Friday, February 24, 2017

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: Trump expresses anger over N. Korea

US President Donald Trump says that his government is very angry at what the Korean Peninsula has done, and is critical of the country's missile and nuclear development.

Asked whether a meeting with the North's leader Kim Jong Un is a possibility, President Trump replied he wouldn't say no, but that may be too late.

Trump said the US government appreciates China's move to halt coal imports from North Korea. He added that China has tremendous control over the North, and it could solve the security challenge posed by the country very easily if it wanted to.

As for cooperation with Japan and South Korea, Trump said accelerating a missile defense system for the allies is one of many things that can be done, and that there are talks of a lot more than that.

Source: NHK World

Let's Do The News! (February 24, 2017)

- Senator Leila de Lima surrendered herself to arresting authorities following the issuance of an arrest warrant against her by a Muntinlupa Court. From her Senate office in Room 502, she was escorted to the agents of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group led by Chief Superintendent Roel Obusan.

- Following de Lima's arrest, Vice President Leni Robredo decried what she called a "political harassment" by the administration. In a statement, Robredo said that De Lima's arrest was part of a political agenda and not a result of an "independent, unbiased" legal process.

- Former PNP chief Alan Purisima yesterday pleaded not guilty to charges of graft and usurpation of official functions in connection with his alleged involvement in the Mamasapano incident. Purisima maintained his innocence during his arrangement at the Sandiganbayan.

- Prosecutors have indicted a suspect in last July's mass murder of mentally disabled people at a care facility in eastern Japan. Satoshi Uematsu was indicted for the murders of 19 people and the attempted murders of 24 others at a facility in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture.

- US President Donald Trump has criticized the nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia as one-sided and signaled his willingness to expand his nation's nuclear arsenal. He called the New START "a one-sided deal." The nuclear arms reduction treaty ended seven years ago. He said the United States falls behind on nuclear weapon capability and he said if any country wants to make nukes, he make sure that the US will be at the top of the pack.

- Ford unleashed the Competition Series variant of the Ford GT supercar. While the EcoBoost V6 engine remains the same, it now weighs 3,054lbs.

Ford GT Competition Series

- The new Porsche Panamera Turbo S e-Hybrid is the most powerful Panamera ever made and its set to debut at next month's Geneva Motor Show. This PHEV variant is powered by a combination of a 4.0L V8 Twin Turbo, electric motor, and a li-ion battery, producing a total power output of 680HP of power

2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S e-hybrid

- The skater-turned coach Victor Nikiforov from the hit anime series Yuri!!! on Ice joins the Nendoroid lineup. He's available to order tarting at 4,167 Yen plus tax and will be delivered this August.

Nendoroid Victor Nikiforov

- For Love Live Sunshine fans, a figma of Kanan Matsuura has arrived! It's available to order starting at 5,833 yen plus tax and will be delivered this September.

figma Kanan Matsuura


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Let's Do The News! (February 23, 2017)

The Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court branch 204 under the sala of Judge Juanita Guerrero has issued a warrant of arrest against Senator Leila De Lima regarding her case in connection with her alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison.

- Three Indian soldiers and a woman were killed when militants ambushed a patrol in South Kashmir early on Thursday, part of an upsurge of violence that has hit the restive northern region as it emerges from winter.

- The Surigao Airport has resume its operations on Thursday. The airport had to close due to the damage brought by the Magnitude 6.7 Earthquake.

The Department of Foreign Affairs – Overseas Voting Secretariat announced today that DFA-OVS and COMELEC-OFOV have signed tripartite memorandum of agreement with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) for the continuing registration/certification of qualified overseas Filipinos, that resumed on 01 December 2016 and will end on 30 September 2018, for purposes of the 2019 elections.

- The US administration of Donald Trump has withdrawn federal guidance allowing transgender students to use bathrooms of their choice at public schools. The Trump administration announced its repeal on Wednesday. Conservative states including Texas had filed lawsuits demanding the reversal of the guidelines.

- Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn will step down from his position effective this 1st of April. He will still be in charge with the Renault-Nissan Alliance as well as Mitsubishi, however.

- Mercedes-Benz teases an all-new E-Class Cabriolet set for Geneva Motor Show debut.

