October 31, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Justice seen to have favored big business in gov’t land deal

    The Philippine government has allegedly been put at a disadvantage after a Supreme Court prevented a government corporation from bidding out a prime property on a military base, thus favoring a tycoon’s company that’s into mall development. The case has raised issues on a justice’s integrity, judicial overreach, and the modernization of the military. SM Land Incorporated sued the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) for supposedly changing the rules mid-way, from a competitive challenge to public bidding, when SM Land was already deep in negotiations with the government agency over its unsolicited proposal. The Supreme Court ruled that SM “has the right to a completed competitive challenge” at P38,500 per square meter for the 33-hectare land occupied by the Bonifacio Naval Station and the Marines. The BCDA claimed it could get a minimum bid of P40,000 per square meter through public bidding.

    Read the exclusive story on Rappler.

  2. Law sought for stricter bank rules on dummies of politicians

    Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago introduced a bill seeking to expand the responsibilities of banks in preventing money laundering activities and discouraging people to act as dummies for corrupt public officials to hide illegally-acquired assets. It will mandate banks to ask clients to sign documents to specify if the deposits are their own money or they are acting as “nominees” – or dummies – for the “beneficial owners” of the deposits. She announced her bill while the Senate was grilling a businessman whom they accuse of fronting for Vice President Jejomar Binay to hide an undeclared property. The VP, Defensor, and the senators leading the probe have all expressed intention to run for president in 2016.

    See the list of PEPs in this full story on Rappler.

  3. Number of ship passengers who jump to their death rising

    The Philippine Coast Guard sounded the alarm on the rising number of passengers jumping off ships, seeking the help of relatives to properly guide or accompany those whom they suspect might be suffering from depression or mental illness. The PCG said there have been 12 cases of suicide from June to October 2014 this year – higher than the 10 cases recorded in 2013.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Private ISPs can’t say no to blocking of porn sites – gov’t

    The Philippine justice department said it expects Internet Service Providers to cooperate with the government’s effort to block sites that sell sex photos and videos of Filipino children, saying this is the best way to cripple the growing trade that cater mostly to foreign adults. “Online child abuse materials are wrong per se. These are criminal. There’s no reason to allow that to pass through your system,” an official said. “We’re selling children like commodities, like shoes. Are we just going to let this happen?” The head of the department’s cybercrime office said the regulation falls under the allowed limitations on freedom of speech, which also include a ban on sites that incite violence or encourage terrorism.

    Read full story on Rappler.

  5. Some 800,000 Yolanda victims suffer from depression; teenage pregnancies on the rise

    The World Health Organization estimates that over 800,000 people in areas devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda (international code Haiyan) have suffered from different mental health conditions over the past year. A tenth of them have conditions that need medication and support, like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic disorder, and schizophrenia. Cases of suicide have also been reported. Preliminary reports from midwives also indicate there have been “noticeably more teenagers that are pregnant” since the super typhoon. Over 15,000 babies are born in Yolanda-affected areas every month, but WHO admitted there are probably not enough incubators for newborn babies, who tend to be smaller and premature and needs special newborn care.

    Read Rappler’s full stories on mental health and teenage pregnancies in Yolanda areas.

  6. Navy SEAL who killed Bin Laden to reveal self in a TV documentary

    The US Navy Seal commando who killed Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden will reveal his identity in a Fox News television documentary in November. “The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden” will air in two segments November 11-12, with the commando recounting his role in the raid that killed the terrorist leader in Pakistan in 2011. “Offering never before shared details, the presentation will include ‘The Shooter’s’ experience in confronting bin Laden, his description of the terrorist leader’s final moments as well as what happened when he took his last breath,” the network said.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. 7,000 LED lamps bring glow back to Sistine Chapel frescoes

    A revolutionary new lighting system has been installed at the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel to restore the once glorious frescoes by Michelangelo. The gloom on the images of Jesus Christ, angels, Sybils, and prophets are brought into sharp relief by 7,000 LED lamps designed specifically for the prized chapel. A state of the art ventilation system has also been installed to protect the frescoes from humidity. The venture cost some 1.9 billion euros ($2.3 billion), with 870,000 euros provided by the European Union and the rest donated to the Vatican in expertise, technology and man hours by the various companies taking part in the LED4ART project.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. San Francisco Giants captures 8th championship

    The San Francisco Giants defeated the Kansas City Royals in Major League Baseball’s best-of-7 final, giving them their 8th championship overall and their 3rd in 5 seasons. History had favored the Royals as home teams had won the previous 9 World Series game sevens, and no road team having taken a one-game showdown for the crown since Pittsburgh at Baltimore in 1979. But the Royals fell one game short of winning their first title in 29 years.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Chot Reyes out as PH national basketball team coach

    File photo by Rappler

    Chot Reyes has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the Philippine national basketball team as the program is set for an overhaul. A selection committee is being formed to find a new head coach and new members for the team. The team will retain the name Gilas. Reyes took over as head coach of the national basketball team in 2012, leading the team to a silver finish at the FIBA Asia Championship in 2013 to qualify the Philippines for the FIBA World Cup for the first time since 1978.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Apple’s Tim Cook reveals he’s gay in an essay

    Steve Jobs’ successor as CEO of Apple Incorporated revealed in an essay for Bloomberg’s Businessweek that he is gay, the first time he publicly it. Tim Cook’s announcement puts him among high-profile business leaders who publicly admitted their sexual orientation. He wrote: “I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others. So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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