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JAPANESE Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s recent visit to the Philippines may have begun a major turn in Philippine foreign relations and in regional security.

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A new effort to end the six-year civil war in Syria will be made this month in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, under the auspices of Russia, Iran, Turkey, and the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad. Turkey and Russia have taken the lead in this latest diplomatic attempt to find peace in this Mideastern nation, millions of whose citizens have become refugees from their war-torn homeland to seek new lives in Europe and elsewhere in the world.

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The ASEAN Way in this year of PH chairmanship

THE Philippines, as chairman for 2017 of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), will launch ASEAN 2017 at the Davao SMX Convention Center today with the theme “We Are Partners for Change, Engaging the World.”

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IT was a choice between the stand taken by three economic managers in the cabinet and a group of secretaries concerned with more human needs and problems. President Duterte decided for the latter and thus approved a proposed increase in the pensions of old retired members of the Social Security System (SSS).

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WHEN the people of Great Britain voted in a referendum in June, 2016, to leave the European Union (EU), it was a decision that surprised the country’s officials led by Prime Minister David Cameron. He had confidently scheduled the referendum, expecting a big vote for staying with the EU. But the referendum resulted in a 52 percent vote for “Brexit” – a British exit from EU. It was a close vote but a decisive one.

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WE have not heard much about what the government plans to do about the traffic problem along Epifanio de los Santos Ave. (EDSA) and elsewhere in Metro Manila. We thus welcomed one positive report – the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced that it is allocating P100 billion of its P450-billion budget for 2017 to projects to decongest Metro Manila traffic.

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