Saturday, March 23, 2019

Let's Do The News! (March 23, 2019)

- Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo received another painting from the graduates of the Philippine National Police Academy.

- PH Congress appeared to be satisfied with the long-term and short-term solutions that are being put in place to end the water supply crisis that has hit Metro Manila and adjacent localities.

- The Department of Health renewed its commitment to fight tuberculosis, as the World Tuberculosis Day is being observed on Sunday.

- Over 630 civilians were killed in the six-month operation against the Islamic State that culminated in its defeat by US-backed Syrian forces, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

- Special Counsel Robert Mueller announced the completion of his report detailing his investigation into Russia and the Trump campaign. Trump's Attorney General William Barr is currently assessing the report.

- Most of the Viacom channels will continue to air for AT&T-DIRECTV subscribers even if its past the deadline as the two sides made progress in contract talks.

- Proton announces plans to open a new assembly plant in Pakistan.

- The PHISGOC says that the Philippines will do everything in their power to host the SEA games despite budget problems. "We at the Philippine South East Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) would like to assure our athletes, the sports community, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the rest of the Filipino people that all preparations for the 30th South East Asian games are in full swing," the statement began.


ABB FIA Formula E S5: Sanya ePrix

The ABB FIA Formula E Championship is back to where it all started; the People's Republic of China, and this time, they're on a brand new Sanya track for this season, located at the heart of the Hainan Island.

In this new track, no drivers are safe from the inevitable moments happening in Sanya and with season leader Sam Bird out, a close call for Da Costa, Alexander Sims out, and a last lap crash with Robin Frijins and Lucas Di Grassi, Sanya's quite a challenge for seasoned veterans and newcomers alike.

In the end, Jean-Eric Vergne of DSTECHEETAH, last season's champion, won the first-ever Sanya ePrix, to be followed by Oliver Rowland representing Nissan and Antonio Felix Da Costa representing BMW i.

After Sanya, Da Costa's now leading the standings at 62 points, followed by Jerome D'Ambrosio of Mahindra with 61 points, and JEV now clawing through third place with 54 points.

Next race is at Rome, Italy on the 13th of April.


The Bubble Gang has finally crashed through Cebu to bring you the first half of this year's Bubble Gang Summer Special!

So, what are they doing in the first part of the special?

- Ikaw at ang Ina takes on...swimsuit collection posts!

- Haggling before Sky Biking

- Hipo gags

- Dyutay News

- Kuya Wowie saves the castaway!

- Another day with Marjorie the kasambahay

- The legend of the bra

- Balitang Ina

- The sanib dancer

- Stag party

- Patok TakTips

That's it for the first half! Check back next Friday for Round 2!

Friday, March 22, 2019

The Grand Tour S03E11

It's another Grand Tour special and this time, the boys are driving the newest grand tourers on an epic road trip from Georgia to Azerbaijan.

The Grand Tour S03E11
In this epic road trip on the former Soviet Union state, James May drives the new BMW 8-Series while Richard Hammond drives the new Bentley Continental GT and Jeremy Clarkson's in the new Aston Martin DBS Superleggera.

First off, they were arrived in what was known to be the birthplace of Joseph Stalin, with Richard Hammond taking a night off, the boys managed to chopped the head of Stalin's statue and jammed it to the front of the Bentley for humorous purposes.

After getting lost to the border area, they managed to get through the racetrack in Georgia called Rustavi so they can try out their newest grand tourers to the max and then taking on power laps to see which one is the fastest, to be followed by the silly challenge to see how fast will these cars go while the boys are feeling the urge to pee.

Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, is their next stop and then went to the flea market to see how much they can fit into the cars' backs to demonstrate their boot spaces.

With the boys arrived to Azerbaijan, an argument triggered a challenge against a Renault 9 driven The Grand Tour's driver, Abbie Eaton, and see if they can catch up in the real world under the two-minute handicap. They were having troubles catching up at the city roads full of Ladas but things get personal in the open roads, only to be hampered by a horde of lambs.

Nearing the climax, the boys, well the two of them, are unleashing everything they got and in the end, thanks to the narrow and rocky roads that are proven to be a disadvantage on the grand tourers, the Renault won the race to the garden of paradise. End game.

After the Aston and the Bentley humiliated by an old Renault, the boys had reached the capital city of Azerbaijan, Baku, and after some thought, they are having a drag race on the capital. Because of the weather, the Aston keeps on slipping, and slipping, and slipping. After that, the boys finally reached the Caspian Sea to complete their cross-country journey.

