August 27, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Binay: ‘I swear by God’ I’m not corrupt

    File photo from Binay's Facebook page

    Vice President Jejomar Binay debunked allegations by a longtime aide that he earned from projects in Makati, particularly the controversial Makati “parking building” that’s the subject of a Senate probe. “I swear by God and the people that I have not received nor asked money for this project or any other project in Makati,” Binay said in a statement August 26 hours after former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado. The vice president, considered the frontrunner in the 2016 presidential race, refused to commit to attend the Senate inquiry, saying he prefers to explain his side directly to the people. His camp questioned Mercado’s credibility, citing his reputation as a gambler and womanizer, as well as his own confession that he did earn from government contracts in Makati.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read the full story on Senator Binay’s allegations against Mercado on Rappler.

  2. Aquino names new solicitor general

    Image by Rappler

    A Bar topnotcher and current government solicitor has been appointed Acting Solicitor General to replace Francis Jardeleza, who is now a new associate justice of the Supreme Court. President Benigno Aquino III named Florin Hilbay to the post, promoting him from his current job as Senior State Solicitor. As Senior State Solicitor, Hilbay defended the Reproductive Health law during oral arguments before the Supreme Court. Hilbay is a former Fullbright Visiting Scholar at Boston College and obtained his Master of Laws degree from the Yale Law School.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Bernas warns Aquino vs term extension

    Photo by Anthony Coloma, SJ

    Take a rest. Jesuit constitutionalist Father Joaquin Bernas gave this piece of advice to President Benigno Aquino III as he discouraged him from pursuing initiatives to amend a constitutional provision on term limits. One of the drafters of the 1987 Constitution, Bernas said the constitutionalists, when drafting the provision, limited the presidency to 6 years “to prevent a person from perpetuating himself in power.” If the president now moves to change term limits, “that may be his undoing,” Bernas added. Some of Aquino’s allies said they want to pursue charter change to allow him to stay longer in office. His term ends in 2016.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Long-term truce this time?

    Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas announced that a deal had been reached with Israel over a long-term end to 7 weeks of fighting in Gaza. The truce in Gaza took effect early hours of August 27. The agreement seeks to put a “durable” end to 7 weeks of bloodshed in and around the Gaza Strip. The Islamist Hamas movement, de facto ruler of Gaza and party to the Abbas-led efforts to agree a truce, also said a deal had been struck with Israel. The conflict in Gaza has cost the lives of many civilians, mostly children.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Egypt, UAE bomb Libya


    The US government said that the United Arab Emirates and Egypt have carried out bombing raids against Islamist forces in Libya. State Department officials would not say whether Washington was notified in advance, but they reiterated Washington’s stand that “outside interference” threatens  diplomatic efforts to defuse the conflict. In an earlier joint statement, the United States, Germany, Italy, France and Britain called for a democratic transition in Libya and denounced meddling by outsiders, without mentioning the air strikes specifically. The New York Times first reported the bombing raids near Tripoli and US officials privately acknowledged them.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Imports decline; blame port congestion

    The Philippines’ imports fell for the second straight month in June due in part to the congestion at Manila ports, the government said. At least 3 out of top 10 commodities imported in June posted declines. “The decline in the country’s imports of capital goods is a concern that needs to be addressed,” said NEDA Director-General Arsenio Balisacan. He said that the port congestion in Manila may be a contributing problem, and that the sooner the problem is addressed the better for business.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. WHO: Ban sale of e-cigarettes to minors

    Governments should ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors because they pose a “serious threat” to fetuses and young people, the World Health Organization (WHO) said. WHO also recommended that the cigarette-shaped electrical devices be banned from public indoor spaces “until exhaled vapor is proven to be not harmful to bystanders.” Manufacturers maintain e-cigarettes are safe and claim they can help smokers quit traditional cigarettes. But the UN health body stressed the lack of research backing up these claims, pointing to evidence that shows e-cigarette aerosol is not “merely vapor.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. How about #RiceBucketChallenge?

    Water-starved South Asian nations have devised their own answer to the Ice Bucket Challenge taking the social media world by storm, instead filling buckets with rice and other supplies for the needy. In India, an advocate launched a campaign to donate a bucket or bowl of rice to someone in need. In Nepal, a #FillTheBucket challenge has launched asking people to load up plastic buckets with food and medical supplies to help families displaced by deadly flooding and landslides this month in the Himalayan nation. At least 250 people have died and over 14,000 families have been displaced in Nepal after torrential monsoon rains triggered landslides and flooding.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Your guide to the FIBA World Cup

    Starting August 30, a total of 24 teams will compete for one of the grandest awards in international basketball: the much-coveted FIBA World Cup trophy. Spain, as host of the competition, automatically received a spot in the World Cup. The United States booked their ticket to the competition way back in 2012, when they prevailed in the basketball tournament of the London Olympics. These two are the favored teams as well. The continent with the most participants is Europe, which is sending 7 countries. In the Philippines’ case, there’s still the question of which naturalized player Coach Chot Reyes will elect to suit up for the World Cup – Andray Blatche or Marcus Douthit. While Blatche is clearly the superior talent, Douthit has been with the Gilas program for years, and his on-court chemistry with the rest of the team will hold heavy when it’s time to make a decision.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Geena Rocero breaks free

    For the past decade, Geena Rocero was already living her dream life. She had made it in New York City, working as a successful fashion model. But she bore a secret that racked her with fear. And it was only when she turned 30 that she found the courage to make the admission that would validate her own and many other lives. Whether you are a single mother seeking to be loved instead of viewed as someone with collateral goods, or a gay teenager still in the closet, or a woman who wants to be respected for who you are and not what you look like, everyone who wants to break free of societal expectations or perceived norms may find resonance in Geena.

    Read more about her on Rappler Profiles.

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