Saturday, August 6, 2016

Rio 2016 Highlights - Day 1

August 5, 2016 - DAY 1

The Rio 2016 Olympic Games have finally begun in Rio de Janeiro, the capital city of Brazil, amid the current issues the South American country was facing on. This is the first time in Olympic history a South American country has hosted such games and in honor of the start of the Games, an opening ceremony took place at Brazil's Maracana Stadium.

From colorful performances, a showcase of Brazilian culture, the arrival of athletes representing their home nation, including the Refugee Olympic Team (reprising of athletes that came from unstable nations, mostly from the Middle East and Africa) in the spirit of solidarity and respect from the Olympics committee, and many others, the opening ceremony is a sure sign that tells the world that the Games are now officially on.

Up until the 21st of August, athletes from a multitude of countries are competing through different sports not just for medals but for the honor of their home countries. With current issues facing now, here's hoping that the Rio Olympics will go on smoothly without any problems and I believe that its reputation as the first South American nation to host the Games will hold its clean reputation to the very end.



On the August 5, 2016 episode of Bubble Gang...

- Adik Sayo gags

- When a certain bad luck charm got lucky back and forth as told by the merchant...

- A wedding turned disaster!

- A bank teller got caught by a foretelling!

- A presscon about a new news program...

- Newlyweds getting their adoption face on...

- Patok Taktiks on wearing backpacks on front are examined.

- Basa Basa Pik!

Friday, August 5, 2016

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: Japan, US, S.Korea to work on N.Korea resolution

Sourced from NHK World:

Japan's ambassador to the United Nations says Japan will work with the United States and South Korea in calling on China and other countries to jointly condemn North Korea for its ballistic missile launches.

Koro Bessho made the comments in New York to reporters on Thursday.

The UN Security Council is discussing how to respond to North Korea's launch of 2 missiles on Wednesday. One of the missiles is said to have splashed down in waters inside Japan's exclusive economic zone located in the Sea of Japan. The missile is estimated to have flown about 1,000 kilometers and is believed to be a medium-range Rodong.

Bessho said multiple members of the Security Council are cautious about issuing a new resolution condemning Pyongyang.

He said some representatives urged dealing with the matter within the framework of Northeast Asia and stressed the importance of preventing a vicious cycle.

Bessho indicated that Japan, the US and South Korea would work together on the new resolution since a united stance would carry more weight.

But UN diplomatic sources say negotiations to arrive at the new resolution are making little headway.

Let's Do The News! (August 5, 2016)

- The Malacanang Palace has stressed that the shoot-to-kill order of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte against "narco-politicians" is in line with his policy in maintaining peace and order in the country. The president earlier demanded Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. and his son Kerwin to surrender on the grounds of drug trafficking and coddling. A shoot-on-sight order was supposed to be issued if they resist and endanger the lives of arresting police officers. Duterte is yet to release the list of 27 mayors allegedly protecting the illegal drug trade.

- The Supreme Court rejected the Office of the Solicitor General's plea to temporarily release 10 leaders of the communist National Democratic Front with criminal cases. The 10 NDF panel members are facing criminal charges, including a multiple murder case in connection to the killing of 15 government spies in Inopacan, Leyte in 1985.

- Vice President Leni Robredo left the Philippines for a one-week trip to the United States to speak at a conference and meet with supporters. Robredo is scheduled ot speak at the National Empowerment Conference of the National Federation of Filipino-American Association in Pennsylvania tomorrow.

- Reports told that US President Barack Obama has decided to seek the UN Security Council resolution that would call for countries to end nuclear testing. Obama will seek the resolution next month and senior administration officials have briefed lawmakers on the president's decision. Sources told that Obama has begun to consider ways to reduce nuclear dangers by working with other UNSC members to support the suspension of nuclear testing. However, that does not mean they would legally ban nuclear tests. 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty since 1996.

- Just hours before the Rio Olympics kicks off, the head of the Russian Olympic Committee has complained about the decision to prevent Olympic pole-vaulting champion Yelena Isinbaeva and other Russian track and field players from competing in the Games. Alexander Zhukov told reporters in Rio on Thursday that most Russian track and field players are being discriminated against. On a related note, an international sporting tribunal has ruled in favor of appeals by three Russian athletes who were banned from the games. The ruling could pave way for their participation in the Games. The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled on Thursday that the Olympic ban on the three athletes was unenforceable and they had all been sanctioned for doping offences. On the same day, the IOC announced that 271 out of the 389 Russian athletes have been approved to participate in the games.

