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Duque plans to meet with Sotto on RH Law

MANILA – Health Secretary Dr. Francisco Duque III said Thursday he would like to discuss the implementation of the Reproductive Health (RH) Law with Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, a staunch critic of the law. “I will get in touch with him (Sotto). We have to make our communication open so that we understand exactly …

Can France’s Macron bring Lebanon back from the brink?

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron is trying on a new mantle: Mideast peacemaker. He’s trying to defuse Lebanon’s political crisis and preserve regional stability, by leveraging France’s trade relations with rival players in the region and historical ties to its former protectorate. It’s a risky gambit, but Macron may be better placed than anyone …

ASEAN-China adopts declaration on marine environment protection

MANILA — The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China have moved forward towards the implementation of the 2002 Declaration of Conduct after it adopted on November 13 a document declaring ‎2017-2027 as a decade for the protection of coastal and marine environment in the South China Sea. In the chairman’s statement of the 20th …

Zimbabwe military says progress in talks for Mugabe’s exit

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe’s military said Friday it was making “significant progress” in talks with President Robert Mugabe for his departure while it pursues and arrests some allies of the leader and his wife. Talks with Mugabe continued, the military said in a statement reported by the state-run Herald newspaper and Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation. Zimbabwe’s …

Solon wants probe on alleged MRT sabotage

MANILA — A militant lawmaker in the House of Representatives is calling for a thorough investigation on the allegations of “human intervention” and a possible act of sabotage behind the incident of decoupling train coaches at the Metro Rail Transit-3 (MRT-3). Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate made the call on Friday after it was revealed …

Selective outrage: Trump criticizes Franken, silent on Moore

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is displaying selective outrage over allegations of sexual harassment against prominent men in politics, as his own tortured past lingers over his response. Trump moved quickly Thursday to condemn accusations against Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken as “really bad,” but he has remained conspicuously silent on the more serious claims …

Andanar announces housing project for media workers

MANILA — Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Friday announced that his office is putting up a housing project for media workers as part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s initiative to ensure the dignity and safety of journalists in the Philippines. Andanar said the housing project would be constructed in a portion of a …

Iraqi forces push into the country’s last IS held town

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s Defence Ministry says Iraqi forces backed by the U.S.-led coalition have pushed into the last Islamic State group-held town in the country more than three years after the militant group stormed nearly a third of Iraqi territory. The ministry says in a statement Friday morning Iraqi military units and local tribal fighters …

COC talks to reduce misunderstanding: Lorenzana

MANILA — With ASEAN and China agreeing to start talks on a Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea, threats of miscalculation and misunderstanding among claimant countries will be greatly reduced, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Friday. “I think so, kasi sila (China) mismo ang nagsasabi na gusto na nila (They themselves are saying that they want it). …

Notorious Mafia ‘boss of bosses’ Toto Riina dead at 87

MILAN — Mafia ‘boss of bosses’ Salvatore ‘Toto’ Riina died early Friday in a hospital while serving multiple life sentences as the mastermind of a bloody strategy to assassinate Italian prosecutors and law enforcement trying to bring down the Cosa Nostra, Italian media reported Friday. He was 87. Riina died hours after the Justice Minister …

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