November 7, 2014 Edition

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  1. Aquino skips Tacloban on Yolanda anniversary

    On the eve of the first year anniversary of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) that battered the Visayas region, President Benigno Aquino III visits Eastern Samar and decides to skip the city worst hit by the world’s strongest typhoon, Tacloban. Asked why the President decided to skip the city run by the Romualdez clan, longtime nemesis of the Aquinos, Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said Aquino has “limited time.” The President is leaving for APEC and ASEAN summits in Beijing and Myanmar, respectively.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Fox: US strike kills French bombmaker

    US-led air strikes in Syria have killed 24-year-old French bombmaker David Drugeon, a Muslim convert who joined an al-Qaeda offshoot, the Khorasan group, Fox News reported. A strike by a US Predator drone struck a vehicle in Syria’s Idlib province, believed to be carrying Drugeon, the media group said. The car’s driver lost a leg and was not expected to live, while a passenger believed to be Drugeon was killed, Fox said, citing “well-placed military sources.” US officials confirmed to Fox they had carried out strikes Wednesday but said they were still assessing the damage and could not confirm Drugeon had been killed.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. 25 years after, East-West divide remains

    Twenty-five years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the gap between east and west still exists. Then German chancellor Helmut Kohl promised “flourishing landscapes” in the 5 states that made up the former German Democratic Republic, and since then the market economy has long supplanted the 5-year planning of communism. Data shows unemployment in the 5 former eastern states stood at 9.7% in September, compared with 6.0% in the west. Household income in the west is around 1/3 higher than in the east, and personal wealth is almost double. And the east’s gross national product is only 2/3 that of the west.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Time to end Senate probe of Binay

    The Senate probe into corruption allegations against Vice President Jejomar Binay and his family has accomplished its purpose, according to Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago. She said the subcommittee that has held hearings should already endorse its findings to the the Ombudsman. A former regional trial court judge, Santiago said she believes “probable cause” has been established to elevate the case to the courts. There’s “nothing more to be gained” in the Senate probe except its “entertainment value for the Filipino public.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read the full story on Binay’s ‘hidden’ dollar accounts on Rappler.

  5. Group slams Indonesia over Hong Kong murders

    Hong Kong rights activists slammed the Indonesian government for “being silent and passive” over the gruesome murder of two young women in the southern Chinese city. They said Jakarta was leaving its migrant workers – many of whom seek work abroad to escape poverty at home – at the mercy of unscrupulous government-licensed agencies, which charge exorbitant fees that many workers struggle to repay. British banker Rurik Jutting, 29, has been charged with murdering Indonesians Sumarti Ningsih and Seneng Mujiasih after police found their mutilated bodies in his upmarket Hong Kong apartment Saturday, November 1. The Indonesian government is “lacking a sense of accountability on the plight of Indonesian workers abroad and… (has been) silent and passive on the Wanchai case,”  the Hong Kong-based Asian Migrants’ Coordinating Body said.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. British linked to HK murders visited PH

    British banker Rurik Jutting, charged over grisly twin murders in Hong Kong, was a regular in a shabby red-light district of Angeles City where he liked to flash his cash and was treated like a king. The women in skimpy outfits working the short stretch of go-go and hostess bars of Angeles City remember Jutting fondly. He was charged with murder this week in Hong Kong, where he worked as a securities trader for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, after police found two dead Indonesian women in his luxury apartment. Jutting had been a regular there since January, and soon began dating one of the hostesses who would later appear in photos with him on his Facebook page, according to her colleagues. But the two apparently broke up in August.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Singapore Airlines profit drops

    Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) half-year net profit plunged 55.5% percent, weighed by heavy losses in budget carrier affiliate Tiger Airways. The flag carrier, considered a bellwether for the industry, warned of a challenging outlook despite falling fuel prices. Tiger Airways on October 16 reported a SG$182 million net loss in the fiscal second quarter, compared with a net profit of SG$24 million in the same period last year. The budget carrier is struggling to survive after its strategy to expand its brand to Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines failed. SIA said it will raise its interest in Tiger Airways to up to 56% from the current 40%.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read a related story on Malaysian Airlines on Rappler.

  8. Chinese officials on ivory buying spree

    Chinese diplomatic and military staff went on buying sprees for illegal ivory while on official visits to East Africa, sending prices soaring, an environmental activist group said. Tens of thousands of elephants are estimated to be slaughtered in Africa each year to feed rising Asian demand for ivory products, mostly from China, the continent’s biggest trading partner. When Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Tanzania in March 2013, members of his government and business delegation bought so much ivory that local prices doubled to $700 per kilogram, the UK-based Environmental Investigation Agency EIA said.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Fil-Am wins big in New Jersey

    Most Americans on Tuesday night waited for midterm election results to find out not only which political party would end up having control of the House of Representatives and the Senate, but also to see who the big winners are from their state. But in Bergenfield, a relatively small town in northern New Jersey, Filipinos focused mainly on one election result: whether Arvin Amatorio, possibly the only Filipino American running for political office in the East Coast in the November 4 election, would win a council seat. Democrat Arvin Amatorio won a council seat by garnering 2,947 votes, while his running mate Council president Christopher Tully got 2,972 votes. It’s a small consolation for the political party which lost control of both the Senate and the House.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Take a selfie: ‘One Like, One Peso’

    Are selfies just a display of vanity? Not necessarily. On November 7, Rappler launches “#AfterYolanda: One Like, One Peso” – a campaign to make netizens pledge donations for the victims of the super typhoon based on friends’ responses to their selfies on social media. The Philippines commemorates the one year anniversary of the deadly typhoon on November 8, and various groups say it may take up to 5 years more for these communities to be really recover. So how can your selfies help families in those communities?

    Find out more details on Rappler.

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