#ThewRap: Things you need to know, May 24, 2017

Hello! Here are the top stories you shouldn't miss this Wednesday

MARAWI BURNING. At least 3 separate fires broke out in the city on May 23, 2017, as the gun battle rages between the military and the Maute Group. Photo from @attysamina

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Hello!

Dear Reader,

On his first day in Russia, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in the southern Philippines following terror attacks in Marawi City. He cut short his trip, met with Russian president Vladimir Putin briefly, and was, as of Monday morning, on his way back to the Philippines.

In the United Kingdom, Britain raised its terror alert level following a suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, killing 22 people.

Here are the major stories that you shouldn't miss this Wednesday.

Duterte cuts Russia trip short due to Marawi clashes, declares martial law

President Rodrigo Duterte ended his trip to Russia earlier than expected as Philippine troops clashed with members of the Maute group in Marawi.

As a result of the fighting in Marawi, Duterte has declared also martial law in Mindanao. Martial law is set to last 60 days, unless an extension is approved by Congress.

The President has said his implementation will be similar to that of Marcos-era martial law. "Martial law is martial law ha. It will not be any different from what the President, Marcos did. I'd be harsh," said Duterte early morning on Wednesday, May 24.

Duterte left Russia at around 5 am on Wednesday, May 24, and is expected to be back in Manila by 5 pm.

Britain raises threat level following concert blast

Britain's prime minister, Theresa May, raised the national terror threat level from severe to critical after an apparent suicide bombing in Manchester during an Ariana Grande concert killed 22 people.

Her statement came after 22-year-old Salman Abedi, reportedly a Briton of Libyan descent, was identified as the perpetrator behind the May 22 attack, whose victims included an eight-year-old girl..

May announced the army would be deployed on the streets to support armed police under a plan codenamed Operation Temperer, which was developed in the aftermath of the November 2015 Paris terror attacks.

Duterte asks Putin for a 'soft loan' for arms purchases

President Rodrigo Duterte asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for a soft loan for the purchase of firearms on Tuesday, May 23, citing the need for more firearms following the Philippine president's declaration of martial law in Mindanao.

Putin gave a general response to Duterte's request, but also expressed condolences over the Marawi attack.

Trump wants Middle Eastern peace through 'compromise'

US President Donald Trump called on Israelis and Palestinians to make compromises for peace as he wrapped up a closely watched visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories, but offered no specifics on how he would resolve the decades-old conflict.

Trump touched upon the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, vowing he was "personally committed" to helping the two sides find a deal, but adding that "Making peace however will not be easy,"

"We all know that. Both sides will face tough decisions. But with determination, compromise and the belief that peace is possible, Israelis and Palestinians can make a deal."

Department of Transportation suspends Anti-Distracted Driving Act

The Philippines' Department of Transportation (DOTr) suspended the implementation of the Anti-Distracted Driving Act after lawmakers pointed out it would be "irregular" for them to enforce the law without first conducting a nationwide information dissemination campaign.

The Senate meanwhile said it would investigate the confusing implementing rules and regulations of the Anti-Distracted Driving Act, with the DOTr adding it will also revive its technical working group to review the law's implementing rules and regulations (IRR) in coordination with stakeholders.

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