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Grizzlies stop Warriors' win streak

Thursday, 18 December 2014 00:00 Published in Sports

MEMPHIS — The Memphis Grizzlies dealt Golden State their first defeat in more than a month on Tuesday, snapping the Warriors National Basketball Association winning streak at 16 games with a 105-98 triumph.
Spanish center Marc Gasol scored 24 points and grabbed seven rebounds for Memphis in the battle between the top two teams in the league.
It was the first Golden State defeat since a Nov. 11 setback against reigning NBA champions San Antonio.
Memphis clamped down defensively early in the second quarter, forcing 11 consecutive Golden State misses. The Warriors didn't score a point in the period until the 6:49 mark as the Grizzlies racked up 20 points to build a 14-point advantage.
They never relinquished the lead, although the Warriors twice pulled within two in the final frame.
"Just too much to overcome," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of his team's attempt to rally.

ADB growth forecast for RP reduced to 6%

Thursday, 18 December 2014 00:00 Published in Business

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has slashed its growth projection for the Philippines this year to six percent from 6.2 percent based on the supplement to the Asian Development Outlook 2014 Update.
The ADB said it reduced its growth forecast after gross domestic product (GDP) slowed to 5.3 percent in the third quarter.
Robust private consumption and higher private investment and net exports were insufficient to balance unexpectedly weak public spending.
“As growth in the first nine months of the year reached only 5.8 percent, the 2014 GDP growth forecast is downgraded by 0.2 percentage points to six percent,” the ADB said.
“Continued strong household consumption bolstered by steady growth
in remittances and increases in domestic employment will, along with improved government spending, support a pickup in growth next year and the Update’s growth forecast of 6.4 percent for 2015,” it added.
The growth outlook for developing Asia remains steady, even though momentum slowed in the second half of 2014, but the declining oil prices represent a golden opportunity for many beneficial reforms, the new ADB report said.
ADB forecasts GDP growth for the region of 6.1 percent in 2014, down from 6.2 percent expected in September, and 6.2 percent in 2015, down from 6.4 percent.
Developing Asia, comprising the 45 ADB developing member countries, grew 6.1 percent in 2013. Growth projections for Central Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia are revised downward. There is no change for South Asia. The Pacific region’s growth outlook is adjusted upward.
“While growth in the first three quarters of this year were somewhat softer than we had expected,” ADB chief Economist Shang-Jin Wei said.
“Declining oil prices may mean an upside surprise in 2015 as most economies are oil importers,” he added.
Recovery in the major industrial economies of the United States (US), euro area, and Japan has been revised down slightly since the Update, as weak third quarter performance in Japan overshadows unexpected strength in the US.
GDP growth in the advanced economies is now forecast to average 1.4 percent in 2014, down from 1.5 percent forecast in the Update, before picking up to 2.1 percent in 2015.
The growth moderation in the People’s Republic of China is seen extending into the fourth quarter due to a continued real estate market correction and its spillover to the related sectors like construction. The PRC growth forecast is revised downward to 7.4 percent in 2014 from 7.5 percent in the Update, and to 7.2 percent from 7.4 percent for 2015.
India is on track to reach the Update growth forecast of 5.5 percent in FY2014 (ending 31 March 2015) after expanding by 5.7 percent in the first quarter and 5.3 percent in the second quarter.
By eliminating diesel fuel subsidies, the government has demonstrated its willingness to tackle contentious reforms, but it must extend its efforts to reach the forecast 6.3 percent growth in FY2015.
Somewhat stronger-than-expected performance in Maldives and Sri Lanka in 2014 is balanced by softness in Afghanistan and Bhutan.
Strong domestic demand, supported by healthy remittance inflows, may lead to an upside surprise in Bangladesh in fiscal year (FY) 2015 (June 30, 2015).
Growth in several large Southeast Asian economies has been softer than anticipated in the first nine months of 2014, with slight reductions to the projections for Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
GDP in the subregion is expected to expand by 4.4 percent in 2014, down from 4.6 percent forecast in the Update, and 5.1 percent in 2015, down from 5.3 percent.

Experience makes PAL official Papal carrier

Thursday, 18 December 2014 00:00 Published in Business

Philippine Airlines, official carrier of Pope Francis during his pastoral visit next year to the Philippines, will draw from experience in rolling out the red carpet for the task of flying the Roman Pontiff to Tacloban to visit typhoon victims and back to Rome at the end of his four-day papal visit.
PAL will fly the Pope to Tacloban in the morning of Jan. 17, 2015 for whole-day activities highlighted by lunch with typhoon “Yolanda” victims.
PAL is the only Philippine carrier with VIP flight handling experience for the Pope’s non-stop flight from Manila to Rome at the end of the fourth Papal visit to the country.
On two occasions in the past, PAL was entrusted with flying now Saint John Paul II during his 1981 and 1995 pastoral visits.
In 1981, PAL spread out the best when the Pope flew to six provincial stations within three days.
A special Papal chamber was fitted on the DC-10 aircraft that flew him to Guam and Haneda after his visit.
In 1995, PAL again flew St. John Paul II to Port Moresby after a four-day visit that was restricted to Manila for health reasons.
PAL kept a collection of memorabilia of inflight items used by St. John Paul II on his PAL flights.
In 1970, Pope Paul VI became the first Vicar of Christ to set foot on Philippine soil.

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