. You have four yards of green to work with," Kim said. "You're long, you're dead; you're short, you're dead. It's a really simple wedge shot, but with the wind kind of going down to left, you've got to really hit it at the right time. "It's a wedge. You don't want to bail out left. Then you have like a 40-footer down the hill. "I just kind of got cute and kind of got plugged in the bunker. A bogey from 80 yards stats-wise isn't great, but definitely double is in play there." Kim, who earned his second US PGA Tour title at TPC Summerlin last October and owns two titles on both the Asian Tour and Koran Tour, is chasing a first major title. He's trying to follow the trail blazed by Asia's two male major winners: South Korean Yang Yong-eun -- who out-dueled Tiger Woods to win the 2009 PGA Championship -- and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, the 2021 Masters champion. Although he'd told himself not to watch the scoreboard, Kim admitted he couldn't help himself as the birdies were falling. "It did catch my mind once I was seven-under, after 10 where, man, if I can keep this going, have a good finish -- and if the leaders kind of stumble -- I might have a chance to be really close up there on Sunday," Kim said. "But it was a really short thought because I still had the hardest part of the golf course right in front of me." bb/js © Agence France-Presse The post Kim climbs US Open leaderboard with sizzling third-round start appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 18th, 2023

Rahm channels frustrations into big win with big moments

By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. (AP) — Jon Rahm is no stranger to wild shifts in emotions, whether it was irritation from an absent-minded penalty that led to his only bogey of the weekend or his 65-foot birdie putt that capped an amazing victory at the BMW Championship. The difference now is he enjoyed it. All of it. The shot that will be remembered at Olympia Fields was a putt in the playoff Sunday that was just over 65 feet from the hole and had to travel even farther to get there, across the 18th green toward a ridge and then down the slope toward the cup, 11 seconds of watching, hoping and celebrating. Rahm wonders how different it might have been if not for his mental blunder. That happened on the fifth hole Saturday, when he was five shots behind. He might never be able to explain how he could walk up to his golf ball on the green, pick it up and freeze upon realizing he never marked it. He feared even after a 66 to get back in the mix that one shot could cost him. “I just hope I don't lose by one,” Rahm said that day. “I'm just going to say that. I just hope. And if I do, well, my fault.” He allowed his mind to think back to the penalty while on the range Sunday afternoon after a 64, the best score of the week, and hearing that Dustin Johnson was one shot behind facing a birdie putt just inside 45 feet. “I was like, that extra-shot cushion would be extremely nice right now, I'm not going to lie,” Rahm said. "But at the same time, it happened. I don't know if I would have won had it not happened. It kind of made me mad at myself, and I just went on with my focus after that and was able to play amazing golf. “I can tell you after making that 6-footer for bogey, I was like, ‘OK, that’s it. No playing around. Go.' That's kind of what mentally did it for me.” Rahm has always said he needs time to process success and failure, and this one could take a while. Even after it was over, and he posed with the BMW Championship and Western Golf Association trophies, part of him still felt like he was on the golf course in a playoff. He looked like a winner when his tee shot on the par-5 15th sailed into the trees and ricocheted out into the rough, avoiding a penalty, and his third shot was a 6-iron from 218 yards to 10 feet for birdie. He followed that with a 30-foot birdie putt across the 16th green for a two-shot lead. He feared for the worse when Johnson, down to his last shot, rolled in his improbable birdie putt down the slope on the 18th green for a 67 to force the playoff. That penalty shot looked as though it might be the difference when Johnson's drive on the 18th in the playoff hit a tree and came back to the fairway, and Rahm's shot from deep rough rolled out to the back of the green, leaving a putt so difficult that Rahm was hopeful of making par. “Honestly, I hoped it would be a decent putt for par coming back and have a chance to keep the playoff going,” he said. It was better than decent. It was perfect. The heart rate never eased up as Rahm watched Johnson's 30-foot birdie putt track toward the cup until it peeled away by inches and Rahm was the winner. “I still can’t believe what just happened,” Rahm said. "That stretch of waiting for DJ, him making the putt, going in the playoff, me making the putt, then trying to stay mentally in it just in case he made the last putt, it’s been a roller coaster. But so much fun. ... I set out to enjoy even the uncomfortable moments we had out there. “And man, it was fun.” Johnson took plenty away, too. He twice beat Rahm in 2017 in the span of a month at World Golf Championships, holding off a Rahm rally in the Mexico Championship and withstanding another ferocious comeback attempt in the Match Play. For Johnson, it was his third straight tournament with the 54-hole lead. He shot 68 in the PGA Championship and was beaten by a 65 from Collin Morikawa, which featured the driver onto the 16th green at Harding Park for eagle. Johnson shot 67 at the BMW Championship and lost to a 65-foot birdie putt in a playoff. Johnson held onto No. 1 in the world ranking and in the FedEx Cup, the latter meaning he will start the Tour Championship with a two-shot advantage. Rahm now has multiple victories worldwide for the fourth straight year. What stands out from this year is winning on the two toughest tests — Memorial, where the greens were allowed to bake out because they were being replaced after the tournament, and Olympia Fields, which played as hard as a U.S. Open. Rahm will get another U.S. Open test in three weeks at Winged Foot. The U.S. Open is billed as the ultimate test, most of that between the ears. Rahm looks more capable of that with each victory......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 31st, 2020

