SEA Games

July 30, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Pope to visit the Philippines in January

    Photo by Tiziana Fabi/AFP

    It’s confirmed. Pope Francis will visit the Philippines in early 2015. At a media briefing on Tuesday, July 29, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said the Pope will come from January 15 to 19 to meet earthquake and typhoon survivors in the Visayas. No other details were released to the media. Archbishop Tagle said the visit will give Filipinos the opportunity to show the Pope “who we truly are.” He added that the Pope has long wanted to “journey with people where they are.” The last time a pope visited the Philippines was from January 12 to 16, 1995, when the late John Paul II opened World Youth Day.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Mood Meter: Aquino’s SONA makes people angrier

    President Benigno Aquino’s 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) left more people feeling angry than in the past, according to Rappler’s Mood Meter which crowdsourced people’s emotions during the speech. While most people felt “Happy” as the President talked about his administration’s achievements, Rappler’s Mood Meter showed that people were less “Happy” in 2014 as compared to 2013. “Happy” got only 52.8% of votes this year, down from 65% in 2013. What made most of the public “Happy”? They were the President’s statements on his late father, Senator Ninoy Aquino, the recent credit ratings upgrades of the country, and the praise of Albay Governor Joey Salceda for his disaster management program, among others.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Will ‘emergency powers’ solve a looming energy crisis?

    The country is facing a power crisis. Demand for electricity in the hot summer months of 2015 is expected to exceed supply. Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said blackouts, which could last weeks, will hit Luzon unless the government takes crucial steps to mitigate the problem. One such proposal is for President Benigno Aquino III to declare a ‘power emergency’, as provided under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001. This will give the President the authority to fast track new power contracts to meet the short-term demand. Critics say, however, that granting emergency power to the President has been tried and tested under president Ramos’ term and it led to high energy rates. Caught between a rock and a hard place, the government is scrambling for solutions to the looming crisis.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Earth’s 6th mass extinction could happen soon

    Our planet is in the throes of another mass extinction, and humans are primarily to blame. A review of studies and analysis of data showed that Earth is experiencing an alarming decline in animal species and populations, and this could be the “early days” of a sixth mass biological extinction event. The review – published Thursday, July 24, in the journal Science – said that in the past 500 years animal population reductions and extinctions “may be comparable in both rate and magnitude with the five previous mass extinctions of Earth’s history.” Human activity, the scientists observed, could have caused this decline. Although some measures could be taken to mitigate the decline, the solutions – which involve addressing climate change and pollution – are more complex.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Ebola doctor in Sierra Leone dies of virus

    A doctor in charge of an Ebola treatment center in Sierra Leone has become another victim of the deadly virus. Dr Umar Khan died on Tuesday, July 29, according to the head of Sierra Leone’s health services. Khan was diagnosed last week with Ebola and was admitted into an isolation facility run by Doctors Without Borders. Health Minister Miatta Kargbo called Khan a “national hero” and praised his “tremendous sacrifice” for trying to save the lives of others. Several other health workers treating Ebola patients have contracted the deadly virus in affected areas. Out of 489 recorded cases in Sierra Leone, 159 people have died. Ebola is a form of hemorrhagic fever which kills up to 90% of all cases.

    Read the full story on Rappler and the Huffington Post.

  6. Gaza death toll passes 1,200, humanitarian crisis looms

    More than 1,200 people in the Palestinian enclave of Gaza have died after more than 20 days of fighting. Despite a failed truce last week, the Palestine Liberation Organization expressed readiness for another truce over fears of a humanitarian crisis forming. On Tuesday, July 29, the only power plant supplying electricity to the isolated town was hit by Israeli shelling, according to the Palestinian energy officials. There are fears by the international community that the lack of electricity could bring about a humanitarian crisis as water pumps in the city have stopped working. There are also reported queues forming for basic supplies such as bread. The Israeli government has warned the public that fighting could be prolonged. Both Palestine and Israel refuse to compromise on their respective demands for a ceasefire.

    Read the full story on Rappler here and here.

  7. Top Chinese official ordered investigated for corruption

    China’s former head of internal security has been placed under investigation over corruption allegations, signaling that corruption is present at the highest levels of government. On Tuesday, July 29, the Communist Party announced an investigation of Zhou Yongkang, the former chief of domestic security. The New York Times reports that Zhou, who retired from the government in 2012, accumulated vast power while in office while his family became enormously wealthy. He is the first member of the party’s inner core to face an investigation. Analysts say this could either be a sign of President Xi Jinping’s seriousness to crackdown on corruption in government or a political move to consolidate power.

    Read the full story on Rappler and the NYTimes.

  8. Filipinos celebrate Eid al-Fitr

    File photo/Rappler

    The end of the period of Ramadan marks a special time in the lives of millions of Muslims worldwide. Ramadan is a time for all Muslims to cleanse and renew their ties to each other and to God. In the United Arab Emirates, at least 15,000 Filipino Muslims celebrated Eid al-Fitr. Muslim Filipino expats like Ismael Nicart and his wife Fatima, who came from a country that is predominantly Roman Catholic, find it easier to observe Ramadan in the UAE, an Islamic country. In the age of social media, Muslims also expressed their happiness with photos of sweet food for breaking the fast and pictures of families together.

    Read the full story on Rappler here and here.

  9. Miami Heat welcomes Gilas Pilipinas in Florida

    Still smarting from the publicity blunder that was the “Last Home Stand”, the Gilas Pilipinas basketball team received a warm welcome in Miami, Florida by no less that the city’s NBA squad. The four-time defending NBA Eastern Conference Champions welcomed the Philippine team through their official Twitter account. The Heat’s Head Coach, Erik Spoelstra, is a Filipino-American. Gilas is in Miami to prepare for the upcoming 2014 FIBA World Cup in Madrid, Spain.

    Read the full story and see the photos on Rappler.

  10. Summer in Paris for tourists and rats

    Tourists flocked to Paris over the summer to see famous landmarks and museums such as the Louvre. But many were shocked to find they weren’t the only ones enjoying the sights. Rats have surfaced from the canals and sewers of the city to take advantage of the food scraps thrown away by the vacationing tourists. For many visitors, the sight of a rat photobombing their shot of the Eiffel Tower is not their ideal vacation. “Now that we’ve seen one, it disgusts us,” declared 19-year-old student Alexandre. Ken, 22, is more sanguine, “As long as they don’t come up to me, it doesn’t bother me.” An official of a pest control firm estimates there at least two rats for every Parisian. Maybe a trip to Southeast Asia next summer seems better?

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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