November 22, 2013 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Rios camp: the pressure is on Pacquiao

    27 year-old Mexican-American Brandon Rios told the audience at the pre-fight press conference in Macau, “I’m nobody’s tune-up fight, I’m nobody’s sparring partner, I’m nobody’s punching bag… And on Sunday you guys will find out, a new star is on the rise.” Rios goes up against Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao in a career-defining fight at the Venetian hotel in Macau on November 24th. Pacquiao was candid about his motivations,”Rios is saying he’s hungry to win this fight. I’m also hungry to win this fight because I lost twice last year.” Beyond his survival, a resounding Pacman victory will go a long way to lift the spirits of his countrymen in the Philippines ravaged by powerful Typhoon Yolanda, international name Haiyan. He says, “This fight is for you.” The day before, a scuffle broke out between the two camps over gym time. On the tail-end of his training Thursday, Pacquaio is relaxed, while his trainer, Freddy Roach is visibly happy. Rios’ camp says it has nothing to lose and everything to gain – that the pressure is all on Pacquiao.

    Read related stories here and here.

  2. Ombudsman denies Enrile to be slapped pork charges

    'NO 8-PAGE MEMO.' Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales says there is no such thing as the reported 8-page memo naming Enrile as the pork scam mastermind but says she has a 200-page memo. Photo by Ayee Macaraig/Rappler

    Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales denied reports her office filed plunder complaints against senators and other personalities implicated in the pork barrel scam. Morales said the Ombudsman’s field investigators only recommended that the plunder complaint be subjected to preliminary investigation. This comes after the Inquirer reported an 8-page memorandum from the Ombudsman’s office reportedly tagged Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, not Janet Lim Napoles, as the mastermind of the scam. But Morales said there’s no such memo. Since the pork barrel scam was exposed in July, reports pointed to Napoles as the brains behind the scam. But Sen Miriam Santiago is not convinced: she earlier said her longtime political rival, Enrile, is behind the scam.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. PH’s Sering slams 19 years of fruitless talk; green groups walk out

    Climate Change Commission Vice-Chair Lucille Sering slammed 19 years of climate change talks that ended “without concrete action.” In her ministerial speech at the UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw, Poland, Sering hit developed countries that are reneging on their commitment to lessen carbon emissions. Following a reported deadlock on negotiations, six environmental groups walked out of the conference, saying the talks are –quote– “on track to deliver virtually nothing.” This comes after developing countries including the Philippines also walked out of a session on the loss and damage mechanism, which would help developing countries get funds to better prepare for climate change-induced disasters. The Philippines’ Naderev Saño denied there was a walkout.

    Read more here and here.

  4. Eyewitness video shows storm surge slamming E. Samar town

    Storm surges from Typhoon Haiyan brought massive devastation to many parts of the Visayas. In an eyewitness video by children’s organization Plan International, huge waves of water from the ocean rush over the town of Hernani, Eastern Samar on November 8, the day the super typhoon made landfall. The video shows one house completely engulfed and destroyed by the massive storm surges. Nickson Gensis, the staff member who filmed the video, describes it as a “huge tsunami.”

  5. PH accepts China’s offer to send hospital ship

    GOODWILL. A tug pushes out the departing hospital ship Peace Ark bound for the typhoon-ravaged Philippines from a Naval base in Zhoushan in China's eastern Zhejiang province on November 21. AFP Photo

    The Philippines accepted China’s offer to send its hospital ship to help in relief and medical operations in areas affected by super typhoon Haiyan. The Peace Ark is a 10,000 ton hospital ship, with 2,406 units of advanced medical systems including a CT scan room, digital X-ray room, blood bank, oxygen generation station, and its own pharmacy. It has 300 ward beds, 20 of which are from the Intensive Care Unit. The offer came with an increased aid package for the Philippines following criticism about China’s initial donation of $100,000, which some called “inadequate” and “small change” for China. Speculation in international media has it that the “measly donation” was due to the tension between the two countries over territories in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. How to build a typhoon resistant house

