Daily News Highlights – October 29, 2015 Edition

Gwen De La Cruz

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

  1. Rights group tells PH communist guerrillas: ‘revolutionary justice’ is plain murder

    The New York-based Human Rights Watch characterized as “plain murder” the communist New People’s Army’s execution of a mayor and his son in the southern Philippines. The guerrillas have claimed responsibility for the killing of Mayor Dario Otaza of Loreto, Agusan del Sur, and his 27-year-old son Daryl, a special child. They said it was “revolutionary justice” because Otaza, who belonged to an indigenous community, allegedly had close ties with the military. Otaza was himself a former NPA who left the fold. When he became mayor, his anti-poverty programs freed 21 villages from the influence of the communist fighters. The NPA labeled it as “crime against humanity.” The HRW statement was issued on the day Otaza and his son were laid to rest.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. To increase turnout in absentee voting, poll body seeks additional P300M

    Comelec overseas voting |

    Hoping to get more overseas Filipinos to vote in 2016, the Commission on Elections is planning to deploy mobile voting precincts to strategic locations, but will need an additional P300 million to do so. Based on Comelec figures, only 16% of overseas workers, out of more than 700,000 registered during the 2013 elections, cast their votes. These were the figures despite the one month allowance given to them to cast their votes. The challenges they face during elections include seeking permission from employers, proximity from the consular offices, and high mobility of seafarers. The budget department slashed P89.6 million from the Comelec’s proposed budget. That amount was intended for the Office for Overseas Voting.

    Read the full story on Rappler #PHvote.

  3. PH anti-graft court orders Cojuangco bank to turnover of 72% shares to gov’t

    The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan junking a last-ditch effort by the camp of businessman Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr to prevent a government takeover of the United Coconut Planters Bank. The court has ordered the turnover to the government of 72.2% of UCPB shares, which the Supreme Court earlier ruled to be public funds ill-gotten during the Marcos regime. The anti-graft court granted the Motion for Execution filed by the government in June this year. The court ordered the issuance of a writ of execution to effect the transfer of the UCPB shares.

    Read the full story on Rappler Business.

  4. Poor, climate-vulnerable localities in PH can now apply for People’s Survival Fund

    After 3 years since it was created by law, the People’s Survival Fund (PSF) may now be accessed by local government units and community organizations that need financial support for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. “We are pleased to announce that the P1 billion climate fund is now ready. The Climate Change Commission is ready to accept project proposals. Climate change is happening now and it is sure to affect everyone especially our most vulnerable population and communities,” said CCC Assistant Secretary Joyceline Goco. LGUs with the following characteristics will be prioritized: with a high poverty incidence; pronounced vulnerability to climate impacts like typhoons, drought, sea level rise; and presence of a key biodiversity area such as a forest or coral reef system with endangered animals.

    Read who else can avail themselves of the fund in the full story on Rappler Science.

  5. Still easiest to do business in SG; other countries improving fast – World Bank

    Singapore remains the easiest place to do business, while developing countries stepped up their pace of business-friendly reforms in the past year, according to the latest World Bank report. Singapore, the dynamic Asian city state, held onto its business-friendly top ranking from last year in the “Doing Business 2016: Measuring Regulatory Quality and Efficiency” report, which covers 189 economies. The report is now on its 13th year. There were barely any changes in the report’s top 10, according to adjusted data using this year’s criteria for both the 2015 and 2016 rankings. Following Singapore are New Zealand, Denmark, South Korea, Hong Kong, Britain, the United States, Sweden, Norway, and Finland. The Philippines, meanwhile, dropped to 103th spot from 95th last year.

    Read the full story on Rappler Business.

  6. ‘Fed up with waiting’ for gov’t, Indonesians fight forest fires on their own

    Communities worst exposed to the toxic smog in Indonesia are becoming increasingly frustrated at authorities in Jakarta. Insisting that not enough is being done to aid their plight, desperate civilians at the epicenter of Indonesia’s haze crisis are taking the fight into their own hands, using whatever meager resources they have to confront the fires ravaging their communities. In Palangkaraya city, for instance, respiratory illnesses have soared as the smog has worsened in recent weeks. The government has launched water-bombing raids, dumping water over blazes on Borneo and neighboring Sumatra, but has failed so far to bring thousands of fires under control.

    It has also sent warships to Kalimantan – Indonesia’s half of Borneo island – in case large-scale evacuations are needed, but many on the ground are choosing to fight not flee, using wooden sticks, pails of water and anything else on hand to douse the flames.

    Read the full story on Rappler Indonesia.

  7. Tokyo overturns Okinawa governor’s ban on US base transfer

    Takeshi Onaga | Japan | US military base | AFP PHOTO / JIJI PRESS JAPAN OUT

    Tokyo overturned the ban imposed by the governor of Okinawa on the construction at a new site for the American base within the southern Japan island. Work at the new base in Henoko, a secluded area, was halted by Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga, preventing the transfer from the United States facility from a residential area in Futenma. The battle to transfer the US base has been going on since 1996. “We have decided to nullify [Okinawa’s] cancellation of the approval,” Japan Today quoted land and infrastructure minister Keiichi Ishii. “The national government has made the best decision it could to remove the danger associated with Futenma air base and to bring about its closure,” top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said in a press briefing.

    Read more on Japan Today.

  8. Rescuers struggle to reach Afghan-Pakistan quake victims in remote regions

    Rescuers raced against time to reach cold and hungry survivors of an earthquake that left entire communities in Afghanistan and Pakistan marooned in remote mountain regions, as the death toll climbed to 370. Rugged terrain, severed communication lines and an unstable security situation have impeded relief efforts since the 7.5 magnitude quake ripped through the region October 26, triggering landslides and flattening buildings. Desperate victims appealed for blankets, warm clothes and food after the quake leveled thousands of homes, forcing many to camp out in the open in freezing weather. People were reported to be running out of food in many remote areas, with children and the elderly helping to dig through piles of rubble for survivors as they waited for aid to arrive.

    Read the full story on Rappler World.

  9. Nepal’s first female president elected

    Nepal’s parliament elected communist lawmaker Bidhya Bhandari as the country’s first female president after the adoption of a landmark constitution in September. The former defense minister replaces Ram Baran Yadav. A rare female face in Nepal’s parliament, Bhandari took up politics in her teens. She sought to overturn the absolute monarchy and later married fellow communist Madan Bhandari, whose death earned her sympathy enough to win a seat in parliament. She supports a provision in the new charter that bars Nepali single mothers and women married to foreigners from passing on citizenship to their children.

    Read the full story on Rappler World.

  10. Israeli lawmakers vote to make Arabic classes compulsory in schools

    Israeli lawmakers voted unanimously to make Arabic classes compulsory for students from the age of 6, in a move backers hoped would help improve ties between Israeli Jews and Arabs. It will now be studied in committee before returning to parliament for a second vote. Both Arabic and Hebrew are official languages of Israel, but while the vast majority of Israeli Arabs speak Hebrew, Arabic is not widely spoken among the Jewish population. The vote came amid a wave of deadly attacks on Israelis and clashes at protests in the occupied territories. “Language is a door to culture,” said one lawmaker. “I am looking reality in the eyes and I understand there is no possibility to walk to peace without understanding each other.”

    Read the full story on Rappler World

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