May 13, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Tacloban mayor: ‘Red tape’ behind Yolanda rehabilitation delay

    Screengrab from Rappler video

    Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez blamed red tape and incompetence for the slow rehabilitation efforts in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). In an interview on Monday, May 12, Romualdez said Cabinet members should be accountable for the delay. The mayor of one of the hardest-hit areas also stressed the need for the budget department to promptly release funds for rehabilitation efforts. But he said the incompetence of line agencies also played a factor. Romualdez raised this issue 6 months after Yolanda, on November 8, 2013, killed more than 6,000 people and affected 16 million, mostly in his province of Leyte.

    Watch the full interview on Rappler.

    Read more of the story on Rappler.

  2. PH gets 135% of cash pledges post-Haiyan

    File photo by Francis Malasig/EPA

    Government records showed the Philippines received at least 135% of the money that the world promised after Typhoon Haiyan. This translates to at least P14.997 billion ($336.115 million) in cash, after the international community pledged at least P11.07 billion ($248.099 million). It’s a far cry from previous months, when the government reported receiving only around 20% of cash pledges. Despite the huge amount that the Philippines got, Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez questioned the “conditions” set by the national government for Yolanda survivors to receive these donations. He said, “That was given by people outside of the Philippines who, you know, wanted us to receive that money with no conditions. Why now are they putting conditions? They are not giving us the money.” He said the national government should “have a dialogue with the people and tell them where the money went.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Aircraft tracking changes mulled after MH370

    Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP

    Aviation officials are considering new measures to track aircraft, in the wake of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Since it vanished on March 8, no trace of the missing plane has been found despite a massive international search. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is holding a special meeting to discuss how to prevent a repeat of the tragedy. Among the measures being considered are tracking aircraft by satellite and cloud storage of black box data. The ICAO meeting is expected to lead to a working group that should present its recommendations within 5 months.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. India elections ends, exit polls favor Modi

    Photo by Piyal Adhikary/EPA

    The final phase of the world’s biggest elections in India ends, with a record 551 million people casting their votes over 5 weeks. Exit polls are predicting a new right-wing government under hardliner Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The survey results backed forecasts that the BJP and its allies should be able to reach a majority in parliament after trouncing the ruling Congress party. Official results are due on Friday. Modi, a four-time chief minister of the western state of Gujarat, has campaigned on a pledge of clean government and development to revive the flagging economy. But he remains a polarizing figure over allegations that he failed to curb deadly 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat which left at least 1,000 people dead.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. New Thai PM open to talks with protesters

    Photo by Narong Sangnak/EPA

    Thailand’s new prime minister on Monday offered talks with protesters trying to topple the government, as his political rivals pushed for the appointment of an unelected leader to take power. Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan took the helm last week after a court ruling removed Yingluck Shinawatra and nine of her ministers from office. Opposition protesters want the Senate to remove the weakened cabinet, but government supporters say they will not tolerate any move to hand power to an unelected regime. The country has not had a functioning lower house since Yingluck dissolved parliament in December for elections that were later voided because of disruption by protesters.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. US flying ‘manned’ missions in search of Nigerian girls

    The United States on Monday, May 12, began flying “manned” missions over Nigeria to track down more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by Islamist militant group Boko Haram. Experts are studying a new video that purportedly showed about 130 of the girls in Muslim dress praying in an undisclosed rural location. Group leader Abubakar Shekau claimed the teenagers converted to Islam and would not be released until its militant prisoners are freed. Nigeria rejected the demand. The government has been criticized for its lack of immediate response following the kidnapping of 276 girls last month from the northeastern town of Chibok, in Borno state. Some 223 are still missing. Boko Haram has been waging a deadly insurgency since 2009, attacking schools teaching a “Western” curriculum, churches and government targets.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Iran, UN atomic watchdog tight-lipped about talks

    AFP File Photo

    Iran and atomic watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) were tight-lipped on Monday after talks aimed at clearing up long-standing allegations of Tehran’s past efforts to develop nuclear weapons. The UN watchdog said only that “progress was reviewed on the implementation of practical measures (to be taken by Iran) … agreed 3 months ago.” The IAEA has long been seeking answers from Iran over what it calls “overall, credible” evidence that before 2003, and possibly since, Tehran has conducted research into making nuclear weapons. Iran denies this. The Islamic republic and six world power aim to turn into a lasting accord a temporary deal from November under which Iran scaled back nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. US reports second case of MERS virus

    Health authorities reported a second case of the dangerous Middle East respiratory virus (MERS) has been found in the United States. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Florida Department of Health are investigating the “imported” case. The US announced its first case last week, a healthcare worker who traveled to Riyadh at the end of April. The MERS virus first emerged in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Based on the World Health Organization’s latest count, the virus has killed 145 people out of 536 lab-confirmed infections. Majority of the cases have been in Saudi Arabia, but MERS has also been found in 16 other countries.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Alcohol kills one person every 10 seconds worldwide: WHO

    The World Health Organization (WHO) said alcohol kills 3.3 million people worldwide each year, more than AIDS, tuberculosis and violence combined. The UN health agency said this translates to one death every 10 seconds. WHO said drinking is linked to a number of diseases and disorders. Drunk driving and alcohol-induced violence and abuse are also responsible for a number of deaths. Warning about the rise in alcohol consumption, the WHO said more people in countries where alcohol consumption has traditionally been low, like China and India, are also increasingly taking up the habit as their wealth increases. Still, Eastern Europe and Russia are home to the world’s biggest drinkers.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Antarctic ice melt is ‘unstoppable’

    Photo by NASA/GSFC/SVS

    New research from scientists at the University of California and space agency NASA warned a group of six glaciers on the ice sheet draining into the Amundsen Sea are collapsing, making the ice on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet unstable. TIME reports the slab of ice that makes up 10% of Antarctica’s land ice volume could raise sea levels by 15 feet if it melts. TIME quoted glaciologist Eric Rignot saying the glaciers “have passed the point of no return.” He added, “The retreat of this ice seems to be unstoppable.”

    Read more on TIME.

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