January 6, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. DOH ramps up drive vs measles amid outbreak

    FREE VACCINE. A nurse injects an infant with a measles vaccine in Tondo, Manila. File photo by Noel Celis / AFP

    The Department of Health (DOH) says it will step up its campaign against measles in 2014, following a rise in the number of cases recored in 2013 and reported outbreaks in some barangays in Metro Manila. Last year, the DOH recored some 1.724 cases of measles nationwide, with 43% of the cases in Metro Manila alone. On Sunday, the state-run Philippine News Agency reported that at least 21 barangays in 9 cities have declared an outbreak of measles in their area. Measles is a viral, highly-contagious respiratory disease. Infected persons exhibit symptoms such as high fever, red eyes, runny nose and cough. The DOH advises those exhibiting symptoms to stay home. Measles vaccine is free in all government health centers nationwide.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Arctic blast to slam northeastern US

    SNOWY DAY. A man snow blows on East Concord Street in the South End after a two day winter storm January 4, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. Darren McCollester/Getty Images/AFP

    Millions of people hunkered down Sunday, January 5, in America in anticipation of brutal weather from a dangerous Arctic blast that could send US temperatures plummeting to their coldest in 20 years. Heavy snow and sub-zero conditions have blanketed the northeast United States and parts of Canada, with the cold weather front moving through the US Midwest. The wind chill from the rare “polar vortex” could make it feel as cold as -60ºF (-51ºC) in places, weather forecasters say, prompting authorities in several towns and cities to issue warnings that people should stay indoors and even stock up on food. In such extreme cold, exposed skin would suffer frostbite in as little as five minutes, experts have cautioned. The National Weather Service described the weather as “life-threatening.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Palace agreeable to shift school calendar

    NEW ACADEMIC CALENDAR? At least 4 universities have expressed their intent to move the start of their classes to August or September, from June. File photo from by Rolex Dela Pena/EPA

    Amid initiatives to move the nation’s school calendar, Malacañang said on Sunday, January 5 that it is open to the proposal. Some top private universities, such as the Ateneo de Manila University and the University of the Philippines, are mulling moving the opening of classes in academic year 2014-2015 to August or September, from June. “The decision of 4 of the country’s biggest universities to move the start of their classes are in line with their autonomous status, and with the concept of ASEAN integration,” said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr in a press briefing over at Radyo ng Bayan. The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has already formed a technical working group to examine the school calendar shift proposal. The group is set to convene this month, and aims to provide CHED enough data for a clearer position on the matter by March 2014.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. India launches cutting-edge cryogenic rocket

    GSLV ROCKET. A file photo of the GSLV-D5 rocket during its first launch attempt, August 2013, in Sriharikota, India. Photo courtesy of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) official page on Facebook

    India on Sunday, January 5, successfully launched its first rocket using domestically produced booster technology after several previous missions had failed, taking another step forward in its ambitious space program. The 415-ton rocket blasted off from the southern spaceport of Sriharikota and deployed a two-ton advanced communications satellite some 17 minutes after leaving the Earth. “I am extremely proud and happy to say that Team ISRO has done it,” Space Research Organization (ISRO) chairman Dr K. Radhakrishnan announced at mission control in Andhra Pradesh state, sparking a roar of applause from colleagues. India has for years been trying to develop its own cryogenic rocket engines that are designed to put heavier satellites into high orbits, about 36,000 kilometers (22,000 miles) from Earth.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Witness says he may have filmed Schumacher’s accident

    AFP / AFPTV / Guillaume Bonnet

    Former Formula One race driver Michael Schumacher remained in critical condition on Sunday, January 5, a week after a skiing accident in the French Alps. A German skier has since come forward saying he inadvertently caught the moment Schumacher fell on his smartphone camera. Investigators are focusing on the retired racer’s speed when he fell and slammed his head on a rock on a small off-piste section of the Meribel ski resort, prompting his evacuation by helicopter to the Alpine city of Grenoble. They are hoping that a helmet-mounted camera Schumacher was wearing will provide some clues, as will footage by a 35-year-old German steward who says he was filming his girlfriend on the slopes. In the background, a skier is seen descending an unmarked run between two groomed pistes before falling, news magazine Der Spiegel reported. Schumacher’s condition is “critical but stable” according to the latest medical reports.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. A chapel rises from the rubble after Typhoon Yolanda

