Duterte counters Sison’s threat: Kill 5 NPA rebels for every soldier killed

UNTV News   •   February 9, 2018   •   3761

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is unshaken by the threat of Communist Party of the Philippines founding chair, Jose Maria Sison that New People’s Army (NPA) rebels can kill one soldier every day.

In his meeting over snacks with 215 former NPA rebels in Malacañang on Wednesday night, the President said he would have five NPA rebels killed for every soldier slain.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Sison should not belittle what the government can do against the communist rebels.

“I think the message is: you don’t threaten us, Joma Sison. We are the state, if we haven’t eradicated you, it’s because we opted not to eradicate you as Filipinos. But if you want war, we are ready to go to war,” said Roque.

Meanwhile, President Duterte wants the 48 former female rebels to tour Hong Kong and China and be exposed to capitalism.

He will bring them with him on his next visit in China where he will discuss with the Chinese government the Philippines’ concerns about the Philippine Rise.

Meanwhile, 683 former NPA rebels from various parts of Eastern Mindanao have returned to the fold of the law and the first batch of them has toured Rizal Park, Intramuros and Malacañang.

President Duterte promised them security, shelter, jobs and education for their children. – Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

China confirms 3rd death due to viral pneumonia

UNTV News   •   January 20, 2020

Beijing – A third person was confirmed dead Monday in China following new viral pneumonia similar to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which over the weekend saw 136 new cases, including two in Beijing and one in Shenzhen, authorities said.

Health authorities in Hubei province’s capital Wuhan – with a population of 11 million and where the outbreak is thought to have originated – said the third death occurred Saturday.

The source also said 36 of the 136 new coronavirus victims are in a serious or critical situation.

Among the newly infected, 70 are women and 66 are men, aged between 25 and 89, and all of them showed symptoms the same symptoms: fever and fatigue, dry cough and – in many cases – dyspnea (difficulty breathing).

According to Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post, 198 people have been diagnosed so far, including the three dead.

Of the cases detected outside Wuhan – the first time that China has confirmed cases outside the city – both the Shenzhen patient and the two from Beijing said they had traveled to Wuhan recently.

So far, two cases have also been confirmed in Thailand and one in Japan. There was a further scare in South Korea, but no cases were confirmed in the country.

On the 14th, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that prevention measures had been implemented in hospitals worldwide following this new outbreak.

In addition, United States health authorities began Friday to impose controls on passengers arriving or connecting through Wuhan in airports in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York.

According to the WHO, Chinese laboratories have already sequenced the coronavirus genome and provided that data to the global health community to help diagnose possible cases outside their country.

The outbreak has caused panic in China as the situation is reminiscent of 2003, when severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) spread across the country and caused a total of 646 deaths (813 worldwide), according to WHO figures.

According to the United Nations health agency, between 14 and 15 percent of SARS cases end in death, while in the case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), a related disease also caused by a coronavirus, the mortality rate rises to 35 percent.

So far, there are only six types of this family of viruses known: four of them causing mild respiratory conditions similar to a cold, and the other two responsible for SARS and MERS. EFE-EPA

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Trump invites Duterte, other ASEAN leaders for March Summit

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 20, 2020

ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings in Manila epa06325844 US President Donald J. Trump (L) talks to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (R) before the opening ceremony of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Manila, Philippines,13 November 2017. The Philippines is hosting the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings from 10 to 14 November. EPA-EFE/MARK R. CRISTINO / POOL

United States (US) President Donald Trump has invited President Rodrigo Duterte and nine other leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) for the US-ASEAN Summit in March.

Trump previously invited the ASEAN leaders on November 1, 2019 and reiterated his invitation on January 9, 2020.

“This will provide an excellent opportunity for us to broaden and deepen our cooperation on matters of great importance to the nearly one billion people in the United States and ASEAN nations that we have the privilege to represent,” Trump said in his invitation.

However, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said there is still no official response on whether President Duterte will accept the invitation of the US president.—AAC

China’s 2019 birth rate lowest in 70 years

Robie de Guzman   •   January 17, 2020

Beijing – China in 2019 recorded its lowest gross birth rate since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, according to official data published on Friday.

In its annual report on the national economic situation, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said the crude birth rate was 10.48 per thousand last year.

According to the data, a total of 14.65 million babies were born in 2019 in the country – 580,000 less than in 2018 – making it the lowest figure recorded since 1961.

Despite a rise in 2016 due to the end of the “one-child policy” introduced in 1979, the crude birth rate has fallen in the last two years.

During the presentation of the report, NBS Commissioner Ning Jizhe acknowledged the trend, although adding that “it is still a large number” and “the decrease is smaller than the previous two years.”

Ning revealed that 57 percent of the babies born in 2019 were second children.

“That has been going up for several years. So our policy is working,” Ning insisted.

However, the aim of the “two-child policy” was to keep the number of births around 20 million per year, more than the figure finally registered in 2019.

According to experts, the high living costs such as in education, and the changing career priorities of women are holding back couples who want to have their first child, as well as those who want to have a second.

The decline in births could pose a demographic problem for a country that is already faced with an aging population, which, together with the decline in the number of people of working age, may present long-term challenges for the world’s second-largest economy.

The more pessimistic of the experts have said that China might get old before it gets rich.

In 2019, the percentage of Chinese people aged 60 and over was 18.1, while those aged 65 and over accounted for 12.6 percent of the population.

In 2018, these demographic groups stood at 17.9 percent and 11.9 percent respectively.

“Last year the increase of population aged 60 and above was quite small compared with previous years,” Ning said.

However, he added that the Chinese government would have to cope with “structural changes in our population, particularly the aging population.”

According to the data published on Friday, China ended 2019 with a population of 1.4 billion, a year-on-year increase of 4.67 million compared to 2018. EFE-EPA

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