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Infrastructure groups lead effort to build interest in engineering

In an effort to address a growing need for engineers in Illinois, several infrastructure groups have joined to create additional interest in the field.

The American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois is partnering with several agencies, including the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers and the Illinois State Tollway Highway Authority to highlight the need for more engineers across the state.

Kevin Artl, president and CEO of the ACEC, said the need for engineers has been evident for years.

“There is an engineer shortage today and looking out for 10 or 20 years in the future there is going to be engineer shortages,” said Artl.

The industry partners and state agencies jointly produced an informational video that will be available to all schools for career day presentations, STEM events so students can better understand the opportunities available to them in the engineering field. The video explains that engineering jobs don’t only exist in big cities but in communities big and small across Illinois.

Civil engineer and ACEC board member Laura McGovern said 10 of the 17 highest paying careers in the country are in engineering.

“We’re solving problems, we’re fixing problems, we’re keeping the world going, and so it is a great career that really pays off well,” McGovern said.

According to ZipRecruiter, the starting pay for an entry-level engineer is between $31,000 and $55,000 a year.

Artl said with Illinois’ $45 billion capital investment plan and the massive national infrastructure program being talked about, it is guaranteed there will be jobs for engineers.

“It is a talking point but it truly is right now a generational investment, so there are going to be jobs emerging in this sector for decades,” Artl said.

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Fed officials expect higher unemployment rates by year end, signal stimulus easing, interest hike

Fed officials on Wednesday downgraded their forecast for the U.S. unemployment rates, with expectations that inflation and joblessness will rise before the end of the year.

This is the first time closely watched estimates have been directly impacted by the increase in COVID-19 numbers as a resukt of the virus’s highly contagious Delta variant. 

“The progress of the economy continues to depend on the course of the virus and risks to the economic outlook remain, ” Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said during press conference. He also said the COVID surge is causing “significant hardship and loss, and slowing the economic recovery.”

As a result of these expectations, the Fed is unlikely to increase interest rates this month to stop inflation. 

The median unemployment rate is expected to rise to around 4.8%, according to Powell. 

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The Navy Loves Its Arleigh Burke Destroyers  | The National Interest

First entering service thirty years ago in 1991, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers (DDGs) have the distinction of having the longest production run for any post–World War II U.S. Navy surface combatant. Sixty-eight of the warships have been completed and are in active service while seven are currently under construction with another three on order. 

As of April of last year, the Navy has announced plans to build a total of eighty-nine of the warships, and since the decommissioning of the last Spruance-class destroyer, USS Cushing (DD-985)on September 21, 2005—the Arleigh Burke-class were the only active U.S. Navy destroyers until USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) entered service in October 2016.

The vessels are among the largest destroyers built for the United States Navy, while the hull form was designed to permit high speeds. The design also featured various stealth techniques including the use of angled rather than traditional vertical surfaces and tripod mainmast, which creates a low radar cross-section—making it more difficult for the warships to be targeted by anti-ship missiles. The ship also utilizes an electronic warfare suite that can provide passive detection and decoy countermeasures.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are equipped with an Aegis combat system that integrates the ship’s sensors and weapon systems to engage anti-ship missile threats; while the Aegis system has a federated architecture with four subsystems, AN / SPY-1 multifunction radar, a command and decision system (CDS), an Aegis display system (ADS), and the weapon control system (WCS). 

With an overall length of 505 to 509.5 feet (153.9 to 155.3 m), and a displacement ranging from 8,230 to 9,700 tons, the Arleigh Burke-class vessels are larger, and with weaponry including more than ninety missiles, are also more heavily armed than most previous ships classified as guided missile cruisers.

The entirety of the ship, except the two aluminum funnels, is made from steel with vital areas protected by two layers of steel and seventy tons of Kevlar armor.

Flight Plans 

The initial twenty-one destroyers in the class, DDG-51 to DDG-71, are categorized as Flight I; while the next seven, DDG-72 to DDG-78 are Flight II; followed by revised Flight IIA ships.

USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112) was meant to be the last of the sixty-two of the Arleigh Burke-class, but after the cancelation of the Zumwalt-class program, the Navy instead opted instead to fill the role with a Flight III series of Arleigh Burke guided-missile destroyers. Improvements over the previous flights included the addition of hangers for two SH-60B/F LAMPS helicopters, new combat system software and an enlarged flight deck. Additionally, the Flight III models are armed with Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles, and feature Kingfisher mine detection sonar, Kollmorgen optronic sight and an upgraded Aegis radar system.

In September 2018, the U.S. Navy awarded two contracts with a combined value of $9.29 billion to Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) and Bath Iron Works (BIW) for the construction of ten Flight III DDG 51 destroyers. HII was contracted to build six of the destroyers, while BIW, will construct the remaining four. Construction of the ships is set to take place between 2018 and 2022. Additionally, in December 2018, the U.S. Navy awarded a contract modification to BIW to construct an additional Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. 

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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Renewed Interest in ‘Tax the Rich’ Merch Line After Met Gala. – The First TV

Join the revolution for the low, low price of $58 a sweatshirt.

The self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist is enjoying renewed interest in her pricey line of clothing and accessories post Met Gala. And despite AOC’s proclamation that her dress was a statement for the working-class, her “Tax the Rich” merchandise line may be out of their price range.

TTR merch comes in six scintillating socialist styles: a sweatshirt for $58, a tee-shirt for $27, a “dad hat” for $28, a sticker pack for $10, a mug for $27, and a tote bag for $27. 

AOC’s website calls it a “movement you can wear.”

Meanwhile, the New York Post reports the designer of AOC’s dress, Aurora James, owes debts and taxes in multiple states – but received pandemic relief aid.

“While James apparently has no problem stiffing the Taxman, she isn’t shy about taking money from taxpayers — her company received $41,666 in pandemic relief aid,” the Post reports. 

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Didn’t Take Long: ABC, CBS Lose Interest in Biden’s Botched Drone Strike on Kids

If a Biden blunder is too big to ignore completely, the liberal media will do the next best thing: move on as quickly as possible. On Friday afternoon, the Pentagon conceded a horrific addition to the President’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan. An August 29th drone strike that was touted as killing ISIS terrorists actually killed ten civilians, including seven children. 

But while the networks initially covered this latest debacle over the weekend, ABC and CBS quickly moved on. Mondays are usually a time when the networks offer a reset for viewers who weren’t paying attention on Saturday and Sunday. However, only NBC’s Today on Monday offered a fresh story, amounting to 2 minutes and 26 seconds. ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS Mornings on Monday? Zero. 



Reporter Richard Engel on Monday explained, “Just before American troops pulled out of Afghanistan last month, the last U.S. military drone strike killed ten, including an aide worker and his seven children. Now following an investigation, the Pentagon admits it was a tragic mistake.” He added, “A New York Times investigation showed the target was care carrying water jug, not explosives. Now family members say their name has been unfairly associated with ISIS.” 

Nowhere in the segment, however, was any mention of President Joe Biden. On Sunday’s Today show, reporter Monica Alba offered a report on the President “facing setbacks and challenges.” She noted, “The White House has yet to comment on the startling admission Friday that the missile killed ten civilians and seven of them children instead of an intended ISIS target.” 

On Sunday’s Good Morning America, Stephanie Ramos tried to ask Martha Raddatz how this latest disaster impacts Biden: “Martha, for weeks we know the Pentagon called the drone strike in Kabul that killed civilians a successful mission despite the loss of life. Now they’re admitting it was a tragic mistake. What’s the fallout look like for the administration?” 

Here’s Raddatz’s full answer: Notice she never says the word “Biden.” 



