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North, South Korea won’t march together at Paralympics amid flag row

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South and North Korea will not march together at the opening ceremony of the Winter Paralympics, as they did at the Olympics last month, because they cannot agree on a united flag that erases islands disputed with Japan.

Japan complained to South Korea about fans waving the Korean peninsula flag at a friendly women’s ice hockey match in the Olympics between the combined North and South Korean team and Sweden. The flag depicts a map of the undivided Korean peninsula, including the disputed islands, known as Dokdo in Korean and Takeshima in Japanese, in the Sea of Japan.

North Korea’s delegation to the Paralympics said on Thursday it “does not accept the fact that Dokdo cannot be marked due to political issues held in Korea”, but in response to the North’s claim, the International Paralympics Committee said the two Koreas will march individually as the flag cannot be changed.

China unhappy with US aircraft carrier’s visit to Vietnam, state media says

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The Global Times said Beijing is “unhappy” with the visit of a US aircraft carrier to a Vietnamese port and is monitoring developments. But the USS Carl Vinson’s visit is unlikely to alter the balance of power in the South China Sea, which China claims in its entirety and has been fortifying with military structures on man-made islands; the visit “will not generate any special tools to pressure China”, while the US sending warships to the South China Sea will “only waste money”, Global Times  said.
 Vice-Admiral Phillip Sawyer, commander of the US 7th Fleet, said the port call was a sign of the United States’ commitment to the region and US-Vietnam ties. The visit by the USS Carl Vinson with more than 5,000 crew marks the largest US military presence in Vietnam since the Southeast Asian nation was unified under Communist leadership after the war ended in 1975.

Drivers, students hold anti-jeepney phaseout protest in UP

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Several students and jeepney drivers on Thursday staged protest against the jeepney modernization program inside the University of the Philippines-Diliman campus. The protesters are denouncing the Land Transportation Office’s “Oplan Tanggal Bulok, Tanggal Usok” policy or the operation intended to remove dilapidated units for pollution reduction.The protest came as Department of Transportation sent representatives from the Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (I-ACT) composed of the the LTO and the Metro Manila Development Authority, which conducted an operation in the jeepney terminals in the Diliman area. The DOTr deployed ten solar-powered jeepneys and offered free rides but the student council said these were not enough to satisfy the commuter demand. The student council also opposed the form of jeepney modernization  saying it “further handicaps jeepney driver”. The events today only manifest our concerns with the project, casting aside the welfare and the livelihood of current jeepney drivers without a proper means of transition or compensation”, the USC said in a statement. “We see that the swift and railroaded implementation of this measure stunts the ability of current jeepney drivers and operators to adapt, endangering their livelihoods”. The state university’s student council said the transport agency’s move would result in phasing out of jeepneys and shortage of it, which is “detrimental to commuters”.

Philippines: 2 kids die in Cavite fire

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Two children died in a fire in Bacoor, Cavite yesterday. The bodies of a girl identified only as Anna Mae and her brother Armando were found in the bedroom of their house in Barangay San Nicolas 2.Police said the fire started at around 1 a.m. and was declared out after more than an hour. Arson investigators said an unattended candle caused the fire. It was not immediately known if the parents of the children were at their home during the incident.

Medical experts: Stop Dengvaxia autopsies

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A group of  doctors, academicians, scientists and health advocates yesterday asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to stop the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) from performing  autopsies on children who allegedly died after being vaccinated with Dengvaxia . University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH),  stated that the dead of the 14 children who were submitted to Dengaxia is not related to the vaccine. Roque said that UP-PGH was iaricated by the Department of Health to conduct a study on the 14 dead, going ahead saing that parents could have e a sight of relief following the findings of the team. Later DOJ order to PAO to stop performing autopsies on these children and to leave the matter of determining the cause of death. After thet PGH offered the expertise of its staff to do free medical autopsies on children who died after receiving the vaccine, noting if parents do not want to avail of PGH services. After thoroughly looking into the clinical records and history of the patients, the panel found that three of the 14 children had developed dengue shock syndrome after vaccination, with two cases associated with vaccine failure.

