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British envoy cites success of peace process in BARMM

The top British diplomat in Manila has cited the importance of high-level political participation and inclusiveness in the success of the peace process in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). “The strength of this political process rests on high-level political participation and the inclusive systems that are being established. I hope, through our work with the BARMM authorities, we are able to make our contribution to achieving that,” British Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce said during the recent “Bangsamoro & Beyond” forum. BARMM was created through the signing of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) in 2018 and its subsequent ratification by a plebiscite in January and February 2019. BARMM Minister of Education Mohagher Iqbal highlighted the “normalization track” as one of the most important aspects in the implementation of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB). He was referring to the decommissioning of the 40,000 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) where he is also the Implementing Panel Chair. “We have hurdled the most difficult and the most arduous part of the search for peace and justice in Mindanao, and we are now in the implementing stage,” Iqbal said, adding that the interim Bangsamoro administration is also requesting to extend the transition up to 2025 to ensure the success of the peace process. By normalizing the situation in Mindanao, Iqbal said the life of each combatant has to be transformed from a combat life into a productive civilian life and at the same time achieve peace, justice, and development in Mindanao. Iqbal participated in a forum backed by The Asia Foundation and British Embassy in Manila, in partnership with BARMM and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP). The policy forum, which was jointly organized by The Asia Foundation and the British Embassy, was convened to strengthen community engagement in the Bangsamoro through public awareness campaigns about the new parliamentary system and voting rights. Participants included members of underrepresented groups such as women, youth, and non-Moro indigenous peoples which have reserved seats in the Bangsamoro parliament that is composed of 80 representatives. The reserved seats, according to Social Services Minister Raissa Jajurie, will allow “vulnerable sectors” such as the non-Moro indigenous peoples, settler communities, youth, women, traditional leaders, and the ulama to be part of the parliament. Lawyer Laisa Alamia, a member and Minority Floor Leader of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), spoke about ensuring women’s rights that are enshrined in the provisions of the BOL. Maguindanaon youth leader Suwaidi Ebrahim, for his part, said it is important to have a representation of the underrepresented sectors since they are the most knowledgeable about their needs as a sector. Others who raised their platforms in the forum were Reymon Tenorio of the United Indigenous Peoples Youth Organization (UNIPYO) and BTA member Nabil Tan who spoke about the need to extend the transition period.

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JioMart likely to be integrated into WhatsApp messenger later this year: Reports

The move by both companies could bring true WeChat-like integration of chat, shopping and payments all in the same app.

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World shares sink as virus fears offset recovery hopes

By Ritvik Carvalho LONDON (Reuters) - Global stock markets sank on Monday as soaring COVID-19 cases offset investor hopes of

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Zelensky welcomes decision to reduce gas price for population

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has welcomed the government's decision to reduce natural gas tariffs for the population and stressed that utility tariffs should be socially fair and the gas market should operate according to the standards of transparent trade and fair competition, the presidential press service has reported.

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Air quality regulator temporarily suspends cremation limits for LA County amid 'backlog' from pandemic

As Los Angeles County battles against the unrelenting coronavirus, an air pollution control agency says it has temporarily suspended limits on cremations in order to assist crematoriums in the county with a "backlog" caused by the pandemic.

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COVID-19 vaccine prices sourced from DOH — Sen. Angara

The office of Senator Juan Edgardo Angara on Monday said the prices of COVID-19 vaccines that are being attributed to his office were actually given by the Department of Health (DOH) two months ago when the Senate was holding hearings on the 2021 national budget. Angara, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, reiterated that the information on the various prices of vaccines, particularly that of China’s Sinovac Biotech, were provided by the DOH to his office and was meant as a guide for senators who were inquiring about details of the vaccines during the plenary debates last November 2020. “Sen. Angara has neither claimed that he was the source of the data nor said anything about the accuracy of the said prices then and now,” Angara’s office said in a statement. “What was presented during the plenary debates and subsequently quoted in various social media posts was a straightforward citation of the data provided by the DOH to the Office of Sen. Angara,” the statement also read. Angara’s office stressed the proper attribution should be with the DOH and not from the senator. “The Senator does not claim to be an expert on the issue and does not have any knowledge about the actual cost of the vaccines other than what was provided to him by the DOH last November,” they also said. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque had branded as “fake news” allegations that the cost of the COVID-19 vaccines from China’s Sinovac Biotech that would be sold to the Philippines costs P3,600. According to Roque, the price of Sinovac vaccines would only cost around P650, similar to other countries. Earlier, Angara’s office shared data showing that COVID-19 vaccines from Sinovac cost P3, 629 for two doses. Senators are questioning the government’s preference to procure the Chinese-made vaccines, noting its low efficacy rate and lack of peer-reviews from the medical community.

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Mamata Takes Fight to Adhikari, to Contest WB Polls From Nandigram

“I will contest from Nandigram. Nandigram is my lucky place,” Mamata Banerjee reportedly said.