Column: The revolving door at No. 1 in the world ranking

By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer Jon Rahm is the No. 1 player in the world. The best player in golf? That depends on the week. Webb Simpson looked to be tough to beat when he won the RBC Heritage, giving him two victories, a runner-up finish and a third place in his last six PGA Tour events. But then Dustin Johnson won the Travelers Championship, renewing conversations that when he puts in the time, no one has a greater package of talent. During his two weeks off, however, golf became obsessed with super-sized Bryson DeChambeau and his 200 mph ball speed that carried him to victory in Detroit, his seventh straight top 10. And then two days after DeChambeau took a 10 — ideal for gymnastics, not so much for golf — on the 15th hole at Muirfield Village to miss the cut, Rahm built an eight-shot lead at the turn and held on for a victory at the Memorial that sent him to No. 1 in the world. For how long? Longer than Tom Lehman, for sure. Of the 24 players who have been No. 1 since the world ranking began in 1986, Lehman was there the shortest time — one week. And just his luck, he took that week off, so he never even played a tournament at No. 1 in the world. Rory McIlroy, whom Rahm replaced at No. 1, and Justin Thomas can return to the top if they win the World Golf Championship this week in Memphis, Tennessee. At least that's easier to track than two weeks ago, when five players at the Memorial had a mathematical chance of reaching No. 1. Whether the reason is depth or parity, it's become a revolving door that doesn't appear to be stopping anytime soon. Brooks Koepka started the year at No. 1, and McIlroy took over in February. Rahm was asked Tuesday if he considered them the best players in the world while they were at No. 1, and if he looks at himself that way now. “I think nowadays it's really tough to determine one player,” Rahm said. "Because yeah, Brooks is having a hard year right now. He's not playing his best. But he has won four majors in the last few years. Rory played amazing last year. It's hard to dictate one player alone. But it would be foolish of me to say that I'm not here thinking I'm the best player. “And I think all the great players out there who have got to this point are playing like they believe they're the best player,” he said. “In golf, you need to prove that every week.” McIlroy and Johnson have done that better than anyone over the last decade. McIlroy has reached No. 1 on eight occasions for a total of 106 weeks. Johnson has been there five times for a total of 96 weeks. During their longest stretches — 64 weeks for Johnson, 54 weeks for McIlroy — there was little argument. With Tiger Woods, there was no argument. Not since Woods in 2009 has a player started and finished a year without surrendering the No. 1 ranking. It was the eighth time Woods did that. Consider the 281 consecutive weeks Woods was No. 1, from the 2005 U.S. Open until the 2010 HSBC Champions. In the last 281 weeks, No. 1 has changed hands 27 times. Phil Mickelson was never on that list, and Rahm was quick to point out that playing against Woods in his prime certainly didn't help Lefty's cause. “But it still doesn't take away from what I've done,” Rahm said. “Now at the same time, getting here, it's great. I played great golf the last four years. ... It's not only to get here. but to stay here, hopefully for a long time.” Of the previous 23 players to reach the top of the ranking, seven won in their debut at No. 1. The most recent was Johnson in 2017 at the Mexico Championship, his second of three straight wins. The most timely belonged to Adam Scott, who had three chances to reach No. 1 by winning, and then got there during a week off. He returned and won at Colonial. The best was Ian Woosnam. He got to No. 1 in 1991 and then won the Masters. It's just a number. Rahm understands the world ranking enough to realize it's a product of two years, not one week. He should be proud, just as the 23 others before him. Thomas reached No. 1 after The Players Championship in 2018 and didn't play until the Memorial. He conceded to feeling a little different. “I just remember being a little more nervous because it's like all eyes are on you, and you're the best player in the world, so you feel like you should kind of play up to that,” he said. He tied for eighth. It could have been worse. Jordan Spieth missed the cut in his debut at No. 1. Adding to the volatility of the No. 1 ranking is the strength of the fields, which have been loaded with the world's best players since the restart and will remain strong with this World Golf Championship, the PGA Championship, the FedEx Cup playoffs and then the U.S. Open, all in the next two months. Getting to No. 1 is hard work. These days, staying there might be even harder......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 29th, 2020

