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Construction works on Pasig River bridges resume at 50% capacity

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Manila, June 4 — The construction of two bridges over Pasig River has resumed at 50 percent capacity, the Chinese Embassy in Manila said.

“On May 11th, as required by the Philippine implementing agency, CRBC (China Road and Bridge Corporation) started to reopen the project while strictly followed the government’s quarantine policies. The project has so far resumed 50 percent capacity,” it said in a statement sent to reporters Wednesday night.

Upon request of the Philippines, China provided grants to build two bridges over the river connecting the Chinatown and Intramuros, as well as the cities of Mandaluyong and Makati.

The projects came to a halt after the government imposed an enhanced community quarantine in Manila last March.

The embassy said during the quarantine period, CRBC, the project contractor, provided its workers with sufficient supplies to maintain their livelihood. None of them contracted the coronavirus disease, said the embassy.

The announcement was made as Chinese Ambassador to Manila Huang Xilian visited the sites on June 2, during which he stressed the need for resumption of construction as the government works on epidemic prevention.

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Americas

Turkey Tests Russian S-400 Missiles Against American F-16 Fighter Jets

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Turkey has reportedly tested the S-400 air defence systems against US-developed F-16 fighter jets. According to reports, the S-400 air defence systems deployed at the Mürted air base near Ankara were tested on the US-made F-16 Viper and F-4 Phantom II fighters. 

Turkey Ready To Commission S-400 Air Defence System As Tensions Escalate With Russia

Edition of Fighter Jets World notes that the F-16 fighter jets were seen in the vicinity of the Mürted airbase. “Within the scope of some projects carried out in coordination with the Presidency of Defense Industries, F-16 aircraft and other aircraft of the [Turkish] Air Force will carry out low and high altitude test flights on Monday and Tuesday in the skies of Ankara,” an official statement said.

However, video footage of the tests so far show F-16s and F-4s flying over Murted and examples of the 91N6E surveillance and acquisition radar and the 96L6E air search and acquisition radar, the latter elevated on a 40V6M mast, clearly in operation below.

The mast-mounted version of the 96L6E is also designed to be better able to detect low-flying targets that a radar positioned right on the ground might not be able to detect through the surface clutter.

Russia announced in September 2017 that it had signed a $2.5 billion deal with Turkey on the delivery of S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems to Ankara. Under the contract, Ankara will get a regiment set of S-400 air defence missile systems (two battalions). The deal also envisages partial transfer of production technology to the Turkish side.

The S-400 ‘Triumf’ is the most advanced long-range air defence missile system that went into service in Russia in 2007. It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range weapons, and can also be used against ground installations. The S-400 can engage targets at a distance of 400 km and at an altitude of up to 30 km.

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Global Politics

Death of Police Doctor due to inhalation of decontamination chemicals – Philippines ready for probe

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While it welcomes any investigation on the death of a police doctor allegedly due to inhalation of decontamination chemicals, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) clarified that it does not buy or distribute any disinfectant materials to any coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) quarantine facility in the country.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) spokesperson Mark Cashean Timbal issued this statement Monday after reports claimed that the Philippine National Police (PNP) tagged the OCD as the source of the chemical that allegedly resulted in the death of Capt. Casey Gutierrez in a quarantine facility in Pasig last month.

“Wala pong binibili at binibigay na decontamination chemicals ang OCD para sa kahit anong Covid-19 facility (The OCD does not buy and distribute any decontamination chemicals to any Covid-19 facility). The only services that were arranged by OCD are: food catering, lodging for servicing personnel, provision of (personal protective equipment sets), hygiene kits, medical equipment and supplies, janitorial services, and waste collection and disposal. OCD is not involved in the actual management and operation of any Covid-19 facility liban po sa pagbibigay ng mga nabanggit (except for the services cited),” he said.

The OCD is the executive arm of the NDRRMC and the implementer of its programs.

“We are confident that the PNP, who manages the Ultra Covid-19 facility, would be able to resolve this matter by verifying where the said chemical actually came from and by examining their procedures involved in disinfecting the facilities they manage as well as the protection of their front-line staff,” Timbal added.

Meanwhile, the PNP clarified the OCD is neither blamed nor pointed to as the source of the concentrated disinfectant solution used by medical and healthcare personnel at the Philsports Arena Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facility (PSA TTMF).

“In the interest of a thorough investigation, it was suggested that the OCD be asked to assist in the determination of the chemicals’ source given that it was OCD that accredited the service providers in the quarantine facilities operated by the PNP,” said PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac in a statement.

The PNP earlier noted that the chemical disinfectant used in another PNP-managed quarantine facility at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City is hypoallergenic and biodegradable and that the PSA TTMF and PICC have different service providers.

Philippines News Agency

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Education

US Group donates books to Ilocos Norte State University, Philippines: PNA

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The San Diego County Metropolitan Lions Club (SDC-MLC) in San Diego, California donated on Monday a total of 364 books of various titles to the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) here to be used by its students and the Department of Education (DepEd).

The books were received by the University Library System (ULS) through a shipment package sent by Leo and Norma Sicat, president and Lion Tamer of SDC-MLC, respectively.

The package consisted of five titles in Geometry, Algebra 1 and 2, Milestones, Milestone Workbook, Milestone Teacher Education, Great Expectation, George Washington, Tale of Two Cities, Eleanor Roosevelt, The Meeting on Board HMS Bounty, The Three Musketeers, The Prince and the Pauper, Clara Barton, and The Man in the Iron Mask.

MMSU President Shirley C. Agrupis said that while the university took custody of the hard-bound donations, it will also donate some of these to the DepEd-Division Office in the City of Batac.

MMSU-ULS director Eliza Villarin said some of the books will be distributed to the MMSU main library and its satellite libraries in Laoag City, various high school campus libraries, and college reading centers.

Villarin said organizations and agencies that donate books to the university are considered as library friends because they help the university strengthen its collection of information resources for its students.

The book donation was the result of a tie-up between MMSU and the SDC-MLC in July 2019 through a signed memorandum of understanding which stipulates that the SDC-MLC will help augment the university’s learning resources and support its internationalization programs.

The MMSU and SDC-MLC also agreed to conduct humanitarian medical, dental and optical missions in various communities, and enhance the extension service competencies of MMSU’s faculty and staff.

Philippines News Agency

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