August 19, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Irrigation officials face corruption charges

    At least 53 persons allegedly involved in multi-million-peso anomalous projects of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) face corruption charges before the Office of the Ombudsman. Led by former NIA Caraga regional manager Modesto Membreve, they are accused of violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and the Government Procurement Act. The questionable irrigation projects were worth P53.7 million ($1.2 million) and involved the construction in 2012 of canals and other irrigation work in remote villages of Agusan del Norte. To this day, the projects have not been completed. Cases for anomalies involving 4 more irrigation packages worth close to P120 million ($2.7 million) will also be filed soon.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Binay willing to ‘take a bullet’ for the Aquinos?

    Revealing close ties between Vice President Jejomar Binay and the Aquino family, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay said in an interview on ANC’s Headstart on Monday, August 18, that although his father “may not share the same thoughts with the President on certain matters, [he] will never leave the side of President Aquino.” With less than two years to go before the presidential elections in 2016, the younger Binay also cited events in the past that showed his father’s support for then president Cory Aquino. “He will take a bullet for the Aquino family,” the Makati mayor said. In the 2010 presidential elections, Cory Aquino was a major factor in the victory of her son Benigno Aquino III, who, like her, was hesitant to seek the presidency.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Full Jollibee menu back this week

    There will be a lot of joy among loyal customers of Jollibee Foods Corporation as the company announced all branches that had closed due to product distribution problems had reopened on Sunday, August 17. Its biggest selling products, including “Chicken Joy” are now available, even as the store’s full menu will be available within this week. For the first 17 days of August 2014, system-wide sales amounted to P800 million ($18.31  million), representing a growth of 7.7% compared to the same period in 2013.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Drilon: LP has no stand on extended term of Aquino

    File photo

    While the ruling Liberal Party’s (LP) president-on-leave and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas wants a second term for President Benigno Aquino III, the party itself has no official stand on charter change. This is according to Senate President Franklin Drilon, a key leader of the party and its campaign manager in the 2013 polls. Analysts have said the proposed extension of Aquino’s term may be aimed at undermining the presidential bid of Vice President Jejomar Binay, who has been leading the surveys. Roxas, who has not been faring as well, is expected to be the LP’s standard-bearer, but unlike Binay, he has yet to announce his intentions.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Liberia continues hunt for Ebola patients

    Liberia continued its desperate search for 17 Ebola patients who fled an attack on a quarantine center in the capital of Monrovia. The searches have so far failed to turn up any of the missing victims, even as neighboring Guinea reported a wave of sick Liberians crossing the border that had been officially closed 10 days ago. All of the 29 patients in the center tested “positive for Ebola” and were receiving preliminary treatment before being brought to a hospital. The club-wielding youths who raided the center are probable carriers of Ebola, Information Minister Lewis Brown said, because “they took mattresses and bedding soaked with fluids from the patients.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Francis: UN, not US, should stop aggression in Iraq

    Collective action through the United Nations should stop “unjust aggression” in Iraq, Pope Francis said on Monday, August 18, implicitly criticizing the unilateral US air strikes there. “One nation cannot decide” alone how to end the aggression the pontiff said, even as he emphasized it is “acceptable to stop an unjust aggressor.” Previously the Vatican’s ambassador to the United Nations, Silvano Tomasi, said, “Military action might be necessary” – seen as a rare exception to the papal policy of peaceful conflict resolution. The Pope also told reporters he wanted to go to China, “even tomorrow.” But he said the Catholic Church must be allowed to “do its job in China, there is no other condition.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    A related story on his interest to travel to China is also on Rappler.

  7. Ceasefire extended for 24 hours in Gaza

    After Israeli and Palestinian negotiators agreed to extend a 5-day truce, a new 24-hour ceasefire took effect in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, August 19, just minutes before a midnight deadline. The extended ceasefire will allow further talks on a long-term deal being hammered out with Egyptian mediators. Since the Israeli offensive on Gaza on July 8, more than 2,000 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have died.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    A related story is on the BBC.

  8. US National Guard troops deployed in Ferguson

    To help quell unrest in the Missouri town of Ferguson, where a white police officer shot dead an unarmed black teenager, US National Guard troops were deployed Monday, August 18. US President Barack Obama said there was no excuse for local police to use “excessive force” even as he urged Missouri to make limited use of the guards. “Part of the ongoing challenge of perfecting our union has involved dealing with communities that feel left behind,” Obama said. 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot dead by 28-year-old Darrel Wilson, a white police officer on Saturday, August 9. The incident sparked looting and violence.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    A related story is on The Washington Post.

  9. Infant formula’s hidden costs

    In 2013, the global sales of infant formula milk rose to almost $5 billion. In the Philippines, the World Health Organization (WHO) said at least P40 billion ($900 million) is spent on milk formulas every year. In a study, WHO also said that families in the poor sector tend to spend 70% more on infant formulas than other needs. Yet formula feeding as against breastfeeding can make infants more vulnerable to diseases. With exclusive breastfeeding, 75%-90% of infant deaths due to diarrhea could be prevented, health experts say.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Wrist injury forces Nadal out of US Open

    Rafael Nadal, the reigning champion will miss the US Open later this month because of a right wrist injury. On his official Facebook page, the Spanish tennis player said, “I am very sorry to announce I won’t be able to play at this year’s US Open, a tournament in which I’ve played 3 consecutive finals in my last participations.” In 2012, the 28-year-old two-time champion in New York, also missed the tournament because of a knee injury. Ranking number 2 worldwide, Nadal had also been forced to pull out of the Toronto and Cincinnati Masters due to the injury he suffered in training last month.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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