Palace to UP protesters: Don’t waste taxpayers’ money

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The Government reminded protesting students of the University of the Philippines (UP), who demonstrated against Duterte’s cha-cha, his martial law in Mindanao and his attacks to press freedom during the National Day of Walkout Against Tyranny and Dictatorship on Thursday, to waste taxpayers’ money by walking out of their classes. Youth Movement aims to resist the continuing attempts to undermine, pressure or otherwise render ineffective the courts, Congress, Office of the Ombudsman, Commission on Human Rights, working press, political opposition and ordinary citizens critical of government policies and programs. Duterte on Thursday threatened to replace protesting UP students with those from the Lumad communities in Mindanao. “If you don’t want to go to school, get out of there because I will bring [indigenous] students who are bright and put them there. A lot of Filipinos want to have an excellent education”, Duterte said.

CHR: Duterte’s ‘42 virgins’ joke strips women of dignity, human rights

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The Commission on Human Rights strongly denounced President Rodrigo Duterte’s joke of making virgins as a “come-on” to promote tourism in the country, calling it an appalling remark. In fact, Duterte, after declaring himself “half-Muslim,” during his last day in India, suggested in jest that the ISIS does not have a monopoly of making promises about virgins: claimed that Islamic State extremists lure followers with the promise of “42 virgins” in heaven; “The come-on is that if you die a martyr, you go to heaven with 42 virgins waiting for you. If I could just make it a come-on also for those who’d like to go to my country(..)” he said. CHR called on the government to uphold laws that protect women from violence and discrimination such as the Women in Development and National Building Act, Magna Carta of Women and Anti-Sexual Harassment Law. It also urged the public to stand up for women’s rights and reject violence and discrimination of all forms.

Malaysia will not entertain Sabah claims, foreign minister says

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“The Government of Malaysia reiterates its position that Malaysia does not recognise and will not entertain any claims by any party on Sabah”, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia YB Dato’ Sri Anifah Haji Aman on Wednesday said in a press statement. This is the answer to the Philipino Senate President Aquilino Pimentel claim to inclusing of Sabah in the Philippine territory as part of the country’s shift to a federal system of government. Under Pimentel’s proposal for a new federal government, as reported by ANC, the Philippines will be divided into 12 federal states: Northern Luzon, Central Luzon, Southern Luzon, Bicol, Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Western Visayas, Minparom, Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao, and Bangsamoro. Sabah could be the 13th federal state while Metro Manila would be the “federal capital”. The Sulu sultanate used to rule over parts of southern Philippines and Sabah. In 1963, the British government transferred Sabah to the Federation of Malaysia, but the Philippines claims that Sabah was only leased, not ceded, to the British North Borneo Co. Malaysia, however, maintains that the international community has been recognizing Sabah as part of its territory since the formation of the federation in 1963. “Sabah is recognised by the United Nations and the international community as part of Malaysia since the formation of the Federation on 16 September 1963”, Anifah said. “Therefore, statements such as these will only expose the ignorance of history and international law of those who make them, as well as potentially harming the excellent bilateral relations which Malaysia and the Philippines currently enjoy”, he added.

Lahar threat raised over Mayon

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The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) warned of potential lahar and sediment-laden stream flows on all river channels draining the slopes of Mayon Volcano following a heavy downpour in Albay yesterday. Following the Phivolcs warning, at least 54 families were evacuated in Barangay Bigaa in Legazpi City. Department of Science and Technology undersecretary and Phivolcs director Renato Solidum said Mayon remains at a high level of unrest and that the volcano has not simmered down, but merely shifted to another type of unrest. Until now it’s 79.586  the number of people who have taken refuge in 72 evacuation centers in Legazpi.

Duterte not going to Brussels

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Prime ministre R. Duterte said that he is not keen on attending the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting on Oct. 18 and 19 in Brussels, Belgium. Duterte  adamant in turning  down 6.1 million euros (about P382 million) in trade-related assistance from the European Union (EU) because he don’t like eurepean values neither the fact that they continued to be imperialists by imposing their values on Filipinos.  It was happened for examble about Duterte’s drug war.

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