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Bairstow, Lawrence seal seven-wicket win for England over Sri Lanka

After a seven-wicket win, a double-century innings, and two five-wicket hauls for the bowlers, England captain Joe Root still feels

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OLD The Bay recap: Everything that happened in series one of ITV’s hit crime drama

It’s been nearly two years since The Bay last graced TV screens, but ITV’s tense Morecombe-set crime drama is finally back. Earning comparisons to Broadchurch for its icy depiction of a missing person investigation, the series proved a fast hit with viewers when it debuted in March 2019. Now, The Bay is back with another six episodes, filmed before the pandemic. For those who might need a reminder of what exactly went down during in the show’s first outing, here is our short catch-up guide to the series one… The series began with hardened Morecambe detective Lisa Armstrong (Morven Christie) being assigned to work with the Meredith family as a Family Liaison Officer after two 15-year-old twins, Holly and Dylan, mysteriously disappear. By Lisa’s side was inexperienced DC Ahmed “Med” Kharim (played by newcomer Taheen Modak). We quickly learn that Lisa enjoyed a back-alley romantic altercation with the Meredith family patriarch, Sean (Jonas Armstrong), on the night his children went missing. As Lisa naviates the shame of this, she meddles with the investigation to cover their tracks, even going so for as to tamper with CCTV footage. Lisa also has a pair of kids of her own: Rob (Art Parkinson) and Abbie (Imogen King), who go to the same school as the missing Meredith children. When Dylan shows up dead, Sean Meredith is taken in by the police – and is unable to use his tryst with Lisa as an alibi. For lack of evidence, though, Sean is soon released, and attention turns to another suspect, Nick, a local man with a learning disability. Lisa learns that Sean had a second sexual encounter with another woman on the same night his children disappeared. Nick is interrogated and beaten up by Sean, though Lisa rules him out as a suspect in the twins’ disappearance, and focuses instead on family friend Ryan (Philip Hill-Pearson). Meanwhile, Lisa’s own kids wade into trouble, as Abbie is ensnared into the drug trade by rugged older boy Vincent, and Rob begins enacting a series of increasingly risky dares for an internet acquaintance, which culminates in the robbery of a food bank. Holly’s rucksack washes up on the shore containing £8,000 in cash and a burner phone and her blood is discovered under her deceased brother’s fingernails – making her a key suspect in his murder. Tipped off by Nick, Lisa eventually finds Holly locked up in an abandoned holiday pool - still alive, and pregnant. Facing a barrage of questions, Holly admits to killing Dylan, by accident while the pair were fighting. Abbie finds herself in danger when a drug deal goes awry, and requires the help of Sam (Louis Greatorex), her violence-adept former flame. Her brother Rob is meanwhile blackmailed by his online dare pal and gets arrested while attempted to fence his grandmother’s rings. But Lisa is understanding, as her own crimes come to a boil; Med digs into the tampered CCTV recording and learns of her night with Sean Meredith. Lisa is then suspended from her duties after a confrontation which is overheard by Jess Meredith (Sean’s wife). In The Bay’s dramatic first season finale, it was revealed that Dylan’s real killer was Sam. After Lisa finds Holly’s ultrasound picture in Sam’s wallet, he reveals the full story: how he and Holly were dating, and Dylan had tried to stop them fleeing to Manchester after learning she was pregnant. Dylan’s death was an accident, caused by striking his head as he fell down. Sam ends the series facing four years in jail for the accidental killing, while sleazy drug-pusher Vincent is caught and stares down a far longer sentence. Also sent down is Sean Meredith, whom it is revealed had a substantial role in the local drug trade. Lisa ended the series in limbo, with her suspension from the police still pending review. The Bay returns to ITV on Wednesday, 20 January at 9pm. Read More The Bay review: Missing child drama is packed with TV tropes The Masked Singer UK returns as a ridiculous, colourful distraction ITV competitions left 41,000 people with no chance of winning The BBC has really stepped up during lockdown and it’s great to see

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The Latest: Chinese province ups restrictions amid outbreak

A Chinese province grappling with a spike in coronavirus cases is reinstating tight restrictions on weddings, funerals and other family gatherings, threatening violators with criminal charges

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Germany prepares for further coronavirus measures

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's health minister said on Monday that although measures to contain the coronavirus had started to have

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Germany prepares for further coronavirus measures

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's health minister on Monday said that although measures to contain the spread of coronavirus had started

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German Zverev splits with Federer's management firm

(Reuters) - German Alexander Zverev has parted ways with Roger Federer's sports management company Team8, the world number seven said.

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Smokers at Lesser Risk of COVID: Findings from CSIR Serosurvey

Smokers, vegetarians and those with blood group ‘O’ may be less susceptible to contracting the COVID-19 infection.

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Vijay Deverakonda, Ananya Panday's Upcoming Film Titled 'Liger'

The film is being produced by Karan Johar's Dharma Productions.

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Moeen Ali could yet play for England in second test

GALLE, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Experienced all-rounder Moeen Ali could yet play for England in the second test against Sri

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Siraj’s Five-wicket Haul at Gabba Has Twitter Gushing Over Him

Siraj made is debut in the second Test against Australia at Melbourne.

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Committed to Bring Marathi Areas of Karnataka Into Maha: Uddhav

The dispute between the two states over Belagavi and other border areas is pending before the Supreme Court.

