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- Exact location of stolen $81M still unknown
Philippine authorities have not yet been able to trace the exact location of the $81 million stolen from the Bangladesh Bank’s account. In a Senate hearing on Tuesday, March 15, the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) said that “the money trail ended at casinos” and “it’s a dead end,” because casinos are not included in the list of entities required to report suspicious transactions to the AMLC. Senators also said that the country’s anti-money laundering laws are weak.
Read about the highlights of the Senate hearing.
- Presidential bets: Don’t postpone polls
The Philippines’ presidential candidates rejected the possibility that the May 9 polls could be delayed due to the Supreme Court’s recent decision requiring the issuance of voting receipts. The Commission on Elections (Comelec) had floated the possibility of holding the polls in June instead, explaining that voting receipts would require them to overhaul processes. Senator Grace Poe called the idea “foolish,” while Vice President Jejomar Binay and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte both pinned the blame on the Comelec.
Here’s the full story on the candidates’ reactions.
- Liberal Party pays respects to Jovito Salonga
The ruling Liberal Party (LP) paid tribute to the late former Senate President Jovito Salonga, one of the party’s stalwarts. “The truth is that our nation owes a great deal of gratitude to Jovy Salonga who sacrificed his body and spirit in service of our people and our country,” said LP vice chairman and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. The memory of Salonga comes at a crucial time for the LP, whose 2016 campaign is hinged on the promise of continuing the reforms President Benigno Aquino III started.
Take a look at the LP tribute for Salonga.
- Republican Marco Rubio drops out
Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio dropped out of the White House race on Tuesday, March 15, after suffering a loss to frontrunner Donald Trump in his home state, Florida. “It is clear that while we are on the right side, this year we will not be on the winning side,” Rubio told supporters. His exit leaves Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich as the two men left battling Trump.
Check out this story on Rubio’s decision to end his campaign.
- Petitioners slam SC decision on K to 12
Petitioners expressed dismay over the Supreme Court (SC) decision to deny their plea against the K to 12 program. They had asked the SC to issue a temporary restraining order, citing the program’s labor implications on college workers, among other concerns. On Tuesday, March 15, Kabataan party list Representative Terry Ridon maintained that the framework of K to 12 is “labor-export and profit-oriented,” and the quality of instruction is “far from being assured.”
Get more details about the SC decision on K to 12.
- UNHCR: Nations must do more to help Syrians
On the fifth anniversary of Syria’s bloody civil war, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi said he will ask countries to agree to take in another 400,000 Syrian refugees. More than 4 million Syrians have fled their war-torn country since the conflict erupted, with many of them seeking refuge in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan.
Read this story on the UNHCR’s plea.
- UN suspends Sharapova as goodwill ambassador
The United Nations suspended tennis superstar Maria Sharapova as a goodwill ambassador after she failed a drug test at the Australian Open. Sharapova had been a goodwill ambassador for the UN Development Programme for the past 9 years. Last week, she announced that she tested positive for meldonium, which was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list on January 1.
Here’s the statement of the UN on Sharapova’s suspension.
- Birth defect risk 1-in-100 for women with Zika
A new study shows that a woman infected by the Zika virus during the first 3 months of pregnancy faces a 1-in-100 chance her child will suffer severe brain damage. Researchers calculated that Zika increases the risk of microcephaly by fifty-fold. Last month, the World Health Organization declared the Zika outbreak, which has hit Brazil the hardest, a global health emergency.
Get more details about the Zika study.
- ‘Youth in well-off nations smoke, drink less’
A new World Health Organization study shows that the number of teenagers smoking or drinking before they turn 14 has dropped. The study covered teens in 42 well-off nations. It also discovered that more boys than girls are overweight, but more girls think that they are too fat.
Take a look at the highlights of the WHO study.
- Nadine Lustre wins big; Ogie Alcasid honored
Nadine Lustre bagged 5 awards at the Myx Music Awards 2016, including Favorite Music Video, Favorite Female Artist, and Favorite Artist. Darren Espanto, meanwhile, won Best Male Artist. Ogie Alcasid was also honored with the Myx Magna Award for his contributions to the Philippine music industry.
Check out the full list of winners.