November 7, 2013 Edition

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  1. Typhoon Yolanda heads for Visayas

    Storm warning signals have been raised for the entire Visayas and parts of Luzon and Mindanao early Thursday, November 7, as the area braces for the arrival of typhoon Yolanda (international codename Haiyan). Yolanda, which entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) shortly before midnight, has intensified further as it approaches Eastern Visayas, state weather bureau PAGASA said. As of 4 am Thursday, the system was located 822 kilometers east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, carrying maximum sustained winds of 215 kilometers per hour near the center and gusts of up to 250 km/h.

    Read the full story on Rappler.
    Help map critical reports for Project Agos on Rappler.

  2. Yasser Arafat poisoned with polonium?

    POISONED? A file picture taken on October 29, 2004, shows ailing Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat saying goodbye to well-wishers as he boards a Jordanian army helicopter at dawn at the Muqatta, his West Bank offices in Ramallah. AFP PHOTO/ODD ANDERSEN

    Swiss scientists who obtained samples from Yasser Arafat’s body found at least 18 times the normal levels of radioactive polonium in his remains, al-Jazeera reported on Wednesday, November 6. The high amounts of polonium “moderately” supported the theory that Arafat was poisoned, the scientists said. He died in 2004 at age 75, four weeks after he first fell ill after eating dinner on October 12 that year. He was transferred from the West Bank to a French military hospital after his health deteriorated. French doctors said he died of a massive stroke. No autopsy was carried out. The Palestinian leader’s remains were exhumed in November 2012, following claims he was murdered.

    Read the full story on Rappler.
    Read the investigative report on al-Jazeera.
    Additional information is in The Guardian.

  3. Senatorial staff play a part in PDAF

    Photo from Senate library. Illustrations by Matthew Hebrona/Rappler

    Statements from whistleblowers and former heads of implementing agencies regarding the PDAF show that senators’ staff members were closely involved in the release of their principals’ pork barrel. From drafting letters to supposedly endorsing NGOs on the senator’s behalf to signing liquidation reports, the staff played an active and powerful role.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. PH, US bases access discussions hit impasse

    IMPASSE: Philippine and US panels disagree on critical provisions. DND file photo

    Negotiations between the Philippines and the US to grant American troops more access to the country’s military bases have reached an “impasse,” according to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin on Wednesday, November 6. The Philippine panel is opposing the US panel’s condition that limits Filipino troops’ access to temporary facilities that American troops will be building once the access deal is signed. The military-to-military agreement is expected to boost the defense capability of the Armed Forces of the Philippines amid growing territorial threats, increase the training of its troops, and improve disaster response.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Twitter IPO hits Thursday for $26 a share

    PUBLIC COMPANY. Microblogging site Twitter seeks to raise over $1.6 billion in IPO. File photo by AFP/Fred Tanneau

    Twitter will list at $26 a share on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, November 7, the microblogging service announced. 70 million shares will be made available at that listed price, with 10.5 million shares of common stock being sold as a 30-day option for underwriters. The total value is currently pegged at $2.1 billion.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Henry Sy in Bloomberg’s richest list

    Henry Sy among world's 100 richest

    He’s the only Filipino to land in Bloomberg Markets’ 100 richest list. The Philippines’ wealthiest man, 88-year-old Henry Sy ranked 72nd on Bloomberg’s list, with an estimated net worth of US$13.3 billion, up $1.1 billion from 2012. In Southeast Asia, he is the 2nd richest, next to Malaysia’s Robert Kuok who ranked 50th in the magazine’s list of 100. In August, Sy was ranked 68th richest by Forbes magazine. He owns the country’s largest shopping mall network, SM, and Banco de Oro, the biggest bank in terms of assets.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Greenhouse gas emissions hit new record

    A woman covers her face with her sweater in the heavy smog in Haozhou, central China's Anhui province on January 30, 2013. AFP PHOTO

    Concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide broke fresh records in 2012, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Unless significant gains in controlling emissions are made, more frequent megastorms, water shortages, diseases, and land loss to rising seas may result. “CO2 has a ratchet effect,” said Peter Wadhams, professor of ocean physics at the University of Cambridge. The atmospheric increase of CO2 from 2011 to 2012 was actually higher than the average growth rate over the past 10 years, WMO said.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Early warning systems vs space rocks needed

    Scientists are saying asteroid strikes similar to the one that hit Russia early this year may become more frequent than previously thought. As a result, early warning systems must be put in place. In February 2013, an asteroid about 19 meters wide exploded over Russia. It caused “widespread damage and injured more than 1,000 people,” the BBC reported. Having a system that “scans the sky almost continuously and looks for these objects just before they hit the Earth, that probably is something worth doing,” Professor Peter Brown, lead author of the study, was quoted as saying. The risk from asteroids may have been underestimated as their strike rates are estimated to be two to 10 times higher than previously believed.

    Read the full story on the BBC.

  9. Google+ allows private communities

    PRIVATE TALK. Google+ lets organizations set up private, customizable communities.


    Organizations will now be able to create more secure, restricted communities through Google+. Google announced on November 5 that this new community feature allows a community administrator to adjust settings, allowing everyone in an organization sharing a common domain, or specific people invited into that community, to join. Because Google Drive is enabled in these communities as well, users will be able to send video, photos, and other files to each other. This new feature will allow companies to manage better those within their organization who have access to sensitive information, while allowing people outside of the organization to still contribute to discussions.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. 3 PH beauties in Miss Universe

    LONG LIVE THE FILIPINA! Miss Philippines Ariella Arida with Miss Canada Riza Santos and Miss Guam Alixes Scott. Screen shot from @araarida on Instagram

    The 2013 Miss Universe pageant, to be held on November 9 (November 10, Philippine time), is meant to be an international affair. For the Philippines, there’s also a point of pride, as Filipinos can cheer not just for the Philippine representative, Ariella “Ara” Arida, but also for two other Pinay beauties: Riza Santos of Canada and Alixes Scott of Guam.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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