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Philippine President Duterte criticised for kissing overseas worker on stage

Gorkha Post

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SEOUL — The Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, has been criticised for kissing a married woman on the lips during a speech in South Korea on Sunday evening in front of thousands of cheering supporters.

Duterte, 73, dismissed the kiss as a ‘gimmick’ to entertain supporters at a meet-and-greet event with overseas Filipino workers in South Korea. But one senator called the act “a despicable display of sexism and grave abuse of authority”.

Duterte sought a kiss from the woman after he called her on stage to give her a copy of a book at the event in Seoul, the Philippine Star reported. When Duterte asked if she could explain to her husband that the antic was just a joke, and she said yes, the president leaned in and kissed her as thousands erupted in cheers.

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State-run Philippine News Agency identified the woman as Bea Kim and also posted a brief video interview with her on its Facebook page.

The scene was broadcast live by the state-run TV network to the Philippines.

The woman has defended the kiss and said she was thrilled by her encounter but others said the president went too far.

But, women’s rights group Gabriela argued the act represented “disgusting theatrics of a misogynist president who feels entitled to demean, humiliate or disrespect women according to his whim”.

“His repeated acts of machismo are meant as entertainment to hide the reality of his rapidly slipping popularity due to the issues of extrajudicial killings, the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law and big-time corruption scandals now plaguing his rule,” the group said in a statement.

Agencies

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19 killed in Islamist militant attack on Nigerian village

Thompson Reuters

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MAIDUGURI— At least 19 people have been killed in an Islamist militant attack on a village in northeast Nigeria, a survivor of the attack said.

The militants attacked the village of Mailari in the Guzamala region of Borno state at around 2 am Sunday, according to the survivor, Abatcha Umar.

The strike is the latest blow to Nigeria’s efforts to defeat insurgencies by the Nigerian Islamist Boko Haram group and Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA).

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Umar said he had counted 19 people killed. However,an aid worker at a camp that received the survivors, and who declined to be identified, put the death toll at 63.

The Islamist militants had been spotted around the village three days before their attack, said Umar. Locals had warned Nigerian troops stationed in the nearby town of Gudumbali, but no action was taken, he said.

In recent months, the military has suffered its heaviest defeats in years, commanders have been repeatedly replaced, and special forces soldiers have mutinied.

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