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- UK votes to leave EU
British national media said the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in a historic referendum held June 23. With results in from 347 of the 382 areas that participated in the poll, 52% voted “leave”, while 48% voted for “remain”. A record 46.5 million people registered to vote in the historic referendum, which is being watched closely across Europe and the world. Commentators have suggested that an exit vote could trigger a constitutional crisis in Britain, prompting another Scottish independence referendum.
Read more about the results on Rappler.
- Comelec commissioners hit Bautista’s leadership
All 6 commissioners of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) hit the supposed “failed leadership” of Chairman Andres Bautista. On June 3, the commissioners issued a memo which cited a range of issues, including the delayed allowances of teachers who served as election inspectors. The memo was signed by Christian Lim, Luie Guia, Al Parreño, Arthur Lim, Rowena Guanzon, and Sheriff Abas. Not paying the teachers within 15 days from the date of elections constitutes an election offense. Bautista dismissed the allegations as “old news”.
Read more about contents of the memo on Rappler.
- Colombia, FARC rebels sign historic peace deal
The Colombian government and FARC rebels took a step closer to ending Latin America’s longest civil war. They signed a ceasefire and disarmament agreement on June 23 that ends a half-century conflict that has killed hundreds of thousands of people. President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC leader Timoleon Jimenez shook hands after negotiators signed the deal at a ceremony in Cuba. The agreement provides for a bilateral ceasefire, an end to hostilities, and the laying down of arms by FARC, Colombia’s largest rebel group.
Read more about the peace agreement on Rappler.
- Antibodies to neutralize Zika virus found, study says
Scientists have discovered antibodies which can “efficiently neutralize” the Zika virus in human cells in lab dishes and also fight dengue. European scientists who made the discovery said this latest development will pave the way for a protective vaccine against Zika and dengue, although an actual working vaccine may still be far off. Both Zika and dengue are transmitted by the Aedes mosquito and belong to the same family of Flaviviridae viruses.
Read more about the link between Zika and dengue on Rappler.
- Aquino confers presidential awards on Cabinet members
President Benigno Aquino III conferred presidential awards on some members of his Cabinet as a way of thanking them. He bestowed the Order of Lakandula with the rank of Gold Cross Bayani on Cabinet secretaries to “recognize civil and political merit”. The Presidential Medal of Merit was conferred on other senior officials who rendered “outstanding service” to the President. Thanking them for their service and sacrifices, Aquino said his Cabinet made the “impossible” possible through their actions and enthusiasm. He steps down from office onJune 30.
Read more about the awardees on Rappler.
- VP Leni Robredo to ‘hit the ground running’
Vice President-elect Leni Robredo will hit the ground running in her first 100 days in office. Her chief of staff Boyet Dy said she will be spending her initial days as vice president with the country’s poorest and will be meeting with “potential partners” whom her office can work with in pushing her anti-poverty plans. Without a concurrent Cabinet position, Robredo will be traveling to different parts of the country and will “continue to be a listening vice president as she has always been in terms of her work fighting for the marginalized,” Dy said.
Read more about Robredo’s plans on Rappler.
- Teacher-spy dies at age 95
Magdalena Leones, a 22-year-old teacher who became an intelligence officer of the US Army Forces on the Philippines-Northern Luzon, died on June 16 at the age of 95. A special agent, she was the only Filipina to receive the Silver Star Medal during the Second World War. Arrested thrice, she carried important intelligence data, radio parts, and medical supplies that put her life at risk several times. The US corporal’s intrepidity and skill as a special agent contributed to the early liberation of the Philippines from the Japanese.
Read more about the exploits of Leones on Rappler.
- Ex-wife of Duterte ‘apprehensive’ about inauguration
Elizabeth Zimmerman, the former wife of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte is “apprehensive” about the June 30inauguration of her ex-husband. Wife of 27 years, she said a possible encounter with Duterte’s current partner, Honeylet Avanceña, would present an “awkward situation”. This is why, she said, she would prefer that the two of them are kept separate during the inauguration. For her part, Vice President Leni Robredo’s own oath-taking also on June 30 will be simple and brief. Starting at 9 am, it will include a flag ceremony, the singing of the national anthem, the oath-taking, and a short message from Robredo herself.
Read more about Zimmerman’s discomfort on Rappler.
Details about the Vice President’s inauguration are also on Rappler.
- BitTorrent launches streaming media app
BitTorrent launched on June 23 BitTorrent Now, an on-demand music and video streaming platform that appears to promote independent artistry. While some offerings are free to watch or listen to, most can be bought or be linked to advertising that supports both BitTorrent itself and the artist who uploaded a song using the app. BitTorrent is the same company that developed a peer-to-peer file sharing system.
Read more about the new BitTorrent project on Rappler.
- Darth Vader returns in Star Wars’ Rogue One
Villain Darth Vader is staging a comeback via an appearance in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, according to Entertainment Weekly. Rogue One stars Felicity Jones alongside Mads Mikkelsen and Forest Whitaker. The first standalone Star Wars story, it comes before A New Hope, the original in the series. Analysts predict Rogue One will dominate this year’s box office.
Read more about Darth Vader’s appearance on Rappler.