Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Malacañang open to creating Taal Commission MOST READ View comments Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite IT happens: Facebook sorry for Xi Jinping’s name mistranslation End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend LIVE: Sinulog 2020 Grand Parade IT happens: Facebook sorry for Xi Jinping’s name mistranslation Paul Pierce. AFP/GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTOBOSTON—American forward Paul Pierce signed a one-day contract with the Boston Celtics on Monday in a move that allows him to retire as a member of the NBA franchise.The 39-year-old Pierce spent the first 15 years of his career with Boston, helping the club to a league championship in 2008.ADVERTISEMENT Pierce averaged 19.7 points and 3.5 assists while playing in 1,343 career games with the Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “It’s an honor to have this opportunity to once again call myself a Boston Celtic,” said Pierce, a 10-time all-star. “The organization and city took me in and made me one of their own, and I couldn’t imagine ending my career any other way.”“I’m a Celtic for life.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’READ: NBA: Paul Pierce departs league with ‘no regrets’Team owner Wyc Grousbeck said they also plan to retire Pierce’s No. 34 so that no other player will be able to wear it. 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Farm to honor Tom Brady with corn maze in his image Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer Missile-capable frigate BRP Jose Rizal inches closer to entering PH Navy’s fleet LATEST STORIES
WASHINGTON (AP) – Defending his war policy, President Bush said Wednesday that Iraq is making quiet, steady progress in repairing its shattered economy, though reconstruction “has not always gone as well as we had hoped” because of unrelenting violence. “Rebuilding a nation devastated by a dictator is a large undertaking,” the president said. “It’s even harder when terrorists are trying to blow up that which the Iraqis are trying to build.” Bush spoke before the Council on Foreign Relations in the second of four addresses to answer criticism about America’s presence in Iraq, where the U.S. death toll has eclipsed 2,100. Bush is laboring under the lowest job approval rating of his presidency, and the speeches are part of a public relations campaign in the run-up to the Dec. 15 vote in Iraq to create a democratically elected government that will run the country for the next four years While not admitting errors, Bush spoke about how the U.S. “adjusted our approach” in helping rebuild Iraqi cities. In his speech on Iraq last week, Bush talked about early miscalculations that were made in training Iraqi forces. A majority of Americans now say the war was a mistake, and critics of the administration’s reconstruction strategy say not enough has been done in the nearly three years since the invasion to reduce unemployment, step up oil production and keep the lights on. “The Iraqi people want jobs, security and basic services, and the president’s words will continue to ring hollow until these urgent needs are met,” said Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. “Nearly half of the funds appropriated by Congress remain unspent and millions of dollars have been lost to corruption.” Bush said the U.S. has helped Iraqis conduct nearly 3,000 renovation projects at schools, train more than 30,000 teachers, distribute more than 8 million textbooks, rebuild irrigation infrastructure to help more than 400,000 rural Iraqis and improve drinking water for more than 3 million people. The U.S.-led coalition also has helped Iraqis introduce a new currency, reopen a stock exchange and extend $21 million in microcredit and small business loans to Iraqi entrepreneurs, he said. Bush cited Najaf, 90 miles south of Baghdad, and Mosul in northern Iraq – the sites of some of the bloodiest battles of the war – as two cities where headway is being made. In focusing on progress in the two cities, however, Bush did not dwell on violence-scarred cities such as Baghdad, the capital, or western expanses that have been a gateway for foreign militants. He said victory will be achieved when insurgents and others seeking to derail democracy in Iraq can no longer threaten the future of the nation; when Iraqi security forces can safeguard their own citizens; and when Iraq is not a haven for terrorists plotting attacks against the U.S. Democrats say the U.S. engagement in Iraq is open-ended and costly in terms of lives and dollars. They say the president refrains from giving the American people an idea of when U.S. troops might be able to return home. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., a longtime hawk on military matters who now wants U.S. troops pulled out of Iraq, said the military has told him it plans to ask for $100 billion more for the war next year. That is in addition to the $50 billion that Congress is expected to approve for this year before adjourning, and the $200 billion that lawmakers already have given the president for Iraq since 2003. “It’s been poor planning from the start,” Murtha said. Pentagon spokeswoman Cheryl Irwin said “it would be premature” to discuss next year’s budget, which the administration has not completed. Military commanders have told the administration the next $50 billion should last through Memorial Day. Bush rebutted Democrats who want to withdraw U.S. troops on a timetable. He criticized those such as Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean, who has likened the war to Vietnam and has said, “The idea that the United States is going to win the war in Iraq is just plain wrong.” “There will be good days and there will be bad days in this war,” Bush said. “I reject the pessimists in Washington who say we can’t win this war.” The Pentagon has tentative plans to halt the scheduled deployment of two brigades to Iraq, instead sending smaller teams to support and train Iraqi forces in what could be an early step toward an eventual drawdown of U.S. forces, according to two defense officials. The officials, who did not want to be identified because the plans have not been finalized, said Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is preparing to announce the plan after the Iraq election next Thursday, if all goes well. While the president focused on progress on the economic front, he acknowledged that the U.S. has learned that to gain control of Iraqi cities, it also has to win the “battle after the battle” by helping Iraqis consolidate their gains and keep terrorists from returning. “We found that after we left, the terrorists would re-enter the city, intimidate local leaders and police and eventually retake control, so we adjusted our approach,” Bush said. “As improvements in training produced more capable Iraqi security forces, those forces have been able to better hold onto the cities we cleared out together.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!