Monthly Archives: February 2017

Duterte supporters, protesters rally in Manila


MANILA: Thousands of supporters and foes of President Rodrigo Duterte joined substantial rallies in Manila on Saturday, on the thirty first anniversary of the Edsa People Electric power Revolution that toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

The rival rallies spotlight how Mr Duterte’s brutal drug war has polarised the Philippines.

His supporters held a prayer rally for his 8 months-extended anti-narcotics crackdown. It drew the major turnout, approximated by police at up to two hundred,000 despite the fact that AFP reporters explained it looked a great deal a lot less.

“Your presence below showcases the strong assist that your president carries on to enjoy,” Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre told the group at the prayer rally, who lit candles and sang religious tracks.

The 71-yr-old president, who invested the weekend in his southern property town of Davao, received the election very last yr right after promising through the marketing campaign to eradicate medicines in society by killing tens of 1000’s of people.

He released the crackdown right after taking business in June and police have reported killing two,555 drug suspects due to the fact then, with about four,000 other people murdered in unexplained situation.

Duterte critics which include previous president Benigno Aquino and Vice President Leni Robredo, who was elected separately from the president, joined 1 of the other rallies held near the countrywide police headquarters in Manila.

This collecting marked the thirty first anniversary of the victory of a pro-democracy movement that culminated in a bloodless “People Electric power” revolution that finished the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship.

Activists on their way to protest in entrance of the Armed Forces of the Philippines headquarters in Manila on Feb 25, 2017. (Image: Noel Celis/AFP)

Some at this rally criticised the drug killings, many of which have been described by global foreign screens as condition-sanctioned murder.

The protesters warned they foreshadowed a different dictatorship. By dusk some sections of the protesters had been overtly calling for Duterte’s elimination from business, chanting “Down with Duterte”.

“We are warning our people about the risk of growing fascism,” protest leader Bonifacio Ilagan told AFP right after primary extra than 1,000 protesters at a different rally previously Saturday.

Ilagan, a playwright who was tortured above two decades in a police prison underneath Marcos’ martial rule in the nineteen seventies, cited the “culture of impunity” arising from Duterte’s crackdown.

Duterte, who ranks Marcos as 1 of the country’s best-at any time presidents, has not dominated out employing martial law himself to protect against what he describes as the country’s slide to narco-condition status.

PROTEST Towards SENATOR’S ARREST

Previous yr, Duterte stoked substantial road protests when he allowed the Marcos family to bury the previous leader’s stays at Manila’s Cemetery for Heroes.

Wearing a black shirt, Aquino marched together with political allies and all around two,000 other protesters.

He denounced the government’s cure of Senator Leila de Lima, the top critic of the Duterte drug war, who was arrested on Friday and faces life in prison if convicted of medicines costs.

De Lima, Aquino’s previous justice minister, explained the arrest was an act of revenge for her decade-extended efforts to expose Duterte as the leader of loss of life squads through his time as mayor of Davao.

“By arresting Senator Leila de Lima on politically enthusiastic drug costs, President Duterte is correctly expanding his ‘drug war’,” Human Rights View deputy Asia director Phelim Kine explained in a assertion.

“Not only Congress, but other pillars of Philippine democracy really should be deeply fearful,” the formal from the US-dependent legal rights monitor additional.

At 1 place through the rally attended by Aquino, tempers rose as several protesters confronted a dozen youthful people who elevated clenched fists while holding up a pro-Duterte banner nearby.

“Why did you market your soul?” a white-haired male in a black shirt explained, jabbing his finger at 1 of the Duterte supporters and telling him the president was “accountable” for drug-associated murders.

“They (fatalities) are nonetheless getting investigated,” the youthful male replied calmly.

Television footage showed police hosing down a group of at least 100 people protesting the drug killings, although no 1 was very seriously wounded.

In a individual demonstration Saturday, all around a hundred and fifty anti-Marcos protesters chanting “Exhume him” marched on the cemetery exactly where he is buried, but riot police stopped them near the gate, an AFP photographer noticed.



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Chestnut Mother nature Park, Singapore&#039s premier, completely opens


SINGAPORE: The northern part of Chestnut Mother nature Park was opened on Saturday (Feb twenty five) – marking the completion of Singapore’s premier mother nature park.

Collectively with the southern part opened very last calendar year, the park now totals 81 hectares – virtually the sizing of the 82-ha Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Part of the 5.6-km climbing path at Chestnut Mother nature Park. (Picture: Vanessa Lim)

Found near the Central Catchment Mother nature Reserve, the park is the initially in Singapore to have different climbing and mountain biking trails. With the opening of the northern part, the park’s biking path has been extended from one.6km to eight.2km, whilst the climbing path has been extended from two.1km to 5.6km.

