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Manila casino cancels New Year balloon stunt after criticism

A luxury Philippine hotel and casino has called off a world record attempt for releasing tens of thousands of balloons to mark the New Year following complaints from environmental groups and a government warning. Okada Manila, a sprawling resort in the country's capital that includes a hotel, casino and restaurants, had planned to ring in 2019 by dropping 130,000 balloons in one of its nightclubs to set a new world record. But in a statement late Sunday, the Okada Manila resort said it had voluntarily cancelled the…

Dodging traffic, and death, on Manila’s railway carts

MANILA: As soon as the train rumbles past, the men heave their home-made pushcarts back onto the tracks and passengers hop aboard -- cheating death and beating Manila's notorious traffic. Scores of commuters in the city of about 12 million are propelled to their destinations daily by so-called "trolley boys" pushing metal carts that ply a few segments of the sprawling capital's railroads. Passengers save time and money -- paying just 10 pesos (20 US cents) a trip -- but must face the constant risk of being crushed by a…

Miss France gets Miss Universe crown 2017, terms win a dream come true

MANILA: A 24-year-old woman from Paris won the Miss Universe crown on Monday, in a three-hour show in the Philippine capital that focused on diversity and overcoming life struggles, besting 85 hopefuls from all over the world. Iris Mittenaere, who is pursuing a degree in dental surgery, won the 65th edition of the annual competition hosted for the third time by the Philippines. "I was very surprised I won, I feel blessed," said Mittenaere, who had been described on the Miss Universe website as hoping "to advocate…

Body of Philippine ambassador sent to Manila

ISLAMABAD: A special aircraft C-130, carrying the body of the deceased Ambassador of the Philippines H.E. Mr. Domingo D, Lucenario Jr, who passed away during the tragic helicopter accident of 8 May 2015, left Islamabad today for Manila.