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Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt visit Sanjay Dutt after his cancer diagnosis. See pictures

Actors Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, who both have films coming out with Sanjay Dutt, visited the actor after his cancer diagnosis.

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NBI creates task force to probe PhilHealth anomalies

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) announced Thursday that it has created Task Force Philhealth that will investigate alleged corrupt activities at the State-run health insurer. NBI officer-in-charge Director Eric Distor explained in a statement that he ordered the creation of Task Force PhilHealth to “intensify and hasten” the agency’s ongoing investigation of anomalies at PhilHealth. Distor said the job of the task force include “the audit of the PhilHealth finances and the conduct of lifestyle checks on its officials and employees.” “Task Force Philhealth will also coordinate with the Department of Justice (DoJ) on the progress of the investigation,” he added. The task force will be composed of agents and investigators of the NBI Anti-Graft Division (AGD), Anti-Fraud Division (AFD), Special Action Unit (SAU), Computer Crimes Division (CCD), Special Operations Group (SOG), and Digital Forensic Laboratory (DFL). “The task force shall be headed by NBI NCR Regional Director Cesar Bacani and shall be under the supervision of Deputy Director for Regional Operations Service (DDROS) Antonio Pagatpat to be assisted by Deputy Director for Investigation Service (DDInvS) Vicente de Guzman III,” the NBI said. The NBI has been investigating PhilHealth since last year over the so-called “ghost dialysis scam” involving involving WellMed Dialysis and Laboratory Center Corp.

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Heavy overnight, early morning rains in Delhi bring relief from sultry weather

Though dark clouds had hovered over Delhi during the day on Wednesday, yet it started raining around 6 pm and continued intermittently throughout the night, continuing on Thursday morning.

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Trump mocks Biden in new video with 'Electric Avenue', but isn't Eddy Grant's song about 1981 Brixton riots?

Donald Trump posted a new video with 'Electric Avenue' soundtrack to mock Biden but internet schooled him about the inspiration behind the song

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Deutsche Telekom second quarter results buoyed by Sprint consolidation

BERLIN (Reuters) - Deutsche Telekom reported jumps in quarterly revenue and profit on Thursday following U.S. unit T-Mobile's $23 billion

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Magnitude 5.5 quake rocks Batanes — Phivolcs

A magnitude 5.5 earthquake rocked Batanes province on Thursday morning, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said. Phivolcs said the quake was recorded at 6:32 a.m., 49 kilometers west of Sabtang, Batanes. It had a depth of 14 km and was tectonic in origin. In a text message to The Manila Times, Phivolcs […]

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Pag-IBIG announces improvements to online service portal

To help fast-track loan applications, the Pag-IBIG Fund has improved its online service portal. Pag-IBIG, in a statement issued on August 12, said top officials of the agency approved several improvements to Virtual Pag-IBIG during the quarantine period to allow members to apply for a Multi-Purpose Loan (MPL) or a Calamity Loan, online. Secretary Eduardo del Rosario, who heads the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) and the 11-member Pag-IBIG Fund Board of Trustees, said the move was done as response to the call of President Duterte for them to implement online systems to provide faster service to the public. “The Virtual Pag-IBIG is one of the biggest projects undertaken by the Pag-IBIG Fund under his administration as we move as one towards the widespread use of e-governance to better serve the public, especially during extraordinary times such as these,” del Rosario said. Pag-IBIG Fund Chief Executive Officer Acmad Rizaldy Moti also explained cash loan applications are processed, on average, in less than two days, if submitted via their online service platform. “The Virtual Pag-IBIG is a game-changer for us. While nobody was ready for this pandemic, the launch of the Virtual Pag-IBIG late last year was timely because it allowed us to continue serving our members even during the imposition of community quarantines,” he said. Moti added that as people adapt to the New Normal, “We hope that our move to make cash loan applications available via the Virtual Pag-IBIG would allow our members to experience faster transactions without leaving the safety of their own homes.” The Virtual Pag-IBIG, which was launched in December 2019, made it possible for members to transact with the agency online, with a live chat function available 24/7. Since its launch, the Virtual Pag-IBIG has been visited by 2.43 million members, which include overseas Filipinos from over 222 countries, who were able to secure a Pag-IBIG Fund Membership ID (MID) number, enroll for an MP2 Savings account, or access their savings and loan records online, without having to go to a Pag-IBIG Fund branch. The Virtual Pag-IBIG also features an online payment facility that allows members to pay for their loans and remit their monthly savings using their PayMaya wallet or their credit cards. On June 1, the Virtual Pag-IBIG was enhanced to accept online applications for MPL and Calamity Loan. Since then, the agency has already approved over P188.6 million from loan applications received online.

