September 21, 2014 Edition

Michelle Fernandez

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

  1. Luis, Mario, and Habagat

    The week started with northern Luzon being battered by Typhoon Luis (Kalmaegi), leaving at least two people dead in separate drowning incidents. As if the region wasn’t soaked enough, days later Tropical Storm Mario (Fung-Wong), which was originally forecast to just graze the northeast tip of Luzon, instead went through the region, dumping rain over the disaster zone. And as Mario trudged through the northern half of the country, it enhanced the Southwest Monsoon (habagat), which, in turn, brought excessive rain to the rest of Luzon and the Visayas. The enhanced habagat first caused fooding and landslides in Central Visayas, then brought Metro Manila to a standstill. The horrors of this week’s habagat again reminded the capital’s residents of 2009’s Ondoy, but the weather bureau said it was considerably less menacing. Bonus:Makati City experienced a shower of ice pellets in the middle of the week. Talk about an eventful seven days.

    More on Luis, Mario, and the Habagat on our WeatherAlert site.

  2. Alert Level 3 raised, Albay residents rush to safety

    Mayon volcano file photo from Eleazar Cuela

    Mayon Volcano rumbled to life Monday, September 15, with increased geologic activity pointing towards a possible major eruption within days or weeks. The state seismologic agency raised the alert level for the volcano to 3, prompting mass evacuations in the danger zones surrounding the volcano. Some 50,000 Albay residents have been brought to evacuation centers within days. While danger lurks, the volcanic activity has become a tourist draw, particularly at nightprompting the government to issue guidelines.

    Read how Albayanos are feeling about the impending eruption.

  3. Scotland ‘No’ vote relieves UK & Europe, inspires separatists

    As people in Scotland and the UK come to terms with the “No” decision from Thursday’s (September 18) independence referendum, Britain’s neighbors in the EU heaved a sigh of relief, easing fears of a separatist domino effect on the continent and the risk of a British exit from the regional bloc. On the other end of the spectrum, other separatist movements around the world were inspired by the peaceful resolution of the independence question in Scotland, despite the loss of the “Yes” side. In particular, the Catalans of Spain – where nationalist, pro-independence sentiments run high – have been energized by the referendum up north, saying they will push through with a vote of their own, with or without Madrid’s blessing

    Follow Rappler’s continuing coverage of the Scotland referendum on our Europe section.

  4. World leaders to meet about planet’s future

    File photo by Gil Nartea/Malacañang Photo Bureau

    Will it make a dent on deadlocked negotiations? The United Nations is set to host what it calls the biggest gathering of world leaders on climate change at the UN Climate Summit 2014, which opensSeptember 23 at the UN headquarters in New York. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said he expects leaders from government, business and civil society to announce commitments in key areas like energy, cities, industry, transportation and forestry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet the benchmark to keep global temperature rise to two degrees Celsius. Naderev “Yeb” Saño, Philippine climate change commissioner, said the country’s experience of literally being in the eye of extreme weather events is a powerful message President Benigno Aquino III will deliver at the summit. 

  5. From Golan to Manila: Filipino UN peacekeepers back home

    Over 300 Filipino troops deployed to the Golan Heights arrived home Friday, September 19, a month ahead of schedule. Military spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala says this was – in his words – “a practical” decision on the part of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force or UNDOF. Escalating violence in the Golan Heights forced UNDOF to move all its peacekeepers from the Syrian side to the Israeli side. Last month, Filipino troops defied Singha’s orders for them to surrender their firearms after Syrian rebels stormed their encampments.

    Read more about the tradition of Filipino UN peacekeepers, on Rappler.

  6. Business, defense, and… a 2nd term?

    Local politics did not escape President Benigno Aquino III even as he takes a whirlwind four-nation tour of Europe. Aquino left September 13 for Spain, Belgium, France, and Germany, where he apprised potential investors of positive economic developments in his home country. While on the plane from Madrid to Brussels, the issue of a second term for his presidency cropped up – and he said that term number 2 might be open for abuse, but said, it would also have a “host of benefits.” He also said that if someone indeed wants another term, it could be possible – even if the Constitution prohibits it. Back home, Senate President Franklin Drilon says the Senate has no time to tackle any amendments to the constitution to allow the president to seek a second term. 

    Aside from politics, Aquino also discussed the tensions in the South China Sea, defense, the welfare of Filipino seafarers, and the peace process in Mindanao. He will then proceed to the United States for the UN Climate Summit and a series of other events.

    Read the President’s latest statements on a second presidential term here on Rappler.

  7. PH vice president on corruption: ‘Empty claims’ fit for a ‘circus’

    Jose Del/Rappler

    After 5 Senate hearings on alleged corruption in Makati City when he was mayor, Vice President Jejomar Binay made a televised addressed, where he answered the claims of his and his family’s critics and political rivals “point by point.” Basically denying that a city hall construction and other projects and supplies in his city were overpriced for his benefit, he said these allegations would not stand in court and were good only for the ‘circus-like’ Senate probe presided by politicians who have openly expressed their intention to seek higher office like he does in 2016.

    Read the full story on Rappler. See for yourself as well if Binay answered the allegations sufficiently by reading and listening to his full speech.

  8. PH+SocialGood: Technology, journalism, and everyone

    Manila and Tacloban hosted four days of think-sessions on technology, journalism, and the future during the PH+SocialGood Summit. International and Filipino experts, top officials and key players from diverse backgrounds and fields come together in the two cities to discuss a range of issues, from the future of journalism to post-disaster response. The activities are part of the global Social Good Summit, and annual event that brings movers and shakers to discuss how technology and social media can be maximized for social good. 

    Wasn’t able to attend any of the events? Watch it now, from start to finish: the Manila #2030Now summit, the Manila Journalism Forum, the Tacloban Journalism Forum, and the Tacloban #2030Now summit.

  9. China’s Xi, India’s Modi discuss economy, disputes

    India rolled out the red carpet for visiting Chinese president Xi Jinping on Wednesday, September 17 as both countries sought to reset their bilateral relationship. During his visit Xi pledged greater investment from China, already India’s biggest trading partner, with annual two-way commerce of more than $65 billion. They also discussed the bitter row over their shared border, and at the tail-end of the Chinese leader’s trip, China began pulling back its troops from the area.

  10. 17th Asian Games in full swing

    It was a ‘Gangnam-style’ party as South Korea welcomed Asia to the 17th edition of the Asian Games, the regional competition that draws the continent’s best athletes for 15 days of sporting and celebration. South Korean President Park Geun-Hye opened the Incheon Games at a glittering, K-pop-inspired event Friday, September 19, with the delegation from their bitter political rival North Korea getting an unexpectedly warm welcome. The 17th Asiad includes the full Olympic program plus Asian favorites like kabaddi and wushu, making for a packed schedule of 36 sports with 439 gold medals on offer. 

    Read more on Rappler.

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