bits and bobs feature

Bits and Bobs – This Is World News In Focus

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Philippines: Mudslides and floods killed 180 people in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao on Friday (Dec. 22), and 160 were still missing.

The disaster was triggered by tropical storm Tembin, which also caused casualties in many places like Tubod, El Salvador and Munai towns in Lanao del Norte province.

Meanwhile, there was more tragedy, as a four-story shopping mall was burnt down in the southern Philippines city of Davao on Saturday (Dec. 23). Thirty-seven people were believed dead.

According to local police, many people were trapped inside a 24-hour call center on the top floor, where they were killed.

For more we got to CBC News:

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Spain: Secessionists won the Spanish regional election on Thursday (Dec. 21).

The three separatist parties scooped up 70 seats in the 135-seat regional parliament, giving them a narrow but absolute majority in the regional parliament, much to the dismay of the Spanish government.

The former Catalan president’s party, Together for Catalonia, received 34 seats; the left-wing republican ERC party collected 32 seats; and the radical, anti-capitalist CUP won four seats.

But the pro-Spain Ciutadans (Citizens) party won the largest number of votes and seized 37 seats in the parliament.

The election was called by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy after he ousted the Catalan government, deposed its president, Carles Puigdemont, and imposed direct rule on the region.  He had hoped the election would help curb the independence movement in Catalonia.

Carles Puigdemont has called for new talks with Spain after the election, but the prime minister turned down his request.

For more we got to Bloomberg Politics:

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Finance: Bitcoin — the much hyped cryptocurrency that holds promise to be the new universal medium of transaction — lost 30 percent of its value on Friday (Dec. 22).

The value of a Bitcoin fell to $11,159 from a a record high close to $20,000 earlier last week, and slowly rose back to $12,800 by the close of trading.

Analysts said the drop in Bitcoin value was the highest percentage loss seen this year.

Bitcoin’s futures contract trades had to halt temporarily on the Chicago Board Options Exchange until the price stabilized.

Bitcoin is a digital currency created in 2009.  While the inventor is said to be Satoshi Nakamoto, his true identity remains unknown.

The digital currency was valued at just $998 on January 1, 2017.  It soared to a record high of nearly $20,000 on some exchanges earlier last week before the epic plunge in value.

For more we got to CNBC:

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Lead-In Image (Bitcoin & Blue Jeans) Courtesy of Stanslavs / Shutterstock.com