Finau leads Memorial at 65 as Woods has quiet return to golf

By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — Tiger Woods was back on the PGA Tour for the first time in five months Thursday and saw Muirfield Village like never before. It was practically empty. Woods opened with a 10-foot birdie and there was silence. He finished with a 15-foot birdie for a 1-under 71, leaving him five shots behind Tony Finau in the Memorial, and he walked to the side of the green and stood with Rory McIlroy, chatting briefly before they nudged their elbows toward one another without touching. It’s a different world, Woods keeps saying. It was a reasonable return. “Got off to almost an ideal start and got a feel for the round early,” Woods said. “I just didn’t make anything today. I had looks at birdies, but I really didn’t make much.” He left that to Finau, who seemed to make everything. Finau finished with seven birdies over his last 10 holes on a Muirfield Village course that was faster and tougher than last week in the Workday Charity Open. That gave him a one-shot lead over Ryan Palmer. The greens are being replaced after the Memorial, so there’s no concern about them dying out. They were 2 feet faster on the Stimpmeter, the wind was strong and often changed direction without notice. That showed in the scoring. Only seven players broke 70, compared with 35 rounds in the 60s for the first round last week. This is the first itme in 63 years the PGA Tour has played consecutive weeks on the same course. Muirfield Village only looked like the same course. “It’s night and day,” Palmer said. “The greens, they’re 2, 3 feet faster for sure. So I knew it wasn’t a course you had to just go out and light up.” It wasn’t a course to overpower, either. Bryson DeChambeau hit one drive 423 yards with the wind at his back, leaving him 46 yards to the pin on No. 1, a hole where he recalls hitting 5-iron in the past. That was a rare birdie. With wedges in his hand, he still managed only a 73. Collin Morikawa won at Muirfield Village last week at 19-under 269, beating Justin Thomas in a playoff. Morikawa opened with a 76. Thomas, who didn’t make a bogey until his 55th hole last week, had two bogeys after two holes. He shot 74. Dustin Johnson shot 80, his highest score on the PGA Tour in more than four years. Rickie Fowler shot 81. By now, players are used to seeing open spaces with minimal distraction. That wasn’t the case for Woods, who last played Feb. 16 when he finished last in the Genesis Invitational during a cold week at Riviera that caused his back to feel stiff. The absence of spectators was something new, and it was even more pronounced with Woods playing alongside McIlroy (70) and Brooks Koepka (72). They still had the biggest group, with 36 people around them on the 16th green. That mostly was TV and radio crews, photographers and a few volunteers. No one to cheer when Woods opened with a birdie and quickly reached 2 under with a wedge that spun back to a foot on the third hole. And there was no one to groan when he wasted a clean card on the back nine with a bunker shot that sailed over the green into the rough. “I definitely didn’t have any issue with energy and not having the fans’ reactions out there,” Woods said. “I still felt the same eagerness, edginess, nerviness starting out, and it was good. It was a good feel. I haven’t felt this in a while.” U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland and Brendan Steele each shot 68, with Jon Rahm among those at 69. McIlroy had two splendid short-game shots on the back nine that led to par and birdie, and he was in a group at 70 that included Jordan Spieth and defending champion Patrick Cantlay. Cantlay hit a pitch-and-run across the fifth green that last week would have settled next to the hole. On Thursday, it kept rolling until it was just off the green. Finau didn’t play last week, so he wouldn’t know the difference. “I don’t know about an advantage, but I definitely felt like I played this golf course this way before,” Finau said. “I don’t know what the numbers might be as far as the guys that played last week compared to this week. I’ve played this golf course in these type of conditions, and it definitely helped me.” DeChambeau brought the pop with five more tee shots at 350 yards or longer, two of them over 400 yards. Some of his tee shots wound up in places where players normally hit into the trees or rough and can’t reach the green. But he failed to capitalize with short clubs in his hands. He hit a wedge into a bunker on the 14th and his chip went over the green, which would not have happened last week. He had to make a 6-footer to save bogey. He also was a victim to the swirling wind at the worse time — a 7-iron from 230 yards over the water to the par-5 fifth. The wind died and he never had a chance, leading to bogey. “When I was standing over it, it was 20 miles an hour downwind. And when I hit it, it dead stopped. Can’t do anything about it,” DeChambeau said. “That’s golf, man. You’re not going to shoot the lowest number every single day. I felt like I played really bad. My wedging wasn’t great. If I can tidy that up, make some putts, keep driving it the way I’m doing, I’ll have a chance.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 17th, 2020

