June 3, 2014 Edition

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  1. Students suffer in cramped makeshift rooms in Haiyan areas

    As classes resume in public schools nationwide, thousands of students in the central Philippines begin the school year in tents and makeshift classrooms. Seven months after Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) devastated the region, more than 20,000 classrooms still need to be rebuilt or repaired. The government said it encountered delays due to higher building standards. In Tacloban City, one of the hardest-hit areas, children cram into temporary classrooms made from steel frames and corrugated iron sheets as the temperature outside hit 30 degrees Celsius. Hundreds of thousands of people continue to live in makeshift shelters.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Rebel linked to US soldiers’ death arrested in PH

    Philippine security forces arrested a Muslim rebel linked to a 2009 roadside bombing that killed two US soldiers. Mihaji Hamjuda, also known as Mahang is described as a “bomb expert”. The soldiers were on a military vehicle that rolled over the roadside bomb on the southern island of Jolo, which Mahang helped to manufacture. Police officials said Mahang belonged to the Moro National Liberation Front, a rebel group that is the forerunner of the smaller Abu Sayyaf. The Abu Sayyaf is a terrorist group notorious for kidnap for ransom activities targeting foreigners. Thousands of US soldiers served in the southern Philippines since 2001, helping Filipino forces to cut down the Abu Sayyaf’s strength from about 1,000 fighters to roughly 300 at present.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Spain’s king abdicates

    File photo by AFP

    Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced King Juan Carlos is abdicating after a 39 year-long reign because of poor health. In a televised address, Juan Carlos said his abdication will “ensure stability”  for Spain adding, “A new generation must be at the forefront.”  The king’s son, Crown Prince Felipe, will take over the throne. Juan Carlos was one of the world’s most popular monarchs, but a series of controversies in recent years made Spaniards lose confidence in the royal family, which included a corruption scandal involving a son-in-law and a secret safari trip as the nation reeled from an economic depression. The 76-year-old king ascended to the throne in 1975, taking over after the death of dictator Francisco Franco.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth unlikely to follow suit

    AFP file photos

    Following the surprise abdication of King Juan Carlos of Spain, is Britain’s Queen likely to follow suit? In a report on The Guardian, royal watchers said Elizabeth II is still on track to become Britain’s longest serving monarch by next year, overtaking the long reign of her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria. Observers said Queen Elizabeth — head of the Church of England and a deeply religious woman — won’t step down from a position she believes is given by God. On her 21st birthday she declared: “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and to the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.” In 2012, on her diamond jubilee, the Queen “rededicated” herself to the service of the country for the rest of her life.

    Read the full story on The Guardian.

  5. US proposes cuts in power carbon emissions

    File photo of power plants in China by How Hwee Young/EPA

    The United States proposed ordering cuts of up to 30% in carbon emissions from power plants.  Power plants account for some 40% of US emissions of carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. It is President Barack Obama’s most ambitious action yet on climate change. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy said, “This is not just about disappearing polar bears or melting ice caps. This is about protecting our health and our homes.” Cuts are politically sensitive as coal, among the dirtiest energy sources, remains a major US industry. Obama’s plan was denounced by lawmakers of the rival Republican Party, which is friendly with the energy industry.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Protest over kidnapped schoolgirls banned in Nigerian capital

    File photo by EPA

    Nigeria’s capital Abuja banned all protests planned in support of the more than 200 girls kidnapped in April. In a report on CNN, Commissioner Joseph Mbu said the protests pose a “serious security threat” to those living around, and driving through the city. He claimed information reaching authorities said “dangerous elements will join the groups under the guise of protest and detonate explosives” aimed at embarrassing the government. More than 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped in northern Nigeria in April by Boko Haram, in an act that drew international condemnation. Nigerians accused their government of not acting swiftly or efficiently enough to protect the girls seized in the dead of night.

    Read the full story on CNN.

  7. 12 year olds plotted and stabbed their friend

    Image from Shutterstock

    Wisconsin police said two 12-year-old girls inspired by Internet horror stories lured a girl of the same age into a wooded area near Milwaukee where one of them stabbed the girl 19 times. A report on CNN said the 12-year-old friend of the suspects had crawled to find rescue. A bicyclist found her along a road. The victim was in stable condition at a hospital Monday even though some of the girl’s major organs were struck. The suspects were arrested hours after the girl was found, and were being held on preliminary charges of attempted first-degree intentional homicide. No names were released. The girls attended the same middle school and had a sleepover at the home of one of the suspects.

    Read the full story on CNN.

    Woods image via Shutterstock

  8. Cervical cancer in 2 women wiped out with new therapy

    File Photo by Karel Prinsloo/EPA/ Gavi

    A new kind of therapy wiped out cervical cancer in two women, but scientists said there’s still a long way to go to refine the technique. Arrica Wallace tested disease-free after the adoptive T-cell therapy, which aims to boost the body’s immune response to human papillomavirus in the tumors. Immunotherapy has shown some early successes against skin cancer melanoma, but it has only worked on two women suffering from cervical cancer so far. Christian Hinrichs, Assistant Clinical Investigator at the National Cancer Institute said, “With only nine patients, we can’t even say with any reliability how well it works. All we know is that it can work.” Cervical cancer infects some 530,000 women each year and kills more than 270,000 around the globe.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. What’s lost as handwriting fades?

    Image from Shutterstock

    As education shifts to proficiency on the keyboard, studies showed that children not only learn to read more quickly when they first learn to write by hand, but they also remain better able to generate ideas and retain information. A report by The New York Times said it’s not just what we write that matters — but how. Collège de France psychologist Stanislas Dehaene said “When we write, a unique neural circuit is automatically activated.” That circuit in our brain makes learning easier.

    Read the full story on The New York Times.

    Writing vector
    via Shutterstock
    Typing vector via Shutterstock
    Head generating idea vector via Shutterstock

  10. Is Angelina Jolie retiring soon?

    File photo by EPA

    Maleficent star Angelina Jolie is dropping hints she will retire from acting after her next big project, a biopic of Cleopatra. Calling her the “Sopia Loren of our generation,” The Guardian reported the star may move on to concentrate on being a director and UN ambassador. Speaking about her role as the Queen of the Nile on BBC Radio, Jolie said “It’s one of those that you think maybe that’s the one you put everything into and that’s where you end it, that’s where you finish – in a great way. What could you do beyond that one?” Last month, at a press conference for Maleficent, Jolie also said she wanted to do other things. “I’m sure there will be more films but I am happy I am able to be selective and have fun with characters like this but I would like to focus on writing and directing and above all I would like to focus more on my work with the UN.” Jolie’s second film as a director, the biopic Unbroken, will be released in the US in December.

    Read the full story on The Guardian.

    Read related story here.

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