Daily News Highlights – September 16, 2015

Gerard Lim

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

  1. Binay speaks, gets grilled at UPLB

    Vice President Jejomar Binay took the stage at the University of the Philippines – Los Baños (UPLB) Tuesday, September 15, to present his past achievements and future plans if elected president in 2016. But instead of letting him go easy after his speech, UPLB students and faculty peppered the Vice President with direct questions in an open forum that lasted for about two hours. Students took the lead in grilling the aspiring presidential candidate on his track record as Makati mayor and his criticism of the Aquino government. Binay defended his accomplishments as mayor and said his function in the Aquino cabinet is “limited”. He also said political dynasties are not wrong, as long as families involved in politics do not resort to cheating or violence. He added, he sees no direct connection between political dynasties and the perpetuation of poverty. 

    Read the full story on Rappler

    Watch the full video of the Q&A with Vice President Binay here.


  2. Saudi king sanctions Binladin firm

    Saudi Arabia’s King Salman sanctioned the powerful Saudi Binladin Group after concluding it was partly responsible for the collapse of a crane in Mecca’s Grand Mosque that killed at least 107 people. An investigative commission concluded that the company had not ‘respected the norms of safety’ at the site. The construction firm belongs to the family of the late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and is working on a project to expand the capacity of the Grand Mosque to accommodate 2 million pilgrims. The death of more than a hundred people was the worst accident in a decade surrounding the annual hajj pilgrimage, which began on Tuesday.

    Read the full story on Sky News.

  3. After Grace, Chiz Escudero to declare VP bid on Sept 17

    Senator Francis Escudero is set to announce his vice presidential bid on Thursday, September 17, a day after his friend and ally Senator Grace Poe is scheduled to announce her own presidential bid. Poe and Escudero have long declared they would see the two highest posts as a tandem. Escudero’s announcement comes after months of speculation on whether Senator Poe would join the administration-backed ticket of former DILG secretary and presidential candidate Mar Roxas. Escudero was seen as an obstacle to a Roxas-Poe tandem for 2016. Senator Escudero, a glib speaker, hails from a political family and is married to popular actress Heart Evangelista. 

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Indonesia to charge companies responsible for haze

    Around 100 people and 15 companies are being investigated over the blazes that have choked parts of Indonesia and neighboring countries. The Indonesian government said it will pursue charges against companies involved in forest burning and has ordered its military to ramp-up operations in Sumatra to combat the forest fires. The smog from the fires has reached Malaysia and Singapore, causing a closure of schools and threatening local tourism there, due to the unhealthy levels of air pollution. The illegal fires are set to clear vast tracts of land to make way for palm oil and pulp and paper plantations, and Indonesia has failed to halt the practice despite years of pressure from its neighbors.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Chief Justice Sereno to speak at 2015 Social Good Summit in Manila

    Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno will be one of the main speakers at the 2015 Social Good Summit in Manila on September 26 at the Newport Theater in Resorts World Manila. Justice Sereno will talk about how the Supreme Court is innovating to speed up decision-making with the help of technology. She is just one of a long list of speakers at the Summit, co-presented by Rappler and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Philippines. Other speakers include UN Resident Coordinator Ola Almgren and Senator Bam Aquino. The Manila Social Good Summit 2015 will explore the disruptive power of technology and the critical role leaders play in fostering innovative ideas that could help address the complex challenges of our day. The day’s program includes a MovePH partners expo, a series of small Rappler Talks and the Move Awards ceremony. The Summit will be livestreamed on Rappler.com.

    See the full list of speakers on Rappler

    Here’s what you need to know about the Social Good Summit.


  6. Lower world rankings for top Philippine universities

    Three of 4 top Philippine universities ranked lower in a global list of universities for 2015, an indication the other universities are playing catch up in an increasingly competitive field. The University of the Philippines (UP) dropped from 367 in 2014 to 401-410 in 2015 – the lowest ranking of the premier state university since 2012. Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) fell from 461-470 in 2014 20 501-550, while De La Salle University (DLSU) also slid down to 701+ from last year’s 651 – 700. According to the QS World University Rankings, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States is still the world’s top university. 

    Read the full story on Rappler.



  7. Mark Zuckerberg shows world his office and desk in live tour

    Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave Facebook users and fans all over the world a quick tour of the company’s new office using it’s new live video feature on Monday, September 14. The short video has Zuckerberg, wearing his signature t-shirt, talk about the single-floor open office of Facebook where there are no cubicles and no walls to separate teams. This allows for better collaboration and transparency, Zuckerberg says. He also shows viewers his ordinary desk, located in the same open floor and without any special trappings of a billionaire CEO. Facebook will launch soon its live video feature which will allow users to stream video on Facebook in a similar fashion to Twitter’s Periscope and YouTube’s live stream. 

    Read the full story on NDTV.

  8. Obama to host President Xi Jinping

    President Barack Obama will offer his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping a full state welcome at the White House on September 25, a US spokesman announced Tuesday, September 15. The White House will roll out the red carpet and set the table for Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan, a Chinese folk singing superstar. The prestigious welcome comes after Obama made a similar trip to China in November 2014. But it belies deep and growing tensions between the world’s two pre-eminent economic and political powers. Xi is seen as one of the most powerful Chinese leaders in decades, but his vision of creating a “Chinese dream” and returning the country to great power status has met economic headwinds. Obama has criticized China’s cyber espionage and echoed concern over its claim over disputed territory in the South China Sea. 

     Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Donating to US election campaigns made easier with a tweet

    Twitter announced Tuesday, September 15, a new feature allowing users to make contributions to a political candidate through a tweet. Twitter is teaming up on the service with Square, the online payments firm launched by Jack Dorsey, who is also a co-founder of Twitter and its interim chief executive. Once a campaign has been verified by Square, it can tweet a unique link to request donations from supporters. The tweet will include an image with a “contribute” button, to allow anyone to click to donate directly through the social network. Americans are gearing up for the 2016 US presidential elections where candidates are expected to rely heavily on social media to woo voters and attack rivals.

    Read the full story on Rappler.


  10. September 25 a holiday for Eid’l Adha

    President Benigno Aquino III declared September 25, a Friday, as a regular holiday throughout the country in observance of the Islamic celebration of Eid’l Adha or the Feast of the Sacrifice. The declaration was made upon the recommendation of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos based on the Islamic Calendar. Eid’l Adha is one of the two greatest feasts of Islam, meant to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, to obey Allah’s command. 

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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