October 18, 2013 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Bohol ghost town struggles

    Three days after a magnitude 7.2 quake struck Central Visayas, the hardest-hit towns in Bohol are still in need of aid. With bridges and roads destroyed and impassable, relief workers struggle to deliver basic goods. In the town of Loon – 20 km away from the epicenter of the quake – rescue workers travel by boat. The lack of bigger fishing vessels in the community makes it difficult to seek outside help. Only boats and helicopters are able to reach the town. Severe injuries went untreated for more than a day after the quake.

    People displaced by the quake live in makeshift tents at the town plaza, with rubble from destroyed buildings littering the roads. Beside it lies the ruins of what used to be Loon’s pride, the Church of Our Lady of Light.  Locals say at least 4 people remain buried in the church rubble. Survivors of the quake need food and drinking water.

    Read the full story here.

    Rappler is compiling a list of donation centers here.

    VLOG: Cry of help from Loon

  2. ‘No winners’ in US shutdown

    MORE FOES? The White House is seen at dusk in Washington, DC, Sept 30, 2013, during the US government shutdown. File photo by AFP

    US President Barack Obama the fiscal shutdown left “no winners” in Washington. “It’s encouraged our enemies, it’s emboldened our competitors and depressed our friends who look to us for steady leadership.” The president called on Republicans and Democrats to come together to pass a long-term budget and to give up the “brinkmanship” that squandered the trust of the American people. Voting 81-18, the Senate sends the bill to the House, which approved the plan with 285 votes to 144, ending a 16-day government shutdown and a showdown over raising the government’s borrowing authority. Investors cheered the deal, powering the S&P 500 index to an all-time high of 1,733.15, up 0.67%. Obama also urged Republicans in the House of Representatives to pass stalled bills. “Probably nothing has done more damage to America’s credibility in the world, our standing with other countries, than the spectacle that we’ve seen these past several weeks,” he said.

    Read the full story here and here

    Read a related story on USA Today.

  3. Global Slavery Index: 140,000 modern slaves in PH

    The Philippines ranks 98th in the Global Slavery Index, which lists countries based on the prevalence of modern-day slavery. The index, compiled by the Walk Free Foundation, says an estimated 30 million people globally live in modern-day slavery. It also notes India has the largest number of enslaved people. The Philippines is in the lower half of the rankings among 162 countries covered by the study. But compared to its Asian neighbors, the Philippines ranks 12th. The report estimates there are 140,000 to 160,000 people enslaved in the Philippines.

    Read the full story here and here.

  4. Saudi deadline looms, 5k pinoys not repatriated

    BEATING DEADLINE. Foreign illegal laborers wait in a long queue outside the Saudi immigration offices at the Al-Isha quarter of the Al-Khazan district, west of Riyadh, on May 28. File photo from AFP/Fayez Nureldine

    The deadline for Filipino workers in Saudi to legalize their status is in two weeks, but the Philippines has yet to repatriate 5,000 Filipinos. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs says the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh and the Consulate General in Jeddah repatriated 4,003 Filipino workers from Saudi. The number of repatriates is only around 44% of the 9,000 Filipinos in Saudi who originally said they want repatriation. DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez says 1,761 Filipinos are waiting for immigration clearance in Saudi. Saudi extended the deadline to November 3 from the original July 3.  Violators face up to two years in prison and fines of at least 100,000 riyal or $27,000.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Maps to help prepare for disaster? Yes!

    NOW YOU KNOW. Australian Ambassador Bill Tweddell turns over a copy of the multi-hazard and risk maps to QC Mayor Herbert Bautista while MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino looks on. All photos by Zak Yuson/Rappler

    Maps that show areas prone to disasters like floods and earthquakes can be used to boost risk reduction and management.
    Australia and the Philippines recently launched multi-hazard and risk maps for Greater Metro Manila to help local governments prepare better for disasters. A Risk-Analysis Project funded by the Australian government produced 87 high-resolution hazard maps of Metro Manila cities and surrounding areas using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology. The maps plot the levels of risk due to potential damage from floods, landslides, high winds, and earthquakes. They also provide critical information useful for disaster management agencies to minimize the risks. The city of Cagayan de Oro was one of the first local government units to test the flood hazard maps generated through LiDAR. In 2012, typhoon Pablo entered Cagayan de Oro, but the local government was able to warn its citizens to evacuate, after LiDAR data showed the route and possible extent of flooding.