- Dia Kurosawa joins the Love Live Sunshine DreamTech scale figure lineup. This latest addition is available to order starting at 14,800 yen plus tax and arrives this August.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

These are the best anime songs in history

February is known by some as the "Month of Anime" but the year 2017 marks the centennial anniversary of Japanese animation or so they say. Last weekend, there was a special programming aired on NHK highlighting the best 100 anime songs in history and, as they said, these are the best 100 anime songs in history, be it opening, closing, or insert, whatever maybe as long as they came from anime shows as seen on TV.

Here are the best 30 out of the 100 anime songs in history and you might be amazed which franchise scored big-time.

  4. "History Maker" (Yuri!!! on Ice)
  5. "Butter-fly" (Digimon Adventure)
  6. "only my railgun" (A Certain Scientific Railgun)
  7. "Platinum" (Cardcaptor Sakura)
  8. "Cruel Angel's Thesis" (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
  9. "Sugar Song and Bitter Step" (Blood Blockade Battlefront)
  10. "TRAGEDY" (The File of Young Kindaichi Returns) 
  11. "Connect" (Puella Magi Madoka Magica)
  12. "Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari" (Bakemonogatari)
  13. "Maji Love 1000%" (Uta no Prince-sama - Maji Love 1000%)
  14. "M@STERPIECE" (THE IDOLM@STER MOVIE: Kagayaki no Mukōgawa e!)
  15. "Guren no Yumiya" (Attack on Titan)
  16. "Space Battleship Yamato" (Space Battleship Yamato)
  17. "Hare Hare Yukai" (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)
  18. "God knows…" (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)
  19. "Lion" (Macross F)
  20. "Daydream Cafe" (Is the order a rabbit?)
  21. "Sore wa Bokutachi no Kiseki" (Love Live!) 
  22. "Mezase Pokémon Master" (Pokémon)
  23. "Aishiteru Banzai!" (Love Live!)
  24. "Angelic Angel" (Love Live! The School Idol Movie)
  25. "SUNNY DAY SONG" (Love Live! The School Idol Movie)
  26. "CHANGE THE WORLD" (Inuyasha)
  27. "ETERNAL BLAZE" (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's)
  28. "Get Wild" (City Hunter)
  29. "Zero Ichi Kiseki" (And you thought there is never a girl online?)
  30. "Catch You Catch Me" (Cardcaptor Sakura)

μ's Final Love Live
Image: Project Love Live!

Amazingly, the Love Live franchise scored the most songs in the rankings than any other anime shows. From the now legendary μ's to the rising Aqours in Love Live Sunshine, whose first Love Live concert is happening this weekend, it's no wonder that it became one of the most successful anime franchises in history when it comes to anime songs.

Let's Do The News! (February 22, 2017)

- The Senate is set to reopen the investigation of the alleged existence of the Davao Death Squad following the revelations of retired SPO3 Arturo Lascanas last Monday. The committee headed by Sen. Panfilo Lacson will possibly resume its hearing next week after 10 Senators voted in favor of the said probe.

- President Rodrigo Duterte will not attend the 31st EDSA People Power Anniversary on the 25th of February, 2017. According to Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza, Duterte's absence in the event is due to his commitment in the relaunching of the Comprehensive Agreement of the Bangsamoro in Davao City on Friday.

- There's a possibility that another power hike of up to 92 centavos per kWh will be imposed starting this March. The Energy Regulatory Commission approved the request of MERALCO of a power rate hike as a result of the maintenance shutdown of the Malampaya plant.

- The US Department of Homeland Security announced new immigration polices to implement the executive order signed by President Donald Trump last month. The directives released on Tuesday include the hiring of 15,000 border patrol and immigration enforcement agents and the expansion of facilities to accommodate illegal immigrants on the border with Mexico.

- Six years have passed since the deadly Christchurch quake in New Zealand and citizens are remembering the victims of the deadly quake that killed 185 people. About 3,500 people took part in a ceremony on a riverbank in central Christchurch. A memorial wall has been built there, etched with the names of those who died.

- At least 74 bodies have been washed ashore in Libya. A local humanitarian group suspects that a boat carrying migrants capsized. The Libyan Red Crescent released photos of its workers collecting the bodies in the city of Zawiya on Monday.

- Land Rover teases a new addition to the Range Rover family. Called the Range Rover Velar, this Jaguar F-PACE-based crossover coupe will be premiered in Geneva Motor Show in March.

