February 10, 2014 Edition

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  1. Palace to Binay: Hush, it’s Ombudsman who decides

    File photo of Tuason (center) by Ben Nabong/Rappler

    It’s the Office of the Ombudsman, and not the vice president, who will evaluate the affidavit of Ruby Tuason, who has offered to turn state witness. Dismissing a statement by Vice President Jejomar Binay that Tuason’s testimony was a “dud” and not “slam-dunk evidence” as claimed by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Palace Communications Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr said it’s the Ombudsman who will assess the weight of the testimony. Tuason, ex-aide of former president Joseph Estrada, said in her affidavit that she personally delivered cash to Senator Jinggoy Estrada and Gigi Reyes, the former chief of staff of Senator Juan Ponce-Enrile.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    A related story showing excerpts from the affidavit is also on Rappler.

  2. Poll: Catholics approve of Francis, but not Church doctrine

    File photo by Luca Zennaro/EPA/Pool

    As the first anniversary of his papacy nears, 87% of Catholics believe that Pope Francis is doing a good job. Yet 78% favor using contraceptives – in violation of Church doctrine. A survey conducted in 12 countries by the US-based and Spanish-language network Univision of Catholics found that Catholics in Africa and the Philippines are the most conservative, while those in Argentina and Brazil are the most liberal. Among the liberals too are Catholics in Spain and France. The 12 countries that were polled represent 61% of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Serafin Cuevas dies

    File photo by Emil Sarmiento

    Former Supreme Court associate justice Serafin Cuevas, 85, died on Sunday, February 9. Known for having handled 3 impeachment cases involving former Supreme Court chief justice Renato Corona, former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, and former president Joseph Estrada, Cuevas became a member of the High Court under then president Ferdinand Marcos in June 1984. He was appointed justice secretary under the Estrada administration on July 1, 1998. The Supreme Court announced the death of Cuevas in a tweet on Monday and said details of the wake will be announced soon.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Number of registered OFWs triples in 3 years

    File photo by Malacañang Photo Bureau

    From 2011, the number of registered Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) has tripled to 6.3 million, according to the latest tally of the Department of Foreign Affairs. This excludes the countless others working overseas but who remain unregistered with the government. The Philippine Statistics Authority said that only 2.2 million OFWs worked abroad anytime between April and September 2011. In June 2013, the International Organization for Migration said in its Country Migration Report that in the past 3 decades, the number of OFWs has been increasing constantly. Over 67% of OFWs head for countries in the Middle East, with the top 5 destinations identified as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Hong Kong/China, and Qatar.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Will US Congress have 1st Fil-Am woman?

    For the first time in the history of the United States, a Filipino-American is the frontrunner for a congressional seat. Democrat Donna Mercado Kim, who was elected president of the Hawaii State Senate in January 2013, is acknowledged as top contender for the first congressional seat vacated by Representative Colleen Hanabusa who is running for the US Senate. According to US-based Philippine News, if she wins, Kim will be the first Fil-Am woman in the US Congress. She will join other Fil-Ams Robert Scott of Virginia and Steve Austria of Ohio.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Swiss vote vs EU mass immigration

    Over 50% of Swiss voters supported the “Stop Mass Immigration” plan being espoused by Swiss right-wing populists. A non-member of the European Commission (EU), Switzerland is surrounded by EU member-countries and trades largely with the 28-member bloc. Reacting to the results of the referendum held Sunday, February 9, the EU said it would assess ties with Switzerland. To date, one-fifth to one-fourth of the Swiss population consists of foreigners, while an estimated 430,000 Swiss live in EU member-countries. The Swiss People’s Party, which was behind the plebiscite, said that given 80,000 EU citizens arriving per year, Switzerland, a nation of 8 million, must apply the brakes on immigration.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Fishermen oppose no-build zone in Leyte

    All photos by Andrew Robles

    Government’s no-build zone measure that would ban the construction of structures within 40 meters of the shoreline does not sit well with fishermen in Leyte whose livelihood will be affected. They want to be close to the sea with their boats just by the doorways of their homes so that they could easily push them across the sand to the shore. Living further inland, as what the barangay captain is ordering them to do, will bring fishermen and their families away from their boats and the sea. But storm surges that reached 100 meters at the height of Super Typhoon Yolanda had proven that coastal communities are not safe.


    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. US study: Vitamin C keeps cancer away

    Photo from Shutterstock

    Scientists at the University of Kansas have found that vitamin C given intravenously is absorbed into the body and can kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells. They reported in Science Translational Medicine that the vitamin can be a safe, effective and low-cost treatment for ovarian and other cancers. Quoting research findings, the BBC said, “High-dose vitamin C can boost the cancer-killing effect of chemotherapy in the lab and mice.” American scientists are calling for large-scale government clinical trials because pharmaceutical companies are unlikely to finance such trials. because vitamins cannot be patented.

    Read the full story on the BBC.

    Citrus Fruits image from Shutterstock

  9. Danish zoo kills ‘surplus’ giraffe despite petition

    Photo by AFP

    An 18-month old giraffe in a Copenhagen zoo was put down, chopped up and fed to the lions to prevent inbreeding. In an explanation on its website, the zoo said it had no choice but to kill the giraffe that had been known as Marius with a bolt gun because, according to the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) rules, inbreeding between giraffes is to be avoided. Marius could not be accommodated by the 300 other EAZA-affiliated zoos as it would have caused inbreeding. The impending fate of Marius sparked an online petition signed by thousands of animal lovers that went ignored.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Related stories are in the Huffington Post and the BBC.

  10. Bye, bye ‘Flappy Bird’

    For game developer Dong Nguyen, the flak he has drawn from his wildly successful creation, “Flappy Bird” was too much to bear. He announced via a tweet on Sunday, February 9, at about 3 am Manila time, that he was taking down the game. “I just cannot keep it anymore, ” he said. Netizens have criticized the highly addictive “Flappy Bird” as a “pretty terrible game.” In a tweet on Saturday, February 8, Nguyen said, “I can call ‘Flappy Bird’ is a success of mine. But it also ruins my simple life. So now I hate it.” He said he wanted to be left alone and that the media had overrated the game’s success. “Please give me peace,” Nguyen asked. By early Monday morning, February 10, Nguyen had pulled “Flappy Bird” from both the iOS app store and Google Play.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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