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Philippine Mayor Accused of Being Chinese Spy

Alice Guo said to be in hiding following allegations of fraud, human trafficking

(Newser) - Philippine officials are searching for a local mayor accused of being a Chinese spy. Alice Guo, mayor of the town of Bamban, has gone into hiding after refusing multiple requests to appear at investigative hearings centered on scams operating out of a casino facility "on land partially owned by...

Investigation: US Military Ran Major Anti-Vax Campaign

Reuters reports the Pentagon orchestrated one in the Philippines during COVID to discredit China

(Newser) - At one point during the COVID pandemic, then-Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte was so exasperated about how few citizens were getting vaccinations that he made an unusual threat. "You choose, vaccine or I will have you jailed," he told the nation in a televised address in June 2021. What...

This Ship Could Trigger a War
This Ship Could
Trigger a War

This Ship Could Trigger a War

'Washington Post' explains how aging Philippines vessel may lead to conflict with China

(Newser) - Earlier this month, President Biden asserted that US support for the Philippines is "ironclad." A new story in the Washington Post explains how that promise might be tested in the not-too-distant future thanks to a rusting warship.
  • The ship: The BRP Sierra Madre belongs to the Philippines, which

Biden: Support for Japan, Philippines Is 'Ironclad'

China's actions at sea have caused growing concern

(Newser) - President Biden reinforced the US defense commitment to Pacific allies on Thursday as he gathered Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the White House. The meeting took place against a backdrop of growing concern about provocative Chinese military action in the Indo-Pacific, the AP...

Christian Gets Nailed to Cross for 35th Time

He was one of 10 Filipinos crucified in annual ritual

(Newser) - A Filipino villager has been nailed to a wooden cross for the 35th time to reenact Jesus Christ's suffering in a brutal Good Friday tradition he said he would devote to praying for peace in Ukraine, Gaza, and the disputed South China Sea. Reuters reports that thousands of people,...

Hundreds of 'Good-Looking' People Lured for 'Love Scam'
They Were Lured In, Then Made
to Carry Out 'Love Scams'
in case you missed it

They Were Lured In, Then Made to Carry Out 'Love Scams'

In this case out of the Philippines, some of the scammers were victims themselves

(Newser) - What claimed to be an online gambling firm was, in fact, a scam center that had trapped hundreds of "good-looking" people, who were then forced to woo unsuspecting victims, according to police in the Philippines, who raided the center 60 miles north of Manila on Thursday. Authorities served warrants...

Taylor Swift, Singapore Cut Deal and Neighbors Aren't Happy

Enter the growing industry of event tourism

(Newser) - We know Taylor Swift concerts generate billions in consumer spending . And now we know countries are willing to pay big for the advantage, at the cost of their neighbors missing out. Earlier this week, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong confirmed the country's tourism board paid an undisclosed sum—...

Leader Slammed for Taking Helicopter to Coldplay Concert

Traffic in Manila was so bad that Chris Martin wrote an impromptu song about it

(Newser) - Traffic in Manila ahead of Coldplay's concert in the northern suburbs of the Philippines capital was so bad that frontman Chris Martin sang an impromptu song about it—but it wasn't a problem for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. The president, his wife, and their entourage arrived at the...

First a 7.6 Magnitude Quake, Now a Tsunami Warning

(Newser) - A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.6 struck Saturday night off the coast of the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, and Philippine authorities issued a tsunami warning. The quake struck at 10:37pm local time at a depth of 20 miles, according to the US Geological Survey....

'World's Saddest Elephant' Dies After Decades of Isolation

Mali was the only elephant in the Philippines for decades

(Newser) - An elephant that animal rights activists called the "world's saddest" has died in Manila, where she was the only elephant in the zoo—and the country. Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna announced the death of the female Asian elephant on Wednesday, CBS News reports. Mali—short for Vishwa Ma'...

Big Quake Hits, Crumbling Mall Ceilings

Magnitude 6.7 temblor caused ceilings to plunge to the ground at 2 shopping centers in Philippines

(Newser) - A powerful undersea earthquake shook the southern Philippines on Friday, causing ceilings in shopping malls to plunge to the ground as shoppers screamed. There were no immediate reports of injuries, and no tsunami warning was in effect. The magnitude 6.7 quake was located 16 miles from Burias at the...

Radio Anchor Fatally Shot on Livestream

Philippine broadcaster Juan Jumalon was killed by unknown assailant as people watched on Facebook

(Newser) - A radio anchor was fatally shot by a man inside his southern Philippine station Sunday in a brazen attack that was witnessed by people watching the program live on Facebook. The gunman gained entry into the home-based radio station of provincial news broadcaster Juan Jumalon by pretending to be a...

Musk: X Is Implementing 'Not a Bot' Fee

CEO of former Twitter says new users in 2 nations are being charged $1 to tweet, retweet, like posts

(Newser) - If you've been fearing the day would come when X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, would start to charge regular non-blue-check people for the privilege of posting, that day has come, for some. Fortune reports that the social media site began hitting new users only—and just those...

Ad Agency Sorry Tourism Video Used 'Inappropriate' Images

Some 'Philippines' footage was actually from UAE, Brazil, and other nations, agency sheepishly admits

(Newser) - There's nothing wrong with sharing a promotional video showing off your country's breathtaking rice terraces and sand dunes—unless, of course, those rice terraces and sand dunes aren't actually in your own country. That's what ad agency DDB Philippines is now apologizing for after it was...

800K Maryland License Plates Feature a Very Odd URL

Website on older plates now lead to a site that promotes online casinos in the Philippines

(Newser) - Nearly 800,000 cars in Maryland are driving around with older license plates featuring a tribute to the War of 1812, as well as a URL that's causing the state's Motor Vehicle Administration a bit of a headache. Per WBAL , the plates feature a drawing of Fort McHenry,...

Real-Life Crucifixions Are Back After 3-Year COVID Pause

Church frowns on Good Friday reenactment of Jesus' suffering, but it's tradition in Philippines

(Newser) - Eight Filipinos were nailed to crosses to reenact Jesus Christ's suffering in a gory Good Friday tradition that draws thousands of devotees and tourists to the Philippines, despite the practice being rejected by the Catholic Church. The real-life crucifixions in the farming village of San Pedro Cutud in Pampanga...

This Nation Spends the Most Time Online

South Africans spend average 578 minutes per day on the internet, per Atlas VPN

(Newser) - It can be hard to accurately estimate how much time we spend online, though Atlas VPN notes that for many of us, it's a "significant portion of our day." Using data on internet usage trends among internet users 16 to 64 years old, the VPN service found...

Biden's Critics Have a Theme: Shoot Down the Balloon

Pentagon is so far resisting the idea

(Newser) - China has admitted that the balloon first spotted high above Montana is one of its own. Beijing insists it's a wayward weather balloon, while the US suspects it's a spy balloon. Whichever is the case, a theme has emerged on the right. "SHOOT DOWN THE BALLOON,"...

US Just Made a Move to Counter China

US forces get access to 4 more sites in the Philippines

(Newser) - The US has struck a military deal with the Philippines in what the New York Times and the Washington Post see as a clear move to counter China's might in the region. Defense chief Lloyd Austin and Philippines leader Ferdinand Marcos Jr. announced Thursday that US forces will have...

Protesters Denounce Human Rights Abuses

Extrajudicial killings are increasing under Marcos, Philippine opponents say

(Newser) - Hundreds of people marched in the Philippine capital on Saturday protesting what they said was a rising number of extrajudicial killings and other injustices under the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. The protesters, led by a Philippines-based rights group, gathered at a public square in Manila before marching toward...

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