RR Velar teaser

- Toyota collaborates with Shell for the creation of hydrogen-fuelling stations.

- Akeno Misaki from the High School Fleet anime series gets her own figma! The star of last spring's anime series is now available to order starting at 6,296 Yen plus tax and delivers this July.

figma Akeno Misaki

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Forza Horizon 3: A rare stablemate...

Twas the night is still young, I got a super rare prize car at a one-day only Forzathon event here in Forza Horizon 3 and it's a very fast Ferrari track toy known as the 599XX, a potent track-only version of the 599 GTB Fiorano.

So, the Ferrari 599XX, what's it all about? It was characterised by  the "High Performance Dynamic Concept" which was designed to get the maximum performance by managing the combination of its mechanical limits with the potential of its electronic controls. Don;t know what that is but what I heard is that this car has extensive use of carbon-fiber materials and the uprated V12 engine producing over seven hundred horses at 9,000rpm. It lapped round the Nurburgring in 6:58.16 and this was announced during its unveiling making it the fastest track car to lap round the Ring until it was beaten by the Pagani Zonda R.

Okay, enough explanation about this car because it's time to take a spin in one of the raciest Ferrari track toys ever made and what I done here is what idiots would say it's totally legit.

See? Totally legit! No foolin' around! He he he...What a whack job to do with a rare machine that I one from a one-day only event but still, the night is still young and let's do things while we're at it.

Let's Do The News! (February 21, 2017)

- The allegations of retiring police officer Arthur Lascanas should trigger a United Nations investigation over President Rodrigo Duterte's ongoing brutal war on drugs. According to the Human Rights Watch, Lascanas' allegation heightened the urgent need for an independent probe into the deaths of over seven thousand individuals in the drug war.

- The Commission of Higher Education announced that it will issue a moratorium on field trips and educational tours following the accident in Tanay, Rizal, that killed 15 students. Commissioner Prospero de Vera earlier called for the suspension of the school trips while investigation into a bus crash is ongoing. The suspension will cover all field trips and educational tours in all colleges and universities until the investigation is completed.

- The Department of Justice ordered the Bureau of Immigration to issue an immigration lookout bulletin order against three suspects in the 'rent-tangay' scam that has victimized car owners from all over the country. In a memorandum, DOJ Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre ordered Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente to put Ana Pamplona Borlon, Lea Constantino Rosales and Rafaela Anunciacion under an ILBO.

- US President Donald Trump named Army Lieutenant General Herbert Raymond McMaster as his new national security adviser. McMaster replaces Michael Flynn, who resigned on Monday last week following reports that he misled Vice President Mike Pence over his discussions on sanctions with Russia's ambassador to the US.

- Demonstrators took to the streets in cities across the United State to condemn President Trump on the President's Day holiday on Monday. It is exactly one month has passed since Trump took office.

- UN agencies are calling for an urgent boost in international aid to South Sudan after declaring a famine in parts of the East African nation. The World Food Program and two other UN agencies said in their joint statement that 4.9 million people were in urgent need of food.

- A light plane has crashed into a shopping mall in the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia. Authorities in Victoria State say none of the five people onboard are likely to have survived. The plane crashed soon after taking off from an airport in Essendon on Tuesday morning. The shopping mall, located next to the airport, had not yet opened for the day. Local media say the aircraft crashed into a storage area and that no one on the ground was injured.

- Chevrolet's new Camaro ZL1 sportscar reached a top speed of 202.3mph, faster than the Corvette C7 Z06's 198mph but slower than the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat's 204mph top speed.

- Aston Martin revealed Red Bull editions of the Vantage lineup, inspired by the Red Bull Racing F1 team.

- Shooting for the Avengers: Infinity War films are underway with a featurette showing Iron Man's Robert Downey Jr., Spider-Man Homecoming's Tom Holland, and Guardians of the Galaxy's Chris Pratt.


Monday, February 20, 2017

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: Malaysia and N. Korea on the verge of diplomatic row

The North Korean ambassador to Malaysia Kang Chol continued his criticism against the Malaysian government over the murder case of Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

Kang accused the Malaysian authorities of threatening the family of the North Korean citizen with guns, and also beating up the man's teenage son when they raided his Kuala Lumpur condominium. This comes after Malaysia recalled its ambassador to North Korea, as well as Kang himself being summoned to Wisma Putra on Monday morning.

