October 9, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. The Binays, royal garden and world-class piggery

    Rappler photo

    The former longtime aide of Vice President Jejomar Binay resumed his exposé on the family, accusing them of expensive taste and hobbies and hiding their wealth through dummy corporations. Former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado showed a Senate subcommittee photos of the 350-hectare farm in Rosario, Batangas, that the Vice President reportedly owns. The garden is supposedly patterned after London’s Kew Gardens, a special request of Mrs Elenita Binay. The property also has an air-conditioned piggery, a mansion with a resort-type pool, a showcase of Mrs Binay’s imported orchids, a horse ranch, a mansion with the Kew Gardens replica, a 40-car garage, man-made lagoons, an aviary, and a fighting cock farm. Binay said he no longer owns the farm. His son Mayor Junjun Binay also said he is preparing to ask the Supreme Court to stop the ongoing Senate probe, adding the investigation is merely meant to derail Binay’s presidential bid in 2016.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Ebola scare in Europe; 6 hospitalized in Spain

    Victor Lerena/EPA

    The World Health Organization warned that other isolated Ebola infections in Europe were “unavoidable” but stressed the risk of a full outbreak were “extremely low.” The warning comes after the case of a nurse who caught Ebola in a Madrid hospital and the hospitalization of 5 others more. Spain was still scrambling on to identify people who came into contact with the nuse, urging people to remain calm. One of the doctors treating the nurse said she may have caught the deadly virus after touching her face with an infected glove. The Ebola epidemic has killed nearly 3,500 people in west Africa this year.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Hong Kong protest leaders vow to stay on streets

    Mast Irham/EPA

    Even as numbers at demonstration sites around the city have dwindled to a few hundred, Hong Kong pro-democracy protest leaders pledged to stay on the streets, in a bid to keep pressure on the government ahead of already fraught talks on political reform. Formal talks are set for Friday, October 10, between students and Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, the deputy to Hong Kong’s embattled leader Leung Chun-ying. Pro-democracy leaders had agreed to a dialogue earlier with Lam but called it off last Friday after what they described as “organized attacks” on protesters at the Mong Kok demonstration site. Protest leaders acknowledged “many difficulties ahead” as far as the negotiations are concerned, with disagreements over arrangements, including the venue and whether there should be a mediator.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. UN experts to Malaysia: Repeal law against dissent

    Mohd Rasfan/AFP

    United Nations experts added their voice to the growing call from the international community for Malaysia to stop cracking down on critics using what activists call the draconian and outdated 1948 Sedition Act. They urged the government of Prime Minister Najib Razak to make good on its commitment to the UN Human Rights Council to stop criminalizing and prosecuting the right to free expression. The Sedition Act carries a prison sentence of up to 5 years for vague offenses like expressing “any seditious words,” acting with “seditious tendency” that incite hatred or disaffection of the government or the judiciary, and promoting hostility between different races or classes. In March, Malaysia promised the UN Human Rights Council that it will address international concerns about the law. Yet his ruling United Malays National Organization party is widely viewed as having stepped up its use of the law since a historic loss in the popular vote in the 2013 elections.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. ASEAN integration to create 3.1M jobs for Filipinos

    The upcoming integration of Association of Southeast Asian Nations members in 2015 stands to contribute 3.1 million more jobs in the Philippines, according to a joint study by the International Labor Organization and the Asian Development Bank. About 38% of the expected jobs could be in vulnerable employment, while women are seen to account for only 1.1 million of the estimated job gains, said the study. The report said the country needs to boost skills training and social protection now in order to make the most of the single common market, or else risk worsening poverty. By end of 2015, the ASEAN economic community, a common market and production base, will take shape in 10 ASEAN member states, including the Philippines. Fully adopting the AEC trade measures could expand the country’s gross domestic product by 7.5% by 2025, versus a baseline scenario without deeper integration, the study added.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Charge PNP chief’s friends, Ombudsman asked

    Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima’s friends who supposedly donated for the construction of his residence in the general police headquarters must be investigated too, a group said in a supplemental affidavit submitted to the Ombudsman. The group said the 3, who were identified by Purisima at a Senate hearing as the donors of the so-called White House at Camp Crame, should be charged for corrupting a public official. Purisima, a former security aide of President Benigno Aquino III, is accused before the Ombudsman of indirect bribery, graft, and plunder over the anomalous “White House” and allegedly misdeclared assets in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth. He has refused calls for his resignation.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. #ZeroCasualty is more than a statistic

    It’s 18 for Tropical Storm Mario (Fung-Wong), 106 for Typhoon Glenda (Rammasun), and 6,268 for Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). These are the last casualty counts by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) – government numbers that show the effect of the recent calamities on disaster-prone Philippines. But the goal of zero casualty should go beyond numbers, according to Albay Governor Joey Salceda and NDRRMC Executive Director Alexander Pama at the October 8 launch of the #ZeroCasualty campaign by Rappler in cooperation with the AusAid, the Australian Embassy in Manila, and various non-governmental institutions. “Zero casualty is not a statistic. It is a body of commitments that ensures nobody falls by the wayside due to poverty, exposure, or even stubbornness,” Salceda said. And if local government units want to achieve this, they will have to do more than just keeping watch of the numbers, Salceda said.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read the full story on Salceda’s challenge to other LGUs on Rappler.

  8. Samsung sees profit drop as mobile market gets saturated

    Samsung Electronics flagged a near 60% on-year plunge in its third quarter operating profit, as its key smartphone sector continued to struggle in the face of increased competition. Operating profit for the July-September period was estimated at $3.8 billion, down 59.6% from the third quarter last year. The company warned that uncertainty in the mobile sector would carry through into the fourth quarter, although it promised a new line-up of top-end smartphones featuring “new materials and innovative designs.” The mobile market, which has been the key driver of Samsung profits in recent years, has become increasingly saturated, while competition has intensified from cheaper Chinese handset makers such as Huawei and Lenovo.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Who gets the Nobel? Pope Francis, Snowden or Malala?

    The race for the Nobel peace prize, to be announced Friday, October 10, has rarely been as open or unpredictable, with Pope Francis and Edward Snowden tipped as possible winners. Snowden, the former intelligence analyst who revealed the extend of US global eavesdropping, is a hero to some and a traitor to others. And he would be a highly controversial choice for the $1.11-million award. The Pakistani girls’ education campaigner Malala Yousafzai – who was also a favorite last year – is also said to be in the running along with Pope Francis and a Japanese pacifist group. Predicting the winner is even harder than usual this year, as the Nobel committee has received a record 278 candidates, so experts only have the names of those made public by their sponsors to go on.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Vigan makes it as New 7 Wonders finalist

    Vigan, the Philippines’ own historical city up North, has been shortlisted as a finalist in the New 7 Wonders, a project that seeks to have people choose their 7 wonders of the world. Vigan joins 13 other finalists: Barcelona, Beirut, Chicago, Doha, Durban, Havana, Kuala Lumpur, La Paz, London, Mexico City, Perth, Quinto, and Reykjavik. “This is a memorable day for all involved in the 14 successful city campaigns,” said Bernard Wber, founder-president of New7Wonder. “The short-list is as inspiring as it is enlightening.” Voting for the New 7 Wonders until the final round will continue through the website new7wonders.com and via applications on iPhone and Android. Voting can also be coursed through international telephone voting lines and SMS.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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