News

China’s gift causes big trouble for tiny Tonga

NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga — It’s almost 10 a.m., but the barista at this tiny Pacific kingdom’s domestic air terminal has yet to make a single cup of coffee. Molly Fatai says her wages at the cafe have been cut by a third since last year. Flights leaving for Tonga’s outer islands have been halved to two …

Japan unveils strategy to restore cutting edge

TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe formally announced Tuesday an outline of his long-awaited growth strategy, a slew of reforms meant to revitalize the economy and restore its global competitiveness. The plan, approved by the Cabinet earlier in the day, includes dozens of proposed changes to labor regulations, government pension fund investments, corporate governance …

Investigators eye pilots’ actions in Asiana crash

WASHINGTON — Increasingly complex automated aircraft controls designed to improve safety are instead creating new opportunities for error, the head of the National Safety Board said Tuesday at a hearing on the crash last year of Asiana Flight 214 in San Francisco. The Asiana flight crew “over-relied on automated systems that they did not fully …

Heritage Week held in Ottawa

Filipinos residing in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, along with city officials and Members of Parliament, marked the 116th anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine independence with highly-anticipated festivities running from June 8 to 15. Thousands attend annual PICOV picnic His Worship, Mayor Jim Watson, kick-started the week-long celebration of Philippine independence with the declaration …

Gigi’s plan to surrender, welcomed by Malacañang

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said yesterday that Malacañang welcomed reports that Atty. Jessica Lucile “Gigi” Reyes, the former chief of staff of Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, would surrender once the court issues an arrest warrant against her. “Any action by the respondents that will make the process expedited in terms …

Winnipeg gang leader caught running operations on jailhouse phone

WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg gang leader has been sentenced to five years in prison after being recorded on a jailhouse phone directing street drug operations and meting out violent discipline to an unruly underling on the outside. In addition to a cocaine-trafficking charge, Michael Balingit, 25, admitted Monday to directing others within a criminal organization …

Two bodies found inside submerged truck in Saskatchewan’s Beaver River

BEAUVAL, Saskatchewan — An RCMP dive team has found two bodies inside a submerged vehicle near Beauval, Sask. Officials were able to bring up the pickup truck from the bottom of the Beaver River late Monday night and recovered the bodies. Beauval RCMP say a vehicle with two men inside is believed to have gone off …

Accused at murder trial says woman died after night spent drinking heavily

SASKATOON — A man accused of first-degree murder in the death of a young woman he met in a bar has taken the stand in his own defence. Earlier in the trial, court heard Douglas Hales on recordings made by undercover RCMP officers talking about strangling and beating Daleen Bosse to death in a decommissioned …

Sandiganbayan grants 50% discount bail to 3 NABCOR officials

MANILA — The request of former officials of National Agribusiness Corporation (NABCOR) to give them 50 percent discount in their bail was granted by Sandiganbayan. NABCOR officials Rhodora Mendoza, Victor Cacal and Maria Ninez Guañizo were allowed to post bail of P15,000 in every graft case instead of P30,000. The three NABCOR officers face five …

Abe, Aquino vow to enhance bilateral security ties

TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and visiting Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Tuesday agreed to enhance the two countries’ security ties. Speaking at a joint press conference after their summit, Abe said that strategic relations with the Philippines have deepened, adding the two leaders agreed to “further strengthen” their cooperation in security and …