July 24, 2013 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Chief Justice takes up cudgels for RH law

    Justices at work

    Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno questioned the reasoning of lawyers who want the Reproductive Health (RH) Law declared unconstitutional on day 2 of the oral arguments. The Chief Justice did not seem to agree with anti-RH lawyer Luisito Liban that the law was passed “arbitrarily”. “How can you raise arbitrariness if this has been debated for 13 years?” she asked Liban. Liban earlier argued that the RH law should not have passed as the health concern it seeks to address – maternal mortality – is not a “serious illness” like diabetes or heart disease. The Chief Justice later suggested that the “political solution” for opponents of the law is to get more allies elected in Congress, a reiteration of her earlier position that the SC may not be the best forum for discussing the wisdom of the RH Law. “It (passing laws) is the prerogative of Congress and that has not been set aside. Unless we arrogate unto us the role of being a Super Body,” she added. Other justices also questioned Liban. The next session for oral arguments is scheduled for August 6.

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  2. William and Kate take home first born

    BEAMING. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are all smiles as they introduce the royal baby to the world. Photo by EPA/Rick Findler

    Prince William and wife Kate appeared with their first born son outside the hospital where he was born on Tuesday evening (Wednesday morning Manila time) of July 23. The unnamed prince, whose official title is “Prince of Cambridge” is the third in line to the British throne after his father and grandfather, Prince Charles. When asked about a name, William replied, “we’re still working on a name, we’ll have that as soon as we can.” He then added, “he’s got way more hair than me, thank God.” The family left the hospital the same evening for Kensington Palace. The royal baby was delivered on Monday, July 22 after a much anticipated wait. Prince William says the baby looks like his mother.

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  3. Arroyo presses for bail in plunder case

    File photo of Former Pres GMA

    Former President and now Pampanga Rep Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo implored the Sandiganbayan First Division on Tuesday, July 23, to grant her petition for bail and order her release from hospital arrest. She invoked humanitarian grounds and insisted that there was no evidence in the plunder case against her. She is under hospital arrest at the V. Luna Medical Center and is charged with plunder – a non-bailable offense. In a 32-page motion filed through lawyers, the 66-year-old Arroyo said her frail health and stature as a re-elected member of the Lower House constitute enough ground to negate suspicions that she can be considered a flight risk. Arroyo’s legal team also underscored the absence of any evidence that she amassed ill-gotten wealth when P366 million of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) operating funds were converted into confidential intelligence funds and eventually disbursed.

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  4. Many feared dead as boat sinks off Indonesia

    A file photo of  Indonesian rescuers evacuate an injured asylum-seeker survivor during a rescue operation at Merak seaport, Banten Province, Indonesia, 31 August 2012. Reports in Australia said the boat carrying between 150 and 170 people, mostly from Sri Lanka and Iran, broke up and sank in heavy seas off Jav in Indonesia on Tuesday evening, July 23. A rescue operation is underway conducted by Indonesian authorities.Australia has struggled to stem an influx of asylum-seekers arriving by boat, with record numbers turning up in 2012 and more than 15,000 so far in 2013. File photo by EPA/Tubagus

    An asylum-seeker boat heading for Australia has sunk off Java in Indonesia with unconfirmed reports Wednesday, July 24, that as many as 100 people are dead or missing. Reports in Australia said the boat carrying between 150 and 170 people, mostly from Sri Lanka and Iran, broke up and sank in heavy seas on Tuesday evening, July 23. A rescue operation is underway conducted by Indonesian authorities. Australia authorities are not involved in the incident according to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. An official from the Indonesian search and rescue service Basarnas said the boat was carrying about 150 people and so far 47 people had been found alive. Australia has struggled to stem an influx of asylum-seekers arriving by boat, with record numbers turning up in 2012 and more than 15,000 so far in 2013. Recently, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced a new law which absolutely bans asylum seekers without visas from settling in Australia.

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  5. Filipino consumers 2nd most upbeat in the world

    UPBEAT. Confidence among Filipino consumers hits the highest level since 4th quarter of 2010, according to a Nielsen survey

    Consumer confidence in the Philippines was the second strongest in the world in the second quarter of 2013, according to a Nielsen survey. The Philippines had a consumer confidence index of 121 in April-June, the highest since the 4th quarter of 2010 and 3 points up from the index in January-March. Indonesia’s consumer confidence index was 3 notches higher at 124. Nielsen said the positive sentiment among Filipinos were due to good job prospects. About 77% of Filipino consumers polled said job prospects over the next 12 months were good. The percentage was higher than Indonesia’s 75% and India’s 72%. Spending intentions were also maturing, with 79% of Filipino respondents confident of their financial standing. About 51% displayed readiness to spend. The poll was conducted among 29,000 online consumers in 58 countries, 3,000 of whom were from Southeast Asia.

