March 7, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Pacquiao as Binay’s Senate bet for 2016

    File OVP photo

    Vice President Jejomar Binay announced boxing champion Manny Pacquiao as the first candidate to be included in his new party’s senatorial ticket for 2016. Binay said in a press briefing at the Coconut Palace on Friday, March 7, that he would include him in the slate with discussions in play prior to the 2013 polls. The Vice President said Pacquiao was not included in his slate in 2013 because he was underage during the May polls. Pacquiao turned 35 on Dec 17, 2013, making him eligible to run for senator in 2016. In the 15th Congress, he was a top absentee congressman.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. US prepares sanctions for Russia, opposes secession of Crimea

    Photo by Genya Saviilov / AFP

    The United States on Thursday, March 6, imposed visa bans and set the stage for wider sanctions against Russia, warning any move to split the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine would break international law. President Barack Obama spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin to explain the measures, which he said were in response to Russia’s “violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” Obama also signed an executive order paving the way for economic sanctions against individuals or entities in Russia. The document sets broad criteria, and could target those accused of usurping peace and stability in Ukraine or Russian officials seeking to impose control over any part of the country.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Poe cautions justice department over Cunanan as state witness

    In the 10th Senate blue ribbon hearing on the pork barrel scam Thursday, March 6, Senator Grace Poe cautioned the justice department over admitting Technology Resource Center Director General Dennis Cunanan as a state witness. Poe was primarily concerned that Cunanan’s blanket denial that he did not benefit from the multi-billion-peso scam contradicts the detailed testimony of whistleblower and only state witness Benhur Luy that the TRC chief possibly received a bagful of cash from alleged mastermind Janet Lim Napoles. The senator also retorted a number of times whenever Cunanan claimed almost total innocence about how deals involving the Priority Development Assistance Fund of lawmakers worked.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. US intelligence budget drops following NSA scandal

    Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP

    US intelligence agencies will see a 5% drop in funding under a proposed 2015 budget, officials said Thursday, March 6, after a year marked by controversy over far-reaching electronic spying. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said the requested budget for most of the country’s 17 spy services came to $45.6 billion for fiscal year 2015, which begins October 1. The proposed budget, which must be approved by Congress, is lower than the 2014 national intelligence program budget, at $48.2 billion. The Pentagon is also planning for a slight drop in funding for intelligence activities that support the military, requesting $13.3 billion for next fiscal year, officials said. The 2014 budget had allocated $14 billion for the military intelligence program.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. China not setting up two-child policy – official


    China’s health ministry on Thursday, March 6, dampened speculation that the country could dump its one-child policy and allow families to have two. The world’s most populous country has restricted most families to one child since the late 1970s, but its ruling Communist party said in November that couples would be allowed to have two children so long as one of the parents is an only child. State media on Monday, March 3, quoted senior family planning official Ma Xu as saying the government was researching the option of allowing all couples to have a second child, prompting speculation of a further relaxation. Health Minister Li Bin threw cold water on the possibility Thursday, saying “basic policy cannot be changed” and adding there was “no timetable” for more fundamental reforms.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Be ready for possible evacuation, Filipinos in Venezuela told

    Photo by Miguel Gutierrez/EPA

    The Philippines warned its nationals in Venezuela on Friday, March 7, to prepare for possible evacuation following anti-government protests there. The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) made this warning as it raised crisis alert level 2, or the restriction phase, over Venezuela. “Alert level 2 is issued when there are real threats to the life, security, and property of Filipinos arising from internal disturbance or external threat. Filipinos in the area are advised to limit non-essential movements, to avoid public places, and to prepare for possible evacuation,” the DFA said in a statement. It added that under alert level 2, the Department of Labor and Deployment will only allow Filipino workers “with existing contracts” to return to Venezuela. The DFA said around 104 Filipinos live there.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Bitcoin maker Satoshi Nakamoto found: Newsweek

    After years of speculation, the true identity of “Satoshi Nakamoto,” the mysterious person or group behind the Bitcoin revolution, appeared to have been revealed by Newsweek on Thursday (Friday, March 7 in Manila). It turns out it is a Japanese-American model train enthusiast whose name is, indeed, Satoshi Nakamoto. A reporter tracked down the 64-year-old, a physicist, living under the name Dorian S. Nakamoto in a modest two-story house in suburban Los Angeles. Newsweek said the man initially tacitly acknowledged his role in creating Bitcoin. “I am no longer involved in that, and I cannot discuss it,” he said. “It’s been turned over to other people.” Later Thursday, Nakamoto told reporters camped outside his house: “I’m not involved in Bitcoin.” The Bitcoin Foundation, which supports the development of the currency, would not confirm Newsweek’s story.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Pistorius tears up as witness recalls shooting

    Marco Longari/Pool/EPA

    A weeping Oscar Pistorius shielded his ears as a witness in his murder trial on Thursday, March 6, gave harrowing evidence about desperate attempts to save Reeva Steenkamp’s life after she was shot. Rocking back and forth in the dock, Pistorius put his hands over his ears as neighbor and radiologist Johan Stipp recounted how he entered his house to find the distraught Paralympian bent over, attempting to resuscitate his girlfriend. During the testimony, sobbing could be heard around the courtroom as Steenkamp’s family and friends sat disconsolately arm-in-arm. When court adjourned, the athlete looked visibly shaken. As his lawyers packed up their bags, his sister Aimee, wearing an outfit of all black, went to sit with him in the dock, her arm around his shoulders.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Privacy activists call for review of Facebook-WhatsApp tie-up

    Screen shot from Whatsapp video

    Two privacy activist groups asked US regulators to put on hold the Facebook acquisition of messaging service WhatsApp to ensure against misuse of user data. An administrative complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission called on the agency to investigate the deal and protection against “unfair and deceptive data collection practices” which could be implemented by WhatsApp after the takeover. Facebook announced its cash-and-stock deal worth up to $19 billion for WhatsApp in February. WhatsApp allows free communications over mobile devices. The complaint filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center and Center for Digital Democracy said the deal may undermine the privacy of users by allowing Facebook access to user information, which could be used for advertising purposes.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Bb Pilipinas 2014 fashion show: casual wear and national costumes

    Photo by Mark Cristino/Rappler

    Following the swimsuit press presentation last February 19 and the annual Talent Show on February 14, the Bb Pilipinas top 40 candidates walked the runway at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Thursday, March 6, for the annual fashion show. The ladies showed of casual wear by JAG as well as national costumes, with the event leading up to the coronation night on March 30.

    Read the live blog on Rappler.

    See photos of the casual wear fashion show on Rappler.

    See photos of the national costume competition on Rappler.

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