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May 14, 2014 Edition

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  1. Napoles list muddles issues – Luy

    File photo by Rappler

    Whistleblower Benhur Luy believes the multiple lists allegedly made by Janet Lim Napoles only serves to muddle the issues. In a statement issued on Tuesday, May 13, Luy added the list submitted by Napoles to the DOJ has “no apparent legal purpose” at the moment and should have been released by Napoles herself. The list reportedly contains the names of several lawmakers who received commissions from their pork barrel allocations to bogus Napoles NGOs. Former senator Panfilo Lacson, who was given a list by Napoles’ husband, submitted it to the Senate blue ribbon committee on Tuesday. The Lacson version lists 12 current and former senators including Loren Legarda, Koko Pimentel, Manny Villar, and Chiz Escudero. The list also includes the names of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala. Napoles’ lawyer said the list given to Lacson is ‘incomplete.’

    Read the full story on Rappler here and here.

  2. One year later, Senate freshmen still have more to show

    Sonny Angara, Bam Aquino, Nancy Binay, JV Ejercito, Grace Poe and Cynthia Villar got their mandate to occupy one of the highest positions in the land exactly one year ago on Tuesday, May 13. These new senators made many campaign promises and rode on their political family’s backs to get elected. Rappler takes a look at the legislative and attendance record of the neophyte senators, as well as their positions on key issues in this special report.

    Read the special report on Rappler here.

  3. Senate: PH-US defense deal benefits not clear to PH

    Senators reviewing the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the US and PH militaries expressed concern that the deal appears to be one-sided in favor of the US. Senators questioned officials of the Department of National Defense at a senate hearing on Tuesday, May 13. At the hearing, senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr said EDCA will allow the US military to build installations anywhere in the Philippines. Marcos, together with fellow  The EDCA expands existing cooperation activities between the Philippines and US to include two new activities. The US military can build military facilities and preposition defense assets in “agreed locations” that are yet to be determined by the two countries. Defense Undersecretary Pio Lorenzo Batino, chair of the Philippine panel in the negotiations, said the agreed locations would be limited to areas that the AFP had determined to be “strategic” for the mutual interests of the US and the Philippines. Other senators expressed their concern that the US could cause environmental damage by building in environmentally sensitive areas or by bringing in nuclear weapons and waste into Philippine waters.

    Read the full story on Rappler here.

  4. 157 dead in Turkey mine blast


    At least 157 miners have been killed and more than 200 remain trapped underground after an explosion and fire in a coal mine in the western Turkish province of Manisa on Tuesday, May 13, officials said. Rescue workers are trying desperately to reach the scores of trapped miners and have managed to evacuate around 50. An explosion at the mine was believed to have been triggered by a faulty electrical transformer at around 1230 GMT (8:30 pm Philippine time, May 13). Fire officials pumped clean air into the mine shaft for the survivors, many of whom are stuck in an area 4 kilometers from the entrance.

    Read the full story on Rappler here.

  5. Netizens express outrage at nurse who gagged Cebu baby

    Photo from Ryan Noval

    A Cebu hospital has launched an investigation after photographs of a newborn baby gagged with adhesive tape went viral online, with the father claiming a nurse told him: “Your baby was too noisy.” Pictures of the baby boy, his eyes shut and his mouth covered with clear tape as he lay on a sheet, sparked a furore as they spread on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites. “Meet my son Yohannes Noval,” the father wrote on Facebook on May 9. “(He) cannot speak about his horrific experience…so we have to speak out for him.” The Cebu Puericulture Center and Maternity House, where the alleged incident occurred, is now investigating the matter.

    Read the full story on Rappler here.

  6. EU court back ‘right to be forgotten’ in Google case

    Photo by AFP

    Search engine giant Google may soon find itself having to comb its entire archive of the internet to delete links upon users’ requests. A top EU court has ruled that Google must remove links to “irrelevant” and outdated data upon request. The so-called ‘right to be forgotten’ case was sparked by a Spanish man who complained that an auction notice of his repossessed home on Google’s search engine infringed on his privacy. Google said the ruling was “disappointing.” It added that it does not control data but only links to information freely available on the internet. The EU Justice Commissioner, Viviane Reding, welcomed the court’s decision saying it was a “clear victory for the protection of personal data of Europeans.”

    Read the full story on the BBC here.

  7. Clippers owner Sterling apologizes, then chastises Magic Johnson

    Photos from EPA/screenshots

    Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s televised apology aimed at cooling a racism row only fueled the fire Monday when he took a vicious swipe at NBA icon Magic Johnson. Sterling, already banned for life in the NBA, apologized for his bigoted comments against African-Americans. But in his interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, which aired on May 13 in the US, Sterling also criticized Johnson for being a poor role model because he contracted HIV. He also suggested Johnson hasn’t used his wealth to help the African-American community. NBA commissioner Adam Silver expressed disappointment at Sterling’s remarks and said the “NBA Board of Governors is continuing with its process to remove Mr. Sterling as expeditiously as possible.”

    Read the full story on Rappler here.

  8. ‘Flood fighter’ game gives kids survival tips

    Image of Sai Fah: The Flood Fighter from Google Play.

    A new mobile app, “Flood Fighter” aims to teach kids across Asia the perils posed by Mother nature. The game’s protagonist, Sai Fah, is a virtual hero who has to dodge live electric wires, flood waters and even crocodiles. Developed in Thailand, the app is a brainchild of the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Just a few weeks after its launch in January, the game topped the charts for educational apps in Thailand, with more than 22,000 downloads. More than 800 people, including dozens of children, were among the victims of devastating floods that hit Thailand in 2011, affecting 65 of 77 provinces. After its success in Thailand, a recently launched English-language version of the game aims to spread the message in other Asian countries affected by floods, such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines. At least 4,000 downloads were recorded in the initial weeks.

    Read the full story on Rappler here.

  9. UP, UST score higher in Asian university rankings

    The University of the Philippines (UP) and the University of Santo Tomas (UST) improved rankings in the 2014 QS University Rankings for Asia released Tuesday, May 13. The top place went to the National University of Singapore, which ranked second in the previous year’s ranking. In the Philippines, UP went up from 67 to 63, and UST from 150 to 141. Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) fell from 109 to 115, while the De La Salle University (DLSU) remains in the 151-160 ranking. In a statement made on Tuesday, UP President Alfredo Pascual credited the improvement to the university’s program that aims to increase incentives for research and upgrade facilities, among others.

    Read the full story on Rappler here.

  10. Google Glass goes on sale in the US

    AFP Photo

    Google Glass, the much praised and panned wearable computer, is now on sale across the United States, its makers say. TechRadar reports that a Google spokesperson has confirmed the sale, available only on the Glass retail site, ahead of a much wider consumer launch. Buyers beware, supplies are limited and the hi-tech glasses does not come cheap. It will set you back about $1,500.

    Read the full story on TechRadar here.

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