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Powerful earthquake in western Japan, no danger of tsunami

A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.6 shakes western Japan, but there is no danger of a tsunami being caused. The Meteorological Agency said the earthquake occurred Friday at 2:10 p.m. (0510 GMT) in Japan’s western prefecture of Tottori, about 700 kilometers (430 miles) west of Tokyo, at a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles) underground. The agency said there was no danger of a tsunami from the inland temblor. There was no immediate report of injuries or damage from the quake.

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South Korean vessel seajacked in Tawi-Tawi; 2 crew members hostaged

A South Korea-flagged ship was seajacked by armed men aboard a speedboat off the waters of Bongao, Tawi-Tawi on Thursday, with two crew members taken hostage, the military reported Friday, October 21. The Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command (AFP WestMinCom) said Park Chul Hong, captain of MV Dong Bang Giant, and crew member Glenn Alindajao, from Cebu, were reportedly seized by 10 suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) under Jul Hassan. The cargo ship came from Australia and is transiting en route to South Korea when the seajacking happened at about 2:45 p.m. Thursday. Reports disclosed that the perpetrators are alleged followers of  Sulu-based Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Idang Susukan. Army Major Filemon Tan Jr., AFP WestMinCom spokesman, said the Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi has already alerted all units and dispatched military assets …

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NDRRMC: 7 confirmed dead due to Lawin; recovery underway

Seven people are confirmed dead due to landslides triggered by Super Typhoon Lawin in northern Luzon as recovery and restoration efforts are underway, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported. The fatalities, confirmed by the Department of Interior and Local Government, are identified as follows: Edgar Genese, 40, from San Fabian, Pangasinan; killed in La Trinidad, Benguet Jonie Borja, 25, from Damortis, La Union; killed in La Trinidad, Benguet Jhon Carlos Hatap, 19, from Sablang, Kibungan; killed in Sablang Joshua T. Hella, 19, from Negros Oriental; killed in Sablang Jessie M. Hella, 19, from Sapat, Kibungan; killed in Sablang Jay-ar Chawagan, 15, from Hungduan, Ifugao; killed in Hungduan Jeramel Alfaro, 17, from Hungduan, Ifugao; killed in Hungduan In a press briefing Friday morning, October 21, NDRRMC spokesperson Romina Marasigan said they are still verifying if five other …

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OPAPP calls violent US embassy rally dispersal ‘pure insanity’

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) criticized the manner of dispersal of protesters at the US embassy last Wednesday, October 19, calling it as ‘pure insanity,’ while awaiting swift results on the investigation by the Philippine National Police to determine the culpability of those involved in the incident.

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Philippine gov’t has not asked to end ties to U.S.—White House

The White House said on Thursday, October 20 the Philippine government has not officially asked to end any security or economic ties between the U.S. and Manila. “We have not received any official requests from Filipino officials to alter any of our many issues where we bilaterally cooperate,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters during a briefing.

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Storm signals lifted as weaker “Haima” heads to China

All tropical cyclone warning signals in the country have been lifted as Typhoon Lawin (international name: Haima) continues to move away from the Philippine area of responsibility. As per the 10:00 p.m. and final bulletin of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Lawin was last spotted at 390 km west northwest of Laoag, Ilocos Norte. The typhoon has further weakened and decelerated, with maximum sustained winds and gusts reaching 120 kph and 150 kph, respectively. It is moving north northwest at 19 kph en route to southeastern China, forecast to hit Hong Kong, then going east toward southern Japan by Sunday.

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Typhoon Lawin leaves PAR

Typhoon Lawin (international name: Haima) has already left the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR), the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) confirmed. In its 5:00 p.m. bulletin, the typhoon was last spotted at 260 km west northwest of Laoag, Ilocos Norte.

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Duterte declares cutting military, economic ties with US

As he vowed to veer towards China and Russia, President Rodrigo Duterte has finally announced plans to separate from the United States, particularly in terms of military and economic relations. “In this venue, I announce my separation from the United States, both in military, not social... and economic,” the President said in his impromptu remarks at the Philippine-China Trade and Investment Forum in Beijing. Duterte said it was already “checkmate” for the United States as he publicly rebuked the western nation for its unfair treatment of the Philippines over the years. The Philippine leader was particularly annoyed at the recent criticisms hurled by the United States against the alleged extrajudicial killings linked to his brutal campaign against illegal drugs. The President said he intends to “realign” with China and Russia, the perceived traditional rivals …

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Storm signals mostly lifted as Lawin heads outside PAR

After wreaking havoc as super typhoon over northern Luzon, Lawin (international name: Haima) has further weakened as it continues to veer away from the Luzon landmass. It is forecast to leave the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) at around 11:00 p.m. Thursday, October 20, or 24 hours after hitting land over Peñablanca, Cagayan. As the tropical cyclone deteriorated, tropical cyclone warning signals have been lifted. Only Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Abra are now under signal number 1, based on PAGASA’s 5:00 p.m. bulletin. Typhoon Lawin was last spotted at 240 km west northwest of Laoag, Ilocos Norte, with maximum sustained winds of up to 130 kph and gusts reaching 160 kph. It is now moving northwest at 22 kph. While no longer a threat to the country, sea travel remains risky over the northern and eastern seaboards …

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NBI Deputy Director Leuterio passes away

Atty. Leopoldo D. Leuterio, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) deputy director for Regional Operations Service (DDROS), succumbed to heart attack early Thursday, October 20, the bureau confirmed. In a statement, NBI spokesman Ferdinand Lavin said the Bureau is currently experiencing sadness and expressed deepest sympathy for the passing of 51-year-old Leuterio. “Director Leuterio’s untimely death is a big loss to the Bureau because of his full grasp of the mandates of the Bureau and its accomplishments,” Lavin said. He added that Leuterio was a veteran of the NBI, having been a graduate of the NBI Academy in 2000. Leuterio, an NBI veteran who graduated from the NBI Academy in 2000, was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte to the NBI last August 4 and took his oath the following day before Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II. Leuterio finished his …

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