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RWE eyes upper end of outlook range after first-half core profit up 18%

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - RWE , Germany's biggest electricity producer, on Thursday said it will reach the upper end of its

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Turkey says operations against Kurdish militants in Iraq to continue, urges Baghdad to cooperate

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey will continue its cross-border operations against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq if Baghdad continues to overlook

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Modular hospitals, healthcare workers’ dorm to be built in 2 NCR hospitals

An off-site modular hospital will be constructed at the Lung Center of the Philippines and the Dr. Jose Rodriguez Memorial Hospital to accommodate more COVID-19 patients, the Department of Public Works and Highways said Thursday. The department said they were recently tapped by both hospitals to build the off-site modular facilities within their compounds. The modular hospital at the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City will have an individual isolation room per patient complete with its own bathroom and toilet, and a CCTV cardiac monitoring and oxygen pipeline for ventilation. The Dr. Jose Rodriguez Memorial Hospital in Caloocan City, which caters mainly to moderate and severe COVID-19 cases, will have a modular hospital for 24 intensive care patients and a 32-bed capacity dormitory for healthcare workers. Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said they will expand their healthcare infrastructure by extending technical guidance to hospitals to expedite the construction of additional hospital facilities in Metro Manila for COVID-19 patients. Under the second phase of the national action plan against COVID-19 Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic or COVID-19 CODE Team, the DPWH is among the line agencies helping develop strategies, plans and measures to provide expanded space necessary to treat patients with COVID-19 safely, added Secretary Villar. Other hospitals, including the East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC) in Quezon City and Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in Manila, had requested facilities and technical assistance from the department. According to Undersecretary Emil Sadain, the ongoing building project at EAMC is now being fast-tracked. It is expected that additional 250 patients will be accommodated at the new building by August 17. The department also reiterated its commitment to provide technical assistance to complete various treatment facilities and increase COVID-19 bed capacity of PGH. “More healthcare-related construction is in the pipeline of DPWH throughout the country — with construction teams working around the clock to complete projects at an incredible pace,” Sadain said.

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Hit by COVID-19, Thyssenkrupp sees first signs of stabilisation

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Ailing conglomerate Thyssenkrupp on Thursday said some businesses were stabilising in the current quarter after suffering a

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India’s Sensex Resumes Advance as Foreign-Fund Flows Continue

(Bloomberg) -- India stocks rose, tracking regional peers, as global liquidity continued to flow into the nation’s equities even as

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Reverse racism? Georgia store waives $20 refundable fee for non-White patrons, Internet slams their 'hypocrisy'

The vintage shop came up with a policy of waiving the refundable fee for its customers of color, sparking an outrage

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Philippines eyes clinical trials for Russian COVID-19 vaccine in October

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines plans to start clinical trials for a Russian coronavirus vaccine in October, with President Rodrigo

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Shah Faesal reached out to NSA before he quit party; open to IAS return

Faesal, 37, who hits the headlines in 2009, when he became the first person from Kashmir to top the Indian Administrative Services exam, acknowledged that he has been in touch with officials in New Delhi, although he declined to specify details.

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News updates from Hindustan Times: Logistics, tourism, hospitality generated most jobs in the aftermath of Covid-19 and all the latest news

Here are today’s top news, analysis and opinion. Know all about the latest news and other news updates from Hindustan Times.

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'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills': Garcelle shuts down Kyle while defending Denise, fans love the 'new queen'

'Garcelle shut down Lisa, Teddi and Kyle without even breaking a sweat. We love the new queen of 90210 #rhobh,' wrote an excited fan

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The general election bursts into life in dueling American dreams

America's choice in November has never been more clear.

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'Selena + Chef': Meet Nancy Silverton, Candice Kumai and rest of the chefs on Selena Gomez's cooking show

Selena will be putting together meals with the help of these master chefs in each episode

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Twitter to expand rules against misinformation on mail-in ballots, early voting

By Kanishka Singh (Reuters) - Twitter said late on Wednesday it plans to expand its rules against misinformation regarding mail-in

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Police eye personal grudge, robbery as motives for Echanis killing