The "Sea to Unsalty Sea" episode is now playable on The Grand Tour Game on the PS4 and XBOX One. Relive the epic Georgia-Azerbaijan grand tourer road trip at the comfort of your living room right now.

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: U.S. sanctions 2 Chinese firms for helping N. Korea evade sanctions

The United States is sanctioning two Chinese shipping companies linked to helping North Korea evade sanctions.

The move comes amid reports North Korea has been getting around sanctions through illegal ship-to-ship transactions.

Amid concerning reports North Korea has been able to elude both UN and U.S. sanctions via illicit ship-to-ship transfers, the U.S. Treasury Department announced on Thursday local time, that it is sanctioning two Chinese shipping companies, Dalian Haibo International Freight and Lianoning Danxing International Forwarding, for aiding the regime in evading sanctions.

The Treasury Department says Dalian Haibo provided goods and services to or in support of Paeksol Trading Corporation, a North Korean entity previously sanctioned for engaging and providing revenue to the regime.

Liaoning Danxing operated in the transportation industry in North Korea and used what the U.S. called "deceptive practices."

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the United States and their allies remain committed to achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea, adding that the full implementation of UN Security Council sanctions is "crucial to a successful outcome".

The last time the U.S. issued sanctions against North Korea was in December when it targeted Choe Ryong-hae, a close aide to the North Korean leader, for human rights abuses.

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton has now revealed 'several alternatives' were presented to Kim Jong-un by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Speaking with Breitbart News on Wednesday, Bolton did not elaborate on what the alternatives were, except to describe again the "big deal" he said President Trump put on the table in Hanoi.

Asked to explain what victory would look like, Bolton reaffirmed the main objective is North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons.

North Korea will have its first meeting of the new parliament next month after its recent election of deputies.

Pyeongyang's state-run Korean Central News Agency reports that the regime will hold the first session of its 14th Supreme People's Assembly on April 11th.

The Supreme People's Assembly is the regime's parliament that ratifies decisions made by the ruling party, enacts laws and reviews the state budget.

687 deputies were elected for the 14th assembly last week and for the first time, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was not included.

The meeting draws attention to what changes the regime might make on its ruling system and personnel as well as on foreign policies and its nuclear and missile program.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's close aide is in Moscow, possibly to organize the leader's visit to Russia.

According to sources in Moscow and Beijing, Kim Chang-son, the chief secretary of the regime's State Affairs Commission, arrived in Moscow on Tuesday.

They say that Kim visited the Kremlin for an hour on Thursday.

Kim Chang-son is the man in charge of protocols and logistics for Kim Jong-un's summit meetings.

His visit to Moscow hints that Kim Jong-un may soon visit the country and have a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss bilateral ties and international sanctions.

The EU says it agrees with South Korea,that the world should work to maintain the current momentum for dialogue
between North Korea and the U.S.

South Koreans gathered to honor the soldiers who lost their lives defending their country against attacks from North Korea at a ceremony marking West Sea Defense Day.

Some seven-thousand people including bereaved family members, Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo and military personnel participated in a ceremony held today at the Daejeon National Cemetery.

Source: Arirang News

Let's Do The News! (March 22, 2019)

- The Department of Education (DepEd) readies for School Year 2019-2020 by conducting this year's “Brigada Eskwela” and the launching of the national Oplan Balik Eskwela.

- The Diocese of Cubao will finally have its first church granted the status of a Minor Basilica.

- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is confident of winning against terror groups and drug traffickers in the Philippines. The President said the military has made significant gains in defending the country and the nation’s democratic way of life, adding he expects the troops to never waver in performing their duties.

- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s regime defied the US to arrest a top aide of opposition leader Juan Guaido, whom Washington recognizes as the crisis-hit country’s interim leader.

- Former FBI director James Comey said in a New York Times op-ed that he neither knows nor cares what the conclusion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation will be — so long as the probe was conducted properly.

- The Muslim call to prayer rang out across New Zealand followed by two minutes of silence nationwide to mark a week since a white supremacist gunned down 50 people at two mosques in the city of Christchurch.

- The United Kingdom has granted a short Brexit delay, meaning that they won't leave the European Union next week but they had three weeks to sort things out. Should lawmakers fail to approve the twice-defeated Brexit deal, the deadline will be on the 12th of April.

- The first-ever Porsche Cayenne Coupe was unveiled.

2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe

- The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance announced the new Alliance Intelligent Cloud connectivity platform offering internet access technologies by Microsoft Azure. The new Renault Clio and Nissan Leaf will be the first to use this connectivity platform.

- According to reports, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and current Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid will receive less than $10 million total.

