Daily News Highlights – March 28, 2016 Edition

Gerard Lim

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

  1. Lahore Pakistan bombing kills 65, injures hundreds

    At least 65 people were killed and more than 200 injured when an apparent suicide bomb ripped through the parking lot of a crowded park in the Pakistani city of Lahore where Christians were celebrating Easter Sunday, March 27, officials said. Dozens of ambulances were seen racing to the Gulshan-i-Iqbal park, situated near the center of the city of around 8 million. A medical superintendent at Jinnah Hospital, who gave his name only as Dr Ashraf, told AFP the number of injured stands at more than 200 people. The injured included more than 50 children, according to Lahore top administration official Muhammad Usman.

    Read more: Pakistan blast kills 65, injures hundreds


  2. Palmyra treasures survive ISIS’s 10-month reign
    A major center of the ancient world, the famed Syrian city of Palmyra is along the caravan route linking the Roman Empire with Persia and the east. The extremist Islamic State (ISIS) group had destroyed some of Palmyra’s most iconic artifacts, including the Temple of Bel and the Arch of Triumph during its nearly 10-month reign over the city. As pro-government Syria fighters entered Palmyra for the first time in nearly a year on Sunday, March 27, they feared they would find its treasured sites destroyed forever. But they were relieved to find that much of the ancient city of Palmyra, including the Agora and the celebrated Roman theater, appear to have survived the ISIS rampage. The modern district of Palmyra, where 70,000 people lived before the war, was not as lucky as the old city. 
  3. ‘Anti-terror’ coalition military chiefs meet in Saudi

    Military chiefs from 39 countries met Sunday, March 27, in Riyadh for talks on a Saudi-initiated international “anti-terrorism” coalition. Saudi Arabia announced the creation of the coalition in December, saying its members would share intelligence, counter violent ideology, and deploy troops if necessary to combat extremists. Several members of the group, including Saudi Arabia, are part of the US-led coalition bombing the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. Saudi Arabia is also leading a mainly Gulf Arab coalition that launched a military intervention against Iran-backed rebels last year in Yemen.

  4. Comelec website hacked

    The group Anonymous Philippines on Sunday, March 27, hacked the website of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), a little over a month before the Philippines holds its 3rd automated elections. Anonymous Philippines, which has hacked other government websites in the past, said it wants the Comelec to implement the security features of vote-counting machines (VCMs), previously known as precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines. This comes after Comelec critics said they will file a new case against the poll body this week. The new case involves a security feature of VCMs – digital signatures – which, watchdogs said, “should belong to a person, not a machine.”

    READ: Comelec website hacked a month before polls


  5. What you need to know about the local races

    Of total the 18,083 positions to be filled up in the upcoming polls, 18,010 posts are for candidates for the House of Representatives and positions in the regional, provincial, city and municipal government. The local campaign season officially started March 25.  The Holy Week, however, took one day off the period as March 25 this year fell on Good Friday – one of the few days when campaigning is banned, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec). Learn all you need to know about  local elections in the Philippines: from campaign paraphernalia, expense limits, to violence and vote-buying. 

    READ: The wacky local races


  6. Al-Jazeera to cut around 500 positions in fresh round of job cuts

    Qatar’s state-funded broadcaster Al-Jazeera on Sunday, March 27, announced a fresh round of job cuts with around 500 positions being lost. A network official says up to 60% of the job cuts – 300 positions – could be at the headquarters in Doha, Qatar. This is on top of existing losses of 700 jobs following an announcement earlier this year that Al-Jazeera America is to close. In total, the job cuts will shed off more than 20% of Al-Jazeera’s global workforce, reducing staff numbers from around 5,200 to 4,000. The cuts come at a time when gas and oil-rich Qatar is readjusting its spending priorities as it grapples with the global slump in energy prices. 

    Read: Al-Jazeera to cut around 500 jobs 

  7. Aung Suu Kyi to be Myanmar foreign minister

    Aung San Suu Kyi will be foreign minister in Myanmar’s first civilian government for decades, her party said Tuesday, March 22. This gives the democracy icon a formal post despite being blocked from the presidency. Oxford-educated Suu Kyi, 70, is the daughter of Myanmar’s independence hero. She towered over the country’s democracy movement as it waged a spirited and non-violent struggle against almost half a century of military rule. She was also the sole woman and one of only 6 members of her National League for Democracy party in a cabinet list read out to lawmakers early Tuesday by the parliament speaker Mann Win Khaing Than. But she is blocked from the presidency by the junta-drafted constitution because her two sons are British, as was her late husband.

    Read: Blocked from presidency, Suu Kyi to be Myanmar foreign minister 


  8. Facebook mistakenly pushes Pakistan Safety Check worldwide

    It was meant to ask people in Pakistan to check in and let others know they are okay in the wake of a deadly bombing near a children’s playing area in the popular Gulshan-i-Iqbal park in Lahore, Pakistan. But Facebook engineers mistakenly pushed the feature worldwide, causing confusion among users in other parts of the world. 

    Read more: Facebook sorry for pushing Pakistan Safety Check worldwide

  9. ‘Game of Thrones’ season 6 teaser shows thrilling new footage

    What looms for Daenerys, Sansa in ‘Game of Thrones’ season 6? A new teaser promo shows more thrilling footage of what’s in store for followers of the popular series. Game of Thrones season 6 premieres on April 25, 9am in Asia (in simulcast with the US) on HBO and HBO GO. 

     Watch the new Game of Thrones trailer here

  10. Pacquiao skips training again, but says he’s ready for Bradley fight

    With just two weeks to go before he goes head-to-head with Timothy Bradley Jr for the third time on April 9 (April 10 in Manila), Manny Pacquiao took another day off from his intense training in the United States. Pacquiao’s coach Freddie Roach knew it was not a good day to train when he saw his valued pupil tired on Saturday, March 26, prompting him to allow the Filipino boxing champ to rest. Prior to this, on Friday, March 25, Pacquiao had a grueling 12-round sparring session at Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles, California. Many were worried when they learned that Pacquiao skipped a day’s work, fearing that the 37-year-old pugilist may have gotten another injury. Top Rank Promotions chief Bob Arum is impressed with Pacquiao’s performance in training camp, however, and confided that the Filipino boxing icon is back in his fearsome form. 

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