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Man dies after hugging ‘Goodbye Philippines’

By Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos As millions in the country said goodbye to 2015 with fireworks and firecrackers, a woman in Sta. Mesa, Manila had to also say goodbye to her partner after the latter died by hugging a lit firecracker. Reports identified the victim as Ronald Vericio, 45, pedicab driver, a resident from Buenos Aires St., Sta. Mesa, Manila. Vericio was reportedly rushed to the Ospital ng Sampaloc but was transferred to Ospital ng Maynila where he died around 1:45 a.m. of January 1, 2015 while being treated. Initial investigation disclosed that according to Kristina Serrano, Vericio's live-in partner, the "Goodbye Philippines"-hugging incident happened around 12:10 a.m. Serrano told police that she prohibited her then already drunk husband to not go out their house and light firecrackers but Vericio reportedly sneaked out. According to witnesses, …

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Pia thanks significant people on her journey to Miss Universe

Pia Wurtzbach started 2016 by expressing her gratefulness to God and to the people who supported her as she journeyed to achieve the Miss Universe crown. The 26-year-old beauty queen shared on Instagram, January 1, 2016, a photo which captured her winning moment during the coronation night. It was the first time she posted a lengthy message of appreciation to those who comprised her support system. Among the mentioned are God, her trainer Aces & Queens, her family (who she named as Mama, Papa, Sarah, Charlie, and Lara), a special person who she only addressed as "YOU", those who voted for her, and her kababayans. In her post using the verified Instagram account of Miss Universe, she revealed that she, in tears, begged God countless of times in every church she has visited. …

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Weird weather brings warm welcome to 2016

With temperatures above freezing at the North Pole, deadly tornadoes in Texas, extreme heat in Australia and floods in Britain and Missouri, the world is beset by extreme weather events as it welcomes 2016. A powerful and destructive low-pressure system in the North Atlantic has pushed the mercury up to two degrees Celsius (35.6 Fahrenheit) at the pole, 20 degrees above the seasonal norm. The Arctic has borne the brunt of global warming, with temperatures three degrees higher than the pre-industrial era. But linking the current mild conditions to climate change is premature, warned Natalie Hasell, meteorologist at the Canadian Department of the Environment, saying that scientists do not base their conclusions "on one anomaly". The North Atlantic depression also brought eastern Canada an unusually warm holiday period, with temperatures hitting 15.9 degrees Celsius …

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PH beauty bags another crown before 2015 ends

Another Filipina beauty queen, Leren Mae Bautista, was crowned as the Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International, December 31, 2015. The beauty queen from Laguna joins Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, Miss Globe Ann Lorraine Colis, and Miss Earth Angelia Ong in the list of beauty queens who won the titles in the pageants they respectively competed in the recently concluded year. READ MORE: Philippines is ‘Country of the Year 2015′ in beauty pageants: GB According to the Miss Tourism organizers, Miss India won the Dream Girl of the Year International; Miss Iceland, Miss Tourism Cosmopolitan International; Miss Lithuania, Miss Tourism Global International; and Miss Uganda, Miss Tourism Metroplolitan International. The competition was held at Putrajaya Marriot Hotel & Spa Grand Ballroom in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Bautista bagged the grand title of Mutya ng Pilipinas 2015. READ MORE: Laguna beauty wins grand title of …

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Cameras allow New Year’s views all over world

NEW YORK — If you aren't looking for a rockin' New Year's Eve or forced small talk between television hosts, an online service is offering a way to experience the beginning of 2016 as it happens all over the world. New Year's Eve is usually the year's most popular day at EarthCam.com, a 20-year-old service that shows live camera views from hundreds of landmarks. The hourly celebrations began at 11 a.m. EST with beach fireworks on the Philippine island of Boracay and continue until the last stroke of midnight in Kauai, Hawaii, five hours behind Times Square. The celebrations are offered without fanfare, or commentators. "We do get comments people that they appreciate that this is a clean feed," said Lisa Kelly, strategic sales director at EarthCam. "It's not edited — it's real …

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Facebook glitch celebrates 46 years of online friendship

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook's making some of its users feel a lot older than they really are. The social network sent automated messages Thursday inviting some users to celebrate "46 years of friendship on Facebook" with one or more of their online friends. That's odd, since Facebook only started in 2004. And some people who got the message are in their 20s and 30s. Facebook blamed a software bug. It didn't offer details, but computer experts speculate the problem stems from a quirk in Unix, an operating system used in big data centers where companies like Facebook store information. The glitch starts the internal calendar on some computers at midnight, Greenwich Mean Time, Jan. 1, 1970. Facebook said its engineers are fixing the problem "so everyone can ring in 2016 feeling young again."

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World welcomes New Year despite terror fears

The world greeted 2016 with Champagne and cheers, but tightened security put a damper on the party in Europe and a huge fire at a hotel in Dubai scared gathering revellers. Fireworks were cancelled in Brussels and Paris as November's terror attacks cast a pall, but Dubai put on a spectacular show as it refused to let the hotel blaze, which injured 16 people, disrupt celebrations. Sydney, traditionally the first to host a major New Year's bash, kicked off the global festivities when it lit up the skies with pyrotechnics at the stroke of midnight (1300 GMT). In Dubai, a huge fire ripped through a luxury 63-storey hotel, the Address Downtown, close to the world's tallest tower where people had gathered to ring in the New Year. Despite the dramatic scenes from the inferno, …

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Firework-related injuries at 185 as of New Year’s Eve –DOH

The number of firework-related injuries (FWRIs) reached 185 on New Year's Eve after 37 more cases were added to the previous 148 cases on the 10th day of the Department of Health's (DOH) "Iwas-Paputok Injury Reduction 2015" campaign. Of the latest number of victims, 155 or 86 percent were males. Of them, 135 sustained hand injuries and 20 head injuries. Majority of the FWRIs -- totaling 149 -- involved children less than 14 years old. Of the total 185 injuries, at least three cases required amputations. As usual, the illegal piccolo firecracker was the top cause, accounting for 133 injuries. A total of 142 victims involved active igniters while the others were passive or did not ignite firecrackers themselves but were merely bystanders and innocent victims. Meanwhile, one more case of stray bullet incident has been …

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PH storm-free until weekend

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on January 1, 2016 said the country will remain storm-free in the first three days of the year. In an interview, PAGASA weather forecaster Aldczar Aurelio said the agency has not seen any weather disturbance near the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) that may develop into tropical cyclone within the next three days or until weekend. He said the agency expect zero to one tropical cyclone to affect the country this month. He noted the first tropical cyclone will be locally named "Ambo". Most parts of the Luzon including Metro Manila will continue to experience cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to the two weather systems affecting the country. Aurelio said the northeast monsoon is now affecting Northern Luzon while tail-end of a cold front prevails …

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