Duterte Allies Break Impasse on Philippine House Leadership

(Bloomberg) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s allies in the House of Representatives broke an impasse on the chamber’s leadership Tuesday, ahead of a special session called to pass next year’s 4.5 trillion-peso ($93 billion) budget.



Alan Peter Cayetano wearing a suit and tie: Congressman Alan Peter Cayetano stands on the rostrum as new Speaker of the House of Representatives during the 18th Congress opening at the House of Representatives in Manila.


© Photographer: NOEL CELIS/AFP
Congressman Alan Peter Cayetano stands on the rostrum as new Speaker of the House of Representatives during the 18th Congress opening at the House of Representatives in Manila.

Congressman Alan Peter Cayetano on Facebook said he’s resigning as House Speaker, as the election of his challenger Lord Allan Velasco was formalized by 186 lawmakers. Duterte will meet the two lawmakers this afternoon to push for the approval of the 2021 budget, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said at a separate briefing.

Philippines’ 2021 Budget Hangs as Duterte House Allies Clash

The resolution of the House leadership row removes a hurdle in the passage of next year’s budget, which is seen to help boost the economy that Central Bank Governor Benjamin Diokno said may shrink more than expected this year by up to 9%.

Cayetano and Velasco entered into a term-sharing deal last year, where the latter will be speaker starting next month. The rivalry resurfaced last month when an ally of Velasco accused Cayetano of allocating more infrastructure funds to some lawmakers — an allegation he denied.

(Adds comment from Duterte spokesman, more details from 2nd paragraph)

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Scottish police break up 300 house parties

Scottish police have handed out fines after responding to 300 house parties over the weekend. (PA)
Scottish police have handed out fines after responding to 300 house parties over the weekend. (PA)
  • Police in Scotland responded to more than 300 house parties at the weekend

  • Chief constable insists most people are following the new COVID-19 rules

  • Nicola Sturgeon says students are not to blame and may be able to see family at Christmas

  • Visit the Yahoo homepage for more stories

Scottish police responded to more than 300 house parties over the weekend as the country’s chief constable insisted his force will take “decisive action to enforce the law”.

Police Scotland said house parties were being held “in every community and age group”, as first minister Nicola Sturgeon insisted students were not to blame for a rise in coronavirus cases.

Officers handed out 101 fines and made 14 arrests, and three of the incidents required officers to force entry.

Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said: “There is no doubt that house parties or house gatherings are not permitted and there can be no excuse for arranging, attending, or hosting a house party.

Watch: What support is the government providing for jobs?

“It is against the law.

“Where officers encounter blatant, wilful, or persistent breaches, we will take decisive action to enforce the law.”

Scotland, like other parts of the UK, has tightened up on its coronavirus rules, with a ban on most socialising in private homes and a 10pm closing time for pubs and restaurants.

Police Scotland said the “vast majority” of people had followed the rules.

“I am grateful for the support and co-operation of the public and the licensed trade which continued over the weekend,” Livingstone said.

Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said police will enforce coronavirus restrictions. (Ken Jack/Getty Images)
Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said police will enforce coronavirus restrictions. (Ken Jack/Getty Images)

“I also want to again underline my admiration and compassion for young people and students who have responded so well to the pandemic at this crucial time of their lives.”

Sturgeon has thanked students at university, saying most had followed the rules and advice to stay away from pubs, cafes and restaurants.

Read more: Scots students can return home on long-term basis

At least 32 universities in the UK have confirmed cases of COVID-19, with more than 640 identified in students and staff by 25 September, Sky News reported.

Manchester Metropolitan University asked well over 1,000 students to self-isolate after 127 cases were confirmed.

Cases have also risen at Glasgow and Edinburgh Napier.

Sturgeon said: “Sticking to guidelines like that isn’t easy especially in the early days of a university term but it will make a difference.

Nicola Sturgeon during First Minister's Questions at the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh.
Nicola Sturgeon during First Minister’s Questions at the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh.

“The incubation period for this virus means I am absolutely sure that we will continue to see increased numbers of infections amongst students for several days to come and there will always be a need for vigilance.

“But the responsibility that has been shown over the past few days will help our efforts to stem this spread and I want to say thank you for that.”

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Covid in Scotland: Police break up hundreds of house parties

Police Scotland face masksImage copyright
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Police broke up “at least” 300 house parties across Scotland over the weekend, with 14 arrests being made.

More than 100 fines were issued between Friday and Sunday, with officers having to force entry to three households.