    All photos by Br. Jaazeal Jakosalem, OAR

    Life will never be the same for the small community of Sitio Linuthangan, Brgy. Mabini, Escalante, Negros Occidental after Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). But more than a month after the devastating typhoon, the community is picking up where they left off. They’ve recently rebuilt the community chapel that was damaged severely by the typhoon with the help of the non-profit group HEARTanonymous.org. Some 200 members of the basic christian community of the barangay gathered for a mass and blessing in their reconstructed home. Outside volunteers also helped in the reconstruction. “The real essence of community building is people’s participation, this is the mark in our small Christian communities in the parish,” community parish priest Fr. Gerry Sabado, O’Carm said.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. New York governor plans to loosen marijuana restrictions

    Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Files

    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to announce a new guideline allowing limited use of marijuana for medical purposes. The policy change comes after Colorado became the first US state to legalize the drug for recreational use on January 1. California has also loosened its rules on medical marijuana. New York retains some of the most draconian sanctions of any US state for individuals caught dealing or using drugs. However Cuomo’s apparent policy U-turn would inch it closer to the softer policies that are rapidly gaining traction in the United States. The move comes amid a nationwide campaign to relax laws on marijuana use which has been buoyed by shifting attitudes on the drug.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. San Mig Coffee beats Ginebra, 83-79

    COFFEE RUSH. Rookies Ian Sangalang of SMC and Greg Slaughter of Ginebra battle it out. Photo by KC Cruz/PBA Images

    After struggling all conference long near the bottom of the standings, the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers finally stole a much-needed morale-boosting 83-79 win against rivals Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings in the PLDT myDSL Philippine Cup on Sunday, Jan.5 at the Mall of Asia Arena. SMC head coach Tim Cone credits their win with gaining back some of their confidence after a good start in the game. It seemed that momentum had swung permanently to the side of Ginebra with most of the 20,596 MoA Arena crowd backing them up. But San Mig, tired of losing miserably, held on to the confidence they mustered at the beginning and took it one play at a time.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Philippine cinema in 2013: A review

    2013. Was it really as bright as the 70s for Filipino cinema as critics expected it to be? Graphic by Mara Mercado

    It was a year that was touted by excitable pundits as one of the best years for Philippine cinema. It’s said to even rival 1976, which saw the releases of Lino Brocka’s Insiang, Mario O’Hara’s Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos, Eddie Romero’s Ganito Kami Noon…Paano Kayo Ngayon? and Lupita Aquino-Kashiwahara’s Minsa’y Isang Gamu-gamo. To others, 2013 was also better than 1982, which brought to the world Ishmael Bernal’s HimalaandRelasyon, Marilou Diaz-Abaya’s Moral, and Peque Gallaga’s Oro, Plata, Mata. It only got better. By the end of 2013, there were so many films to rave about, all varying in style, theme, and intention. The pundits were correct.

    Read the full review by Oggs Cruz on Rappler.

  10. The quack is back

    AFP Photo

    A giant yellow inflatable duck which exploded on New Year’s Eve returned to a Taiwan port on Friday after it was repaired and cleaned, organizers said. Hundreds turned out in Keelung on the north of the island to welcome back the 18-meter-tall (59-feet) duck following two days of maintenance after it burst and deflated into a floating yellow disc Tuesday. It was the second time that a replica of the bath toy had burst while on show in Taiwan. The duck exploded just hours before crowds gathered to count down the new year. The duck burst because of rising pressure caused by rapid temperature changes.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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