Daily News Highlights – March 20, 2016 Edition

CJ Maglunog

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

  1. Comelec vows ‘improved’ 2nd debate

    The Commission on Elections (Comelec) promised that the second presidential debate on Sunday, March 20, will be better than the first one held last month. Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said the poll body “took note of the areas for improvement and…made conscious efforts to address them.” Candidates had complained that they weren’t given enough time to explain their views in the first debate, with a lot of time devoted to advertisements. The second debate will be held at the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu from 5 pm to 8 pm.

    Read more about the Comelec’s statement.

    Get a glimpse of candidates’ preparations. 

    Here’s how Rappler will cover the second presidential debate.

    Get to know the world-class adjudicators on the Rappler panel.

    Find out how you can share your thoughts on the debate.

    Check out the list of Cebu viewing parties.

    Take a look at the debate venue.

  2. Angeles mayor backs Duterte

    Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan of Angeles City, Pampanga declared support for the presidential bid of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday, March 19. In a political rally in Angeles, Pamintuan raised Duterte’s hand and said he was the leader for genuine change, to the cheers of thousands in the audience. Pamintuan was earlier reported to be possibly supporting Vice President Jejomar Binay, but the Angeles City mayor had neither confirmed nor denied this. Pamintuan’s ally, Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda, earlier endorsed Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II.

    Read more about the Pampanga officials’ support for different presidential candidates.

  3. Palace: Pray for voters in May elections

    This Holy Week, Malacañang is calling on everyone to pray for voters in the upcoming polls, so that they would choose leaders based on their conscience. Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III also said that while being passionate in political discussions is fine, voters should find ways to understand each other and avoid below-the-belt attacks.

    Here’s more on the Palace’s reminders for Holy Week.

  4. PH, US agree on 5 military bases for facilities

     Philippines-US Balikatan Exercise in Quezon City on April 20, 2015. File photo by Ritchie Tongo/EPA

    The Philippines and the United States agreed on 5 bases in the country where US troops will be allowed to build facilities. These are the Antonio Bautista Air Base in Palawan (the closest to the disputed Spratlys), Basa Air Base in Pampanga, Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija, Lumbia Air Base in Cagayan de Oro, and Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu. Manila and Washington earlier agreed to cooperate on maritime security at a time when Beijing is seen to be eyeing control of key trade routes in the disputed South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).

    Take a look at the joint statement from the 6th United States-Philippines Bilateral Strategic Dialogue


  5. New names emerge in Bangladesh Bank heist

    The plot thickened further as the Senate held its second hearing on the $81-million Bangladesh Bank heist last Thursday, March 17. Several new names cropped up in the inquiry – including one who’s a close friend of the bank head and also a valued client of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), plus a businessman previously linked to illegal drug operations.

    Learn more about these new names dragged into the RCBC controversy.

  6. 4 dead as blast hits Istanbul shopping hub

    Istanbul suicide terror attacks |  Photo by EPA

    At least 4 people were killed in a suicide blast at a shopping district in Istanbul, Turkey on Saturday, March 19. The bombing came just days after an attack that left 35 dead in Ankara. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that his country would “fight with determination and perseverance until all forms of terrorism are eradicated.”

    Get more details about the deadly blast.


  7. Brazil corruption scandal deepens

    Brazilian Senator Delcidio do Amaral, who faces charges in Brazil’s explosive corruption scandal, claimed that President Dilma Rousseff “knew everything” about the graft scheme. Amaral said Rousseff used state funds for her presidential campaigns, and that the scheme at state oil company Petrobras was masterminded by embattled former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Rousseff, however, denied Amaral’s “defamatory statements.”

     Here’s the latest on the growing scandal in Brazil.


  8. Landmarks around the world go dark

    Famous landmarks like the Sydney Opera House in Australia and the Eiffel Tower in France dimmed their lights on Saturday night, March 19, for the 10th edition of Earth Hour. The annual event kicked off in Sydney, where the Earth Hour idea originated in 2007. Earth Hour global executive director Siddarth Das said that compared to when the campaign started, “climate change has now become a more personal topic.”

    Check out this story on Earth Hour 2016.



  9. Pope Francis joins Instagram

    Pope Francis made his debut on social media site Instagram on Saturday, March 19, which also happened to be the 3rd anniversary of his inauguration as leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. The pontiff, who goes by the handle @franciscus, first posted a photo of him kneeling down in prayer. The photo had the caption “Pray for me,” which was also translated in 8 other languages. 

    Here’s why the Pope joined Instagram.


  10. Djokovic defeats Nadal in Indian Wells

    Tennis world number one Novak Djokovic advanced to the Indian Wells final after he defeated long-time rival Rafael Nadal in straight sets. The 28-year-old Djokovic is seeking his 3rd straight and record 5th overall title at Indian Wells. The only one standing in his way now – Milos Raonic, who earlier beat David Goffin.

    Read the full story on Djokovic’s win over Nadal.


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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.