Police Scotland said its analysis suggested house parties were being held “in every community and age group”.

Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said most people were following the rules – but “decisive action” would be taken where necessary.

  • New law to break up ‘super spreader’ house parties

New rules barring indoor meetings of more than six people from two households have been introduced in Scotland in response to increasing numbers of Covid cases.

Pubs have also been ordered to close by 22:00, and additional police officers were sent out to support councils over the first weekend of the new restrictions.

Mr Livingstone said officers would “use good sense and exercise discretion”, and that “the great majority of people are taking personal responsibility to do the right thing”.

But he added: “There can be no excuse for arranging, attending, or hosting a house party.

“It is against the law. Where officers encounter blatant, wilful, or persistent breaches, we will take decisive action to enforce the law.”

Image caption

Iain Livingstone said officers would take action against “blatant” breaches of the rules

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the figures had to be seen in the context of a country with a population of 5.4 million people.

She said “the vast majority” were abiding by the rules.

“Anybody who is not, and particularly anybody who is who are fragrantly breaking very clear rules against house parties, should really take a look at themselves,” she added.

“We know that house parties are one of the risk factors that can cause this virus to spread.”

While officers were called to a number of parties at student halls in Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon stressed that the issue with indoor gatherings was not just about young people.

Mr Livingstone said on Friday that analysis suggested that only one in 10 house parties police responded to had been linked to students.

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In break with past, UAE and Bahrain forge ties with Israel at White House

By Steve Holland and Matt Spetalnick

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed agreements on Tuesday to establish formal ties with Israel, becoming the first Arab states in a quarter century to break a longstanding taboo, in a strategic realignment of Middle East countries against Iran.

U.S. President Donald Trump hosted the White House ceremony, capping a dramatic month when first the UAE and then Bahrain agreed to reverse decades of ill will without a resolution of Israel’s dispute with the Palestinians.

In front of a crowd of several hundred people on the White House lawn, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed accords with Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani.

The deals, denounced by the Palestinians, make them the third and fourth Arab states to take such steps toward normalizing relations since Israel signed peace treaties with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

Meeting Netanyahu earlier in the Oval Office, Trump said, “We’ll have at least five or six countries coming along very quickly” to forge their own accords with Israel.

Later Trump told reporters a third Gulf Arab state, Saudi Arabia, would strike an agreement with Israel “at the right time.” The Saudi cabinet stressed in a statement the need for a “just and comprehensive solution” to the Palestinian issue.

Saudi Arabia is the biggest Gulf Arab power. Its king is custodian of Islam’s holiest sites and rules the world’s largest oil exporter. Despite its own reluctance, the kingdom’s quiet acquiescence to the agreements was seen as crucial.

‘CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY’

The ceremony provided Trump with valuable imagery as he tries to hold on to power in a Nov. 3 presidential election. Flags of the United States, Israel, the UAE and Bahrain were in abundance.

“We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history,” Trump said from the White House balcony.

Trump called the deals “a major stride in which people of all faiths and backgrounds live together in peace and prosperity” and declared that the three Middle East countries “are going to work together, they are friends.”

The back-to-back agreements mark an improbable diplomatic victory for Trump. He has spent his presidency forecasting deals on such intractable problems as North Korea’s nuclear program only to find achievements elusive.

Bringing Israel, the UAE and Bahrain together reflects their shared concern about Iran’s rising influence in the region and development of ballistic missiles. Iran criticized both deals.

All three of the Middle East leaders hailed the agreements and Trump’s role in glowing terms, with Netanyahu saying it gave hope to “all the people of Abraham.”

But the UAE and Bahraini officials both sought to reassure the Palestinians that their countries were not abandoning them or their quest for statehood in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, despite the Palestinian leadership having decried the deals as a betrayal of their cause.

In a sign that regional strife is sure to continue while the Israeli-Palestinian

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Police break up mass gathering at ‘Jersey Shore’ house

Hundreds of people showed up at a rental home best known as the backdrop for MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” prompting police to break up the gathering that violated state health codes, authorities said Tuesday.



a group of people performing on stage in front of a crowd


© Provided by NBC News


The revelers were cheering on YouTube personalities the Nelk Boys on Monday night at the rental property at 1209 Boardwalk in Seaside Heights, New Jersey.

The house is best known as the summer digs of JWoww, Sweetheart, The Situation, Pauly D, Vinny, Ronnie and Snooki, stars of “Jersey Shore,” which ran for six seasons between 2009 and 2012.