Hilton Head field stacked with winners, but no Tiger Woods

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — The field for the RBC Heritage next week includes 114 players who have won on the PGA Tour, the most of any event since the tour began keeping track in 2000. It just doesn't have Tiger Woods. For the second straight week, the top five in the world will be competing as golf resumes its schedule from the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown that began in March. The Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial was the first event back, with protocols that included mandatory testing for players, caddies and essential personnel when they arrive. All 487 tests were negative. Rory McIlroy, the world's No. 1 player, will be at Hilton Head for the first time since 2009. Brooks Koepka will be playing for the first time. Missing from the top 10 for the second straight week are Patrick Cantlay, Adam Scott and Tommy Fleetwood, the latter two living overseas. Woods only played Hilton Head one time, in 1999. It was thought he might return at Hilton Head, especially with no likely appearances for him until the Memorial on July 16-19. Speculation increased when a marine tracking site indicated his yacht “Privacy” was just off the Georgia coast near Sea Island. But there could be family obligations as his daughter's 13th birthday is Thursday. The RBC Heritage is followed by the Travelers Championship in Connecticut, the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit and a new tournament for this year at Muirfield Village that precedes the Memorial, which Woods has won five times......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 13th, 2020

JPMorgan Chase to pay $75 mn to settle Epstein-linked sex trafficking suit

JPMorgan Chase announced Tuesday that it will pay $75 million to settle a US Virgin Islands' (USVI) lawsuit that accused the bank of facilitating Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking ring. The big US bank, which previously reached a $290 million settlement with Epstein's victims, also announced an agreement with former JPMorgan executive Jes Staley for an undisclosed sum. These cases together resolve the bank's remaining litigation over its embarrassing long-running association with the late Epstein. The agreement with the USVI came a few weeks ahead of a scheduled trial in New York that likely would have bruised both sides. While the USVI accused JPMorgan of turning a "blind eye" to Epstein's conduct due to profit concerns, the bank levied essentially the same charge against USVI, saying the government helped Epstein obtain visas that allowed him to bring victims to the island. The settlement, which must be approved by a US court, includes $30 million to support USVI charitable organizations, $25 million to enhance USVI law enforcement to combat human trafficking and $20 million in attorneys' fees. JPMorgan did not admit liability as part of the settlement, but the "firm deeply regrets any association with this man, and would never have continued doing business with him if it believed he was using the bank in any way to commit his heinous crimes," the bank said in a statement. "JPMorgan believes this settlement is in the best interest of all parties," the bank said. The USVI had originally sought $190 million in damages for the bank's role in enabling Epstein's sex crimes, including in the Virgin Islands, where he had a residence. The USVI said JPMorgan "knowingly, negligently, and unlawfully provided and pulled the levers through which recruiters and victims were paid and was indispensable to the operation and concealment of the Epstein trafficking enterprise," according the original complaint. Bank hits back  The bank hit back forcefully, saying in a May legal filing that the USVI government was "complicit in the crimes of Jeffrey Epstein." Under a "quid pro quo" relationship with top USVI officials, Epstein "gave them advice, influence, and favors," JPMorgan said in the filing. "In exchange, they shielded and even rewarded him... looking the other way when he walked through USVI airports accompanied by girls and young women." US Virgin Islands Attorney General Ariel Smith said Tuesday the agreement would prevent human trafficking in the future. "This settlement is an historic victory for survivors and for state enforcement, and it should sound the alarm on Wall Street about banks' responsibilities under the law to detect and prevent human trafficking," Smith said. "We are proud to have stood alongside the survivors throughout this litigation, and this settlement reflects our continued commitment to them," Smith said. The USVI press release listed a number of "substantial commitments" by JPMorgan to combat human trafficking, including informing law enforcement of perpetrators and terminating customers' accounts if there is credible evidence of wrongdoing. But a JPMorgan spokesperson said the bank has not changed or fortified its policies due to the accord. "There are no new commitments. Our controls, compliance, risk, and other functions are always improving, and we are continually investing to become even better," said JPMorgan's Trish Wexler. "We have always worked closely with law enforcement to help combat human trafficking, and we will continue to look for ways to invest in advancing this important mission." The post JPMorgan Chase to pay $75 mn to settle Epstein-linked sex trafficking suit appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 26th, 2023

