Daily News Highlights – December 30, 2015 Edition

Aika Rey

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

  1. Social Weather Stations: 92% of Filipinos hopeful for 2016

    Despite the political controversies and natural disasters that rocked the Philippines in 2015, most Filipinos are entering 2016 with hope, according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey. The survey, conducted from December 5 to 8 with 1,200 adult respondents, showed 92% of Filipinos are hopeful about 2016, while 8% are entering the coming year with fear. The latest figure is just one percentage point lower than the 93% who entered 2015 with hope. The number of Filipinos who are entering the new year with fear also rose slightly. Last year, 6% of respondents reported entering 2015 with fear.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Filipino executed in Saudi Arabia


    The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said a 35-year-old Filipino was executed in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, December 29, because of a case of murder with robbery. The convicted Filipino, Joselito Lidasan Zapanta, was a father of two. Jose said Zapanta “was convicted for murder with robbery on April 13, 2010, by the Riyadh Grand Court.” The Filipino “was sentenced to death after the family of the victim refused to execute an affidavit of forgiveness (tanazul) in exchange for blood money.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. 110 journalists killed in 2015, most in ‘peaceful’ countries – watchdog group

    A total of 110 journalists were killed around the world in 2015, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Tuesday, December 29, warning that more were being deliberately targeted for their work in supposedly peaceful countries. Sixty-seven journalists were killed in the line of duty this year, and another 43 died in circumstances that were unclear, the watchdog group said in its annual roundup. Another 27 non-professional “citizen-journalists” and 7 other media workers were also killed.

    Read the full story on Rappler.
  4. World Health Organization announces Ebola milestone as Guinea outbreak ends


    The UN’s health agency on Tuesday, December 29, declared Guinea’s Ebola outbreak over two years after it emerged. One of the poorest nations in the world, the former French colony was the host for “patient zero” – an infant who became the first victim – and health authorities went on to record some 2,500 deaths.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Iran days away from nuclear deal implementation

    Iran said Tuesday, December 29, it had entered the final days of completing its commitments under a landmark international deal to curb its atomic program after it shipped low-enriched uranium to Russia. Iran’s atomic energy agency said 11 tons of uranium materials were sent to Russia on Monday, a move US Secretary of State John Kerry said was “significant progress” under the July 14 nuclear agreement between Iran and 6 major powers. By doing so Iran has now vastly depleted a stockpile of uranium that, were it enriched to higher purities, could have been used in developing a nuclear weapon, a goal the Islamic republic has denied pursuing.

    Read the full story on Rappler

  6. 2015 was not spared from high-profile aviation tragedies.


    Among the plane accidents reported this year are the Hercules C-130 transport plane crash in Indonesia, the Russian airliner accident in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, and a crash in South Sudan just right after the plane took off. Despite these reports, aviation in 2015, so far, is safer compared to past years. Statistics reveal that there are less plane mishaps in 2015. For one, the preliminary report of the Aviation Safety Network (ASN) reveals that as of December 26, this year has recorded only 16 fatal aviation accidents – the lowest since 1942.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Philippines warns citizens of possible attacks in Pakistan

    The Philippines urged its citizens in Pakistan to “take necessary precaution” over a week after the United States warned of possible terror attacks in Islamabad. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) raised alert level one over Pakistan on Tuesday, December 29, due to “internal violence as well as the existence of external threats to the country.” The department did not specify the nature of the threats but said “the number, magnitude and gravity” prompted it to raise the alert.

    Read the full story on Rappler.
  8. CBCP: Reject bets who support divorce, death penalty

    The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Tuesday, December 29, warned Catholic voters against electing candidates who push for divorce, the death penalty, and other programs against church teachings. In a 10-point guide for Catholic voters, the CBCP also rejected the use of government resources to campaign for specific candidates. The CBCP statement comes around 5 months before the May 2016 elections, when Filipinos will elect their next president.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. DTI, DOH to probe safety concerns from hoverboards

     PH ban on hoverboards? DTI, DOH to probe safety concerns

    The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Health (DOH) will look into the regulation of hoverboards, a popular Christmas present. The DTI and the DOH have formed a panel to discuss possible recommendations to ensure the safety of users of these self-balancing devices, DTI Officer-in-Charge Undersecretary Victorio Dimagiba said in an interview on ANC on Tuesday, December 29. Dimagiba said the panel, which will meet in January, may take two weeks to come up with recommendations on the device.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Laguna priest criticized for using hoverboard during Mass

    The Diocese of San Pablo on Tuesday, December 29, criticized one of its priests for using a hoverboard in a Christmas Eve Mass as seen in a video that has gone viral. “The Eucharist demands utmost respect and reverence. It is the Memorial of the Lord’s Sacrifice. It is the source and summit of Christian life,” the Diocese of San Pablo said. A video of the Laguna-based priest using the hoverboard, posted by Flow Cartagena on Facebook, has received 13.89 million views so far.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.