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- Quake kills 9, topples homes in Japan
Nine people were killed after a powerful 6.5-magnitude earthquake hit southern Japan evening of April 14. Officials said the quake toppled homes, sparked fires and injured hundreds. Tens of thousands of people fled their homes after the quake hit the southwestern island of Kyushu, buckling roads and leaving lumps of broken concrete strewn in the streets. Dozens of aftershocks followed as officials warned the death toll could rise as rescuers scoured collapsed buildings for possible survivors. By Friday morning, the government said it had confirmed at least 761 people had been injured, at least 44 of them seriously hurt. An official from the local Kumamoto disaster agency said at least 9 were dead.
Read more about the damage caused by the quake on Rappler.
- Bongbong Marcos barred return of stolen P1.9B – PCGG
The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) refuted the claim of Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr that it was government’s fault that compensation for martial law victims has not been released. Records released by the PCGG showed it was the vice presidential candidate Marcos Jr “who took the lead to prevent the early award of the Arelma funds to the Filipino people.” The funds refer to a Panamanian-registered account created at the same time that martial law was declared by the former dictator. The PCGG also said that, based on its records, the Marcos family is “actively litigating and are represented by their lawyers” in the Sandiganbayan and Supreme Court cases involving ill-gotten wealth – contrary to Marcos Jr’s claim.
Read more about the PCGG’s efforts on Rappler.
- US fires long-range missiles in war games
The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) unleashed 6 missiles at distant targets during a simulated assault exercise by 5,500 American and Filipino soldiers on Thursday, April 14. Over the Crow Valley training range 3 hours away from Manila, US Marine Cobra attack helicopters and Philippine S211 jets also buzzed as troops participating in the Balikatan war games acted out the capture of imaginary enemy-held territory. The military exercises are aimed at boosting the PH-US alliance in the face of an increasingly aggressive China and a simmering maritime dispute over the West Philippine Sea.
Read more about the war games on Rappler.
- ISIS claims Basilan attack; army skeptical
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the deadly April 9 clash in Basilan that left 18 soldiers and 5 militants dead, but the Philippine military is skeptical about the claim. A Reuters report quoted an ISIS statement as saying the group was “able to detonate 7 trucks carrying soldiers” and claimed only 3 militants died in the 10-hour encounter. The military however said there were no trucks hit by bombs during the fighting. Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Brigadier General Restituto Padilla said the military believes such claims are part of ISIS’ propaganda in the country.
Read more about the threat of ISIS on Rappler.
- San Miguel creates new company for MRT7 project
San Miguel Corporation formed SMC Mass Rail Transit 7 (MRT7) Incorporated, a $216.47-million company that will hold its controlling interest in the multi-billion-peso MRT7 project. San Miguel president and COO Ramon Ang earlier said the rail system project that will span North Avenue at the corner of EDSA in Quezon City to San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan will serve two million commuters. It is expected to be completed in August 2019. San Miguel, through its wholly-owned infrastructure unit San Miguel Holdings Corporation, formed MRT7 with an authorized capital stock of P10 billion.
Read more about the mass rail transit project on Rappler.
- Pirates kidnap Filipino, Egyptian off Nigeria
A Filipino 2nd officer and an Egyptian electrician on board a cargo vessel were seized by pirates off the coast of Nigeria, a maritime expert confirmed Thursday, April 14. The Liberian-flagged CMA CGM Turquoise, managed by Dioryx Maritime Corporation in Greece, was stormed on Monday evening as it travelled between Nigeria’s commercial hub Lagos and Douala in Cameroon. It was the second attack in one day – earlier on Monday pirates kidnapped 6 crew members of a Turkish cargo ship, the M/T Puli, the Nigerian Navy said. The crew of CMA CGM Turquoise mustered in the citadel after pirates boarded the ship but the two crew members did not make it in time and were seized.
Read more about the kidnap on Rappler.
- ‘Make family your inspiration’ – Soccsksargen gold medalist
First time Palarong Pambansa gold medalist Marjun Sulleza from Koronadal City in South Cotabato said his desire to lift his family out of poverty has been his inspiration in running. Sulleza won his first gold medal in the secondary boys 400-meter hurdles and even came close to breaking last year’s record. The eldest of two children whose parents are rice farmers, Sulleza said his father has been having a hard time farming because of El Niño. He wants to build his family a home with the cash he hopes to take home with him from his victories. Gold medalists get P3,000, while silver and bronze medalists get P1,500 and P750, respectively. Sulleza also said his other dream is to play for the national team.
Read more about the Palaro athlete’s dream on Rappler.
- After Comelec hack, over 200,000 emails compromised
A website that informs people if their email addresses and personal information have been compromised in a data breach has found that 228,605 email addresses from the database of the Comelec have been compromised. The free service site, Have I Been Pwned (HIBP), was developed and is being maintained by Troy Hunt who has independently attempted to verify and understand the contents of the breach. In his blog post, Hunt said, “this is a breach we should be paying attention to. There’s the potential to do serious damage to those involved and we need to remember that the same classes of data are held by all our governments in our respective corners of the world.” Hunt found that Filipino voters’ marital statuses, biometric data, physical attributes and family members may have also been exposed.
Read more about the data breach on Rappler.
- Mars probe transmits first photos home
The Euro-Russian spacecraft ExoMars, launched towards the Red Planet last month, has sent home its first pictures from space and was described to be in “excellent health”. Launched on March 14 on a Russian Proton rocket, the craft is designed to “smell” Mars’ atmosphere for gassy evidence that life once existed on the planet, or may do so still. The probe’s high-resolution camera was switched on for the first time on April 7, and took its first grainy, black and white snapshots of space. After a journey of 496 million kilometers, the probe is expected to arrive at the Red Planet on October 19.
Read more about ExoMars on Rappler.
- ‘Kilig’ is now in Oxford English Dictionary
The Filipino word “kilig” is officially a part of the Oxford English Dictionary after it was added to its new words list for March 2016. As an adjective, Oxford defines kilig as “causing or expressing a rush of excitement or exhilaration; thrilling, enthralling, captivating.” It is also referred to as a noun. The Filipino phrases “kilig to the bones (utterly thrilled or thrilling)”, “kilig factor (an element which generates exhilaration, excitement, or a romantic thrill)”, and “kilig moment (a thrillingly romantic moment)” have also found their way to the Oxford Dictionary. In 2015, other Filipino words like suki, KKB, and kikay were also added to the same dictionary.
Read more about what kilig means in Philippine culture on Rappler.