Residents of provinces along the Philippines’ Pacific coast are told to keep watch for the effects of a powerful quake that hit the Solomon Islands on Wednesday, February 6. According to the US Geological Survey, the 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck near the Santa Cruz Islands in the Solomons around 0112 GMT. The quake reportedly flattened three villages, as small tsunami waves lapped Pacific coastlines and emergency sirens blared evacuation warnings. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center cancelled its regional alert at 0350 GMT, about two and a half hours after the powerful quake struck at 0112 GMT near the Santa Cruz Islands in the Solomons.
Read more about the quake that hit the Solomon Islands on Rappler's Magnitude 8.0 quake strikes Solomons, sparks Pacific tsunami and Solomons quake triggers PH tsunami watch.
The private salvage company hired by the US Navy to remove the USS Guardian from Tubbataha Reef Natural Park will be paid almost $25 million (about P1.2-B) to complete its task, according to the US Department of Defense. The salvage operation is expected to be completed by December, not April or early May as earlier announced by the Philippine Coast Guard. The Philippine Coast Guard is expected on Wednesday to give the final green light to the US Navy plan of cutting the USS Guardian into pieces and then lifting each section onto a barge with floating cranes to minimize further damage to the reef at the UNESCO World Heritage site in the Sulu Sea.
Read more about the Tubbataha incident on Rappler.
British lawmakers voted in favor of controversial legislation allowing gay marriage on Tuesday, February 5, despite fierce opposition from members of Prime Minister David Cameron's own party. Voting 400-175, the vote puts Britain on track to join the ten countries that allow same-sex couples to marry. But to become a law it still needs to clear votes at the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Cameron had allowed lawmakers a free vote on the issue, meaning they were not directed by party managers. Speaking before the vote, Cameron said: "Today is an important day. I am a strong believer in marriage, it helps people commit to each other, and I think it is right that gay people should be able to get married too.
Read more about the controversial legislation on Rappler.
French-led forces have killed hundreds of Islamists in fighting to reclaim northern Mali and with the rebels' last bastion secured, France said Tuesday, February 5, it will begin withdrawing its troops from March. The defense ministry said the Islamists died in French air strikes on vehicles transporting fighters and equipment, and in "direct combat in Konna and Gao", key central and northern towns. France's sole fatality so far has been a helicopter pilot who was killed at the start of the military operation. Mali said 11 of its troops were killed and 60 were wounded after the battle at Konna last month but has not since released a new death toll.
Read more about the Mali attacks on Rappler.
US President Barack Obama on Tuesday, February 5 called for stop-gap spending curbs and tax reforms to avert multi-billion dollar budget cuts due to hammer the economy on March 1, but hit a Republican brick wall. Obama warned the fragile economy could not afford the blow from huge cuts to defense and other government programs, known as the sequester, and the jobs of millions of Americans should not be threatened by wrangling in Washington. The president said if Congress could not act on a bigger deficit cutting package by March 1, lawmakers should pass a smaller plan of spending cuts and tax reforms to forestall the economically damaging impact of the sequester.
Read more about the imminent spending cuts on CNN.
Dell unveiled plans to go private in a $24.4 billion deal giving founder Michael Dell a chance to reshape the former number one PC maker away from the spotlight of Wall Street. "I believe this transaction will open an exciting new chapter for Dell, our customers and team members," Michael Dell said in unveiling the deal with equity investment firm Silver Lake, and backed by a $2 billion loan from Microsoft. The move, which would delist the company from stock markets, could ease some pressure on Dell, which is cash-rich but has seen profits slump, as it tries to reduce dependence on the slumping market for personal computers.
Read more about Dell's plans to go private on Rappler.
A new propaganda video uploaded by an official North Korean agency on YouTube has become the talk of the Internet community. The video is about the vision of a young Korean man, which starts with an upbeat tone to the song “We Are The World” and images of a reunified Korean peninsula. It suddenly changes tone with images of stars and stripes, and then a city in flames, then the text, "I see black smoke billowing somewhere in America". The video has been taken down from YouTube following a copyright claim from the company. Conspiracy theorists say the video hints of North Korea’s plans of a nuclear attack on America. What do you think?
Read more about the propaganda video on The New York Times.
Following the rollout of web profiles last year, Instagram announced the launching of Instagram web feed. What’s the difference? Web profiles allows users to view all your Instagram photos on your profiles on the web. Web feed takes that a step further allowing you to view Instagram photos from users you follow on the web. Instagram Feed functions the same way it does on your mobile phone. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom says this move is in line with moves to expand Instagram to the desktop as part of efforts to make the site more accessible.
Read more about Instagram's Web Feed on Instagram's Blog and Rappler.
Spanish tennis champ Rafael Nadal launched his return from a seven-month injury break by teaming with Argentina's Juan Monaco for an emphatic doubles victory in the ATP clay court event in Chile on Tuesday, February 5. All eyes are on the return of the world's number five who is playing his first tournament since he was beaten in the second round at Wimbledon by Czech journeyman Lukas Rosol in June 2012.
Read more about Rafael Nadal's return on Rappler.
EDSA, Ortigas, Aurora, Mendiola - these names have become part of the daily lives of Metro Manila residents. Named after men and women who have played an important part in Philippine history, these streets and avenues have over the years become more popular than those they were named after.
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