The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) is considering various motives behind the killing of National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Randall “Randy” Echanis and his neighbor, although based on their initial investigation, a personal grudge or robbery led the killers to commit the crime. Echanis, 71, and Louie Tagapia, 48, were found dead inside an apartment in Barangay Nova Proper, Novaliches, Quezon City around 1:35 a.m. on Monday (Aug. 10). In a press briefing on Wednesday evening, police said Echanis might have only been dragged into the incident as Tagapia was possibly the only target of the killers. ‘Personal grudge’ “The other angle naman po na tinitingnan natin, ito ay ano, personal grudge. Kasi itong si Louie Tagapia, mas matindi ‘yung ano sa kanya, tama. At saka parang may galit sa kanya. So di natin masabi sa ngayon kung paano nadamay itong si Randall Echanis, kung papaano nadamay (The other angle that we’re looking at is personal grudge. Because Louie Tagapia sustained more stab wounds. It seemed like the killers had a grudge against him. So, we can’t say yet how Echanis became involved),” QCPD Director Brig. Gen. Ronnie Montejo told reporters. Police said they came up with the assumption because Tagapia had just been released from jail a few months ago over drug charges. He also bore a tattoo identifying him as a member of the Sputnik Gang, a group of criminals involved in drug and weapon trafficking activities, among others. “Echanis and Tagapia were living on the second floor of the apartment they were renting. Before going to Echanis’ room, one had to pass through Tagapia’s room first. So, if you notice, it was Tagapia who was tied and not Echanis. Based on our initial investigation, the killers first went inside Tagapia’s room and when Echanis saw, killers might have also gone after him,” QCPD Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU) head Maj. Elmer Monsalve added in Filipino. Robbery? Police said they are also looking at robbery as another reason behind the killings, and added that the victims might have known their killers because there was no sign of forced entry into the victims’ rooms. “‘Yung mga modus kasi na ganoon, karamihan akyat-bahay. Tapos nagising, ganoon. Kaya napilitan sila na manlaban, kaya humantong sa ganoon, na patayan (Incidents like that, most of them are home invasions. Then perhaps the victims were awakened and forced to fight, and that led to their killing),” Monsalve said. Killers ‘forced their way’ However, militant group Anakpawis refuted the police’s claim that there was no forced entry. In a statement Thursday (Aug. 13), the group said that after Echanis’ killing, they immediately dispatched some people from their group as well as barangay officials to look into the crime scene. They said they found a broken doorknob which they said proves that the killers barged into Echanis’ room. They posted on their Facebook page a photo of the broken doorknob. Real identity Echanis was previously identified by police in their report as Manuel Santiago, based on an ID recovered from him and on their interview with his landlady. But after a fingerprint test on the cadaver and a fingerprint on Echanis’ ID was provided by his family, police said Santiago and Echanis are “one and the same person.” Montejo said Echanis might have had a reason for hiding his real identity, and it will be investigated if this had something to do with his killing. Echanis was a peace consultant of NDFP, a coalition of revolutionary social and economic justice organizations, agricultural unions, trade unions, indigenous rights groups, leftist political parties, and other related groups in the Philippines. He was involved in the peace talks with the Duterte administration from 2016 to 2017. Montejo said he did not know Echanis. Citing interviews, Montejo said Echanis had just moved in and been staying for free at his landlady’s house since July 20. Cause of death Based on their initial investigation, police said the two were stabbed to death, although Echanis’ death certificate states he died of gunshot wounds. Police said they did not recover any fired cartridge case or bullets at the crime scene. However, they said they are still waiting for the victims’ autopsy results to know how they were killed. Echanis’ body bore gunshot and stab wounds as well as torture marks, according to his widow. In a photo posted by Anakpawis on their Facebook page, Echanis also sustained swollen eyes. “Dalawang gunshot wounds, mayroong 21 puncture wounds at merong 12 na saksak. ‘Yun ‘yung pagkakaalam natin (Two gunshot wounds, 21 puncture wounds, and 12 stab wounds. That’s what we know so far),” Gabriela Party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas said in an interview Wednesday after a candle lighting ceremony for Echanis was held outside Pink Petals Funeral Homes.

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Puzzling New Zealand virus outbreak grows to 17 cases

A puzzling new outbreak of the coronavirus in New Zealand’s largest city has grown to 17 cases, with officials saying the number will likely increase further

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Australia's Treasury Wine sees recovery signs, shares surge

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's Treasury Wine Estates said on Thursday demand had picked up recently in its biggest market, China,

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Mohammad Hafeez Made to Self-Isolate After Posting Photo With Fan

Mohammad Hafeez has been put in self-isolation after breaching the bio-secure bubble for their tour of England.

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66,999 New COVID Cases Take India’s Tally to 23.9 L; Biggest Spike

Catch all the updates on the coronavirus outbreak here.

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