- Baltimore policemen shot a 13-year-old boy Wednesday afternoon after seeing him holding a BB gun, according to reports. Two officers saw the boy holding what they thought was a gun on the street near a recreation center and basketball courts, and chased after him. One of the officers shot the boy after he tried to escape from them. The commissioner said his injuries are not life-threatening. The shooting occurred as marches in another part of the city were taking place to commemorate the first death anniversary of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black male who died in police custody last year. Earlier this week, the family of 12-year-old Tamir Rice reached a $6 million settlement with the city of Cleveland after a policeman shot and killed Rice while he was playing with a toy gun.

- Manny Pacquiao, despite retired from his boxing career and entered the politics since his May 2016 senatorial win, has picked WBO welterweight champ, Jessie Vargas, as his opponent in his comeback fight from retirement this November. It was confirmed by his business manager Eric Pineda on Wednesday following Pacquiao's jig on the Mahindra Enforcers' win against the Alaska Aces on the PBA Governors Cup match.

- Nissan showcased its functional BladeGlider concept car in Rio, in time before the games. Similar to the one as seen on last year's Tokyo Motor Show, it now comes with two 130kW electric motors that combine for a total output of 268HP of power and 521lb-ft of torque. It even comes with a 220kWh li-ion battery.

- Mitsubishi Motors will showcase their XM Concept at this year's Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show, open to the public from the 12th to the 21st of August, 2016.

- As the Pokemon Go app game launches on Brazil, developer Niantic Labs announced that they're working on fixing bugs that affect the throwing accuracy and players' chances for capturing Pokemon. The bug began affecting players on Tuesday when Pokemon became harder to catch. No specific timeline for this update was given yet.


Thursday, August 4, 2016

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: UNSC ends emergency meeting on NKorea

Sourced from NHK World:

The United Nations Security Council has ended its emergency meeting on North Korea's latest launch of two ballistic missiles toward the Sea of Japan.

The Security Council's emergency closed-door session ran for about two hours at UN headquarters in New York on Wednesday.

The US military and other sources say North Korea fired what appear to be two Rodong-type medium-range ballistic missiles on Wednesday. One exploded shortly after launch. The other flew about 1,000 kilometers east and landed in the Sea of Japan.

Later in a news conference, UN envoys from Japan, the United States and South Korea, which called the meeting, appealed to the international community to unite in putting pressure on Pyongyang.

The Security Council is expected to draw up a press statement, with consideration for China and Russia, criticizing the missile launches as a clear violation of the council's resolutions. And it will urge UN member states to firmly implement sanctions on North Korea.

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.


Third-generation Buick LaCrosse

The previous-generation Buick LaCrosse was the dark horse of the luxury car market and for General Motors, it was made to be a world-class luxury car that will make owners of German or Japanese luxury cars envy on how this car behaves. With the all new, third-generation, Buick LaCrosse finally making the spotlight, can its "world-class luxury" promise still be kept like last time?

2017 Buick LaCrosse

First and foremost, let's take a bite on the new LaCrosse's design and for this new model, it looks very rewarding to look at on its first impression and the more you look on its design, the more you'll appreciate its world-class styling that draws flak to the Germans and Japanese. The thing is, the new LaCrosse was heavily inspired from the Avenir Concept, a concept turned reality like the previous model, and it was the first to come with Buick's brand new company face that will soon be applied in future models very soon. The waterfall grille is gone and now comes with the winged grille that harks back to the legendary Wildcat II concept from the 50's. 

A bit of checkered history though, but one thing that makes us noticed is the sideline because when you look further, it looks broadly similar to the Hyundai Grandeur, which costs cheaper than the new LaCrosse's 32,065 US Dollar starting price. Such thing makes us go hmmm...because even though it was costly to own than those Korean premium midsize saloons like the Kia K7 and the Hyundai Grandeur, the new LaCrosse will sadly not make it in the hands of South Koreans as an Alpheon, It's a shame because it looks very nice to look at, compared to the present-day Chevrolet Impala the Koreans got their hands on.