Hikers can trek immediately from Chestnut Mother nature Park to Dairy Farm Mother nature Park, whilst mountain bikers have accessibility to trails with unique amounts of troubles, ranging from moderately tricky to exceptionally tricky. The park also has a pump keep track of in which cyclists can endeavor stunts.

With the opening of the park’s northern part, the mountain biking path has been extended to eight.2km. (Picture: Vanessa Lim)

Senior Minister of Condition for House Affairs and Countrywide Advancement Desmond Lee officiated the opening of the park’s northern part on Saturday morning and accompanied about two hundred inhabitants and volunteers on the climbing path.

Mr Lee also introduced that a different two parks will be opened more than the subsequent two several years. Windsor Mother nature Park, found near Higher Thomson Road, will open up afterwards this calendar year, whilst Thomson Mother nature Park will open up by conclude of subsequent calendar year.

“Mother nature parks are specific and they play a exceptional position in our ‘City in a Garden’,” explained Mr Lee, introducing that the parks present opportunities for Singaporeans to expertise biodiversity, and act as green buffers to defend the reserves from the impression of urbanisation.



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Some motorcycle consumers come to feel the pinch, but LTA suggests ARF variations &#039carefully calibrated&#039


SINGAPORE: National serviceman Izz Akmal was preserving up to invest in a bigger motorcycle. But soon after the modern variations to the motorcycle tax process that make it a lot more highly-priced to get that higher-end bicycle, he explained that his strategies to up grade his Gilera VXR has been stopped in its tracks.

“I am really positive that my chances of having a bigger bicycle are fairly slender,” the 24-year-aged explained. “Now I definitely strategy to lengthen my COE (Certification of Entitlement) presently.” The COE for Mr Akmal’s motorcycle expires in September.

Dealers told Channel NewsAsia that they also are experience the pinch.

“Profits-intelligent, absolutely destructive for the significant-capacity bikes. Ideally we see an enhance in the compact-capacity bikes or the mid-tier,” explained distributor Eugene Mah.

Mr Mah’s business, Mah Pte Ltd, can make 20 to thirty per cent of its profits from significant-capacity bikes.

“For the reason that we deal with mostly the mid- or the higher-ends, the bulk of our shoppers are in the 2nd tier,” he explained, referring to bikes with open market values (OMVs) of concerning S$five,000 and S$10,000.

“I know that in general, of study course, you will find the very first tier – ideally they do advantage from this new plan, but judging from modern COE (price ranges), it may not be the scenario.”

Mr Mah explained he and other sellers were stunned to see COE rates go up on Friday (Feb 24) in the very first bidding work out considering that the new process was declared.

He characteristics this to panic getting – shoppers wanting to get a motorcycle ahead of variations to the Extra Registration Price (ARF) kick in.

He added that his business may enhance price ranges “marginally” and that the ARF variations may consequence in a more compact selection of bikes currently being brought into Singapore.

“There are some versions that have experienced their price ranges enhanced so substantially that they may not be brought in, owing to it not creating company sense to provide in the bicycle any longer,” he explained.

Far more THAN 50 % OF NEW Bikes UNAFFECTED: LTA

In reaction to queries, the Land Transportation Authority (LTA) explained the new ARF process has been “meticulously calibrated” to be certain that a lot more than fifty percent of newly registered bikes will not be influenced by the variations.

In accordance to LTA figures, of the 8,336 bikes registered in 2016, sixty three per cent – individuals that occur underneath Tier – would not have experienced to pay any supplemental ARF.

(Resource: LTA)

“The 19 per cent in Tier 1 would pay up to S$1,750 a lot more,” LTA explained.

“Of the top eighteen per cent of bikes in Tier two, with OMV above S$10,000, only seven bikes in 2016 would have experienced to pay a lot more than S$20,000 a lot more in ARF centered on their OMVs of a lot more than $thirty,000.”

LTA pointed out that the OMV of these kinds of bikes is equivalent to that of a Honda Odyssey two.4 EXV-S CVT – a vehicle that comes underneath Category B, which is utilised for much larger and a lot more strong vehicles. 

It added that well-liked motorcycle versions these kinds of as the Yamaha Jupiter T150, Honda CBF190WH and Yamaha FZN one hundred fifty would not be influenced. These are bikes with OMVs of underneath S$five,000, and whose new proprietors will continue on to pay the present-day fifteen per cent in ARF.

(Resource: LTA)

In the 2017 Budget, it was also declared that bikes will no for a longer time be element of the COE quota in the open group, or Category E.

Some have named this a silver lining. Mr Mah, for one, explained this would signify a lot more offer – some thing shoppers would welcome.