THE MEMORY PROJECT: The Marcos Dictatorship In The Eyes Of Survivors

This year marks the 51st year since Ferdinand Marcos Sr. martial law on Septembef 21, 1972. In light of efforts by the Ferdinand Marcos Jr. government at revising historical judgement of the dictatorship, Kodao re-issues videos and other productions on Marcos’ martial rule in this special section of our website......»»

Category: newsSource:  davaotodayRelated NewsSep 26th, 2023

This Breast Cancer manual is a love letter from survivors to survivors

In 2018, a visual artist and dancer chanced upon a poster online recommending early breast cancer detection and the importance of performing a self-breast exam......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 25th, 2023

BSP restricts FX changer

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, or BSP, has directed foreign exchange trader Riyben Foreign Exchange and its sub-agents to stop operating due to lack of registration documents from the central bank. In a statement released Monday, the BSP said Riyben Foreign Exchange skipped application for registration to establish and operate as a money service business or MSB. For this reason, the BSP disqualified the company from proceeding with its registration and obtaining a license to operate. Riyben Foreign Exchange is owned by Benjamin de Guzman and located at San Juan Olivarez Plaza, San Jose, Tagaytay City, Cavite. “The BSP’S Monetary Board has disqualified Riyben Foreign Exchange and any sole proprietorship owned and/or controlled by the owner/operator from registering with the BSP, and/or obtaining a license with the BSP to engage in any activity that is authorized or supervised by the BSP, for operating as MSB without prior BSP registration,” the central bank said.   Under BSP’s ambit The BSP is authorized to require business registrations of non-bank financial institutions such as MSBs as a way to prevent money laundering through remittances, foreign exchange, or fund transfers. “The above disqualification is pursuant to Section 901-N of the BSP’s Manual of Regulations for non-bank financial institutions and is part of the BSP’s efforts to address the proliferation of entities engaged in the operation of unauthorized MSBs,” BSP said. The post BSP restricts FX changer appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 25th, 2023

