Thursday, August 4, 2016

Let's Do The News! (August 4, 2016)

- President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is ready to face sanctions or trial before the United Nations regarding concerns about extrajudicial killings in connection with the government's war on drugs. He also challenged the UN to instead recommend actions on how to stop the drug menace in the country which has been the anchor of the President's platform for change.

- Former president Fidel V. Ramos, appointed as special envoy to China, is on a mission mainly to negotiate with China and will not present any "hard proposals" on resolving the South China Sea issue. President Duterte clarified that Ramos' trip is not yet part of the official negotiations on the South China Sea row. In fact, Ramos will not be talking with Chinese officials but with "friends".

- A knife-wielding male has attacked at least six people in central London, leaving one woman killed. London police say the attack occurred shortly after 2230 hours local time on Wednesday in Russell Square, near the British Museum. Police have arrested the suspect and are looking into his motives.

- The US Republican Party criticized the Obama administration's cash payment to Iran, branding it a ransom payment. The Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama administration secretly airlifted 400 million dollars to Iran soon after the release of 5 Americans in January. A Washington Post reporter, who had been detained by Tehran two years ago on spying charges, was among them. The White House said, brushing criticisms from the GOP, the 400 million is part of the money Iran paid into a US account in 1979 before the Islamic Revolution to buy military equipment and that the funds had been frozen due to the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty.

- On other related note, because of the behavior of GOP presidentiable Donald Trump, the Republican party's situation is critical and a possible intervention may occur. Several top backers are trying to persuade Trump to move past his feud with the parents of the late Iraq War soldier Humayun Khan, stop bashing fellow Republicans, and refocus his attacks on Hillary Clinton. But hopes aren't high among Republicans that Trump can make such a fundamental change at this point and the Trump campaign publicly denies that any intervention is occurring at all.

- The Olympic torch has arrived in Rio de Janeiro over 100 days after the flame was lit in Greece in April. Over 10,000 runners took part in the relay after the torch arrived in Brazil. On Wednesday, the flame was carried by boat from a neighboring city and reached Rio, host of the Summer Games. 

- On a related note, the president of the World Baseball and Softball Confederation, Riccardo Fraccari, said he is pleased that the sports have been reinstated in the Olympics. These games were dropped during the Beijing Games eight years ago but the IOC plans to reinstate them for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, along with four other sports.

- Hyundai discontinues the sporty rear-wheel drive Genesis Coupe and a more luxurious replacement, part of the company's newly established Genesis brand, is in the works.

- In Pokemon Go-related news, developed Niantic reported that it is removing Legendary Pokemon from some players' accounts for "fairness". Niantic states that Legendary Pokemon like Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres, weren't' intended to be in the players' possession. Niantic issued the statement after players reportedly having Legendary Pokemon in a game, although Niantic noting that it wasn't from them but either a spoof or someone hacked the game.

- The Sword Art Online franchise will spawn an American live-action TV series courtesy of Skydance Television. The company plans to fast-track the launch of the SAO live-action TV series with Laeta Kalogridis writing the script and executive producing along with David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Marcy Ross of Skydance.

- Two mangas from Shueisha are coming to an end this month; Nisekoi and Bleach. The former will end on Monday as author, Naoshi Komi, plans a new manga in October, while the latter ends on the 22nd of August with "Important Announcement".

- Today marks the 55th weeksary of AlDub.


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