    LEARNING FROM TRADITION. Traditional Ivatan houses in Batanes feature storm shutters protecting windows and doors from winds. Photo by Pia Ranada/Rappler

    Prominent Filipino architects enumerated the features of a typhoon-ready house. They said the units must be highly replicable, uses durable materials and uses four-side slope roofs instead of the A-frame. Four-sided roofs are less likely to get lifted by strong winds.  Eaves should no longer be a feature of typhoon-resistant homes– they only give the wind more surface to lift the entire roof. Architects also said stilts will enable houses to survive flooding and storm surges –the force of rushing water will be less when water goes under the house instead of going around. For windows, the architects recommended tempered glass with protective stickers and storm shutters. They also said a safe, elevated location is the best way to mitigate floods. Coastal communities should be moved further away from the shoreline to lessen the risk of storm surges.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. US can spy on Britons

    The National Security Agency is authorized to spy on British citizens, according to a newly disclosed memorandum from whistleblower Edward Snowden. The New York Times reported the classified NSA document dated January 2005, which appears to be a draft, states that under specific circumstances, the American intelligence agency may spy on citizens of Britain without that country’s consent or knowledge. In recent months, reports of NSA spying on partners like Germany and France triggered international anger. The NSA declined to respond to questions on whether the draft became official policy and whether spying on Britain without its consent had ever taken place. In a sentence, the memo asserts that the US and Britain, despite an implicit no-spying agreement, “reserved the right” to spy on each other “when it is in the best interest of each nation.”

    Read the full story on NY Times.

  8. Three women held as “slaves for 30 years”

    A Malaysian woman, 69, an Irish woman, 57, and a British woman, 30, were rescued from a house in south London. The BBC reported the victims said they were held as slaves for about 30 years. Group Freedom Charity contacted police after it received a call from a woman saying she had been held against her will for decades. The call was made by the Irish woman who said two others were being held with her. The 30-year-old had spent her whole life in captivity. Officers are trying to establish whether she was born in the house. The “highly traumatised” women had controlled lives and spent most of it indoors but had “controlled freedom”. Police said the facts are being established with specialists assisting the women. Officers said there was no evidence of sexual abuse. Police arrested a 67-year-old man and woman in Lambeth in connection with the case but were released on bail Friday.

    Read more on Rappler here and here.

    Read more ob BBC

  9. Charges dropped vs kids in case

    Screengrab from YouTube

    Charges were dropped against two girls accused of bullying a classmate until she committed suicide. The two girls — aged 12 and 14 — faced stalking charges after 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick jumped to her death. The younger girl’s lawyer demanded an apology from the Polk county Orlando, Florida sheriff who exposed the 12-year-old’s name and face before TV cameras last month. At a news conference last month, the sheriff said the two girls bullied Rebecca after the older girl started dating Rebecca’s ex-boyfriend. The 14-year-old allegedly told Rebecca to “drink bleach and die.”

    Read the full story on The Guardian.

  10. Online petition: Stop American TV hunter

    'STOP MELISSA BACHMAN'. Petitions on social media call for an end to Bachman's 'deadly passion'. Photo from Twitter (MelissaBachman)

    More than 375,000 people signed an online petition urging the South African government to ban American Melissa Bachman into the country. Bachman is an American hunter and host of her own TV show “Winchester Deadly Passion.” Animal lovers are outraged by her safari exploits, in particular one photo that shows her rifle in hand, kneeling and smiling behind a lion she had apparently just shot and killed. The petition launched by Cape Town resident Elan Burman read: “Melissa Bachman has made a career out of hunting wildlife, for pure sport. She is an absolute contradiction to the culture of conservation (that) this country prides itself on.” A “Stop Melissa Bachman” page on Facebook has also racked up more than 230,000 likes. The Maroi Conservancy defended her on social media, saying it would not apologize for facilitating her lion shoot in South Africa’s North West Province.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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