This was such a horrific mistake. A tragic mistake, a horrific mistake. They had tracked this car of the aide worker. They were convinced it was a terrorist. They tracked the car for about eight hours. They said the car went to an ISIS facilitator’s home and then continued on, but there was also this incredible investigation by The New York Times. This was about a week ago they had gotten surveillance video from the ground. They had tracked this aide worker. What he did during that day, he was dropping things off. He was picking up colleagues, went all over Kabul, and then pulled into that compound, and that’s when the hellfire missile struck. Even after that investigation, days later, they were still standing by the story that this was as General Milley called it, a righteous strike, and that they had followed the rules of engagement. They still say they followed the rules of engagement, Stephanie, on how this was carried out, but it was clearly, clearly a bad hit. 

In the first 24 hours, all three networks covered the botched strike. On Friday night, as well as the Saturday morning and evening newscasts, NBC offered the most time: 6 minutes and 9 seconds. CBS followed with 5 minutes and 39 seconds and ABC was in last with 4 minutes and 17 seconds. ABC offered another 4 minutes and 8 seconds on Sunday. NBC managed an additional 25 seconds. 

The networks dropped the border crisis for months at a time. And less than three days after the killing of ten civilians, including then children, CBS and NBC already appear ready to move on. 

CBS abandoning this horrific story after just a few days was sponsored by Progressive. On ABC, it was Target. Click on the links to let them know what you thinks. 

A transcript of NBC’s coverage on Monday is below. Click “expand” to read more. 


HODA KOTB: The Pentagon facing growing fallout after admitting this weekend that a drone strike in the final days of the Afghanistan war killed an innocent family. NBC’s chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel is right here in studio and going to tell us how it happened. Hey, Richard. Good morning. 

RICHARD ENGEL: It’s good to be here. Sorry with such a sad story. This was the last act while U.S. troops were still in Afghanistan. I was there at the time. We were watching this very chaotic pullout. It was a stampede, a rush to the airport and then there was an attack and the U.S. really did believe that there was going to be a follow-on attack and thought that it was ISIS, stopping an imminent attack, but after initial reports from the family that said this wasn’t the case, just a bunch of innocent people and now an investigation from the Pentagon admitting there was a mistake. 

Just before American troops pulled out of Afghanistan last month, the last U.S. military drone strike killed 10. Including an aide worker and his seven children. Now following an investigation, the Pentagon admits it was a tragic mistake. 

GENERAL KENNETH MCKENZIE: This strike was taken in the earnest belief that it would prevent an imminent threat to our forces and the evacuees at the airport. But it was a mistake and I offer my sincere apology. 

ENGEL: The strike came as American troops were pulling out of Afghanistan and it was mayhem. The Taliban had just taken over Kabul and Afghans were rushing to the airport, desperate to flee the country with American soldiers. An ISIS suicide bomber seized the opportunity and attacked American troops guarding a gate, killing 13 service members and nearly 200 Afghans. Afterwards, the Pentagon was on high alert for another ISIS attack. Later, bombing a car saying repeatedly it stopped another ISIS bomber. 

GENERAL MARK MILLEY: At this point we think that the procedures were correctly followed and it was a righteous strike. 

ENGEL:  But right from the start, witnesses claimed the U.S. Got it wrong and killed civilians. A New York Times investigation showed the target was care carrying water jug, not explosives. Now family members say their name has been unfairly associated with ISIS and they want the U.S. to help them get out of Afghanistan. “we’re not criminals. We did nothing wrong. We’re just innocent civilians, he said. 

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Fiancé Of Missing 22-Year-Old Woman Named As Person Of Interest In Disappearance After Cross-Country Road Trip

Authorities announced Wednesday that the fiancé of the 22-year-old woman who went missing on a cross-country road trip was named as a person of interest.

Gabrielle Petito was reported missing by her family after her fiancé Brian Laundrie returned home from a road trip without her. Upon beginning an investigation, Florida police identified Laundrie as a person of interest, NBC News reported. (RELATED: Missing Woman’s Ex-Boyfriend Named Person Of Interest After Her Body Was Found Stuffed Under Her Mattress)

The 22-year-old was last seen in late August in Wyoming when her family stopped hearing from her. Petito and her fiancé documented their travels in a Ford Transit Van on Youtube. Laundrie returned to North Port, Florida with the van, but without Petito, NBC News reported.