2017 Buick LaCrosse interior
2017 Buick LaCrosse interior

Spend minutes inside the new LaCrosse and you will find that its well-crafted interior is modern Buick mandarin to you and while it promises a world-class level of comfort and silence as learned from the previous model, the new LaCrosse isn't all about business and leisure even after hours. Sure, it now comes with Apple Carplay or Android Auto connectivity, but if you are so busy driving on the road, there's not enough time to toy around with such feature unless if you're stuck at rush hour traffic. Not to worry though because if you were stuck at traffic, you can get in touch with almost anyone thanks to its 4G connectivity that most General Motors models had. If you were being chauffeured by your personal driver, getting indulged inside the new LaCrosse is just one of the many meanings of the lap of luxury because it's like being on a personal office desk on wheels. It's all work, all play that won't make you dull, even on Mondays.

2017 Buick LaCrosse

Being the flagship of the Buick lineup in America, the new LaCrosse comes exclusively with a brand new 3.6L V6 engine, which produces 305 HP of power and 268 lb-ft of torque, mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox. Living it up to its world-class performance that matches the German saloons, the new LaCrosse comes with a 5-link rear suspension and an optional Sport Mode feature to make it more responsive in the corners. Summing it up, the new suspension doesn't make the LaCrosse feel as American as old Buicks from the last century and therefore, a bit more European, but when compared to cars like the BMW 5-Series and the Lexus GS, the new LaCrosse is nowhere near enjoyable as the other two, but when opted to the optional All-Wheel Drive with Active Twin-Clutch, the way it behaves is somewhat Audi A6 territory, swooning even under the weather.

As a technologically-focused Buick ever made, the new LaCrosse comes with driving aids such as Front Automatic Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Automatic Parking Assist, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and a Rear Vision Camera.

As mentioned, the new LaCrosse starts at 32,065 US dollars, which sounds very reasonably priced to owned but more pricey compared to Korean cars such as the K7 and the Grandeur. It maybe living up to its "world-class" promise but judging from its current standing now, feels like the LaCrosse is almost cutting short from the competition, even though its dream of selling it to South Korea as a new Alpheon was ended in rubbles, thanks to the Chevrolet Impala. That makes us very sad...

Available colors: Crimson Red Tintcoat, Black Onyx, Summit White, Ebony Twilight Metallic, White Frost Tricoat, Graphite Gray Metallic, Dark Sapphire Blue Metallic, Quicksilver Metallic, and Dark Forest Green Metallic.

Photo: General Motors

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: N.Korea fired 2 Rodong missiles

Sourced from NHK World:

The US military says that the 2 projectiles North Korea fired appear to have been Rodong-type medium-range ballistic missiles.

The US Strategic Command said it detected the launches from North Korea at 22:53 UTC on Tuesday.

Its analysis shows that the missiles were fired almost simultaneously from near Hwangju in the province of North Hwanghae in the country's west.

It says there are initial indications that one missile exploded immediately after launch and that the other fell into the Sea of Japan.

Meanwhile, the US State Department strongly condemned the latest launches.

It said the United States remains prepared to work with its allies and partners around the world to respond to further North Korean provocations. It added that the launches would only increase the international community's resolve to counter actions by the North.

Let's Do The News! (August 3, 2016)

- Philippine National Police chief Director General Bato Dela Rosa on Wednesday said he is willing to free Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., tagged as drug protector and drug trafficker by President Rodrigo Duterte, if proven not guilty. Espinosa Sr. voluntarily surrendered to Dela Rosa on Tuesday morning after the "shoot to sight order" of Duterte. He and his son Kerwin were asked to surrender on the grounds of drug trafficking and coddling drug lords within a day. However, Kerwin failed to show up past deadline.

- Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday said she supports constitutional convention as a mode of changing the Constitution rather than a constituent assembly. However, she understands the reservations of President Duterte on a convention as it would be more costly. The vice president noted that a con-con needs budget for the election of the delegates and the entire process.

- The United States and Singapore urged all concerned parties in the disputed South China Sea to avoid actions that would escalate tensions in the contested waters such as the militarization of outposts in the area. US President Barack Obama and Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong released a joint statement on Tuesday, reaffirming the two nations' commitment to maintaining regional peace and stability.

