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Norway assures support to the GPH and CPP-NPA-NDF peace negotiation

by UNTV   |   Posted on Saturday, February 17th, 2018

Pres. Duterte and Norwegian Special Envoy to the Peace Process Idun Tvedt met on Thursday in a courtesy call.


MANILA, Philippines — The Norwegian Special Envoy to the Peace Process Idun Tvedt assured President Rodrigo Duterte of the Norwegian government’s continued support to the Philippine government’s peace negotiations with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

The Norwegian official expressed this during a courtesy call with President Duterte, Thursday.

For his part, the president is pleased with such commitment of Norway and emphasized the Philippines’ determination to achieve lasting peace in the country. — UNTV News & Rescue

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Norway powers ahead (electrically): over half new car sales now electric or hybrid

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, January 8th, 2018

FILE PHOTO – An electric car is charged at a parking lot in Oslo, Norway, June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

OSLO (Reuters) – Sales of electric and hybrid cars rose above half of new registrations in Norway in 2017, a record aided by generous subsidies that extended the country’s lead in shifting from fossil-fuel engines, data showed on Wednesday.

Pure electric cars and hybrids, which have both battery power and a diesel or petrol motor, accounted for 52 percent of all new car sales last year in Norway against 40 percent in 2016, the independent Norwegian Road Federation (OFV) said.

“No one else is close” in terms of a national share of electric cars, OFV chief Oeyvind Solberg Thorsen said. “For the first time we have a fossil-fuel market share below 50 percent.”

Norway exempts new electric cars from almost all taxes and grants perks that can be worth thousands of dollars a year in terms of free or subsidized parking, re-charging and use of toll roads, ferries and tunnels.

It also generates almost all its electricity from hydropower, so the shift helps to reduce air pollution and climate change.

Last year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said Norway was far ahead of other nations such as the Netherlands, Sweden, China, France and Britain in electric car sales.

By the IEA yardstick, which excludes hybrid cars with only a small electric motor that cannot be plugged in, electric car sales in Norway rose to 39 percent in 2017 from 29 in 2016, when the Netherlands was in second on 6.4 percent.

Norwegian car sales in 2017 were topped by the Volkswagen Golf (VOWG_p.DE), BMWi3 (BMWG.DE), Toyota Rav4 (7203.T) and Tesla Model X (TSLA.O). The Tesla is pure electric and others have electric or hybrid versions.

In many countries, high prices of battery-driven cars, limited ranges between recharging and long charging times discourage buyers. Car makers say the disadvantages are dwindling over time with new models.

“We view Norway as a role model for how electric mobility can be promoted through smart incentives,” a spokesman at BMW’s Munich HQ said. “The situation would probably be different if these incentives were dropped.”

Other “good examples” of policies to spur electric-car demand include Britain, California and the Netherlands, he said.

Last year, Norway’s parliament set a non-binding goal that by 2025 all cars sold should be zero emissions. Among other nations, France and Britain plan to ban sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2040.

Christina Bu, head of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association which represents owners, said the 2025 goal meant that Norway should stick with its incentives for electric cars.

“It’s an ambitious goal only seven years away,” she told Reuters. Overall, sales of zero emissions cars in Norway rose in 2017 to 21 percent from 16 in 2016.

Electric cars have widespread support among Norway’s 5.3 million people. A plan last year by the right-wing government to trim electric car incentives, dubbed a “Tesla Tax”, was dropped in negotiations on the 2018 budget.

Sales of diesel cars fell most in 2017, to 23 percent from 31 in 2016. Some regions in Norway have started to charge higher road tolls for diesel cars than for petrol-driven vehicles.

Norway’s electric car policies are hard to imitate. Norway can be generous because high revenues from oil and gas production have helped it amass the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, worth $1 trillion.

Illustrating the supportive benefits, a Volkswagen e-Golf electric car sells for 262,000 crowns ($32,300) in Norway, just fractionally above the import price of 260,000, according to the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association.

But a comparable gasoline-powered Golf, which costs just 180,000 crowns to import, ends up selling for 298,000 crowns after charges including value added tax, carbon tax, and another tax based on the weight of the vehicle.

Even in Norway, the benefits strain finances. Norway’s 1.3 trillion Norwegian crown budget projects a loss of tax revenues of 3 billion crowns a year because of electric cars.

($1 = 8.1026 Norwegian crowns)

Reporting By Alister Doyle and Camilla Knudsen in Oslo, Andreas Cremer in Berlin, Editing by Jeremy Gaunt

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Government declares 6-day suspension of offensive military operations vs NPA

by UNTV   |   Posted on Friday, December 22nd, 2017

The declared 6-day suspension of offensive military operations vs NPA

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang reiterated the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte declaring unilateral ceasefire or suspension of offensive military operations against the New People’s Army (NPA) this holiday season for the benefit of the Filipino people.

It means the police and military will not launch offensive operations against the NPA but will remain in defensive mode against the enemies.

“The cessation of combat operation would simply mean there would be no fighting but they could still apprehend members of the NPA. And of course, there’s no backing out from the declaration that the NPA is a terrorist group,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

This will start at 6:00 p.m. of December 23 until 6:00 p.m. of December 26 and will resume at 6 pm of December 30 until 6 pm of January 2, 2018.

Malacañang did not offer any explanation for reducing the schedule of the unilateral ceasefire from 10 days to six days as announced on Thursday as well as the three days in between.

“The President doesn’t have to explain. In fact, Joma Sison is calling it a sham. We should be thankful that the President is pushing through with the unilateral ceasefire altogether. He could have ignored it completely and not declared anything,” said Roque.

Meanwhile, Presidential Peace Adviser Secretary Jess Dureza still hopes that the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing will extend reciprocity to President Duterte’s recent pronouncement.

And though there is already a cancellation of peace negotiations with CPP-NPA-NDF, it shows the President’s desire to attain peace in the country. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News and Rescue


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Pres. Duterte extends Gen. Guerrero’s term by 6 months

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, December 8th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines – Penned by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, President Rodrigo Duterte extended AFP Chief of Staff General Rey Leonardo Guerrero’s service by six more months or up to April 24, 2018 as provided for in Republic Act 8186

AFP Public Affairs Office Chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said the extended term gives the Guerrero time to focus on the military operations against terrorist groups, such as the CPP-NPA.

“This extension of the AFP Chief’s Military Service will allow him more time to implement important plans and programs of the AFP especially in this challenging time that the nation faces threats from foreign and local terrorists and the CPP-NPA-NDF,” Arevalo said.

Arevalo added that Guerrero’s term extension is a big help for the AFP.

“The extension also gives General Guerrero the opportunity to fast-track the upgrade of the AFP capability as it aspires to be a world-class armed forces that is a source of national pride,” Arevalo added.

Gen. Guerrero was given the position as AFP chief of staff on October 26.

He is set to retire on his 56th birthday on December 17.

Guerrero was confirmed by the Commission on Appointments as AFP Chief of Staff, Wednesday. – Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue

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