- The libel case filed against Marie Lozano by newscaster Gretchen Fullido has been dismissed.

- Actors Matteo Guidicelli, Nico Bolzico, and Erwan Heussaff are now newly inducted officers of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary.


Thursday, March 21, 2019

Forza Horizon 4: Ready to R-I-O-T

Forza Horizon 4 introduces us to the first of the three RTR Mustangs in the recent update with a big catch; complete 50% of the Summer Horizon Playlist to gain access to the first RTR car; the RTR Mustang Spec 5. Now that I finally got my hands on a sad-faced Mustang bolted up with some RTR body kits, let's see what's what.

RTR, or Ready To Rock, is the brainchild of Formula Drift champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. with a vision to modify Mustangs to make it more attractive in the street scene. It was first established in 2007 as an OEM+ performance vehicles company designing special vehicles for special clients. They even had a collaboration deal with the Ford Motor Company to sell their modified masterpieces such as the Mustang at select Ford Dealerships as well.

This particular vehicle started out in life as a normal facelifted Ford Mustang GT. You know? The one with the sad face on it, but the folks from RTR managed to slap this Stang with their own brand of parts made specifically for this vehicle, not to mention those aggressive wide body flares that made it look more macho indeed. The RTR Mustang featured in the game is basically a normal 2018 Ford Mustang GT bolted with parts from RTR, meaning that despite the muscular body kit, it still behaves pretty much like the normal Mustang GT with a 5.0L V8 and a 10-speed AT but drivers are free to boost this car by all means necessary. That's tuning to you.

People who watched the Season Three opener of The Grand Tour will notice that Jeremy Clarkson drove the RTR Mustang and while the others had lots and lots of power, the Mustang, despite being the lowest in the power bracket, is the best handling of the three, although the only downside is getting slipped by palm oil, the oil that endangered orangutans in the wild. Since I watched the season opener of the show, I have grown interest on the RTR Mustang and now that this car's arrived in FH4, although different than the one Clarkson drove in the show, I have got the chance to drive a Mustang that is Ready To Rock. Although it behaves like the facelifted Mustang I drove earlier, there's no stopping me from falling in love with this hunk of American metal indeed.

So, now that I said everything about the RTR Mustang road car, it's time for some R-I-O-T with this machine. Time to raise a ceiling, boys and girls, because it's going to be a little weird and a little wild.

Man, what a night I spent with this car but anyway, mission accomplished. RTB.

I had a lot of fun getting to know about the RTR Mustang by all means and I had to say that this has probably one of the wildest nights I have ever spent understanding just how Ready To Rock this RTR Mustang is and in fact, it really is. So, now that the first RTR Mustang's on the book, expect two more RTR Mustangs drifting your way on FH4 so stay tuned.

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: Pyongyang sanctions workarounds failing to soften impact

North Korea’s illicit and highly sophisticated efforts to circumvent UN sanctions may have sought to cushion their impact, but they offer no long-term solution to the fallout of tightened economic isolation, analysts say.

Sanctions relief was top of leader Kim Jong Un’s agenda for his Hanoi summit with US President Donald Trump last month, but the meeting broke up without a statement or even a lunch as the two sides disagreed over walking back Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme in exchange for relaxation.

The North publishes virtually no economic statistics of its own, but according to figures from Chinese Customs, exports to by far its biggest trade partner have plummeted by more than 90 percent.

Until 2016 — when the figures say the North sold China $2.5 billion-worth of goods — the UN Security Council sanctions largely targeted technology that could be used for weapons development.

Since then new measures have taken aim at a variety of broad economic sectors, including some of Pyongyang’s key foreign currency earners, with exports of coal, iron ore, seafood and other commodities banned, trade in textiles blocked in both directions, and curbs on oil and fuel deliveries.

Exports to China were just $213 million last year, say the Chinese Customs statistics — although some observers question their reliability.

Due diligence

A report released last week by the UN’s independent Panel of Experts found that Pyongyang was employing increasingly sophisticated and varied ways to circumvent the rules, including the “physical disguise of tankers” and illegal name-changing, as well as ship-to-ship cargo transfers on the high seas.

Hugh Griffiths, the co-ordinator of the UN panel, likened Pyongyang’s efforts to high-net-worth tax avoiders and multinational corporations.

“They are exploiting international waters and the offshore economy,” he told AFP.

The North uses ship-to-ship transfers for “most of its maritime related coal trade”, the report said, adding that “such illegal deliveries became regularised and systemic in 2018”.