- US Republican presidentiable Donald Trump is refusing to endorse GOP lawmakers, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, in their upcoming Republican primaries for re-election to Congress in November. Trump said in an interview that the US needs very strong leadership and that he is not "quite there yet" with regard to endorsing Ryan.

- Hundreds of people held a protest against the Rio de Janeiro Olympics near the city, forcing the torch relay to change course. About 200 protesters rallied in the city of Niteroi, where the leg of the relay was held on Tuesday. For security reasons, authorities stated the torch relay about one kilometer away from where it was originally planned.

- The family of actor Anton Yelchin is suing FCA over his death. The Star Trek movie actor was killed in May when his 2015MY Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled away and pinned him between a gate and a brick pillar.

- Investigators say that the fuel economy scandal that hit Mitsubishi Motors was a "collective failure". Specifically, there was a lack of unity between divisions, company-wide pressure to boost fuel-efficiency numbers, and an unwillingness to accept fuel-economy shortfalls. The company's new stakeholder, Nissan, plans to improve its image following its fuel economy scandal regarding most of its vehicles, including kei cars.

- The Turn 10 Summer Car Pack on the XBOX One-exclusive Forza Motorsport 6 game is now on sale for $7 and this month's car pack features the brand new Cadillac CTS-V and the brand new Abarth 695 Biposto, as well as legends such as John Surtees' Ferrari F-158, A.J. Foyt's Watson #1 Sheraton-Thompson Special Roadster, Paul Newman's Datsun #33 Bob Sharp Racing 280ZX Turbo, and more.


F1 2016: German GP

Photo: Reuters

It was all business as usual at the German Grand Prix of the Formula 1 2016 season held at the Hockenheimring and for Lewis Hamilton, snagging his fourth championship win is just another day for him. Behind Hamilton's lines, Nico Rosberg's poor performance at the Hockenheimring gave way for the two Red Bull drivers; Daniel Ricciardo and rookie driver Max Verstappen. The two drivers scored a double podium finish, with Ricciardo 2nd and Verstappen 3rd, making the team more competitive in the constructor's standings.

Onto the driver's standings, thanks to his recent win, Hamilton retains his lead by 217 while Rosberg's 19 points behind and Ricciardo, 3rd place overall with 133 points.

The next race is at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, on the 28th of August.

Kimeta yo Hand in Hand/Daisuki Dattara Daijoubu!

Kimeta yo Hand in Hand/Daisuki Dattara Daijoubu!

As the Love Live! Sunshine!! TV series keeps on rolling throughout the rest of the Summer 2016 anime season lineup with better praise from the fans, the songs inspired from the hit TV series just keeps pouring in and the latest single inspired from the show is just one of them.

These two songs previously heard from the TV series, performed by Chika Takami, You Watanabe, and Riko Sakurauchi, now come with the full version so you can listen to the rest of the songs without a single fuss! Kimeta yo Hand in Hand, as heard from the pilot episode, and Daisuki Dattara Daijoubu, heard from the third episode, are now here so fans can listen to the songs that the three girls gave birth to the school idol group we know as Aqours.

Don't celebrate just yet because there will be more songs inspired from the LLS TV series coming your way!

1) 決めたよHand in Hand
2) ダイスキだったらダイジョウ
3) 決めたよHand in Hand (Off Vocal)
4) ダイスキだったらダイジョウ (Off Vocal)

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Let's Do The News! (August 2, 2016)

- The Philippine Air Force will be acquiring more attack helicopters to boost its fleet as part of a long-term upgrade program. This project is part of the PAF Flight Plan 2028 and very much in line with the president's thrust. It would boost the existing MD-520 attack units and newly acquired AW-109s. As of now, the PAF has between 12 to 16 MD-520s and eight AW-109 attack helicopters.

- The Supreme Court has summoned Vice President Leni Robredo to reply to the electoral protest filed by former Senator Bongbong Marcos. The tribunal asked the vice president to file an answer to Marcos' protest within 10 days of receipt of summons.

- Senator Leila De Lima decried the "do-it-yourself justice" introduced in the current administration's war on drugs and criminality. The senator defended her call for an investigation on the rising number of extrajudicial killings and summary executions of alleged drug users and dealers.