France to withdraw ambassador, troops from Niger after coup

President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday announced that France would withdraw its ambassador from Niger, followed by the French military contingent in the coming months, a move welcomed by Niger's military leaders as a "step towards sovereignty". Macron's announcement comes two months after a coup in the West African country that ousted the pro-Paris president. "France has decided to withdraw its ambassador. In the next hours our ambassador and several diplomats will return to France," Macron told French television in an interview, without giving details about how this would be organized. Macron added that military cooperation was "over" and French troops would withdraw in "the months and weeks to come" with a full pullout "by the end of the year". Niger's military rulers responded swiftly in a statement read out on national television, "This Sunday, we celebrate a new step towards the sovereignty of Niger," said the statement from the military rulers, who seized power by overthrowing President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26. "This is a historic moment, which speaks to the determination and will of the Nigerien people," the Niger statement added. Ban on French aircraft Earlier Sunday the Agency for the Safety of Air Navigation in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA) said on its website that the military rulers had banned "French aircraft" from flying over the country's airspace. It was not clear if this would affect the ambassador being flown out. In his comments, Macron said, "In the weeks and months to come, we will consult with the putschists, because we want this to be done peacefully," he added. France keeps about 1,500 soldiers in Niger as part of an anti-jihadist deployment in the Sahel region. Macron said the post-coup authorities "no longer wanted to fight against terrorism". Niger's military leaders had told French ambassador Sylvain Itte to leave the country after they overthrew Bazoum in July. But a 48-hour ultimatum for him to leave, issued in August, passed with him still in place as the French government refused to comply, or to recognize the military regime as legitimate. Earlier this month, Macron said the ambassador and his staff were "literally being held hostage" in the mission eating military rations with no food deliveries taking place. In Sunday's interview, Macron in the interview reaffirmed France's position that Bazoum was being held "hostage" and remained the "sole legitimate authority" in the country. "He was targeted by this coup d'etat because he was carrying out courageous reforms and because there was a largely ethnic settling of scores and a lot of political cowardice," he argued. 'Very worried about region' The coup against Bazoum was the third such putsch in the region in as many years, following similar actions in Mali and Burkina Faso in 2021 and 2022 that also forced the pullouts of French troops. But the Niger coup is particularly bruising for Macron after he sought to make a special ally of Niamey and a hub for France's presence in the region following the Mali coup. The US also has over 1,000 troops in the country. Macron regularly speaks by phone to Bazoum who remains under house arrest in the presidential residence. The French president has repeatedly spoken of making a historic change to France's post-colonial imprint in Africa but analysts say Paris is losing influence across the continent, especially in the face of a growing Chinese, Turkish, and Russian presence. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) threatened military action to restore Bazoum but so far its threats, which were strongly supported by France, have not transferred into action. "We are not here to be hostages of the putschists," said Macron. "The putschists are the allies of disorder," he added. Macron said that jihadist attacks were causing "dozens of deaths every day in Mali" after its coup and that now such assaults had resumed in Niger. "I am very worried about this region," he said. "France, sometimes alone, has taken all its responsibilities and I am proud of our military. But we are not responsible for the political life of these countries and we draw all the consequences." The post France to withdraw ambassador, troops from Niger after coup appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 25th, 2023

Macron says France to withdraw ambassador, troops from Niger after coup

French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday said France is imminently to withdraw its ambassador from Niger, followed by its military contingent in the next months, in the wake of the coup in the West African country that ousted the pro-Paris president. "France has decided to withdraw its ambassador. In the next hours our ambassador and several diplomats will return to France," Macron told French television in an interview, He added that military cooperation was "over" and French troops would withdraw in "the months and weeks to come" with a full pullout "by the end of the year". "In the weeks and months to come, we will consult with the putschists, because we want this to be done peacefully," he added. France keeps about 1,500 soldiers in Niger as part of an anti-jihadist deployment in the Sahel region. Niger's military leaders told French ambassador Sylvain Itte he had to leave the country after they overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum on 26 July. But a 48-hour ultimatum for him to leave, issued in August, passed with him still in place as the French government refused to comply, or to recognize the military regime as legitimate. Macron in the interview reaffirmed France's position that Bazoum was being held "hostage" and remained the "sole legitimate authority" in the country. "He was targeted by this coup d'etat because he was carrying out courageous reforms and because there was a largely ethnic settling of scores and a lot of political cowardice," he argued. The impoverished Sahel region south of the Sahara has suffered what Macron has previously called an "epidemic" of coups in recent years, with military regimes replacing elected governments in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea as well as Niger. The post Macron says France to withdraw ambassador, troops from Niger after coup appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 24th, 2023