Despite his accusations, Kang also called for a joint investigation into the death of Jong-nam. He added that if Malaysia agreed with the proposal, the Korean Peninsula will send a delegation of lawyers to assist.

Source: The Star

Let's Do The News! (February 20, 2017)

- 14 people are confirmed dead after a bus loaded with college students on their way to a trip, suffered an accident early Monday morning in Tanay, Rizal. Reports told that 13 students and the driver of the Panda Coach Bus with plate number TXS-325 have died from the said accident.

- Retired SPO3 Arturo Lascanas admitted that he led his own brothers to their deaths due to his trust and loyalty to President Rodrigo Duterte. According to the confessed member of the Davao Death Squad, he reported that his brothers were involved in illegal drugs, which lead to their deaths.

- Indonesian Islamist groups on Monday called on the government to suspend the Christian governor of the capital city and for the courts to convict him of blasphemy, demands they will protest against outside parliament on Tuesday. Islamist groups have held two big rallies since November against the governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who is on trial for insulting the Koran, and in the midst of an election in which he hopes to win a second term.

- James Mattis, US defense secretary, told that the US military is not in Iraq "to seize anybody's oil", distancing himself from remarks by President Donald Trump before arriving on an unannounced visit to Baghdad on Monday. On his first trip to Iraq as Pentagon chief, Mattis is hoping to get a first-hand assessment of the war effort as U.S.-backed Iraqi forces launch a new push to evict Islamic State militants from their remaining stronghold in the city of Mosul.

- The New Zealand court ruled on Monday that Kim Dotcom, the founder of the infamous Megaupload site, could be extradited to the United States to face charges relating to his website, which was shutdown five years ago following an FBI-ordered raid on his Auckland mansion. The Auckland High Court upheld the decision by a lower court in 2015 on 13 counts, including allegations of conspiracy to commit racketeering, copyright infringement, money laundering and wire fraud, although it described that decision as “flawed” in several areas.

- After Saturday's aborted launch, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket has been successfully launched to space, carrying a cargo for the International Space Station. The launch was made from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The touchdown is part of SpaceX's strategy of returning rockets to earth so they can be reused rather than jettisoning them in the ocean after a single launch.

- The Cinderella Girls Gekijo TV anime shorts will be airing this 4th of April.

- The writers behind the movies Moonlight and Arrival won top Writers Guild of America awards, boosting their hopes of scoring biggest honors at the upcoming Academy Awards.

- See Top Gear's Rory Reid driving the Ariel Nomad through the muddy Welsh roads.


Mini Countryman (F60)

Once the Mini I am not very interested to have one not just for its hunk of sizing and the fact that Mini is becoming one with the crossover craze but for some backstories I only know about, the Countryman has underwent a full model change and it's now the biggest Mini ever offered, quite an irony demonstrated here, but as the name suggests, it was still made for the countrymen who want to treat this one rough, something reminiscent of the legendary Mini Moke of the last century. So, let's investigate the new model to see what's what.

2017 Mini Countryman

This is the brand new Mini Countryman, ladies and gents. And while it looks slightly similar to the old Countryman, it's now the biggest Mini ever offered, much to the dismay of Mini fans everywhere, especially me. With prices start at 26,500 Euros plus delivery, it's slightly more expensive than the Off-road look version of the Fiat 500X, its main rival. This could become a clear choice between the lesser of two evils here because while they're essentially larger than their originators, what matters most is the features at their disposal and I can expect that the new Countryman, being city car/crossover for the posh yuppies, delivers more stuff than the 500X.

2017 Mini Countryman
2017 Mini Countryman interior

Carrying more stuff aside, because this is the biggest Mini ever offered, the new Countryman is now slightly longer and wider compared to the previous model, so there's going to be some space in the inside, am I right? That added dimensions really put personal space to its advantage but the downside is that when you're driving it on tight spots in places like Italy or the one in Northern France, it's going to be quite a challenge to get it back on the road while getting stuck in the maze like a guinea pig. While it still has the dashboard of today's Minis, there's still some time to toy around with the connectivity features while you're at it before heading off to your points of interests.