- A Truce Mural has been unveiled at the Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro, calling on warring parties to cease hostilities and observe the Olympic Truce. IOC President Thomas Bach marked the inauguration of the mural and it was signed with messages of peace by athletes and officials during the Games. The Truce Mural has been part of the Games since the Sydney 2000 Games.

- Health authorities in the US state of Florida have announced that 10 more people are affected with the Zika virus. The officials said that the 10 people are also believed to have contracted the virus from mosquitoes. They said six of them have not exhibited symptoms such as fever, but that they have tested positive for Zika.

- New Pokemon Sun and Moon info on the radar. Today, new Pokemon are announced such as Fomantis and its evolved form Lurantis, Gumshoos (the evolved form of Yangoos), Minior, Mudbray (which evolves to Mudsdale), and Oricorio (with four different variations). In addition, familiar Pokemon have been given Alola forms such as Exeggutor, Vulpix, Ninetails, Sandshrew, and Sandslash. Apart from these new Pokemons, there's a brand new Z-Moves feature where you can have your Pokemon unleash its powerful Z-Move that corresponds to the crystal equipped on the ring. For example, if Pikachu holds an electric-type Z-crystal that corresponds to the matching Z-crystal equipped on the Z-Ring, it can unleash the powerful Gigavolt Havoc. Z-Moves can be used once per battle but you can experience it on the real world as Takara Tomy announced a Z-Ring toy for sale, coinciding the launch of the games.

- In Pokemon Go-related news, as sales of the Pokemon Go Plus accessory has been pushed to September, reports told that New York State prohibits sex offenders to play this game as well as other stuff as a condition of parole in the state. Under the condition, registered sex offenders under state supervision who download, access, or play the game will violate the terms of their parole. Meanwhile, a recent study shows that more women in the USA play Pokemon Go than men.

- J-POP hip hop group Home Made Kazoku goes on hiatus at the end of the year as the members are pursuing their solo careers but hope to reunite later with new skills.

- Racing simulation game Assetto Corsa will feature three Porsche Packs and all packs have a total of 24 Porsche cars featured. The first batch of the Assetto Corsa Porsche DLC is expected late September in PC and console versions.


Mercedes-AMG C43/63 Coupe

2017 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe
2017 Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG Coupe

The AMG version of the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe now comes with two different versions to choose from. For those who wished to have an AMG C Coupe but deserved to be more accessible to get through the most out of it, there's a brand new C43 Coupe 4MATIC that was catered for drivers like them or for the privileged few, there's a new C63 Coupe packed with the same 4.0L V8 BiTurbo engine as its other equivalents.

Both of these AMG C Coupes behave differently in terms of performance and driving pleasure car enthusiasts would enjoy as well as the pricing that I'll going to mention it later on. First off, let's focus on the AMG C63 Coupe because this is the one I'm particularly familiar with.

In its base version, the 4.0L V8 engine produces 469HP of power and 479  lb-ft of torque but in the high-end S model, it produces 503HP of power and 516 lb-ft of torque, around four less than the previous limited-edition C63 Edition 507. Both of these variants are mated with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed gearbox but here on the C63 S Coupé, it accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds and top speed electronically limited to 250kph or 290 km/h with the optional AMG Driver's Package. Apart from the engine variations, it comes with the AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension with electronically controlled shock absorbers, AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes, the rear-axle limited-slip differential or the dynamic engine mounts, for better handling compared to the previous C63 AMG coupe. Although lairy to drive at, the new C63 behaves like a matured adolescent ready to man up in the face of anyone at the college grounds.

Of course, it maybe more matured to drive compared to the last one but when compared to the BMW M4, its chief rival, the new C63 means serious business because it has enough power to scrape off the M4, However, when compared against cars like these, it may start finding difficulty to catch up when compared to its more powerful rival, the Cadillac ATS-V Coupe, which remains a jelly in every car enthusiasts' envy. Why can't I get the ATS-V Coupe instead of this? Sure, it maybe more powerful compared to this car, it hasn't arrived in Europe yet, although when it did, the starting price of 77,826 Euros for the C63 would be doomed and it will be eaten alive easily in terms of value.