Bong Go provides support to TESDA graduates in Guagua

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go congratulated the 20 graduates who successfully completed their Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) programs at the Philippine Competency Training and Assessment Center Inc. in Guagua, Pampanga on Thursday, 21 September. “It is with immense joy and pride that I extend my warmest congratulations to each and every one of you for successfully completing your TESDA programs,” said Go in a video message. “Your dedication, hard work, and determination have truly paid off, and you stand as shining examples of the power of education and skill development. Through your commitment, you have not only enhanced your own capabilities but also contributed to the growth and progress of our nation,” he added. As part of his support, Go provided small tokens to the graduates, including grocery packs, snacks, masks, shirts, and balls for basketball and volleyball while there were select recipients of shoes. “Kayo po ang kinabukasan ng bayang ito at iyan po ang tanging puhunan natin sa mundong ito — ang edukasyon. Makakaasa naman po kayo na kasama ninyo ako at ang buong pamahalaan sa inyong paglalakbay. Asahan ninyo ang patuloy na suporta sa inyong mga pangarap at adhikain,” said Go. Building upon the successes of Republic Act No. 10931 or the Universal Access To Quality Tertiary Education Act which was enacted during the term of former president Rodrigo Duterte, Go introduced SBN 1360 to further expand the coverage of the tertiary education subsidy. This proposal aims to ensure that a broader spectrum of aspiring college students can access financial assistance for their higher education pursuits. The lawmaker also filed Senate Bill No. 1190, which aims to expand the purpose and application of the Special Education Fund (SEF). The bill envisions a broader scope for SEF utilization, enabling local governments to allocate resources for the improvement of educational facilities, teacher training, and the procurement of necessary educational materials. “As you step forward into the workforce armed with your newfound skills, remember that the path you've chosen is one of endless possibilities. Your training at TESDA has equipped you with the tools to excel in your chosen fields, and I have no doubt that you will leave your mark on the industries you are about to enter,” Go said. “It is my hope that you continue to strive for excellence, to keep learning and growing, and to inspire others with your success stories. Your achievements will serve as an inspiration to many, showcasing the importance of vocational education and its impact on individual lives and our society as a whole,” he added. The post Bong Go provides support to TESDA graduates in Guagua appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 24th, 2023

‘Dapat maging mas handa tayo’ — Bong Go backs healthcare-related bills

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go expressed in an interview on Thursday, September 21, after attending the groundbreaking for the Super Health Center in San Mateo, Rizal, his full support for the establishment of the National Disease Prevention Management Authority, Medical Reserve Corps, and the Virology Institute of the Philippines. The measures were discussed during the third Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) meeting. When asked about the progress of these initiatives, Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health, responded, "As chair po ng Senate Committee on Health, full support po ako dito." “Nasa subcommittee ang mga bills na ito na pinangungunahan ni Senator Pia Cayetano. Nakapag-hearing na ito at isa ako sa mga nagfile ng bills. Hopefully, maipasa ito ngayong taon,” said Go. "Priority rin ang mga ito ni Pangulong Bongbong Marcos, nabanggit din ito sa LEDAC, so suportado ko ito," he added. Go clarified that the NDPMA is essentially the same as the previously named Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) bill. “Unang-una, napaloob po ito sa Philippine Development Plan po ng ating Pangulong Marcos. Itong paggagawa ng Center for Disease Control and Prevention, or ibahin man po, maging National Disease Management Prevention Authority ay suportado ko po ito," added Go. The senator emphasized the importance of being prepared for possible future pandemics, citing the country's experience with COVID-19. "Mas mabuti pong lagi tayong handa; meron tayong opisina na nakatutok po kung saka-sakaling may dumating na pandemya po sa buhay natin," he said. He recalled how the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) became a crucial office for COVID-19 testing, despite almost losing its funding during the 2019 budget deliberations. “Noong 2019 naman bago dumating ang pandemya ay muntik ding binawasan ang budget para sa Research Institute for Tropical Medicine. Hindi po tayo pumayag. In fact, dinagdagan pa natin sila noong budget deliberations. Tama nga ang kutob ko, sino ba ang mag-aakala na ang RITM ang magiging isa sa pinakaimportanteng opisina sa panahon ng pandemya? Ang RITM din ang may kakayahan na mag-test ng iba pang nakahahawang sakit bukod sa COVID-19,” Go shared. He concluded by saying that he supports these initiatives that will benefit Filipinos, the healthcare system, and the less fortunate. "Bagama't isang boto lang po ako, ay suportado ko po ang mga ito." The senator has filed his own versions of these measures in the Senate. Go has filed Senate Bill No. 195 or the creation of a Center for Disease Control (CDC). If passed into law, CDC will serve as the country's central hub for disease prevention, surveillance, and control, focusing on both infectious and non-communicable diseases. Another key legislative measure from Go is SBN 196, which seeks to establish a Virology Science and Technology Institute. The institute is envisioned as a center for virology that will enhance the country's capacity to study, detect, and combat emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. He also filed SBN 1180 which seeks to establish a Medical Reserve Corps composed of individuals who have degrees in health-related fields but have yet to obtain professional licenses. The Medical Reserve Corps may be called upon to assist the national government and the local government units in their functions related to addressing the medical needs of the public in times of national emergencies. The post ‘Dapat maging mas handa tayo’ — Bong Go backs healthcare-related bills appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 24th, 2023