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  6. Pressure mounts for Morsi release as Egypt clashes kill 10

    Morsi Rally EPA

    Pressure grew Tuesday on Egypt’s new leaders to release Mohamed Morsi from detention as clashes between supporters and opponents of the deposed Islamist president left 10 people dead. The clashes broke out on Monday and raged through the night, wounding dozens of people, a day after Morsi’s family vowed to sue the military over his ouster. At least six people were killed early Tuesday when opponents of Morsi attacked supporters of the ousted president staging a sit-in near Cairo University, state media reported. On Tuesday, 1,000-2,000 pro-Morsi demonstrators remained in the square. Egypt’s new leadership says Morsi is in a “safe” place for his own good. As violence flared, interim president Adly Mansour appealed in a speech delivered late on Monday for a “new page in the book of the history of the nation, without rancor, hatred and confrontation”. But Morsi’s detention, and subsequent arrests of senior Brotherhood leaders, have hardened his supporters against dealing with the new regime.

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  7. Team LeBron falls to Gilas in highlight-filled match

    REVERSE JAM. LeBron slammed it home over Ranidel de Ocampo. Photo by Rappler/Josh Albelda.

    Even with an NBA superstar in their midst, Gilas Pilipinas won a quick scrimmage match, 29-27, on Wednesday, July 23. The game was part of the Nike Witness History tour headlined by the 4-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Most Valuable Player (MVP) LeBron James. With his team down big early in the game, LeBron stepped into the action and quickly rallied his crew back. But Gilas, though awe-struck with the NBA superstar’s presence, did not allow James to assert himself and countered the Miami Heat forward’s assault with baskets of their own. “The reason why I missed my last two shots is because my jersey was damn too small,” James candidly told the crowd after the game. “You guys got a great future here,” LeBron told the Filipino players after their game. “You guys are unbelievable.

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  8. In nature, dolphins ‘whistle’ by name

    File photo by Randy Datu

    Researchers have learnt that wild bottlenose dolphins use unique signature whistles to identify themselves among their peers, according to researchers who announced their discovery on Monday, July 22. The dolphins also reply by echoing their whistles when another dolphin calls out its name. A study of 200 bottlenose dolphins off the eastern coast of Scotland found that they are the only non-human mammals to use the names of those in their close circles to get each other’s attention. “It is the first evidence we really have of naming and labeling in the animal kingdom,” said lead author Stephanie King of the Sea Mammal Research Unit in the School of Biology at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Other animals, including songbirds, bats and parrots, have been shown to be capable of copying sounds in their environment and developing a distinctive repertoire of calls. But only parrots and dolphins use labels that they have learned for other objects or creatures.

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  9. E-cigarettes: To ban or not to ban?

    E-cigarette Philippines

    E-cigarettes — an electronic vaporizing device gaining popularity — is widely seen as an alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes; but, there is as yet no consensus on the health benefits or risks associated with these devices. E-cigarette sellers say they do not market the devices as smoking-cessation therapy but they do welcome regulation. The Philippine Food and Drug Administration, however, is wary that the chemical components found in the vaporized liquid may pose health risks if inhaled. MovePH’s Buena Bernal takes a look at the various arguments for and against e-cigarettes.

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  10. Manila starts ban on buses without terminals

    The city of Manila started implementing on Tuesday, July 23, a ban on city and provincial buses without terminals, surprising commuters who had to transfer rides to get to their usual destinations. Resolution No. 48, authored by Councilor Manuel Zarcal and adopted by the city council on July 16, banned buses from plying Manila’s roads if they don’t have terminals within the city. Zarcal’s resolution in Manila cited a study conducted by the University of the Philippines, showing that one of the biggest factors of traffic congestion in Metro Manila is the “high volume of buses” going through it. Many commuters and bus drivers, who were not aware of the new resolution, expressed their dismay on media and online. With Manila as home to numerous colleges and universities, the ban affected students who ride buses on their way to school.

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