“Gabrielle’s vehicle was recovered here in North Port at her home on September 11,” said the police department in a statement, according to NBC News. “That vehicle was fully processed for evidence along with FBI agents Tuesday evening.”

Laundrie is not cooperating with police and has not provided any helpful information, according to NBC News.

“We know Brian returned here to North Port on September 1st — ten days before her family reported her missing on September 11th. We have no information that a crime occurred here in North Port,” said police, according to NBC News.

In a statement Wednesday, Chief Todd Garrison said the police department is pleading with anyone, including Laundrie, for information about Petito’s location, CBS News reported.

“The lack of information from Brian is hindering this investigation. The answers will eventually come out. We will help find Gabby and we will help find anyone who may be involved in her disappearance,” said Garrison, according to CBS News.

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China Evergrande’s liquidity crisis deepens, report flags interest payment miss

FILE PHOTO: People gather to demand repayment of loans and financial products at the Evergrande’s headquarters, in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China September 13, 2021. REUTERS/David Kirton

September 15, 2021

By Clare Jim

HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s major banks have been notified by the housing authority that Evergrande Group won’t be able to pay loan interest due Sept. 20, Bloomberg reported, underlining the broadening impact of the property developer’s liquidity crisis.

The troubles ailing the nation’s no. 2 property developer have already sparked social anger among investors and homebuyers and raised risks for China’s vast financial system.

Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) held a meeting with the banks this week, the Bloomberg report said on Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the matter. It added that Evergrande is still discussing with banks the possibility of extending payments and rolling over some loans.

The indebted property developer is scrambling to raise funds to pay its many lenders and suppliers, as it teeters between a messy meltdown with far-reaching impacts, a managed collapse or the less likely prospect of a bailout by Beijing.

Regulators have warned of broader risks to the country’s financial system if the company’s $305 billion of liabilities aren’t contained.

Evergrande on Tuesday said it has engaged advisers to examine its financial options and warned of cross-default risks amid plunging property sales and lack of progress in asset disposals.

The housing ministry did not immediately respond to a faxed Reuters request for comment, and Evergrande also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last week, financial intelligence provider REDD reported Evergrande has told two banks it planned to suspend interest payment due later this month.

Rating agency S&P on Wednesday further downgraded Evergrande to “CC” from “CCC”, with a negative outlook, citing reduced liquidity and default risks including the possibility of debt restructuring.

An Evergrande Group default could expose numerous sectors to heightened credit risk, another rating agency Fitch said in a note late on Tuesday, but it added the overall impact on the banking sector would be manageable.

“We believe a default would reinforce credit polarisation among homebuilders and could result in headwinds for some smaller banks,” Fitch said.

Fitch has downgraded China Evergrande Group to “CC” from “CCC+” on Sep. 7, indicating that it viewed a default of some kind as probable.

Fitch said 572 billion yuan ($88.8 billion) of Evergrande’s borrowings were held by banks and other financial institutions, but banks may also have indirect exposure to the developer’s suppliers, who are owed 667 billion yuan for goods and services.

“Smaller banks with higher exposure to Evergrande or to other vulnerable developers could face significant increases in non-performing loans (NPLs), depending on how any credit event involving Evergrande develops,” Fitch said.

But the agency added a recent People’s Bank of China (PBOC) sensitivity test showed the average capital adequacy ratio of the 4,000 banks in the country would only drop modestly if the NPL ratio for property-development loans were to rise by 15 basis points.

The PBOC, China’s central bank, and the nation’s banking watchdog summoned Evergrande’s executives in August in a rare move and warned that it needed to reduce its debt risks and prioritise stability.


Evergrande’s Hong Kong-listed stock slipped another 5.4% to close at HK$2.81 on Wednesday, a fresh low since Jan 2014, while financial stocks were also weighed down by worries of the broader risks Evergrande’s debt crisis might bring. The company’s property management unit and EV unit, however, bounced 5.5% and 2.6%, respectively.

Three of Evergrande’s onshore exchange-traded bonds fell at least 20%, and one had its trading paused by the Shenzhen exchange.