SC advises vs online dummy review

The Supreme Court Office of the 2023 bar chairman yesterday issued an advisory to warn the public about the existence of fake online training program. The SC said that it has come to its attention that certain information has begun circulating on social media, origins of which were traced from a Facebook group page called Bar Law for Dummies Training Program and from one Tzidkenu Dizon Facebook account. The court said the posts contain claims that the 2023 Bar Examinations shall be sorted, checked, and corrected by means of artificial intelligence.  “The Office of the 2023 Bar Chair condemns these social media publications as false, baseless, irresponsible, defamatory, contumacious, detestable, and formulated with apparent intent to erode the integrity of the digitalized Bar Examinations.” Bar 2023 Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando said, “I reiterate what has been stated in Bar Bulletin No. 1, Series of 2023: all stakeholders are exhorted to rely exclusively on the Court’s official communication channels.” “The 2023 Bar Examinations shall be checked by four examiners per subject, all of whom are established experts in their respective fields, and who are by no means created or powered by artificial intelligence.” The initial probe commenced by the Office of the 2023 Bar Chair has unveiled the identity of the administrator of both Facebook accounts. The court is currently undertaking proper measures against the said individual, particularly, the prompt engagement of the National Bureau of Investigation in the conduct of criminal investigation of the nefarious activities and questionable circumstances surrounding this personality. The post SC advises vs online dummy review appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 24th, 2023

SC belies rumor circulating on social media that bar exams to be checked using AI

The Supreme Court Office of the 2023 bar chairman yesterday issued an advisory to warn the public about the existence of fake online training programs.   The SC said that it has come to their attention that certain information is circulating on social media, which can be traced from a Facebook group page called  Bar  Law for  Dummies  Training  Program,  with a certain  Tzidkenu  Dizon  Facebook account, doing the posting. The court said the posts contain claims that the 2023 Bar Examinations shall be sorted, checked, and corrected by means of artificial intelligence.  "The Office of the 2023 Bar Chair condemns these social media publications as false, baseless, irresponsible, defamatory, contumacious, detestable, and formulated with  apparent  intent  to  erode  the  integrity  of  the  digitalized  Bar  Examinations." Bar 2023 Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando said: I reiterate what has been stated in Bar Bulletin No. 1, Series of 2023: all stakeholders are exhorted to rely exclusively on the Court’s official communication channels.   The 2023 Bar Examinations shall be checked by four (4) examiners per subject, all of whom are established experts in their respective fields,  and who are by no means created or powered by artificial intelligence. The initial probe by the Office of the 2023 Bar Chair has unveiled the identity of the administrator of both  Facebook accounts.  The  Court is currently undertaking proper measures against the said individual,  particularly the prompt engagement of the  National  Bureau of  Investigation in the conduct of the criminal investigation of the nefarious activities and questionable circumstances surrounding this personality. The post SC belies rumor circulating on social media that bar exams to be checked using AI appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 23rd, 2023

P12B NHA allocation for calamity victims, resettlement

The Department of Budget and Management approved the release of a Notice of Cash Allocation worth P12.259 billion to the National Housing Authority for housing assistance for calamity victims and the payment of resettlement of informal settler families in Western Visayas. In a statement, DBM said P12.059 billion of the funds would be for the housing assistance of calamity victims. The remaining P200 million will be for constructing four units of five-story, low-rise residential buildings in Western Visayas to resettle informal settler families. "Housing remains a priority for President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. as he strongly believes in the necessity of providing decent homes for Filipinos, particularly those adversely affected by calamities," Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said. The request for payments, chargeable to previous years’ released allotments, was supported with a documented list of Special Allotment Release Orders with their respective amounts, status of fund utilization, and finance accountability reports — all of which the DBM confirmed to be in order. The National Housing Authority is the sole national agency mandated to engage in housing production for low-income families. Under the administrative supervision of the Department of Human Settlement and Urban Development, the NHA functions as a production and financing arm in housing. The post P12B NHA allocation for calamity victims, resettlement appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 21st, 2023