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- 2nd Comelec-led debate failed to take up education, health
The debate was supposed to center on health, education, disaster preparedness, climate change and corruption. In the end, the first 2 topics (health and education) were not taken up at all. At various points of the debate, candidates veered widely off-topic. Vice-President Jejomar Binay took a swipe at Grace Poe on the citizenship issue. Poe took a swipe at Mar Roxas for his role or lack of it in the Mamasapano incident. Duterte took up the Spratlys question even though foreign policy was not in the list of topics.
Climate change was taken up but advocates lamented that the candidates failed to squarely answer the issue of coal dominance in the power mix. Two of the key topics: education and health were hardly taken up at all.
Read the links below for more details on issues taken up at the 2nd PiliPinas Debate
- PiliPinas Debate: fireworks, fewer ads after debate delays
For over 90 minutes, netizens waited and grumbled on social media over the delays in the debate. After issues over debate rules were sorted out, however, candidates treated the public to a fireworks-filled exchange. It helped that, compared to the first debate, which was co-organized by the lead network GMA7, and the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the second debate, which was organized by TV5 and the Philippine Star, had fewer ads. Click the links below to learn more.
- Duterte wins the crowd on social media despite lackluster performance
He either dodged questions or just tackled issues on the surface. But Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte consistently ranked 1st in the various Rappler polls during the 2nd PiliPinas Presidential Debates held in Cebu on Sunday, March 21, 2016. Vice-President Jejomar Binay is consistently last. Click the links below for the social media highs and lows as well as how Rappler adjudicators and editors judged the individual candidate’s performance during the debate.
- PH says ‘rotational’ deal with US will strengthen defense
The Philippines on Sunday, March 20, hailed a new accord giving the US military access to 5 of its bases, saying this would strengthen its defensive capabilities and maritime security. The agreement between the two close allies comes as the Philippines and other countries are embroiled in a tense dispute with China over conflicting territorial claims in the South China Sea. Under the agreement, US forces would be able to rotate through 5 Philippine bases including those close to the South China Sea.
- Al Gore on climate, coal, democracy and the social media
“Our democracy’s been hacked,” former US Vice President Al Gore said. “The operating system no longer works for its owners, and we need to take it back.” Rappler CEO Maria Ressa had a 20-minute conversation with Gore on the sidelines of the 31st leadership training in Manila by The Climate Reality Project, a non-profit organization Gore set up in 2006. The conversation tackled the climate, the Paris agreement and coal; how technology could bring down the costs of renewable energy and how it’s sparking multiple revolutions impacting politics, governance, and society.
- Cameras to be installed around Jerusalem mosque compound
Jordan said on Sunday, March 20, it would set up security cameras around Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound in the coming days to monitor any Israeli “violations.” A “control center” will be set up to monitor round-the-clock video surveillance of the compound, Jordan’s Islamic Affairs Minister Hayel Daoud said. The footage will be broadcast online to “document all Israeli violations and aggressions,” he said in a statement, adding that no cameras would be installed inside mosques. Back in October, US Secretary of State John Kerry endorsed a plan to install cameras at the site in a bid to calm repeated disturbances, after talks with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed. But the Jordanian-run trust or “Waqf” that administers the site – which houses the famed golden Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque – then complained that Israeli police had blocked it from installing the cameras.
- Obama is first US President to visit Cuba since 1928
Barack Obama on Sunday, March 20, became the first US president in 88 years to visit Cuba, touching down in Havana for a landmark trip aimed at ending decades of Cold War animosity. Obama is not only the first sitting US president since Fidel Castro’s guerrillas overthrew the US-backed government of Fulgencio Batista in 1959, but also the first since President Calvin Coolidge in 1928. Seeking to leave a historic foreign policy mark in his final year in office, Obama will tour the newly reopened US embassy and old town Havana late Sunday, hold talks with Cuban President Raul Castro on Monday, March 21, and attend a baseball game before leaving Tuesday, March 22. Read more
- Anti-Trump protesters rally in New York and Arizona
Hundreds protested Donald Trump in New York and blocked a major road Saturday, March 19, in the southwestern state of Arizona, where a demonstrator was punched and kicked at a rally. The latest attempts by opponents to disrupt the campaign of the top US Republican White House hopeful resulted in a handful of arrests, police and witnesses said. In Tucson, Arizona a protester with a sign showing Trump’s face and the words “Bad For America,” was kicked and punched by a member of the audience while being escorted out of the venue by security, video posted online by NBC showed. Read more.
- Reasons why we need protected bike lanes now
Giving people on bicycles their own space keeps them alive. Protected bike lanes also make the roads safer for all of us. But beyond road safety, building protected lanes results in some pretty big benefits. Contributor Dinna Louise Dayao lists these benefits down.
- 20 new sites added to UNESCO biosphere reserves list
The United Nations’ cultural body UNESCO has added 20 new sites to its network of protected biosphere nature reserves, including two in Canada and two in Portugal. The status was conferred during a two-day meeting in Lima that ended Saturday, March 19, which brought the total number of biosphere reserves to 669 across 120 countries.
The list of new UNESCO biosphere reserves includes sites in Canada, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Algeria, Ghana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Morocco, Peru, the Philippines and Tanzania. Click the link below to read more.