Fitch also said the risk of significant pressure on house prices in the event of a default would be low, and it expected the government would act to protect households’ interests to ensure home deliveries.

Market watchers said ensuring social stability will be the top priority for the Chinese government.

Oscar Choi, founder and CIO of Oscar and Partners Capital Limited (OP Capital), said the government would talk to creditors on one hand, and use its local resources to prevent uncompleted apartments on the other.

“You can’t just let construction uncompleted; a few hundred thousands families (will be affected),” he said.

On Wednesday, roughly 40 protesters stood near the entrance at Evergrande headquarters in Shenzhen, prevented from going inside by dozens of security personnel.

This followed chaotic scenes at the headquarters two days earlier, as disgruntled investors crowded its lobby to demand repayment of loans and financial products.

Some videos circulating on Chinese social media also showed what were described as Evergrande-related protests elsewhere in China.

($1 = 6.4426 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(This story corrects verb form in para 2)

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru and Clare Jim in Hong Kong; Additional reporting by David Kirton in Shenzhen and Andrew Galbraith in Shanghai and Sarah Morland in Gdansk; Editing by Stephen Coates & Shri Navaratnam)

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LINDELL CYBER SYMPOSIUM: Massive Conflict of Interest in SC Elections, Lawmaker Reveals

South Carolina’s elections chief is also serving on a board of a major election equipment manufacturer- the same manufacturer that produces the state’s voting systems. That is problematic, argued Representative Jonathan Hill in this interview with The New American magazine’s Alex Newman from Lindell’s Cyber Symposium in South Dakota. “It boggles the mind to comprehend how somebody could look at that situation and say, ‘no, that’s not a conflict of interest’,” argued Rep. Hill, who has a background in software engineering and revealed that he was not confident in the integrity of his state’s elections. Among other ideas, Hill called for total transparency and open-source code if such technology is going to be used.

DISCLAIMER: Views and opinions expressed in this interview are solely those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent those of The New American. TNA is not responsible for, and does not verify the accuracy of, any information presented.

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China Hasn’t Invaded Taiwan…Yet | The National Interest

Here’s What You Need To Remember: China has drastically ramped up the scale and pace of its provocations against Taiwan in recent years, including a record number of incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, a steady stream of cyberattacks and government-sponsored disinformation campaigns, and increasingly brazen military movements in the South China Sea and the East China Sea.

Amid mounting military tensions in the Pacific, experts warn that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is ramping up its plans to annex Taiwan.  

The forceful reunification of Taiwan has been a core Chinese foreign policy objective since the days of Mao Zedong, according to an op-ed written by Lee Hsi-min, former chief of the general staff of Taiwan’s armed forces, and Eric Lee, research associate at the Project 2049 Institute. The reformist leader Deng Xiaoping adopted a gentler, soft-power-driven approach that saw reunification as less of a military and more of a political-diplomatic project, but the matter took on a ew urgency under the leadership of CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping.  

During a speech given at the Chinese Communist Party’s centenary celebration, Xi expressed his impatience with “resolving the Taiwan question.” Xi proclaimed that “all of us, compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, must come together and move forward in unison. We must take resolute action to utterly defeat any attempt toward ‘Taiwan independence,’ and work together to create a bright future for national rejuvenation.”  

Hsi-min and Lee highlighted the significant steps taken by Beijing to shift the balance of power in the Pacific in its favor. “Beijing understands that the United States is the most significant obstacle to its conquest of Taiwan, and has transformed its force to specifically offset U.S. operational advantages in the Pacific theater,” they wrote in their op-ed. “To this end, the Chinese military has developed anti-ship ballistic missiles, attack submarines and an array of air and naval platforms for conducting saturation attacks to overwhelm enemies, all supported by space-based systems that make it more integrated and lethal.” The result of these growing military investments was laid bare during a 2018 wargame that made it clear the U.S. military cannot feasibly prevent a full-scale Chinese invasion of Taiwan. “The trend in our war games was not just that we were losing, but we were losing faster,” Air Force Lt. Gen. Clinton Hinote told Yahoo News. “The definitive answer if the U.S. military doesn’t change course is that we’re going to lose fast. In that case, an American president would likely be presented with almost a fait accompli.” 