But Griffiths pointed out: “No member-state has supplied me with evidence to show that other member-states in the region are allowing or aware of any systemic import of coal onto their territory.

“It all has to be primarily in international waters through ship-to-ship transfers. It takes more time, more effort and more cost.”

The North was using “increasingly advanced evasion techniques” to circumvent a cap of 500,000 barrels of refined petroleum products imports a year, the panel said.

It described one example of vessel identity fraud as “the most sophisticated case” it had yet seen, which had “defeated the due diligence efforts of the region’s leading commodity trader”, US and Singaporean banks and “a leading United Kingdom insurer”.

The world’s biggest container shipping line has also been caught up in the efforts, with the UN report saying it had continued to “unwittingly transport prohibited items”.

Copenhagen-based APM-Maersk said in a statement to AFP that its policy was “not to trade with North Korea” and that it had “guidelines and processes in place to ensure compliance with international sanctions and trade controls”.

But while sanctions were being “successfully evaded on a case by case basis”, Griffiths said: “They are working and that’s very evident from the Hanoi summit. What was the sole demand of the North Koreans? That sanctions be lifted.”

Not enough

Analysts say the five sanctions the North wanted withdrawn in Hanoi make up the bulk of the pressure that has helped bring Kim to the table, and without them, the US would lose leverage.

The current sanctions were the “most excruciating” the North had yet faced, said Jeong Hyung-gon of the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, and the “dramatic” drop in its exports to China “underscores the effectiveness of Beijing’s enforcement”.

Under-the-table trade would always fall far short of offsetting lost official revenues, said Cheong Seong-Chang, a senior researcher at the private Sejong Institute.

And those earnings were “not enough” for North Koreans, especially for those in the ruling class, he added.

Last April Kim declared the development of his nuclear programme complete and said that “socialist economic construction” was now Pyongyang’s top priority.

He has slowly introduced some liberalizing economic reforms in recent years, and the North regularly stresses that it wants to improve its citizens’ livelihoods.

But “no matter how hard the regime tries to get around the sanctions”, said Koh Yu-hwan, professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University, without relief from the restrictions Kim’s economic goals were “doomed to fail”.

Source: AFP

Let's Do The News! (March 21, 2019)

- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources will lead a weeklong activity to highlight the celebration of the 2019 World Water Day this Friday, focusing on accessibility to clean water and sanitation as a basic human right.

- The Department of Justice has been asked to reverse its findings which absolved Health Secretary Francis Duque III of liability over the deaths of children who received shots of the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.

- Former presidential political adviser and senatorial candidate Francis Tolentino slammed the threat of war made by the Duterte administration against MNLF Chairman Nur Misuri but urged government to open talks with Misuari's faction of the MNLF.

- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau remained under pressure over a corruption scandal as a legislator quit his party’s caucus and a pre-election budget aimed at swaying key voters appeared to offer too little to stem the tide of negative news.

- British Prime Minister Theresa May to plead for Brexit delay at EU summit. In her televised address, May said she regretted seeking the delay and blamed lawmakers for failing to implement the result of the 2016 referendum.

- The bullet-riddled Al Noor mosque in Christchurch was being repaired, painted and cleaned ahead of Friday prayers, as grieving families buried more victims of New Zealand’s worst mass shooting.

- The Boeing 737 MAX and federal regulators will face the first public congressional hearing next week over two fatal plane crashes in recent months. Senator Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican, called for a hearing of the Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation and Space, for March 27, with three transportation officials, notably the acting head of the Federal Aviation Administration.

- Volvo introduces the Care Key standard on all 2021MY Volvos. With this key, owners will be able to set limitations on the car’s top speed should they have to hand over the keys to family members or friends.

- BMW teases their 2-Series Gran Coupe, which is set to appear at this year's LA Auto Show. It will be built on BMW's controversial front-wheel drive platform that has been around since the 2-Series Active Tourer MPV.

- The Honda Shuttle MPV has been facelifted for the 2020 model year.

- TJ Dillashaw relinquished his UFC bantamweight title championship after the US Anti-Doping Agency and the New York State Athletic Commission informed him of an "adverse analytical finding" in a drug test dating back to his most recent fight, in January in Brooklyn.


Forza Horizon 4: Why the sad face, Mustang?

Forza Horizon 4 gave players a chance to drive the facelifted Ford Mustang GT in the game, making this the first time a minor change of the now-global Ford Mustang made it in the game and despite wearing its "sad face look" that most enthusiasts feared, it still works like every other Mustang should.

