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Philippines touts Google view

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Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, left, talked Wednesday beside a picture of Manila’s Jose Rizal monument during a speech in support of Philippine tourism in suburban Pasay, south of Manila.

MANILA >> Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao and tourism officials said Wednesday that images of the Philippine capital and the country’s main tourist spots on Google’s Street View could help attract more visitors to the country.

Google country marketing manager Ryan Morales said the Philippines became the 69th country included in Google’s Street View with its Wednesday launching in Manila.

The images captured over six months last year include panoramic views of street scenes in 37 cities and 35 historic and heritage sites, including Pacquiao’s southern hometown where he began his career as one of the world’s most popular boxers.

Rocked by insurgencies and poor infrastructure, the Philippines struggles to bolster tourism, lagging behind neighboring Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.

Pacquiao said the images include his old neighborhood in Sarangani province, which he represents as a congressman, General Santos City, the country’s tuna capital, and the city hall where he used to sell bread to earn money when he was a young boy from a dirt-poor family.

Newton estate offering tours

LAS VEGAS >> Wayne Newton’s Las Vegas estate, which was once the subject of a legal battle, is set to open as a museum.

The 52-acre Casa de Shenandoah in southeastern Las Vegas opens Friday for tours with prices starting at $35.

Fans start at the visitor center and then shuttle into the compound to see the iconic entertainer’s memorabilia, house, jet, cars, gift shop and exotic animals, including Arabian horses and a capuchin monkey.

Visitors can even opt for the VIP package with Newton as the tour guide.

Newton had lived on the property for 45 years, but he moved out in 2013 after selling it to CSD LLC. The plan to create a “Graceland West” attraction to celebrate the singer’s long career had been stalled by a bankruptcy with the business entity.


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