China has drastically ramped up the scale and pace of its provocations against Taiwan in recent years, including a record number of incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, a steady stream of cyberattacks and government-sponsored disinformation campaigns, and increasingly brazen military movements in the South China Sea and the East China Sea.

Hsi-min and Lee did not go as far as to forecast an imminent Chinese invasion, but argued that the conditions are ripe for an “escalation short of all-out war,” adding that  “the exchange of fire between Chinese and Taiwanese forces, small-scale missile attacks and Chinese seizure of Taiwan’s outer islands are all possible.”  

The authors highlighted “diminished U.S. deterrence” and “Washington’s complacent neglect of the Communist Party’s ambitious pursuit of national rejuvenation” as factors permitting, if not facilitating, China’s plans for forceful reunification. There is no single fix to what is a multifaceted problem, but Hsi-min and Lee called for the full implementation of the sweeping military reforms outlined in Taiwan’s Overall Defense Concept, while substantially increasing American military aid to Taipei and casting a renewed focus on interoperability among U.S. forces and allies in the Pacific region to be able to “disrupt, deny, degrade, destroy or deceive the Chinese military’s assets” in a Taiwan invasion scenario.  

Noting that China’s “gray zone operations” against Taiwan have already begun, the authors ended with a dire warning for U.S. policymakers: “The question is not whether the United States should defend Taiwan during war but how to prevent war in the first place. Now is the time to strengthen U.S.-Taiwan security cooperation to ensure peace in the Taiwan Strait.” 

Mark Episkopos is a national security reporter for the National Interest. This article is being republished due to reader interest.

Image: Reuters

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Duterte daughter denies Philippine succession interest as expectation rises

FILE PHOTO: Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte arrives with daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio to attend the enthronement ceremony of Japan’s Emperor Naruhito in Tokyo, Japan October 22, 2019. Carl Court/Pool via REUTERS

September 9, 2021

By Karen Lema and Neil Jerome Morales

MANILA (Reuters) – The daughter of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday she would not run for higher office in next year’s general election, a remark that did little to dampen speculation that she has her eye on the presidency.

Sara Duterte-Carpio, 43, mayor of Davao City, has topped all opinion polls this year on preferred candidates for the top post and has given mixed signals about the possibility of running.

Her father is barred by the constitution from seeking a second term, but on Wednesday he accepted his PDP-Laban party’s nomination to run in the vice president contest.

“I am not running for a national position as we both agreed only one of us will run for a national position in 2022,” Duterte-Carpio, told reporters, referring to her father.

Expectations of her running grew on Wednesday when Duterte’s chosen successor, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, declined PDP-Laban’s presidential nomination. Duterte-Carpio is not a party member.

“Their actions confirm their support for a candidate outside the party,” said Ronwald Munsayac, an official from a rival faction led by boxing star Manny Pacquiao, who is also considering running for president.

“It was a smokescreen for another candidate from Davao,” he added.

Such a scenario is not unheard of in the Philippines’ often dramatic elections.

Duterte, who has portrayed himself as a reluctant leader, was a last-minute replacement for a 2016 election candidate, in what was widely dismissed as a choreographed stunt.

Political analysts believe Duterte-Carpio may use that same playbook

In July she launched a Facebook page with a video saying she wanted the public to get to know her, while “run, Sara, run” banners, posters and t-shirts are now ubiquitous.

She last week said several politicians have offered to be her running mate.

It is not uncommon for former leaders to be prosecuted in the Philippines and a victory could insulate her father from legal action, including a possible international indictment over his bloody war on drugs, analysts have said.

Antonio La Vina, professor of law and politics at the Ateneo de Manila University, said he suspected PDP-Laban’s vacancy was engineered to put pressure on her to run, with her father’s vice presidential bid for “insurance”.

“They are hedging their bets,” La Vina said.

(Reporting by Karen Lema and Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Martin Petty)

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