November 19, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Supreme Court tackles Senate ratification of EDCA

    Should the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippine and US militaries be transmitted to the Senate for ratification? Justices of the Supreme Court raised the question to petitioners at oral arguments on Tuesday, November 18. UP College of Law Dean Pacifico Agabin, one of the petitioners, welcomed the idea but expressed doubts that President Benigno Aquino III would agree to having the Senate debate the agreement. Nevertheless, petitioners maintained that the EDCA, which gives US troops expanded access to Philippine military facilities, was a treaty that required ratification by the Senate.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. ‘VP Binay owns 6 condo units in Makati’ – Mercado

    Vice President Jejomar Binay allegedly owns at least 6 condominium units in different locations in Makati City, according to a former ally. Speaking at the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee hearing, former Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado presented the condominium units obtained by Binay in exchange for the speedy release of business permits and other necessary documents from city hall. Binary spokesperson Juanito Victor Remulla denied the allegations and made a counterclaim against Mercado, saying he was the ‘real owner’ of one of the condominium units presented at the Senate. The Blue Ribbon subcommittee is investigating allegations of corruption leveled against the Vice President and his family members.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. DOH: Quarantine mandatory for OFWs from Ebola-hit countries

    The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday, November 18, said it will quarantine all overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who will be coming home from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone – the epicenter of an ongoing Ebola outbreak. Acting Health Secretary Janette Garin, however, added that the agency will ‘request’ OFWs to go into quarantine and expects some resistance from them. The government is currently operating a quarantine center on Caballo Island in Cavite City for 133 Filipino United Nations peacekeepers who have returned from Liberia. The DOH secretary and the AFP Chief of Staff General Pio Catapang came under scrutiny on Tuesday for their visit over the weekend to Caballo Island to see the troops without wearing the required protective gear. The DOH released a statement saying there was no need for the two officials to wear the protective gear because the soldiers did not display symptoms of Ebola.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. NCR LGUs: ’Social media can save lives’

    When typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) brought heavy rains and floods to Metro Manila in 2009, many lives were lost due to poor communication and preparedness. Yet, coordination over social media networks like Twitter and Facebook and crowdsource initiatives to map relief centers proved to be the tragedy’s silver lining. Today, Metro Manila residents don’t think twice to turn to social media for the latest information during a disaster. The adaptation of social media for communication has not been as quick for government agencies and local government units. At a recently held Rappler workshop on social media for disaster information management, representatives from various Metro Manila LGUs shared that each LGU had different capacities to use the internet and social media for disaster preparedness and response. The workshop, held on Monday, November 17, was designed to address some of these communication gaps and provide the participants with skills necessary to maximize social media’s potential in times of crises.

    Read more about what the workshop participants learned on Rappler.

  5. Malala calls on Pakistani children to fight for education

    Pakistani education campaigner Malala Yousafzai, the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner, called on children in her homeland Tuesday, November 18, to stand up for their right to go to school. Malala survived a Taliban assassination attempt two years ago and has gone on to speak for young people in the developing world. She spoke via video link from Britain, where she currently resides, to a thousand schoolchildren at a special event to celebrate her Nobel prize. “I want to see every girl getting her due respect and we need to raise our voice for it, we need to raise our voice for women’s rights, especially for the education of children, and the children should stand and struggle for their future,” she said.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Indonesia raises interest rates to combat inflation

    Photo by EPA

    Following the recent decrease in fuel subsidies, the Bank of Indonesia raised interest rates on Tuesday, November 18, in anticipation of surging inflation due to the higher fuel prices. Indonesia’s central bank raised its key rate by 25 basis points to 7.75%, the first rise since November 2013. The move is aimed at keeping inflation in check as the fuel price hike pushes up the cost of transporting goods. Inflation edged up to 4.83% in October. On Monday evening, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced the reduction in government fuel subsidies, which raised prices of gasoline and diesel by up to 35%. The Indonesian president ran his campaign on a promise to increase fuel prices which would allow the government to spend on other services like education and healthcare. Decreasing fuel subsidies is seen as an unpopular but necessary step for improving Indonesia’s economy.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. DOST to form official ‘storm chasers’ team

    The Philippine government will form an official ‘storm chaser’ team to track the development of tropical storms in the country, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said on Tuesday, November 18. The team will also gather data that will be used to create better forecasting models for storms and other extreme weather events. The core group will come from the the Philippine Atmospheric and Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA). Around 20 storms enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) every year.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Watch: Pacquiao, Algieri make their grand arrivals in Macau

    Fight week rolls on at The Venetian Macau as Manny Pacquiao and Chris Algieri made their official arrivals at the fight venue on Tuesday, November 18. Boxing champion, Pacquiao (56-5-3, 38 knockouts) of General Santos City, Philippines will fight in Macau for the second time in his career against Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs) of Huntington, Long Island, N.Y. The two will clash on Sunday, November 23 PH time (Saturday US time).

    Watch the two make their grand entrance in Macau on Rappler.

  9. Philae lander detects organic molecules on comet surface

    AFP PHOTO / ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

    The Philae lander conducting scientific experiments on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has found organic molecules – essentially the building blocks of life – on the surface of the moment. The spacecraft sent data indicating the presence of carbon and hydrogen containing chemicals shortly before it entered hibernation mode. The discovery could provide new clues about how life came to develop on Earth. Scientists theorized that comets brought the first organic elements to the planet which eventually created our oceans and atmosphere.

    Read the full story in The Guardian.

  10. Chinese music video leaves many scratching their heads

    screengrab from the youtube / mashable site

    When Korean breakout artist Psy released “Gangnam Style,” the music video quickly went viral on social media for its catchy tune and horse-like dance steps. Other artists have since tried to follow in Psy’s success. The latest incarnation is the “Chick Chick” song by Chinese artist Wang Rong Rollin. Published on YouTube on October 22, 2014, the video features Wang dancing and clucking while half-naked male dancers with animal masks accompany her. The video has been viewed nearly 7 million times since then.

    Read the full story in Mashable.

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