So, what about the C43? Since the advent of the SLC43 AMG a few months ago, I started to be skeptical when I said that the 43er that will soon cause misery for the AMG fans everywhere and the AMG we all know is gone and went into something hard water rather than faith in science. In general, AMG 43 models will serve as entry-level models to slot below 63ers. This C43 is one of them and you can think of it as...AMG seminar 101.

Forget about seminars because the C43 offers the similar 3.0L V6 twin turbo engine from the SLC43, which produces a more powerful 367PS of power and 520Nm of torque. Yes, it's mated with a 9G-TRONIC gearbox but exclusive on this model, it has a 4MATIC four-wheel drive system, which makes it personal when it feels under the weather. 

It can be fit for a multirole but because this is a four-wheel drive system, its mild handling just spoils its sense of humor and handling one of these in the bends is a risky struggle that requires a lot of painkillers on your glove compartment when it aches upon hard cornering in different regions. Do you consider fun to drive? As a long-distance semi-grand tourer, it should be fun, nice, and easy. You'll spend lots of time getting to know more about this car as you drive along the open roads without all the drama intended for your driving pleasure. The C43 maybe harsh on track days but on open roads, it's not so bad at all, especially its 61,285 Euro introductory price.

With these models, the AMG lineup is becoming a diversity for car enthusiasts at all levels and there's an AMG for every driver that matches to the level of his or her driving pleasure. So, which AMG C-Coupe would you consider? It's going to be a tough choice choosing either one of the two but I'll leave the rest to you.

Photo: Daimler AG

Monday, August 1, 2016

Let's Do The News! (August 1, 2016)

- The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration or PAGASA has lifted the warning signals raised over some areas after it reported that severe tropical storm Carina (Nida) was leaving the Philippine Area of Responsibility. The signals were removed 1100 hours local time after PAGASA reported that the storm is no longer in the PAR.

- Despite lifting the unilateral ceasefire days ago, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte hopes to resume talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines. The President lifted the ceasefire last Saturday after the National Democratic Front of the Philippines failed to announce a reciprocal ceasefire within the deadline that he gave.

- Pope Francis encouraged his young devotees at a global gathering Sunday to "believe in a new humanity" that is stronger than evil and refuses to see borders and barriers. The Pope celebrated a Holy Mass on the meadows in Brzegi, Poland, which is the final part of the annual World Youth Day, a global celebration of young Catholics.

- On the race to the White House, Democratic Presidentiable Hillary Clinton says Russian intelligence services are behind a cyber-attack on computers used by the Democratic National Committee. She said she thinks the case raises serious issues about Russian interference in US elections and US democracy. She also criticized Republican Presidentiable Donald Trump for showing a "very troubling willingness" to support the Russian president. Meanwhile, Trump said in a televised interview that he has not met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and has no ties to the Kremlin.

- On a seemingly related note, Donald Trump made disparaging comments after belittling the parents of the Muslim US solider who died in Iraq in 2004. Trump made disparaging comments about Khizr and Ghazala Khan following their Democratic National Convention appearance last week. Republican Party Governor John Kasich of Ohio also condemn Trump's latest comments.

- Thomas Bach, the head of the International Olympic Committee, says he will deal with the challenges posed by Russian athletes participating in the Rio Olympics in so little time left. Bach told reporters that the total ban would not be justifiable either morally or legally. He said the IOC has set "a very high bar" for Russian athletes, and that they are not being afforded a presumption of innocence.

- Meanwhile, people demanding the permanent ouster of suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and her supporters have taken to the streets of cities across the country, ahead of the opening of the Rio Olympics. Demonstrations took place in at least 10 states on Sunday.

- Chevrolet's brand new Camaro ZL1 is expected to have 650HP of power output from its supercharged V8 engine, about 10 more than the previous power output mentioned during its unveiling.

- Ford Australia rolled off the last Falcon Ute from its assembly line since last weekend., signalling the end of the company's Ute, ahead of Ford's Australian production in October. It signals the end of Ford's Aussie-made Falcon ute that started since February 1961 and includes seven generations and over 467,000 vehicles. With the saloon version ending production this October and the Territory at the end of the year, Ford's 90-year history of Australian production will end.

