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GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel won a fourth term in elections held last Sept. 24, with her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) winning 33 percent of the vote, ahead of the center-left Social Democrats with 21 percent. But the far-right Alternative Fur Deutschland (AFD) also won 13 percent, putting right-wing extremists in the Bundestag for the first time since the Nazi era.

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The Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEI) closed Monday with a record high of 8,312.93, the highest ever. Leading the rise were stocks in services, financials, holding firms, property, and industrials. Only two sectors – mining and oil – were not part of the rising tide.

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FOR the first time since May 23, the day the Maute group laid siege to Marawi City, Mass was celebrated in St. Mary’s Cathedral last Sunday, October 1, with about 300 soldiers taking time off the ongoing war to attend the ceremony.
The walls were pockmarked by bullet holes. The roof over the altar was gone. During the fighting, the Maute group had posted videos showing them destroying religious items and generally desecrating the church. The cathedral, along with mosques in the area, had been used as strongholds of the rebels fighting the advancing troops.

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As of Monday, Oct. 2, 59 people were confirmed killed and 527 wounded when a lone gunman in his 32nd floor hotel room opened fire at a crowd attending a country music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was worse than the shooting in Orlando, Florida, in 2016 in which 49 were killed; worse than the shooting on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia in 2007, in which 33 died.

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It will be his first visit to this part of the world which has been wondering about the US commitment to the region since Trump unexpectedly withdrew the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement right after he won the US presidential election in November, 2016. The TPP would have been the largest trade agreement in history, culminating seven years of negotiations among Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the US.

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At one time, the Philippine National Police (PNP) Information Office said 3,151 were killed from July 1, 2016, to June 13, 2017.

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