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PH formally ends US military pact

first_img Panelo said Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has signed and sent the termination letter to the US Embassy last week, marking the start of the 180-day period from when the military pact will be scrapped. MANILA – The Philippines has formally terminated the two decades-old Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said. The formal termination of the VFA came a day after President Rodrigo Duterte said that he thumbed down American President Donald Trump’s attempt to salvage the military agreement. “I’ll make it public. Si Trump and others are trying to save the Visiting Forces Agreement. Sabi ko ayaw ko. Napakabastos ng Amerikano. Talagang sobrang bastos,” Duterte said in a speech on Monday night. “The President directed the Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to tell Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin of the Foreign Affairs to send a notice of termination to the US government last night and the Executive Secretary sent the message to Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin and the latter signed the notice of termination… and sent to the US government today,” Panelo said in a media briefing on Tuesday. Panelo, meanwhile, said that the Philippines is not closing its doors on engaging military agreement with other countries but President Duterte is inclined not to rely on other nations for strengthening the military defense. “From what I read from the agreement, there’s no need for US to respond to the termination,” he added. “Effectivity of the VFA termination would be 180 days from the receipt of the notice by the US government.” Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo says there is no need yet to place Visayas and Mindanao under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) unlike Luzon. Still, people there are always required to observe physical and social distancing to curb the spread of COVID-19. Ratified by the Philippine Senate in 1999, the VFA allowed US troops to train and advise the Philippine military in disaster response and anti-terrorist operations, but banned US forces from participating in combat operations./PN “One country has already offered to enter into another agreement. As the President said, it is about time that we rely on our own resources,” Panelo said. “Basta may mutual benefits, we are open… But the President said we will strengthen our own defenses and not rely on other countries.” President Duterte has earlier ordered the termination of VFA due to US senators demand the release from detention of opposition senator Leila De Lima; US Senate resolution condemning drug war; amendment to US budget barring entry of PH officials linked to De Lima’s arrest; and cancellation of Sen. Ronald Dela Rosa’s US visa.last_img read more


Messi, Ronaldo missing from Champions League awards shortlist

first_img Promoted ContentTop 10 Female Disney Villains You’ll Definitely Fall In Love WithWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?10 Disney Characters Who Would Make Great Role ModelsThe 18 Most Visited Cities In The WorldTV Characters Who Hated Each Other But Later Became Friends5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme ParksEverything You Need To Know About Asteroid Armageddon13 kids at weddings who just don’t give a hoot8 Things To Expect If An Asteroid Hits Our Planet20 Photos Of Kendall Jenner That Force You Love Her Even More7 Gadgets & Inventions That Could Save Our PlanetThis Guy Photoshopped Himself Into Celeb Pics And It’s Hysterical Loading… Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were both missing from the final shortlist for UEFA’s positional awards next month. The awards recognise the top performers in each position during the 2019-20 Champions League campaign, with the shortlist comprising of players with the most votes from a special jury. Both Messi and Ronaldo have always made the final shortlist but this year will see neither man up for the forward’s award. Robert Lewandowski is the hot favourite to win the UEFA’s best forward award, while PSG duo Kylian Mbappe and Neymar are also in the running. The awards were introduced for the 2016-17 campaign, in a bid to acknowledge the best players in Europe’s elite club competition. A jury, which comprises coaches from the 32 clubs in last season’s group stage and 55 journalists, choose their top three players in each position of goalkeeper, defence, midfield and attack, with five points awarded to their first choice, three for second and one for their third choice. Coaches were not allowed to vote for players from their own teams. The winners for each position will be announced at this year’s UEFA Champions League group stage draw in Nyon, Switzerland on October 1. Man City star Kevin De Bruyne was the only Premier League representative up for an award Read Also: Barcelona celebrate 20 years of Messi’s arrival The UEFA Men’s Player of the Year and UEFA Women’s Player of the Year will also be announced at the event. Last season’s winners saw Alisson pick up the best goalkeeper award while Liverpool team-mate Virgil Van Dijk was nominated as the campaign’s best defender. Frenkie de Jong was awarded the best midfielder while Messi was picked as the Champions League best forward. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Predictably, Bayern Munich have dominated proceedings with seven players nominated across the four categories. Manuel Neuer is up for the best goalkeeper award, along with PSG’s Keylor Navas and Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak. David Alaba, Alphonso Davies and Joshua Kimmich dominated the defender list while Thomas Muller and Liverpool-bound Thiago got nods for best midfielder. Manchester City star and PFA Player of the Year Kevin De Bruyne is the only Premier League representative on the list but faces stiff competition from the Bayern boys.last_img read more