Why the sad face, you may ask? To be honest, it's the Ford designers' fault why the Mustang's minor change sported a sad face that looks rather disappointing compared to the pre-facelifted model but despite its sad face look, the mechanical stuff has been revised to make it more competitive than today's sportscars. For this V8-powered GT model seen here, it now sports a 10-speed automatic gearbox from a Ford F-150 Raptor while the 5.0L V8 engine that powers it now churns out 460 HP of power and 420 lb.-ft. of torque. Dynamics wise, the minor change gets a MagneRide Damping System inherited from the Ford Performance lineup.

Despite having a disappointing front face, I can hardly agree that most of the mechanical upgrades made the Mustang's minor change a much fiercer thoroughbred compared to the pre-facelifted model everybody likes more than this car and in the spirit of the Mustang, it really works like how its predecessors should despite the more sophisticated gearbox that can give its Camaro rival a run for their money. It still has the right to retain its muscle car crown and for once, you can't really put a joke into it.

Speaking of which, that loud grumble of the Mustang's V8 engine gave me an idea and because it has the charisma of a rock star like every good muscle car should, although not happy about the minor change's "sad face look", this calls for a makeover.

I can really take back about not putting a joke into it but with a dash of "Hanazono Electric Guitar!!!" into its Mustang playbook, looks like this car's ready to experience the sad story I made but sadly, Little Miss Hanazono doesn't want the little story I made for her because she wants to do some guitar solo performance in the middle of the Cotswolds against resident muscle car enthusiasts everywhere. Okay, girl, see if we care.

I call that a standing ovation but let's call it a day because this muscle car's done a pretty good job wowing the crowd like a rock star despite the expression.

Having spent a day with the facelifted Mustang on British roads, it's hard to define why there a re some people dislike this design because it's way too sad for a muscle car like this but despite its disappointing facial expression, I had a lot of fun getting to know this minor change better just by driving it and with a dab of rock'n roll, it really shows its true self and I am very happy to be part of this Mustang experience.  Guess who's sad now?



R4 -Ridge Racer Type 4- is the fourth installment of the long-forgotten but highly addicting Ridge Racer franchise from Bandai Namco and this is the very racing game why we love Bandai Namco because the background music on this game is so addictive to listen as much as playing the game from start to finish. Of course, with R4 included on the PlayStation Classic mini-console, people are reliving all of the high-speed action from Helter Skelter to Shooting Hoops, from Yokohama to Los Angeles, of course.

Made to commemorate Ridge Racer's 25th anniversary and R4's 20th anniversary, which was late last year, the special 20th anniversary album features the remixed versions of your favorite R4 tunes as well as the original soundtrack from the hit PSX racing game that got us into Namco in the first place. It features remixes by Ryo Watanabe, Hiroshi Watanabe, J99, ESTi, and many others so you can have a fresh new take on the memorable tunes that will take you back on the fast lane.

It's hard to miss the Ridge Racer franchise especially this installment that made us fall in love with Namco in the first place but this two-disc compilation is more than enough to bring back memories of the best Ridge Racer game of all time.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019


The 27th installment of THE IDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS STARLIGHT MASTER CD range, inspired from THE IDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS Staright Stage app game, shows that it's a big world out there for 346 Production's brightest stars as the featured song in this installment takes us on a much simpler journey where the world truly is round for all of us.


For this installment, Chieri Ogata (CV: Naomi Ohzora), Koume Shirasaka (CV: Chiyo Ousaki), Yuko Hori (CV: Eri Suzuki), Anzu Futaba (CV: Hiromi Igarashi), and Kirari Moroboshi (CV: Rei Matsuzaki) are performing this installment's featured song for all those who got the hold to this song from DEBUT to MASTER. It's titled Vast world and true to the title, it's a vast world out there for the best and brightest stars ever assembled so those who enjoyed the song in-game got what they deserved as the full version stirs up some smiles to the Cinderella Girls fans everywhere.

Those who enjoyed this installment's featured song can also enjoy two new tracks offered such as スパイスパラダイス by Akane Hino (CV: Chinatsu Akasaki), Aiko Takamori (CV: Yuki Kaneko) and Mio Honda (CV: Sayuri Hara), and to you for me by Arisu Tachibana (CV: Amina Sato).

Expect more to come to this range and be sure to keep playing THE IDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS Staright Stage for more.

01 Vast world (M@STER VERSION)
02 スパイスパラダイス
03 to you for me
04 Vast world (M@STER VERSION) オリジナル・カラオケ
05 スパイスパラダイス オリジナル・カラオケ
06 to you for me オリジナル・カラオケ
07 Vast world (GAME VERSION)
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