- Shooting for ABS-CBN's new TV drama, Till I Met You, starring OTWOL sensations James Reid and Nadine Lustre, has commenced. They commenced taping with her and JC Santos, who plays as a "third wheel" between the main characters.


Sunday, July 31, 2016

Volvo S90 and V90

Continuing on Volvo's path to revitalization and modernization that started it all with the new XC90, with safety is its top-priority, the Scandinavian carmaker continues to revive itself from its dreariness and blandness from its current lineup in a more technological manner with the brand new flagship saloon, the S90.

2017 Volvo S90

The S90 name sounds hardly familiar to any Volvo historians many because that was once used back in 1996 as a minor change version of the 960 saloon. It was known to be the last Volvo in history to be rear-wheel drive, just like its wagon derivative, the V90. Of course, with the S90 and V90 names brought back as the company's flagship, don't expect they'll behave as the ones from the last century, though, because they are basically offered with front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive configurations.

2017 Volvo S90
2017 Volvo V90

What matters about the new S90 and V90 is the technology that serves as the driving force of these new flagship models and sticking true to its "zero casualty" promise that Volvo delivers within the next decade, the new S90 and V90 are packed with autonomous driving technology.

Sure, Tesla has that Autopilot shindig going on with their Model S but for Volvo, Tesla's Autopilot is nothing but a serious wannabe in the autonomous driving stakes so Volvo's kind of autonomous tech is something beyond reach from Tesla's hands. Called Pilot Assist, it is the most advanced standard safety package on the market today, and apart from doing most kinds of stuff that Tesla's Autopilot do most of the time such as making good use of its sensors, camera, front radar, and autonomous emergency braking for collision prevention, this tech comes with large animal detection and run-off road mitigation, something that Tesla should put in the first place, huh?

Autonomous driving can be good news and bad news for us but as a word of warning, drivers who are solely relying on autonomous driving tech should need to be aware on the road at all times because autonomous driving isn't all fun and games or rest and relaxation because having learned from Tesla's mistakes, it's imperative that drivers need to be active on the road, even when they engage the car's autonomous driving features for the benefit of themselves. One more thing though, while these cars are born to be autonomous, they're just semi-autonomous ones and you need to be extra clever to study its merits and demerits while on the road.

2017 Volvo S90 interior

What about design? Having learned from its large crossover derivative, the XC90, the new S90 and V90 features Volvo's new design language packed with "Thor's hammer" headlamps that looks strikingly impressive even after hours. Although squarish to look at from back and front, the sidelines are all dynamically proportioned to deliver that luxury mandarin that you expect from the German saloons. As for the interior, it's surprisingly very nice to be accommodated and very high tech. You could spend hundreds of minutes trying to toy around the inside of the car but once you have it, it means a very serious business proposal for you to get behind the wheel of one of Volvo's most technologically advanced vehicles ever made.

2017 Volvo S90
2017 Volvo V90

If the S90 and V90's main paradigm shift is safety, has they completely forgotten about performance? Not quite because even it its front-wheel drive powertrain, driving one of these can be broadly similar to the Audi A6 but in a very Scandinavian kind of way thanks to its new platform that was used on the XC90 but if you try to opt in for an optional AWD powertrain, it can be a proper multirole that can take on any weather it sees at the cost of being too much grip and prone to understeering when you corner it hard on the bends. Most models do come with different two-litre engine configurations, be it petrol or diesel, but the most powerful is the T8 Twin Engine, which combines this with an electric motor, resulting to 407PS of power and 640Nm of torque. Believe it or not, diesel models now come with a brand new PowerPulse technology that eliminates the turbo lag, which makes it wonderful on the go, and the new i-Art injection system which keeps these engines smooth while running. Depending on the variant, these models can be mated with either a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic.

Should you buy it? The new Volvo S90 starts at 364,900 krona while the V90 starts at 374,900 krona so on paper, they're somewhat more costly to own than the Audi A6, in sedan and Avant derivatives, but if you didn't mind about the price differences, the S90 and V90 deserved a lot more respect than the Germans because of its unparalleled tech it offers for the drivers on today. It maybe here today, but these cars are ready for tomorrow thanks to the science that Volvo promises within the next decade.

Photo: Volvo Cars
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