Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Let's Do The News! (January 4, 2017)

- President Rodrigo Duterte has designated the Presidential Communications Operations Office as the lead agency in the implementation of the freedom of information program in the executive branch. The president signed EO 2 which implements the FOI in the executive branch three weeks after assuming office in July. Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea issued MO 10 which takes the PCOO to oversee implementation of all FOI and e-FOI programs for all government agencies int he executive branch.

- China confirmed that its aircraft carrier has for the first time conducted drills in the South China Sea with a formation of other warships and fighter jets, a move that could raise concerns among its neighbors. The Defense Ministry said several J-15 fighter jets took off and landed from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Liaoning on Monday. China's first and only aircraft carrier sailed into South China Sea last week.

- Vice President Leni Robredo said she denies rumors that former US ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg had left a "blueprint" to oust President Duterte. Robredo said that she and Goldberg only talked about bilateral relations between the two countries during their meeting.

- One of the award-winning entries from the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival has been recalled due to animal cruelty issues. The FPJ Memorial Award for the film, Oro, was stripped due to its graphic depiction of a dog being slaughtered in one scene. Senator Grace Poe called on the organizers to look into the matter of whether a dog was actually butchered as part of the filming of the movie, in violation of Animal Welfare Act (RA 8485), which protects the welfare of animals.

- The newly-elected US Congress convened on Tuesday. The majority Republicans intend to review President Barack Obama's health care act. In the first session, the Republican Senate Budget Committee chairperson submitted a bill to repeal the health care act but Democrats want to maintain the care act. It remains to be seen when president-elect Trump will review the act as he pledged during his election campaign or search for common ground with Democrats.

- US President Donald Trump picked veteran negotiator Robert Lighthizer as his trade representative. Lighthizer was the deputy trade representative in the Reagan administration and played a key role in negotiating bilateral trade deals for a range of products, including steel and crops.

- Turkish security authorities are reportedly investigating 8 people under detention in connection with Sunday's deadly shooting rampage at a nightclub in Istanbul. They are suspected to be linked to the Islamic State group. On Tuesday, Turkish media cited security officials as saying the attacker flew from Kyrgyzstan to Istanbul with his wife and two kids on the 20th of November. Right now, the state of emergency implemented in Turkey has extended to three months.

- Ford has officially announced that they will make hybrid versions of the Mustang sportscar and the F-150 pickup truck by the end of the decade as well as electrified vehicles.

- Faraday Future has unveiled their first production EV called the FF91 at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Showcase event in Las Vegas. The FF91 features a 200kW fast charging capability, 500 miles per charge, and a 130-kWh battery pack with 783kW of range (1050hp and 378 mile range.

- Interesting seiyuu news though; Rina Satou announced her marriage and her baby boy, then Mikako Takahashi also announced her marriage, and Ayana Taketatsu switched agencies.

- The Rockstar Energy Drink Car Pack for Forza Horizon 3 is now available. This month's car pack features the long-awaited arrival of the BMW i8 as well as the Bentley Bentayga and others.


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