Austrian lawmakers vote Kurz’s government out of office

Robie de Guzman   •   May 28, 2019   •   1264

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz | Courtesy: Reuters

Austrian lawmakers voted conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s government out of office on Monday, passing a motion of no confidence days after it became a caretaker administration in the wake of a video sting scandal.

The motion was backed by lawmakers from the Social Democrats and the far-right Freedom Party, which was in coalition with Kurz until a week ago when its leader became embroiled in the video sting and stepped down.

Kurz ended their alliance and led what was effectively a minority government.

Austria’s president must now appoint a chancellor to form a government that can garner parliament’s support until the next national election, expected to be held in September. (REUTERS)

6th Wish Music Awards pioneers a groundbreaking new normal for PH music industry

Marje Pelayo   •   January 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s top FM station Wish 107.5 staged another milestone in the Philippine music industry with a concert inside not just any venue but at the Big Dome on Sunday (January 17).

The radio station of the famed Wish Bus, once again proved that it is truly “breaking boundaries”, that despite the pandemic it was able to pull off a grand concert for a cause and gathered some of the top Filipino artists at the 6th Wish Music Awards hosted by celebrity-athlete Gretchen Ho and “Asia’s Romantic Balladeer,” Christian Bautista. 

“It’s so nice to see people get a chance again to perform for their fans live, to just have a feel of the stage again,” said Ho.

Attendees underwent swab testing, while health protocols and proper sanitation procedures were strictly observed.

Each of the hosts and performing artists was given a microphone for their exclusive use throughout the event.

For the RT-PCR and antigen tests, Wish 107.5 partnered with Maxicare Health Corporation.

Only attendees with negative results were allowed to enter the venue.

The entire Big Dome also underwent massive disinfection for the safety of the attendees.

All productions and technical crew were required to use face masks and face shield throughout the event and floor markings were placed to guide them of the proper social distance.

The event at the Big Dome was not opened to the public, but fans and supporters were still able to enjoy the show as it was streamed live through Wish 107.5’s official YouTube channel.

Viewers on Sunday night reached to over 40,000 and the event hashtag #WishMusicAwards trended on Twitter with almost 200,000 tweets.

This year, the station gave two prestigious awards to individuals who made major contributions to the Philippine music industry, starting off with OPM legend and renowned lyricist, Rey Valera and Journey frontman and singer-philanthropist, Arnel Pineda.

“It is an honor to be bestowed this prestigious award; the prize money you’re going to give to us will definitely make a difference to the lives of our beneficiaries,” Pineda said, receiving the KDR Icon of Music and Philanthropy award.

“Salamat sa Kuya Daniel. Natutuwa ako puro kabataan ang nakikita ko. Nakikita ko ang kinabukasan ng OPM. Napakinggan ko ang mga lyrics nila. Importante sa akin iyon. Gusto kong mangyari kung ano ang mangyayari bukas,” Valera said receiving the KDR Icon of Musical Excellence award.

Winners in this year’s Wish Music Awards received P25,000 each while their chosen charities received P100, 000 each.

Among the highlights at Sunday’s event was the debut performance at the Wish Awards of OPM royalty, ‘Parokya ni Edgar’ and the award-winning Australian singer-songwriter Guy Sebastian.

Wish 107.5’s creator and innovator Kuya Daniel Razon, who on Sunday graced the event inside the Wish Bus, expressed his gratitude to all OPM artists for keeping their music alive to heal, to inspire and to give hope in the face of a pandemic. 

“I wish to tell all of you, that your endeavors are very much appreciated,” noted Kuya Daniel, President and CEO of BMPI-UNTV which manages Wish 107.5.

“Ang inyong mga awitin at musika ay nanatili para patuloy na umaliw, patuloy na dumamay, sa bawat lumbay, sa bawat pangamba at sa bawat takot. Mayroon pong mga titik, mayroong tinig at tunog na palaging nagbibigay buhay at kahulugan sa mga damdaming ito. I would like to thank you all for being our hidden heroes during this difficult time,” he added.

Kuya Daniel vows to continue helping more Filipino artists by providing an avenue for the promotion of their music and an opportunity to spread goodwill through Wish 107.5. MNP (with reports from Mirasol Abogadil)

READ: 6th Wish 107.5 Music Awards: Complete List of Winners

Philippines bans entry of passengers from Austria

Marje Pelayo   •   January 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Passengers coming from or have been to Austria 14 days prior to arrival in the country shall be prohibited from entering the Philippines.

This brings the total number of restricted countries to 28.

“The restriction for those coming from Austria will start at 12:01 midnight of January 10, and will be in effect until January 15,” said the Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente announced.

Earlier, the government imposed a travel ban on travelers from the United Kingdom, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Israel, The Netherlands, Hong Kong SAR, Switzerland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Lebanon, Singapore, Sweden, South Korea, South Africa, Canada, Spain, and the United States.

The latest additions are Portugal, India, Finland, Norway, Jordan, and Brazil.

However, Morente clarified that Filipinos coming from said countries will be allowed entry, but will be referred to the airport’s one stop shop to “undergo an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period, notwithstanding a negative RT-PCR result.”

Those who will be merely transiting in the said 28 countries will not be required to undergo the 14 day quarantine, but will still have to undergo regular protocols for arriving passengers.

“They will be considered transiting if they merely stayed in the airport, were just there for a layover, and were not cleared for entry by immigration authorities in the said countries,” said Morente.

The expanded travel restrictions have been directed by Malacanang following the reported new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) variant from South Africa.

Suspects in Dacera rape-slay send ‘surrender feeler’; PNP insists victim was raped

Marje Pelayo   •   January 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) stands by the rape-slay angle in the death of flight attendant Christine Dacera on January 1 inside a hotel room in Makati City.

This is despite claims from suspects that they have no interest in women as they are members of the LGBT community.

On Wednesday (January 6), PNP Chief PGen. Debold Sinas, National Capital Region Police Office Director PBGen. Vicente Danao Jr, and some members of the PNP Command Group met with Dacera’s family.

Sinas updated Dacera’s mother on the ongoing police investigation wherein some of the suspects have sent surrender feelers to the PNP following his 72-hour ultimatum for them to surrender.

Sinas maintained that Dacera was raped based on the bruises and contusions found in different parts of the victim’s body.

“We have evidence but we do not reveal it now kasi ongoing pa ang investigation at na-file na ang initial case sa court,” the PNP Chief said. 

But based on the autopsy report acquired by UNTV, there was no mention of male semen found in Dacera’s private part though the report claims there was a  “deep-healed laceration” in her hymen.

There were also no traces of illegal drugs in her body based on the report though some undetermined ‘blackish fluid’ was found inside her stomach.

Bruises and contusions were also found on her knees and a mark from a needle prick in her right arm.

The autopsy report named Christine Dacera as the victim signed by the Medico Legal Officer PMaj. Dr. Michael Nick Sarmiento and was marked ‘Certified True Copy.’

Dacera’s mother Sharon expressed gratitude for the outpouring support, especially coming from President Rodrigo Duterte. MNP (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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