Uzbekistan native enjoying tennis in America

first_imgThe Wisconsin men’s tennis team is full of young and energetic players from all corners of the globe. One Badger’s energy, however, stands apart from the rest and has had a positive effect on the play of his teammates throughout the course of the regular season.His name is Jakhongir Jalalov, or “Johnnie” as his teammates call him, and he is a freshman who hails from Tashkent, the capital city of Uzbekistan. Johnnie has made certain his smile and team-first mentality did not get left behind on the 13.5-hour flight.“It’s really fun [playing with Johnnie],” fellow freshman Oskar Wikberg said, “because he is always vocal and always pumps everybody up. He brings a lot of motivation to the team and the players so that is really good.”Regardless of the score of the match, as soon as Johnnie is finished playing on his court he immediately runs to the nearest court to cheer on his teammates and give them the emotional support needed to win a tough Division I tennis match.“I think it is really important to give moral support to your guys,” Jalalov said. “We all know, and I know from my past experience, that it is important to do so no matter what the result is. We all know to be very proud of each other, regardless of what the result will be.”The moral support he gives his teammates does not go unnoticed with head coach Greg Van Emburgh. “He brings a great team morale to the table,” Van Emburgh said. “When he comes out there and is really playing with a lot of intensity, and becoming a vocal leader, it adds a lot to the team and that is an area that we have really been trying to work on.”While being a great teammate and motivator is important, it does not yield results and that is where Jalalov’s play on the court comes into the equation. Heading into the Big Ten tournament, Johnnie is 17-14 (6-3 in the fall) in singles play and 16-10 (3-2 in the fall) in doubles. At the number three court for doubles, Jalalov sports an 11-6 record where he is 10-5 with Wikberg as his partner.His success on the court was the main reason coach Van Emburgh was attracted to the 20-year-old. “He is a really competitive person,” Van Emburgh said. “He had a good junior career internationally and [has so far gotten us] a bunch of singles and doubles points. You know he is a really nice guy and he has started to work harder and harder, so it’s just been a really good fit [here at Wisconsin].”“I feel like he’s only going to continue to get better,” Van Emburgh continued, “and we are looking for him to continually step up in the years to come.”What attracted Jalalov to the Wisconsin was the good academics, coupled with a good tennis program.“It is a good mix here,” Jalalov said, “and that is exactly what I was looking for [in a school].”As one of five international players on the team, Jalalov has found his niche here in Wisconsin. “We feel really comfortable as a team,” Jalalov said as assistant coach Joe Bates spanked him jokingly with a tennis racquet. “By the end of the season we really feel like we are together as a team.”Part of that bonding experience has come away from the tennis court, where Jalalov and Wikberg are roommates.“He’s just a really good guy,” Wikberg said. “He is really fun and just an all-around good roommate and teammate.”Still, no matter how close teammates are, there is a difference between playing in Madison and playing overseas. “The main difference is now I play for my teammates, and to represent my program, and my university,” Jalalov said. “Now I am in a team environment, which is completely different than [back home] when I played for myself.”The new environment that Jalalov finds himself in seems one he was made for, and he’s thriving in it.“I think he’s adjusted great, both on and off the court, and he’s just been excited since day one to be a Badger and to wear that ‘motion W’ across his chest,” Van Emburgh said.At the end of the day, this smiling, energetic and full-of-life character from Uzbekistan is just like any other teenage boy here on campus. And if you ask Wikberg, he’s your average roommate who has his fair share of quirks.“Um, he is really flexible,” Wikberg said of Jalalov. “Like, he’s really flexible and can do things with his body that actually scare me.”The Badgers travel to Ohio Wednesday for the start of the Big Ten Tournament where they will face Purdue in the first round. Wednesday also holds another date of significance for this Badgers’ squad: it’s Jalalov’s 20th birthday.last_img read more