But in the end, he explained he also hopes the authorities can further tweak the process.

“Now you have fellas who do not market their bikes mainly because getting a new bicycle is just also highly-priced – they’ll renew (the COEs),” Mr Mah explained. “Smaller bicycle capacity consumers will nevertheless carry on getting mainly because they will need it, and the fellas who utilised to be in a position to pay for a significant bicycle may have to downgrade to a mid-tier one. So this will really travel the demand from customers for COEs, and if the offer is not enhanced significantly, it is just heading to be a cycle.”

“We are striving to attractiveness to the authorities and striving to see how, as much as possible, not to transfer the price over to the shoppers,” he added.



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Kim Jong Nam probe: Chemical weapon VX nerve agent made use of, Malaysia law enforcement say


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian law enforcement explained on Friday (Feb 24) a preliminary report showed the murder of Kim Jong Nam was carried out with a remarkably poisonous chemical known as VX nerve agent.

The Inspector Normal of Malaysia Khalid Abu Bakar explained in a push release that the Centre for Chemical Weapons recognized the substance in its preliminary analysis. 

The law enforcement explained swabs have been taken from the eye and the experience of the useless North Korean countrywide. “Other exhibits are under analysis,” Khalid explained in the assertion.

Malaysian law enforcement additional the substance was recognized as ethyl S-two-Diisopropylaminoethyl methylphosphonothiolate (or VX nerve agent) in a report by its chemistry section. The substance is a chemical weapon labeled as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations. Malaysian law enforcement have been investigating whether or not the unlawful VX was introduced into the state of made there, and authorities have been sweeping the airport and other locations for radioactive materials.

“If the sum of the chemical introduced in was modest, it would be hard for us to detect,” Khalid instructed reporters.

VX is tasteless and odourless, and is outlawed under the Chemical Weapons Convention, other than for “analysis, health-related or pharmaceutical reasons”.

It can be manufactured as a liquid, cream or aerosol. Absorbed in substantial doses, it is fatal immediately after 15 minutes, in accordance to the U.S. Army’s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, producing it the most poisonous known nerve agent in the earth.

Kim Jong Nam is the 50 %-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The human body of a North Korean man who died in an evident assassination at Kuala Lumpur Intercontinental Airport on Feb 13 has been unclaimed in a Kuala Lumpur healthcare facility.

His passport identifies him as “Kim Chol”, but law enforcement have to have DNA, health-related and dental documents to confirm who he is.  

Law enforcement main Khalid explained earlier that a Vietnamese female and a Indonesian female wiped a liquid on Kim Jong Nam’s experience. They afterwards washed their arms and fled the scene.

Airport camera footage produced on Monday by Japanese broadcaster Fuji Tv set exhibits the moment the women appeared to assault Kim Jong Nam, who is afterwards found inquiring airport officers for health-related aid. He died on the way to healthcare facility.

Law enforcement arrested the two women – one Vietnamese and the other Indonesian – and a North Korean man final week. They are also looking for seven other North Koreans wanted in relationship with the circumstance, like a diplomat at the embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

Chemicals SEIZED FROM KL Apartment: REPORT

Law enforcement seized chemical substances from a Kuala Lumpur condominium on Friday, The Star noted. 

The report explained a Malaysian man led authorities to the scene, immediately after one of the suspects who was earlier detained by law enforcement as aspect of the probe into Kim Jong Nam’s murder exposed his identification. 

“Police are not ruling out the probability that the Malaysian man could have expertise in chemistry,” noted The Star citing a supply. 

The Star report additional that “forensics officers have been found carrying devices into the residential block”.

South Korean and US officers have explained they imagine North Korean agents assassinated Kim Jong Nam, who experienced been living in the Chinese territory of Macau under Beijing’s safety.

North Korea is believed to have the world’s 3rd-major stockpile of chemical weapons, in accordance to the Nuclear Threat Initiative venture, which analyses weapons of mass destruction.

South Korean analysts have recognized sarin and VX as the concentration of the North Korean chemical weapons method.

SUSPECTS Required

Malaysian authorities on Thursday asked for Interpol to put an inform out to apprehend 4 North Korean suspects who are believed to have fled Malaysia on the working day of the assault.

They also want to issue the next secretary at the North Korean embassy, even though he has diplomatic immunity, and are looking for two other North Koreans, like an staff at the state-owned airline Air Koryo, who are even now believed to be in Malaysia.

The investigation has resulted in fraught relations among two nations that experienced hitherto managed welcoming ties.

North Korea has explained the Southeast Asian country need to be held responsible for the killing of one of its citizens, even though it has not acknowledged that the victim is the 50 % brother of the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Malaysia has recalled its ambassador from Pyongyang for consultations.



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