Coronavirus: Russia Closes Border with China, Virus Spreads to India and Philippines

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has announced that the country will close its 4,300 kilometer border with China for fear of the spread of the new coronavirus to the country. “The corresponding order was signed today, and it started being implemented. We will properly inform everyone of the measures linked to the closure of the border in the Far East region, as well as other measures by the government [to prevent the spread of the coronavirus],” Mishustin said.

Typhoon Phanfone Death Toll Rises to 28 in Philippines

The death toll after Typhoon Phanfone struck the Philippines is increasing, and the typhoon has so far claimed the lives of at least 28 people. In the meantime, the typhoon has weakened considerably and has left the country. With gusts of wind up to 200 kilometers per hour, Typhoon Phanfone swept across the Philippines just before Christmas, from the east to the west of the islands.

6.3 Magnitude Earthquake Leaves Five Dead, Dozens Injured, in Philippines

At least five people have lost their lives, and scores others have sustained injuries following a series of earthquakes that have struck the Philippines. The 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit the southern part of the country on Wednesday night. The quake triggered landslides and caused a fire in the Gaisano shopping mall in General Santos city shortly after the quake, but shoppers and employees managed to escape without injuries, the civil defense office said.

Russians Searching for Yamashita’s Treasure

Treasure hunters from Russia are planning to travel to the Philippines in 2020 to look for hidden gold from WWII. They are convinced they have pinpointed the location of the stolen loot and are eager to start the quest.

Since the US and Japan signed a peace agreement at the end of War War II, treasure hunters have searched for General Tomoyuki Yamashita’s gold. During the war, the Japanese general robbed the whole of Southeast Asia of the precious metal, primarily from the former Spanish colony of the Philippines.

Duterte’s Slate a Cinch in Philippine Midterms

More than 61 million voters will decide over 18,000 national and local offices, up for grabs in Monday’s midterm elections in the Philippines. The contests will serve as a referendum on the current president and his policies. President Rodrigo Duterte is widely expected to pass his first test. A victory could allow the popular populist to expand his control over the country and further tilt it toward China.

All 305 seats are up for grabs in the House of Representatives, increased from 297. Duterte’s PDP-Laban party holds 115 seats. His allies in the Coalition for Change add another 135. Duterte’s thumping majority isn’t under threat or likely to change. The House typically supports popular presidents, and at around 80% in the latest polls, Duterte certainly is.