Pope praises the diplomacy of US-Cuba accord

Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 08:45 p.m.

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has praised the "small steps" of diplomacy and peacemaking that brought about the rapprochement between the U.S. and Cuba.

In his first public comments about the breakthrough, Francis told new ambassadors on Thursday that diplomacy was a "noble job."

Aquino asks soldiers to shun partisan politics

Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 05:40 p.m.

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III urged the soldiers on Thursday not to allow themselves to be used by politicians for their own interest comes 2016 elections.

Aquino made the statement during the 79th anniversary of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

Lacson wants to transfer rehab duties to NDRRMC

Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 05:15 p.m.

PRESIDENTIAL Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (PARR) Panfilo Lacson said Thursday that the mandate of his office would be transferred to a permanent agency by early next year.

In a statement, Lacson said rehabilitation and reconstruction works in Yolanda-ravaged areas could be done by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

SWS: 7 in 10 Filipinos expect happy Christmas

Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 04:21 p.m.

MANILA -- Seven out of 10 Filipinos expect a happy Christmas this year, according to the latest survey by Social Weather Stations (SWS).

Aircraft restriction at Tacloban airport lifted

Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 03:49 p.m.

MANILA -- The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) lifted Thursday its aircraft restriction at the Daniel Z. Romualdez (DZR) Airport, also known as the Tacloban Airport.

“Aircraft type restriction at Tacloban Airport lifted,” CAAP said via Twitter.

Palace: Justice for Laude should prevail despite custody issue

Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 03:16 p.m.

(UPDATED) THE issue on the custody of a United States Marine should not be a cause of delay in getting justice for Filipino transgender whom he allegedly killed, a Palace official said Thursday.

The US government has insisted that Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton, suspect on the murder of Jeffrey "Jennifer" Laude, would remain under its custody despite the request of the Philippine government following the issuance of warrant of arrest against him by a local court in Olongapo City.

Avon Products settles bribery charges for $135M

Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 02:34 p.m.

NEW YORK -- The world's largest direct seller of cosmetics, Avon Products Inc., will pay $135 million to settle criminal and civil charges after its China unit pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by bribing officials there.

Australian leader: Siege may have been preventable

Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 01:56 p.m.

SYDNEY -- Australia's prime minister said Thursday that a deadly siege in a Sydney cafe may have been preventable, as the chorus of critics demanding to know why the gunman was out on bail despite facing a string of violent charges grew louder.

Man Haron Monis, a 50-year-old Iranian-born, self-styled cleric with a lengthy criminal history, burst into a downtown Sydney cafe on Monday wielding a shotgun, taking 17 people hostage. The siege ended 16 hours later when police stormed into the cafe to free the captives, two of whom were killed in a barrage of gunfire, along with Monis.

DOH warns public over hazardous toys

Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 12:39 p.m.

THE Department of Health (DOH) urged godparents on Thursday not to give their young godchild toys that could eventually harm them this holiday season.

The department said godparents should avoid buying toys that are capable of pricking, cutting or choking children under age three.

Senate approves 2014 supplemental budget

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - 07:26 p.m.

MANILA -- Senators approved on third and final reading Wednesday the P22.467-billion supplemental budget, two days after the House of Representatives gave its nod on the same measure.

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