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Phil Spector death: Darlene Love remembers ‘controlling’ music producer and convicted murderer who harmed career

Darlene Love has said working with “controlling” Phil Spector was like “a bad marriage” in the wake of his death. The revolutionary music producer and convicted killer, who was serving a jail sentence for murdering actor Lana Clarkson, died on Saturday (16 January), aged 81. Spector’s death, which was confirmed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, has stirred up mixed feelings about his legacy. Love, who sang a number of Spector’s beloved hits, waded into the matter having been vocal about her struggles working with the figure in the past. Spector downplayed Love’s involvement on many of the songs on which she sang, including The Crystals’ hit “He’s a Rebel”. He also used his power over copyright to prevent her from performing them in public, a move which ultimately harmed Love’s career. Reflecting upon their working relationship to Variety, she said: “You know, the whole thing was like a bad marriage. It’s a marriage that was abusive – not just physically, but mentally. That’s what Phil was trying to do with me." “The problem I have with Phil is that he wanted to control Darlene Love’s talent,” she continued. “If he couldn’t do that, he was going to do everything in his power to keep my talent from shining.” It was because of this Love says she “had to actually work harder to get my name out there” when starting out as a solo artist. She said she felt “very sad” after learning he had died, adding: “I didn’t think of hate. I didn’t think, ‘He deserved it or this should have happened.’ I just felt this was a sad way for him to leave this earth.” Love said there was no doubt that Spector “changed the sound of rock ‘n’ roll”, saying that this sentiment is also shared by musicians including Bruce Springsteen and Elton John. In 1993, Love successfully sued Spector for unpaid royalties. She recently made a cameo appearance in Netflix film The Christmas Chronicles Part II. Spector was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in 2003 after Clarkson was found shot dead in his California home. Four women testified against him in court, all of whom recalled being threatened with a gun by the producer after they rejected his advances. Read More How ASMR crossed over into pop music Russell T Davies: ‘Blame Silicon Valley or Trump… but it’s our fault’ How livestreaming made Dungeons and Dragons cool

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India eye fairytale win, as Australia fret over Starc

By Ian Ransom (Reuters) - Injury-ravaged India will chase 324 runs for a fairytale victory in the fourth test decider

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Groth slams 'selfish' Djokovic after quarantine 'demands'

(Reuters) - Former Davis Cup player Sam Groth has accused Novak Djokovic of a "selfish political move" after a report

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Martin Luther King Day 2021: Who was the civil rights leader and how is the holiday celebrated?

Each year Americans celebrate the life of the US civil rights movement’s best-known spokesman and leader on Martin Luther King Jr Day. The movement pioneered by Martin Luther King pressured the American government to end legalised segregation in the United States. Who was Martin Luther King Jr and why is he so important? Born in 1929, Martin Luther King Jr was a Baptist minister best known for using the tactics of nonviolence and civil disobedience to combat racial inequality. Mr King led the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white person. He also helped organise the March on Washington in 1963, where he delivered the “I Have a Dream” speech he is best known for. In 1964, he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his civil rights work. Towards the end of his life, he expanded his campaigning to include opposition to poverty and the Vietnam War. Mr King was assassinated by James Earl Ray on 4 April, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, while he was planning a national occupation of Washington DC. News of his death was followed by riots in many US cities. Who commemorates Martin Luther King’s memory and since when? Martin Luther King Jr Day is a paid federal holiday in the US, meaning civil servants and many school pupils are given the day off. The day is observed on the third Monday of January each year, the day closest to his birthday on 15 January. This year, it will be held on Monday 18 January. In 1968, Congress was presented with a petition signed by more than three million people which called for the Mr King’s birthday to be commemorated. However, Republicans initially resisted the move, arguing Mr King had ties to communism and an “inappropriate” sexual past they felt the government should not honour. But in 1983, Ronald Reagan, the US President, signed Martin Luther King Jr Day into law as an official public holiday and it was first observed three years later. Outside of the US, it is observed in Hiroshima, Japan, with a special banquet at the mayor’s office, and Toronto, Canada, which officially recognised Martin Luther King Jr Day, though not as a paid holiday. How is Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrated? Many Americans use the day as an opportunity to learn about Mr King’s life and achievements. Others spend the day volunteering for a cause they think Mr King would have supported. Many states hold special events or lectures about race relations in the US. There is a historic walking tour in Harlem, New York, and street parades in Los Angeles.istory – will last. Google are marking the day with one of their famous doodles, by guest artist Dr. Fahamu Pecou. Read More MLK’s daughter says her father would be ‘extremely disturbed’ by Trump Did James Earl Ray really kill Martin Luther King? 50 Martin Luther King quotes 50 years after his assassination

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Highest incidence of COVID-19 cases recorded in five regions, Kyiv city

As of January 18, the highest incidence of coronavirus cases in Ukraine has been recorded in Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv, Cherkasy, Kyiv and Luhansk regions and the city of Kyiv.

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South Korea's Moon urges Biden admin to follow up on Kim, Trump summit

By Hyonhee Shin SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Monday that U.S. President-elect Joe Biden should

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