    Watch the video here.

    Read the full story here and here.

  6. WHO: Air pollution causes cancer

    POLLUTED AIR. A man cycles past cooling towers in Beijing, China, 05 August 2013. EPA/Diego Azubel

    The World Health Organization says outdoor air pollution causes cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies outdoor air pollution as a “Group 1” cause of cancer, the riskiest category on its four-step scale. The IARC says pollution exposure levels increased significantly in some parts of the world in recent years, especially in rapidly industrializing nations with large populations. 2010 data shows 223,000 lung cancer deaths worldwide are the result of air pollution. The latest findings are based on overall air quality, and on an in-depth study of thousands of medical research projects conducted around the world over decades.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Anti-corruption step in PH Judiciary

    EXPLAIN. Sandiganbayan justice Gregory Ong (left) is being asked to explain his alleged ties with Janet Lim Napoles (right). Photo provided to Rappler

    The Supreme Court orders Sandiganbayan Justice Gregory Ong and 4 lawyers to explain their alleged ties with so-called pork barrel queen Janet Lim Napoles. Former Napoles aide Sula says Ong visited Napoles’ office in Ortigas and joined her parties. Whistleblowers say the lawyers notarized documents of the Napoles-owned JLN Corporation for bogus NGO projects funded by the Malampaya fund. In August, Rappler published a photo of Ong partying with Napoles and Senator Jinggoy Estrada. Ong was a member of the Sandiganbayan’s Fourth Division that handled the Kevlar helmet case, and acquitted Napoles of any involvement in that scandal. But he denies knowing Napoles.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. NAIA1 world’s worst airport again

    WORLD'S WORST. NAIA Terminal 1 topped anew a travel site's list of worst airports globally. Photo from NAIA Wikipedia site

    The Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 (NAIA 1) is once again rated as the world’s worst airport. Visitors of travel site “The Guide to Sleeping in Airports” select the congested NAIA 1 facility as the worst in the world for 2013. NAIA 1 was also number one on the list in 2011. It ranked 5th-worst in 2010. The Philippine government says efforts to upgrade NAIA 1 is underway, but there were delays in the process of choosing the designers, engineers and architects for the planned upgrade.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Bushfires rage in Australia

    BUSHFIRE. A house destroyed by bushfires in Winmalee in Sydney's Blue Mountains on October 18, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Greg WOOD

    Bushfires ravage communities and destroys at least 100 homes in southeastern Australia, leaving one man dead. Firefighters warn of “substantial” property damage as seven major blazes burn across the state of New South Wales, sending thick plumes of smoke and ash across the city. Cooler temperatures and a drop in wind offer firefighters some relief, but the fire department says the situation is still “very active, very dynamic, very dangerous.” Hundreds of residents spend the night in evacuation centers. Wildfires are common in Australia’s summer months between December and February. Authorities are expecting a bad season this year because of low rainfall in the winter and forecasts of hot, dry weather ahead.

    Read the full story here and here.

  10. Freddie Aguilar’s May-December romance

    MUDDY WATERS WROTE SONGS ABOUT THIS. Iconic singer-songwriter Aguilar. Tagged photo between Marcel Duprix and Freddie Aguilar from the singer's Facebook

    Netizens react to the news of Filipino music icon Freddie Aguilar confirming his relationship with a  16-year-old girl.
    On Wednesday, entertainment site pep.ph reports the girl was seen with the singer-songwriter at the Star Awards for Music on October 13. Aguilar, who turned 60 in February, was honored with a lifetime achievement award. The girl has not been identified, but an Interaksyon.com report says photos of Aguilar with a young lady are circulating online. Netizens, including some celebrities, were mostly aghast over this disclosure. But in an interview with ANC, Aguilar says they informed the girl’s parents of their relationship after finding out she was a minor.

    Read the full story here.

    Watch the video here.

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