G7 leaders in a show of unity in a summit that exposes rifts

Robie de Guzman   •   August 26, 2019   •   370

G7 leaders French President Emmanuel Macron, U.S. President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Acting Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gather for a photo alongside other world leaders and invited guests. (Image grabbed from Reuters footage)

G7 leaders joined in a family photo on Sunday (August 25) at the French resort hosting the summit which has been troubled by differences between U.S. President Donald Trump and Western allies over a raft of issues.

Trump, a turbulent presence at last year’s G7 gathering, insisted on Sunday that he was getting along well with other leaders of a group that also includes Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan.

But rifts emerged on issues from his intensifying trade war with China to the nuclear ambitions of both Iran and North Korea, and the question of whether Russian President Vladimir Putin should be readmitted to the group.

While the transatlantic rift is the most stark, there are also deep divisions within the European camp, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson making his G7 debut at a time when he is struggling to persuade EU capitals to renegotiate Britain’s exit from the bloc, which Johnson has said will happen on October 31 come what may.

The G7 leaders were joined in the family photo by several African leaders as well as leaders from India, Australia, Chile and Spain, whom Macron invited to the Sunday dinner to broaden the scope of debate.

In the front row, Trump, Macron stood alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, while Johnson stood at the end of the row. (Reuters)

(Production: Roberto Esparza, Lucy Marks)

PhilHealth to collide with UNTV Cup champion AFP on Sunday

UNTV News   •   September 21, 2019

PhilHealth and Agriculture will be on the same court on Sunday’s (September 22, 2019) UNTV Cup at Pasig City Sports Center but will face different teams.

 Witness three-time runner up Malacañang-PSC Kamao go against two-time champion Judiciary Magis on Sunday (September 22).

PhilHealth Plus will banner its five new players in the 8th season of the league of public servants, UNTV Cup.

According to Coach Delio Aseron, their team had played in various leagues during the off season as part of preparation.

Ang paghahanda na ginawa natin we participated doon sa Government Corporations Athletic Association o GCAA kung saan nag champion po sa open ang PhilHealth for five years na and nanalo po kami sa seniors first time,” Coach Delio Aseron said.

(Part of our preparation was our participation at the GCAA or Government Corporation Athletic Association where PhilHealth was the champion for five years already in the open category and first-time champion in senior’s category.)

PhilHealth’s first game of the season will be against the defending champion, AFP Cavaliers in the second game of the triple-header on Sunday, 3PM at Pasig City Sports Center.

“Expect niyo po PhilHealth lalaban kahit maliit kami… hopefully we utilize our speed para exciting games,” Coach Aseron added.

(Expect PhilHealth to fight despite of our small line up… hopefully we’ll be able to utilize our speed to make the games exciting.)

Meanwhile, three-time runner up Malacañang-PSC Kamao will field two new players in their game against Judiciary Magis for the main game on Sunday, 5PM.

Kamao’s new players are Jeffrey Punzalan, 5’7 and Joseph Antolin Roque, 6’1.

 According to MAL-PSC Coach Raffy Gonzales, they will not be complacent this season because they know that all the teams have upgraded their respective rosters.  They promise to give all their best to repeat a finals appearance.

Coach Raffy Gonzales said, “Maganda naman pagkapasok nila dahil unang-una si Punzalan nag lalaro ng 1 and 2 [positions], yung Roque ganoon din 1,2,3 [positions] nilalaro.”

(Their addition is just fitting to our team, firstly, Jeffrey Punzalan plays position 1 and 2 and Joseph Roque plays 1,2 and 3.)

In the other court, expect a faster Judiciary Magis at UNTV Cup Season 8 according to head coach Joey Yabut following their acquisition of two new players.

“Expect niyo na takbuhan kami ngayon saka siguro gaganda na yung denepsa namin dahil may dalawa kaming player na bago.  Mukhang defensive din hindi lang scorer eh,” Coach Yabut said.

(Expect us to be running this season and also expect us to be more defensive because of our new players.)

Joey Yabut also added that they will fight toe-to-toe despite facing other teams’ big men.

“Naging problema namin yung depensa, yung isa kasi namin bigman makatutulong sya ngayon sa ilalim…pwede rin siyang mabigyan sa ilalim dahil marunon siyang gumalaw. Yung isa naman defensive player. Yun naman yung mukhang kapalit ni John Hall,” Coach Joey Yabut said.

