Daily News Highlights – March 7, 2016 Edition

Aika Rey

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

  1. Poe, Duterte, Binay ‘tied’ for top spot in Laylo poll

    The first national survey done after the first presidential debate showed 3 candidates statistically tied for first place, according to The Standard Poll conducted by Laylo Research Strategies. The February 24-March 1 nationwide poll, which had a national margin of error of +/- 1.8%, indicated that 3 presidential aspirants (Senator Grace Poe, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Jejomar Binay) were statistically tied for first place.  Administration standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II came in close second at 22% while Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago trailed behind with only 2%.

    READ: Poe, Duterte, Binay ‘tied’ for top spot – Laylo poll

  2. Text to get help during disasters through the Agos SMS service

    Need rescue or relief during disasters? While information access is no longer a problem in the age of social media, getting timely information on who needs help and what kind of help is needed from those affected by disasters is still one of the biggest challenges that needs to be addressed. Partly this is because only roughly 40% of the Philippine population are connected to the Internet. The newly launched Agos SMS service helps fill this gap. Through short digit code 2929, subscribers of Smart, Talk & Text and Sun subscribers can now send info, rescue and relief reports to Agos via text messages. The service is also coming soon for Globe mobile subscribers. As part of the country’s Emergency Telecommunications Cluster during disasters, the Agos team monitors, verifies, and relays these reports to concerned government agencies who can act of the reported needs.

    READ MORE: During disasters, help is now just one text message away

  3. China smog a business opportunity for mask makers

    The steel plants and cement factories scattered across China’s Shandong province  has become a big health issue with many Chinese cities failing to meet national standards. But at least one company is turning this problem into a business opportunity. ASL Masks says it turned out more than 100,000 face coverings last year and aims to more than double that in 2016 as China struggles to shake off the toxic smog produced by its heavy industries.

    READ MORE: Chinese smog has silver lining for mask makers


  4. China economy ‘absolutely’ won’t have hard landing, officials assure investors

    China’s economy “absolutely will not” suffer a hard landing, the chief of its top planning body said Sunday, March 6, as Beijing’s leaders try to reassure global investors about the world’s second-largest economy. China’s economy, a key driver of global growth, faces a litany of challenges ranging from industrial overcapacity and excess housing stock to weak trade. Billionaire investor George Soros said earlier this year a hard landing was “practically unavoidable.”  Xu Shaoshi, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, reassured global investors that so-called hard landing predictions will fail. “This possibility does not exist…” Xu said he did not believe China’s economy was weighing down the global recovery, adding that “our contribution to the world economy is very clear.”

    More on this: China economy ‘absolutely’ won’t have hard landing – official

  5. US resident tests positive for Zika after visit to PH

    A resident of the United States tested positive for the Zika virus after spending 4 weeks in the Philippines in January 2016, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Sunday, March 6. The DOH cited a report from the US-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US-CDC) which indicated that a non-pregnant adult showed symptoms of fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis, and muscle pain during her last week of stay in the Philippines, and was confirmed to have the Zika virus upon returning to the US. Philippine Health Secretary Janette Garin said they are now trying to pinpoint all the provinces the patient may have traveled to during her stay. Garin assured the public that there is no cause for alarm as there is no epidemic, considering that it is just the second confirmed case of Zika virus in the country.

    Read more: US resident who visited PH tests positive for Zika

  6. Ex-Davao del Sur governor get 24 years for graft

    The Sandiganbayan found ex-Davao del Sur governor Benjamin Bautista Jr and 5 other former provincial officials guilty of 4 counts of graft over the purchase of 5 service vehicles in 2003. In a 17-page decision penned by Associate Justice Rafael Lagos and released on Friday, March 4, the First Division of the anti-graft court sentenced the 6 former officials to 24 years and 4 months in jail. They are also perpetually barred from holding public office. Bautista is said to be running for vice mayor in one municipality under the Liberal Party.

    Read more: Ex-Davao del Sur governor, 5 others get 24 years for graft

  7. Young Croatian global fame for electric supercar

    It all started as a hobby in his garage. Now, the company founded by Croatia’s 28-year-old Mate Rimac sells Concept One supercars for 850,000 euros ($923,000) each.  Rimac’s firm Rimac Automobili is becoming a global leader in electric vehicle technology giving a much-needed boost to Croatia’s start-up scene.

    Check out his story: Electric supercar wins young Croatian global fame

  8. European leaders to declare Balkan migrant route closed at EU summit

    European Union leaders on Monday, March 7, will back closing down the Balkans route used by most migrants to reach Europe, diplomats said, as at least 25 more people drowned trying to cross the Aegean Sea en route to Greece. Diplomats said the declaration drafted by EU ambassadors Sunday, March 6, will be announced at a European Union summit in Brussels on Monday set to be attended by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. The bloc’s 28 leaders will also ask Davutoglu’s government to accept “large-scale” deportations of economic migrants from Greece and do more to implement a November deal to slow the flow of migrants into Europe, the main entry point of which is Greece.

    Read: EU leaders ‘to declare Balkan migrant route closed at summit’

  9. Tributes, grief over death of director Francis Xavier Pasion


    Members of the entertainment industry took to social media to express their sadness over the death of filmmaker Francis Xavier Pasion Sunday, March 6. Pasion, known for his independent films Jay and Bwaya, was found dead on Sunday, March 6. He was 38. According to a report from the Inquirer, lawyer Joji Alonso said that the director was found dead in his Quezon City home. The circumstances of his death have not yet been disclosed by his family. Rappler collated some of the tributes shared by his colleagues and friends in the industry, who also shared their admiration for his work and offered their condolences to his family.

    Film, TV industry mourns death of director Francis Xavier Pasion

  10. Former US First Lady Nancy Reagan passes away

    Nancy Reagan, devoted wife and trusted confidante to late president Ronald Reagan who after his death became the most ardent guardian of his political legacy, died Sunday, March 6. She was 94. The former first lady, who suffered heart failure at her home in Los Angeles, will be buried next to her husband at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, her spokeswoman Joanne Drake said. Warm tributes noting Nancy Reagan’s steadfast dedication to her husband poured in, with President Barack Obama and wife Michelle calling her a “proud example.”

    Read more: Nancy Reagan, former US first lady, dies at 94

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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.