June 2, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Over 20M public school students head back to school

    File photo by Franz Lopez/Rappler

    At least 20.9 million public school elementary and high school students nationwide went back to school on Monday, June 2, even as rehabilitation and repair work in Yolanda-hit areas continue. The Department of Education estimated rehabilitation costs to be worth P2.9 billion, while repair costs were pegged at P5.3 billion. Repairs were needed for over 17,700 schools while over 2,300 needed new classrooms. In Metro Manila, 20 schools are congested with 86% of public schools in the metropolis holding double shift classes for this school year.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Donaire Jr wins featherweight title

    Photo by Chris Farina/Top Rank

    Nonito Donaire Jr won a 5th round unanimous technical decision to dethrone World Boxing Association undisputed featherweight world champion Simpiwe Vetyeka on Saturday, May 31. All 3 judges scored it 49-46 in favor of Donaire who suffered a cut over his left eye from a head butt in the first round. The win is Donaire’s 5th world title in as many weight classes, gaining for him entry into an exclusive club that includes Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Thomas Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard. A rematch between Donaire and Vetyeka is expected in November.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Filipino researchers explore Benham Rise

    For the first time, Filipino researchers reached the shallowest portion of Benham Rise, the newest part of the country off the coast of Aurora. Reminiscent of the expedition of Ferdinand Magellan, the Portuguese explorer who discovered the Philippines in 1521, the exploration was led by Dr Cesar Villanoy of the Department of Science and Technology’s Benham Rise Program. Larger than Luzon, the 13-hectare resource is believed to contain steel-producing minerals and natural gas. The main plateau from which Benham bank protrudes is 3,000 meters deep.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Details of US operation to free captive soldier disclosed

    US President Barack announces the release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. File photo by EPA

    The commander of the US Special Operations team that recovered Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was in direct communication with his Taliban counterpart, The Washington Post reported Sunday, June 1. Both arranged to meet near Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan, with 18 Taliban delivering Bergdahl, the only American soldier known to be held hostage. In exchange, the US freed 5 Afghan detainees held in Guantanamo Bay; they will be kept in Qatar for at least a year. Captured in 2009, Bergdahl was held in Pakistan for close to 5 years. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said President Obama’s exercise of his executive power in approving the prisoner swap was constitutional.

    Read the full story on The Washington Post.

    The story on Obama’s announcement of the release is also on Rappler.

    A story on the Taliban’s reaction to the swap is on the BBC.

  5. Wealth of Estradas stabilizes in 2013

    The latest Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth of former president and current Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada no longer lists his long-time home in North Greenhills but he says the property still “belongs to the family.” In its place is his new Sampaloc house in Manila which cost P91 million. After surges in financial net worth through the years, the wealth of Estrada and his son Jinggoy, presently a senator, appears to have plateaued. The mayor’s net worth stands at over P242 million, while that of Jinggoy is at P195 million. His half-brother JV’s declared wealth was P74 million in 2013, while that of his mother Guia, mayor or San Juan City, was recorded as P39 million.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Large amounts of images collected on the Web by NSA

    Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP

    Top secret documents obtained from former US intelligence analyst Edward Snowden show that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been using new software to scoop images of people for use in facial recognition programs. The images are taken from intercepted emails, text messages, social media posts, video conferences and other communications. The report said NSA officials believe that advances in technology could revolutionize the way the agency finds its intelligence targets.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    More details are on the New York Times.

  7. ‘Tacloban Declaration’ to be launched in int’l forum

    Photo by Jake Verzosa

    The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) will launch a new international DRRM framework during a gathering in Manila from June 4-6. The “Tacloban Declaration” will detail new policies and principles involving disaster preparation. Among others, participants will discuss how to incorporate new technology and innovations into risk reduction policies. It will also explore ways to improve international response to disasters. The international forum was initiated by President Benigno Aquino III and announced in the 2012 ASEM Summit.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Azkals lose to Palestine 1-0

    Photo from AFC Challenge Cup Twitter

    The Azkals lost to Palestine 1-0 in the AFC Challenge Cup finals early Sunday night, June 1, Manila time. They failed to repeat their 2012 victory where they defeated Palestine 4-3. Phil Younghusband had his best chance at the goal in the 40th minute but failed to score. It was Ashraf Nu’man Alfawaghra’s free kick in the 57th minute, from a distance of about 32 yards, that spelled loss for the Azkals. The win gave Palestine its first ticket to the Asian Cup in January 2015 to be held in Australia.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Review the liveblog of the game on Rappler.

  9. Standing on the job gets approval in US

    A sedentary working life has deadly consequences – backaches, muscular degeneration, heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, and even premature death. “We sit most of the day, so we are work potatoes – and then we go home and we are couch potatoes. That combination can be deadly,” said Rob Danoff, a doctor with the American Osteopathic Association. The Association estimates that 70% of American office workers spend more than 5 hours a day seated at their desks. According to Danoff, the longer people are sitting, the more difficult it is for their blood to circulate. Standing work stations and isometric balls are preferred alternatives.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Gangnam Style breaks 2-billion YouTube record

    Photo by Kim Hee-Chul/ EPA

    Mega hit music video “Gangnam Style” hit over 2 billion views on Saturday, May 31 – a first at YouTube. Earlier in February, Justin Bieber’s “Baby” was the only other video in the exclusive billion-view club. South Korean pop phenomenon Psy said in a statement, “Two billion views; they are very honorable and very burdensome numbers.” The music video is seen by some as a satire on the self-importance and ostentatious wealth of the “Gangnam” shopping district in Seoul. It was first uploaded on YouTube in July 2012.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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