Daily News Highlights – February 4, 2016 Edition

CJ Maglunog

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

  1. PH senator proposes relaxing wiretapping law to aid anti-drug operations

    Senator Grace Poe has sponsored a bill that seeks to exempt law enforcement agencies from the anti-wiretapping law. The chairperson of the committee on public order and dangerous drugs, Poe said Senate Bill 2139 seeks expand the exemptions under Republic Act 4200 or the Anti-Wiretapping Law. Currently, “peace officers” are allowed to wiretap conversations only in cases involving crimes of treason, espionage, disloyalty during war, piracy, rebellion, conspiracy, sedition, and kidnapping, among others. SB 2139 seeks to also allow law enforcement agencies to tap into conversations, as long as it is for anti-illegal drug operations. “Wiretapping has been used to solve major crimes, such as terrorism and drug trafficking, in the United States,” Poe said in her sponsorship speech.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Disqualification cases vs Duterte junked by Comelec division

    A division of the Commission on Elections dismissed all disqualification cases against Rodrigo Duterte, one of the leading presidential bets in the 2016 Philippine polls. The commissioners of the Comelec First Division unanimously found the 3 complaints without merit. Duterte faced 3 disqualification cases over the clerical mistake committed by his political party’s staff in the filing of his certificate of candidacy in October 2015. He substituted for Martin Diño, who originally filed as standard-bearer of PDP-Laban while Duterte was still undecided until December.

    Read the full story on Rappler #PHvote.

  3. Zika virus in Indonesia for 40 years, but no outbreak recorded

    The Zika virus may have been in Indonesia for over 40 years, but there has never been an outbreak. The concern now is to ensure that it stays that way. Professor Herawati Sudoyo, deputy director for fundamental research at the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology, told Rappler that the first Zika virus was detected in Indonesia as early as 1977. Sudoyo was part of the group that detected the Zika virus in a 27-year-old Indonesian man in Jambi during the dengue outbreak there between December 2014 and April 2015. She said it was the first case detected in Indonesia, but before that, two other Australians were detected to have the virus when they returned home, after visits to Indonesia. “They are travelers who visited Jakarta back to Australia and developed symptoms. One actually returned from Bali and he was also Zika-positive,” she said.

    Read the full story on Rappler Indonesia.

  4. Mahathir son quits post as PM tries to purge party of potential rivals

    Mukhriz Mahathir relinquished his post as a state chief minister in what is widely seen as the latest move by scandal-plagued Prime Minister Najib Razak to purge his party of potential rivals. The son of former long-time premier Mahathir Mohamad resigned as head of Kedah state following an internal party push to oust him, Malaysian media reported. Mukhriz had been mentioned among potential future contenders for prime minister, but his fortunes have flagged due to his outspoken father’s ongoing campaign to oust Najib over sensational corruption allegations. Malaysia has been seized for more than a year by reports that huge sums of money were diverted from a state-owned investment company closely linked to Najib. The affair escalated last July when it was revealed that Najib had received payments of $681 million to his personal bank accounts.

    Read the full story on Rappler World.

  5. Australian envoy: Policy of turning away boat people is working

    Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Paul Grigson backed his government’s decision to turn back asylum seeker boats when possible. “The policy is working,” Grigson told Rappler earlier this week, saying it had stemmed the flow of asylum seekers heading to Australia. He also said Australia would not change their stance on boat turnbacks. “What is not going to happen is people choosing to come, how they like and when they like,” he said. “We’re simply not going to allow people to travel through other countries, whether it be Indonesia or Sri Lanka or wherever, to get on a boat, come to Australia and set up shop.” Over 1200 asylum seekers died at sea trying to reach Australia between 2008 and 2013, with just under 2000 having died since the turn of the century.

    Read the full story on Rappler Indonesia.

  6. Skeptics reject draft deal to keep Britain’s EU membership

    Prime Minister David Cameron hailed a draft deal for key changes to Britain’s European Union membership as “real progress,” but euroskeptics immediately rejected it. The draft proposals to keep Britain in the bloc, unveiled by EU President Donald Tusk, include a 4-year brake on benefit payments for EU workers and protection for countries that do not use the euro currency. Cameron called the plan “a very strong and powerful package” that incorporated “very important changes” as he outlined its contents during a speech in Chippenham, southwest England. But opposition from euroskeptics was stiff, with lawmaker Steve Baker accusing the prime minster of “polishing poo,” exposing the acrimony surrounding the campaign ahead of the in/out referendum on Britain’s EU membership expected later this year.

    Read the full story on Rappler World.

  7. King Felipe VI nominates Socialist chief as prime minister

    Spain’s king gave Socialist party chief Pedro Sanchez the tough task of forming a government in a bid to end a potentially damaging political deadlock more than 6 weeks after inconclusive elections. “I am putting forward Mr Pedro Sanchez Perez-Castejon as candidate for prime minister,” King Felipe VI said in a statement read out by parliamentary speaker Patxi Lopez. The country has been mired in uncertainty since December polls ended its long-established two-party system and created a deeply fragmented parliament. Acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy struggled to form a government as other parties consistently refused to support him, the king decided to pick Sanchez, whose Socialist party came second in the polls.

    Read the full story on Rappler World.

  8. Oversupply causes prices of mid-range condos to slow down

    Prices of mid-range condominium units are expected to slow down because of oversupply, online real estate portal Lamudi said in a report on the Philippine real estate market. Jacqueline van den Ende, managing director of Lamudi Philippines, said the expectation is “not necessarily a decline or a bubble but just a slowdown in investor interest.” Real estate projects launched in 2011 to 2012 are now coming into the market, flooding it with low- to mid-range supply, she added. “There are relatively high vacancy rates in these kind of condominiums that will put pressure on the rental rates,” she said. Lamudi defined mid-range apartments as studio or one-bedroom units, ranging from 22-36 square meters, in a general price range of P1.3 million to P4.9 million, depending on location.

    Read the full story on Rappler Business.


  9. San Miguel makes history, wins PBA Philippine Cup title

    Destiny was on the side of the San Miguel Beermen as they completed a historic comeback to frustrate the Alaska Aces once again, 96-89, and win their second straight PBA Philippine Cup title. In Game 7, the Beermen won their 6th Philippine Cup trophy and the franchise’s 22nd title. They became the first team in PBA history to claw back from a 0-3 series deficit and win. The Beermen appeared doomed from outset of the series without its reigning back-to-back MVP and this conference’s Best Player June Mar Fajardo, who was sidelined up until Game 4 with a knee injury. The Aces built a daunting 3-0 lead before Fajardo eventually returned in Game 5 and bolstered San Miguel.

    Read the full story on Rappler Sports.

  10. A new Air Force One coming: US air force, Boeing on it

    United States air force officials and Boeing engineers have started the years-long process of replacing Air Force One, the legendary aircraft that whisks the American president and his entourage around the world. The Pentagon last week approved the first of a series of contracts with Boeing, the US aerospace giant chosen to convert a pair of its 747-jumbo jets – there are actually two Air Force Ones – into state-of-the-art, luxury command centers. Air Force One is an instantly recognizable emblem of American power. The majestic, light blue-and-white liveried jets have “United States of America” emblazoned along their fuselage and a large US flag stamped on the tail fin. But the current double-decker 747-200s, first ordered by Ronald Reagan and put into service in 1990, are getting old.

    Read the full story on Rappler World.

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CJ Maglunog

CJ Maglunog has been a content strategist for Rappler since 2015. Her work includes optimizing stories for various platforms. She’s a journalism graduate from Centro Escolar University.