Cody Bellinger on 2017 Astros: ‘Everyone knows they stole a ring from us’

first_img“I thought (MLB Commissioner Rob) Manfred’s punishment was weak, giving them immunity. I mean these guys were cheating for three years,” Bellinger said. “I think what people don’t realize is (Jose) Altuve stole an MVP from (Aaron) Judge in ’17. Everyone knows they stole a ring from us.”The commissioner’s report found the Astros guilty of stealing signs in 2017 only. But Bellinger said he is “100 percent” convinced they continued in 2018 and 2019.“I don’t know why they would stop,” he said.There have been videos circulating online of Altuve’s walk-off home run in last year’s ALCS which show him waving off teammates and asking them not to rip off his jersey. That suspicious behavior has led to theories about Astros hitters wearing buzzers under their jerseys to get signals about the type of pitch coming.“I don’t know what human hits a walk-off home run against Aroldis Chapman to send your team to the World Series and, one, has the thought to say ‘Don’t rip my jersey off’ but, two, go into the tunnel, change your shirt and then come to do your interview. That makes no sense to me. Makes zero sense,” Bellinger said.“Gary Sanchez said yesterday, ‘You can rip my shirt off, my pants off.’ If I sent my team to the World Series off Aroldis Chapman in the ninth inning at home? … I’m going crazy.”One of the first thoughts Stripling said he had last week when it looked like he might be traded to the Angels was that he would be facing the Astros in the AL West and whether he would take that opportunity to register his disapproval with a fastball to the ribs.“I would lean toward – yes,” he said, adding that it would have to be the right time and place.Alex Wood (who took a no-hitter into the sixth inning of Game 4 in the 2017 World Series) said retribution from opposing pitchers is likely – and pointed up an ironic twist.“I mean, they messed with a lot of guys lives,” Wood said. “I don’t condone that type of behavior. We certainly don’t play them. But it wouldn’t surprise me if something like that happened, just to be honest.“It’s funny because I’m pretty sure it probably will happen. Somebody will take it into their own hands and they’ll get suspended more games than any of those guys got for the biggest cheating scandal in 100 years. It’ll be pretty ironic when that happens because I’m sure that’s how it will end up playing out.”For his part, three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw said he saw Thursday’s press conference but “I don’t know what to think anymore.”“Some of those guys seemed remorseful. Some of those guys said the right things, gave a good apology,” he said. “That’s great. I’ll move on with that. Then you get the owner up there saying some dumb stuff and it’s like ‘What’s going on. How can you be that ignorant to the situation?’“I think the scripted-ness with what happened in Houston yesterday, it didn’t seem as genuine. I think over here you’re going to feel it. You’re going to feel the genuineness of what we feel and we’re going to move on a little easier, I think.” “They’re not saying that they’re cheating,” reigning National League MVP Cody Bellinger said. “They never said ‘No’ to the buzzers. They always just said the commissioner’s report. It’s kind of bizarre what’s been going on over there. We listened to that and the guy (Astros owner Jim Crane) said it wasn’t impacting the game – are you kidding me? You’re banging trash cans, knowing what pitch is coming? It definitely does.“I know I personally lost respect for those guys. I would say everyone in the show, everyone in the big leagues lost respect for those guys. But then again, there is a time where people do make mistakes. You feel success, you’re getting money, you’re getting MVPs. It’s hard to turn that down. … Those guys are great players. I think everyone respected what they did. Now, man, it’s – what’s real, what’s not?“I don’t know many people who respect them right now.”Stripling revealed that a group chat among the Dodgers who played on the 2017 team against the Astros was re-ignited by the series of revelations and reverberations this offseason. The sentiments expressed were pretty similar to what the players have said publicly, Stripling said.Bellinger held back very little Friday. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img GLENDALE, Ariz. — Justin Turner stood at his locker surrounded by reporters. Mookie Betts’ locker was just a few feet away.But the questions did not center on the Dodgers’ acquisition of the former MVP. It was still the reverberations from the sign-stealing scandal and the Houston Astros’ attempts to take responsibility.“Obviously this isn’t going to go away,” Turner said Friday, the first day of official workouts for pitchers and catchers. “There’s going to be questions dragging on for a long time and we’re going to try to focus on 2020 and get ready to win a championship this year.”That might be the “mantra,” as pitcher Ross Stripling put it. But the emotions stirred up by the Astros’ press conference a day earlier were obvious.last_img read more