What's under the hood, the new Mini Countryman offers a choice of petrol, diesel, and an all new PHEV variant called the Cooper S E. Starting with the normal Countryman variants, the most powerful is the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder petrol engine from the Cooper S variant, producing 192PS of power and 281Nm of torque. The most efficient, as always, the PHEV variant called the Cooper SE. Thanks to its combination of the three-cylinder turbocharged engine, the electric motor, and the 7.6kWh li-ion battery, it promises a fuel consumption of 2.1L/100km and 49g/km of CO2 emissions while the electric range can be up to 40km. All models can be mated with either a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed Steptronic but the Cooper SE is fitted exclusively with a 6-speed automatic.

2018 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman

If you're a speedo boy, the Countryman you might have been interested in, probably, is the high-performance variant called the MINI JCW Countryman. Like all of today's JCWs, it's powered by a 2.0L petrol engine generating 231PS of power and 320Nm of torque as well as race-derived dynamics. Just like the JCW Clubman, the JCW Countryman comes with the ALL4 control system, which adapts to the road with the ideal blend of power distribution between the front and rear wheels. With either a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed Steptronic, it does 0-100kph in six and a half seconds and onwards to 234kph, which sounds quick for a crossover of that size. It can be yours for just 38,800 Euros so come on, don't be shy having a Countryman that goes like a rocket while it can go anywhere, well just about.

2017 Mini Countryman

So, what can I say about the new MINI Countryman, well this is still the MINI I'm not particularly interested with, it's still a mini SUV for those who think compact crossovers like the Fiat 500X, the Jeep Renegade, or the Mercedes-Benz GLA aren't that kind of type, although the GLA can make this one well-ridiculed just about anywhere. While this is very big for a Mini, the Countryman is all about the rough stuff it can do just to keep its MINIMALISM in check and while its sizing just can't squeeze through the tight gaps, its roomy creature comforts really surprises the customers as are the tech that flooded through it, although unsure what it is. You can thank BMW for the Countryman's full model change but for now, I have some moping up to do about those backstories.

Photo: MINI

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale

Anime otakus who can't get enough of their futuristic role-playing adventures of teenagers Kirito and Asuna in the Sword Art Online franchise are in for a big treat because the first ever SAO movie brings a new experience to the futuristic adventure saga and continues to pick up the pieces to further deepen the cybernetic tale of lies, conspiracies, friendship, betrayal, and truths our heroes will get through. Welcome to Ordinal Scale.

Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale

Set in the year 2026, two years after the events of the anime series, Kirito, Asuna, and friends entered to a whole new kind of game, and a whole new kind of trap they've never faced. The game is called Ordinal Scale, and it's an augmented reality MMO game that became popular among players. However, with the imminent threat rising through the depths of this MMO game, there's a risk that it's going to repeat the tragic SAO incident the youngsters have faced and how will Kirito and the gang step up against this new kind of threat and survive? This is a new kind of survival game they're taking on and the differences between real and virtual have been blurred once again.

Although the movie looks slightly different compared to the past two anime series, Ordinal Scale delivers a mixture of returning and new characters, including the arrival of potential new favorite SAO character, Yuna, an augmented reality idol. Seems that this film's getting somewhere and while the film features an all-original storyline, it really picks up the anime franchise's pieces in a new and spectacular way and as what the fans hoped for, this is by no means the best SAO experience ever and you can't really blame for its greatness this film offered.

Packed with suspense, thrills, and a little bit of humor in store, Ordinal Scale is a surprising anime film veterans and newbies can enjoy and it can really show how much anime this movie can offer and this is going to be the talk of the town moviegoers and anime otakus will be talking about after seeing this film. Talk what you want about this film, no matter how good and bad it gets, but rest assured that this is why anime otakus can't get enough of this hit franchise.

My rating: 3.7 out of 5

FIA Formula E 2016-2017: Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, Argentina, is the venue for the third round of the FIA Formula E 2016-2017 season and in the latest EPrix of this season,

Renault e.dams' Sebastien Buemi made history as the first ever Formula E driver to win three races in the row. It was his ninth win in his Formula E career and 12th for the team. Although his pole position got slipped by ABT-Audi's Lucas Di Grassi and TECHEETAH's Jean-Eric Vergne, Buemi fought his way to victory and he did.


So now, after the Buenos Aires EPrix, Buemi's in 1st place overall with 75 points. Di Grassi is 29 points behind and Nico Prost's in 3rd place overall with 36 points.

The next race is on Mexico on April Fools Day. That's April 1st to you, race fans.
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