Outdoor gatherings in New Jersey must be limited to 500 people, who are socially distanced, under the state’s coronavirus guidelines. The crowd had been building all day and was finally dispersed after 9 p.m. ET, witnesses said.

At the height of Monday’s get-together, more than a thousand people were jam packed outside, much to the chagrin of Seaside Mayor Anthony Vaz, who is already leery of the hard-partying reputation his community developed as a result of “Jersey Shore.”

“We will not tolerate this or these kinds of things that will disrupt an image we’re trying to correct,” Vaz told NBC News on Tuesday. “It was shocking to me.”

On Monday night, the Nelk Boys were using that home to celebrate the launch of a website which sells the group’s branded apparel.

The group posted Instagram footage of the event and opened the front door to show police lights and hundreds of people outside, most of them appearing to be tightly packed and not wearing masks.

The home’s owner, Daniel Merk, was in the background of that video and appeared to tell his renters the party had to end.

“Get your s—, get out of here guys,” Merk said. “Time to go.”

Merk told NBC News on Tuesday that he rented his house to the YouTube personalities believing it was only to be used for a small gathering to launch the group’s site.

“They have a lot of passionate fans and they followed them,” Merk said. “I was not prepared for this, the town was not prepared for this.”

No one was arrested or immediately cited, but Merk said he expects to have some kind of civil penalty coming his way.

“There’s definitely going to be ramifications from this,” he said. “I’m definitely going to be in trouble for this.”

Vaz said that Merk could have his license to rent the property pulled over Monday night’s incident, and the mayor pledged to have police costs covered by the Nelk Boys.

Reps for the New Jersey governor’s office, state health department and the Nelk Boys could not be immediately reached for comment on Tuesday.

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Group found hiding in bathroom as police break up Belfast house party

Police investigating house parties in South Belfast found a group of people hiding in a bathroom.

Some of those present early on Thursday received community resolution notices, while the behaviour of others resulted in fixed-penalty notices.

It follows a series of arrests for a range of coronavirus-related offences in the Holyland district near Queen’s University over recent days.

PSNI Chief Inspector Gavin Kirkpatrick said: “Some young people who have moved to the area to pursue their studies, and others visiting the area, are not listening to our repeated warnings.

“Alongside the universities and colleges, we have issued multiple appeals for young people to follow the latest health and safety advice and highlighted the importance of being good neighbours.

“Last night, we gave advice and guidance at a number of residential properties. However, 18 of those people we spoke with failed to understand the seriousness of the situation.”

Police issued 10 community resolution notices and eight fixed-penalty notices, which carry a £60 fine.

Police have dedicated “substantial resources” to policing this area throughout the coming weeks and say they will “robustly” address any anti-social behaviour and criminal offences.

University classes are due to resume in the coming weeks.

Mr Kirkpatrick said: “Where appropriate, we now will liaise with the universities and colleges who will consider their own sanctions against any students involved.

“Our message is very clear: all students must follow the health and safety advice and specific guidance regarding houses of multiple occupancy provided by the universities.

“Only six people, from a maximum of two different households, can gather indoors in a private dwelling.”

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Man allegedly climbs through kitchen window to break into South End home

A South End home was burglarized after the suspect allegedly climbed through a kitchen window via the fire escape Sunday evening, according to police.



a close up of a brick building: The fire escape of a South End apartment broken into.


© Drew Karedes, Boston 25 via Twitter
The fire escape of a South End apartment broken into.

Police were sent to the 600 block of Massachusetts Avenue around 6:37 p.m. for a possible break in. A witness saw a man climb through the window and into the apartment, and provided a description, according to the police report.

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As officers went to the scene, they were told the suspect was going back down the fire escape. When police arrived, they found a man matching the description on Comet Place, which runs behind the 600 block of Massachusetts Avenue, toward Shawmut Avenue, the report said.

At the apartment, police found the kitchen window “wide open” and a sliding glass door with “pry marks” on the frame. There was broken glass on the kitchen floor, according to police.

The witness was able to positively identify the suspect, who Boston 25 identified as Brian McPhee, 46, of South Boston. He’s being charged with breaking and entering during the daytime, police said in the report.

Residents Sarah and David Selkovits were out to dinner during the break in, according to Boston 25. They learned of the break in via their security company.

“It’s a very creepy feeling to come into your own house and feel like somebody’s been there,” David Selkovits told the news station. “You feel invaded.”

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