N-Philippines voters

English: Philippine President Gloria Macapagal...Image via Wikipedia

N.2010.05.10-1In Philippines voters to go to polls on Monday

Voters in the Philippines go to the polls on Monday to elect a new president.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's term of office ends in June. Arroyo's 9-year administration has been marred by scandal and anti-government protests.

Nine candidates are running but the only 3 with a serious chance of winning are Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino, Senator Manuel "Manny" Villar, and former president Joseph Estrada.

Aquino is the son of the president who ousted the Marcos administration 24 years ago. He is pledging bureaucratic reform and to tackle corruption.

Villiar is backed by Imelda Marcos, the widow of former president Ferdinand Marcos. He has promised to eradicate poverty.

Estrada was a popular actor before becoming president in 1998, but was forced to step down in 2001 amid massive anti-corruption protests.

He was later sentenced to life imprisonment for plundering state assets worth over 100 million dollars.
Estrada was pardoned in 2007 and has since been working as an actor.

The latest poll shows Aquino in the lead with more than 40 percent while Estrada and Villar are on about 20 percent.

Voting will finish at 6 PM and counting will start straight after. The election committee says the result will become clear within 2 days.
2010/05/10 06:00(JST)
(JST: UTC+9hrs.)

M7.2 earthquake in Sumatra
An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 hit an area off Indonesia's Sumatra Island on Sunday at one o'clock in the afternoon local time. The country's local governments are collecting damage information.

The US Geological Survey said the quake struck 66 kilometers southwest of Meulaboh, on the west coast of Banda Aceh.

The epicenter is believed to have been at a depth of 45 kilometers.

Indonesia's meteorology agency issued a tsunami watch for the area. It said the sea level briefly rose 20 centimeters in Meulaboh.

One person in Meulaboh was injured in a traffic accident after rushing into the street.

In Banda Aceh and Simeulue Island, there was some damage reported to old school buildings and a few houses.

A strong tremor was also felt in Medan City on Sumatra Island. Local television showed footage of people evacuating buildings in a shopping district.

No injuries in connection with the quake have been reported so far.
2010/05/09 22:54(JST)
(JST: UTC+9hrs.)

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