October 28, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. UN chief: Don’t stigmatize Ebola health workers

    File photo by Zoom Dosso/AFP
    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said those who develop Ebola infections “should be supported, not stigmatized.” This was in response to the mandatory 21-day quarantine policy imposed by several states of the US on people returning from West Africa and who had direct contact with Ebola patients. The restrictions imposed by New York, New Jersey and Illinois “put pressure on health care workers and those who have been on the frontline of the Ebola response,” Ban said. Reacting to criticism, US health authorities issued new guidelines on Monday, October 27, for health workers returning from Ebola-hit nations.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    A related story is on the BBC. The story on US revision of guidelines is also on Rappler.

  2. Bangsamoro bill faces legal questions

    Is the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law constitutional? Philippine Constitutional Association (Philconsa) president Manuel Lazaro thinks certain provisions of the peace agreement between government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front are not. Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago shares his view, saying the bill creates a substate instead of an autonomous region. Congress on Tuesday, October 28, hears legal experts on the constitutionality question, as well as issues related to power-sharing between the Bangsamoro government and the central government.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Poll: Lower trust in Senate, Office of the President

    The Office of the President and the Senate suffered the worst decline in trust ratings, while the Catholic Church remains to be the most trusted institution in the country. These are among the findings of a survey, the Philippine Trust Index, which the country’s top 100 corporations subscribe to. Done yearly, the survey results showed that the Church enjoyed a significant and steady increase in ratings – 75% of the general public and 66% of the informed public said they trust it “very much.” The results also showed trust for the academe and the media.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. US Marine: No basis for murder charge

    The lawyer of US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton told state prosecutors during a preliminary hearing on Monday, October 27, there was no basis to charge him with murder. If prosecutors elevate the case to court, lawyer Rowena Flores said the murder charge should be reduced to homicide, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years. Murder carries a penalty of life imprisonment. Pemberton was last seen with transgender woman Jennifer Laude on October 11 who died by drowning. She was seen lifeless in a toilet with strangle marks on her neck, police said.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Survey: More families think they are poor

    Results of a survey by the Social Weather Stations showed that more families consider themselves poor. In the 3rd quarter of 2014, 55% of respondents said they were poor, compared to 52% during the same period in 2013. Self-rated poverty threshold increased in Metro Manila where households now need a monthly budget of P15,000 ($334) for home expenses and a monthly food budget of P8,000 ($178) for them not to be considered poor. Self-rated poverty in Metro Manila increased by 6%, now up at 43% from last year’s 37%.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Gov’t wants temporary seizure of Revilla’s assets

    In an effort to secure payment from Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr of obligations he might owe government, prosecutors from the Office of the Ombudsman sought the temporary seizure of his assets amounting to P224 million ($5 million). They listed 44 bank accounts and investments excluding those closed by Revilla when the pork barrel scam broke out. The assets will be placed under judicial custody until the court rules on Revilla’s case.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Gov’t lawyers: Jinggoy’s hacking claims vs Luy ‘absurd’

    Senator Jinggoy Estrada, who faces graft and plunder charges in connection with the illegal diversion of his Priority Development Assistance Fund, accused principal state witness Benhur Luy of hacking and illegal access to obtain files of his employer. This is in violation of the E-commerce Act and Cybercrime Prevention Act, Estrada’s camp said. Prosecutors however argued that Luy’s access to the files did not constitute “warrantless seizure” (which would have made them inadmissible evidence) because they were copied to his own storage device with the consent of his employer, Janet Lim Napoles, at the time of the transfer.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Mobile poor covered by poverty alleviation program

    The government’s flagship poverty alleviation program will now include even families with no permanent residence. Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the government’s Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program has been expanded to cover “ambulant” poor families. The poorest of the poor have been identified through the National Housing Targeting System and according to Lacierda, government is now able to identify even the ambulant residents.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Mobile app developed to track Ebola

    To better help communities hit by the Ebola virus in West Africa, a new mobile telephone-based mapping service has been created to track the virus. It allows people in affected areas to send free text messages about Ebola to track problems and trends. The application also maps the location of the sender. The application was developed by technology giant IBM in collaboration with mobile phone companies and academics. IBM said it can create maps to track needs and problems and allow health workers and governments to respond to them.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Cocoa can help reverse memory loss

    Flavanols, bioactive ingredients found in cocoa were found to sharply reverse age-related memory decline, scientists reported. Tests were conducted on 37 healthy volunteers aged 50-69 who were given a special-prepared cocoa drink with either a high or low dosage of flavanols. The high dosage group recorded major memory improvements and an increase in blood flow to the dentate gyrus which controls a type of memory. “If a participant had the memory of a typical 60-year-old at the beginning of the study, after 3 months that person on average had the memory of a typical 30- or 40-year-old,” Scott Small, a neurology professor at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, said.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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