(Defense was our problem before but one of our big men can be a reliable force inside the paint. The other player is a defensive player who can possibly replace the vacuum left by our former player John Hall.)

Prior to these match ups is the opening game at 2pm between the Agriculture Food Masters and Ombudsman Graft Busters. — Bernard Dadis

ASOP Year 8 Grand Finale nears

UNTV News   •   September 21, 2019

The finale is coming!

Last August 25 (Sunday), A Song of Praise Music Festival named its newest grand finalist for Year 8.

With her worship anthem titled “Sagwan” (Paddle), 31-year old school registrar Aiza Narag secured a spot at the eighth edition of one-of-a-kind music revelry celebrating praise music.

Sung by rising belter Louie Anne Culala of The Wishfuls, the praise song paints a picture of a long journey at the heart of the sea while huge waves and fierce winds roar, encouraging us to trust God to be able to make it to the shores of hope.

This year’s grand finals’ entries comprise of the following:

  • NOVEMBER: “O Ama” by Jhoter Jone Villan
  • DECEMBER: “Alay Ko” by Maddonna Rosas and Pau Ortiz
  • JANUARY: “Ikaw ay Ikaw” by Vanduane Badua
  • FEBRUARY: “Don’t Give Up” by Cherry Labating
  • MARCH: “Dios ng Katotohanan” by Darrel Joseph Villanueva
  • APRIL: “Pupurihin Kita” by Chris Givenchi Edejer
  • MAY: “Libo-libong Tala” by Carlo David
  • JUNE: “You are Wonderful” by Franz Loren Bigcas
  • JULY: “God Has His Purpose” by Lambert Reyes Jr. and Roman Cundangan
  • AUGUST: “Sagwan: by Aiza Narag

Two more tracks are set to complete the list of this year’s best praise songs.

Last year, visually-impaired songwriter John Paul Salazar bagged the Song of the Year title with P500,000 cash prize tax-free. 

Performed by OPM trio Bradz, his masterpiece titled “Tugtog”, is an upbeat gospel track about music as the sound of a praiseful heart for God. 

“‘Tugtog’ for me denotes a human heartbeat. One artist I heard said, ‘Music is a part of our lives, and our hearts always plays music.’ I made the song out of that idea and turned it into a song of praise to the Lord. Every time I sing for the Lord, my heart is in sync with the music!” said Salazar.

A first from last year, ASOP launched its Bro. Eli Soriano’s Choice with “Hiling” as the winning song written by Jeffrey Lim, also by a visually-impaired aspiring songwriter.

Conceptualized by Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International (BMPI) Chairman and CEO Kuya Daniel Razon and Filipino televangelist Bro. Eli Soriano, ASOP is set to upgrade its prizes for each year.

As another year-long singing of praises to the Almighty comes to a close, the grand winner will take home P800,000 while the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, will get P500,000, P200,000, and P100,000 cash prizes, respectively. 

Over the years, amateur and professional songwriters have ventured into the heart of crafting songs for the Almighty.

True to its advocacy of bringing back praise music in people’s lives, the first and only praise songwriting tilt in Philippine television continues to inspire talents and celebrate gospel music dedicated all for the glory of God.

Apart from celebrating inspiring talents, ASOP is also set to stage top-notch OPM acts.

Watch out for the grand finals of ASOP Year 8 on November.

For more information about ASOP Music Festival, visit its official website at https://www.asoptv.com. You can follow ASOP on Facebook via facebook.com/asoptv, Twitter at twitter.com/asoptv and Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/asoptv/.

Embattled Facebook CEO Zuckerberg seeks to mend fences in Washington

Jeck Deocampo   •   September 20, 2019

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill for a second day on Thursday (September 19) as part of an effort by the social media giant to mend its reputation as it faces a slew of government investigations.

Zuckerberg, who is also Facebook’s founder, also has meetings planned for Friday on Capitol Hill. Discussions on Wednesday with lawmakers focused mainly on election security and data privacy concerns, sources close to the meetings said.

A person briefed on the matter said Zuckerberg was also expected to hold meetings with the Trump administration. Facebook and the White House both declined to say if Zuckerberg would meet with President Donald Trump. (REUTERS)

(Production: David Shepardson, Scott Vaughan)

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