November 21, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Philippines tops Asian efforts vs human trafficking, forced labor

    A global study prepared by an Australia-based international organization ranked the Philippines as first among Asian countries in terms of government response to modern servitude, including human trafficking, forced labor, and slavery. The 2014 Global Slavery Index (GSI), the first of its kind, measures the vulnerability of countries to forms of slavery in countries, their prevalence, and the government response. The Philippines is among 4 countries “taking strong efforts to respond to modern slavery with relatively limited resources,” the report said. In terms of government response, the country is first in Asia, 3rd in the Asia Pacific, and 29th globally, out of 167 countries. However, the report estimated over 260,000 Filipinos were enslaved as of 2014.

    Read the full report on Rappler.

  2. After 18 years, officials found guilty over Ozone tragedy

    After close to two decades, the Philippine anti-graft court convicted 7 former Quezon City officials and two businessmen in connection with the Ozone Dance Club fire that killed 162 people. They have been sentenced to 6 to 10 years in jail, while the former officials are perpetually barred from holding public office. The court ruled that the officials connived with the businessmen in cutting corners to secure a building permit for the renovation of disco house, which led to the tragedy in 1996.

    Read the full report on Rappler.

  3. Pope Francis to PH: Don’t spend much on my visit

    The Vatican has relayed to Philippines that Pope Francis prefers that the Catholic church and government here keep the expenditures minimal for his visit in January. Instead, the Pope wants more resources to be spent on helping the victims of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) and the earthquake in Bohol in 2013, according to an article on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news site. “The call of the Vatican that this visit not be costly is important because the desire of the Holy Father is that donations be given instead to the victims of calamities. That is the primary purpose of his visit,” said papal visit media relations sub-committee chair Fr Anton Pascual.

    Read the full story on Rappler. Check here the Pope’s itinerary in Manila and Leyte in January.

  4. After UN criticism of rights record, North Korean threatens to fire nuke

    Rejecting a United Nations resolution that recommends bringing North Korea to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity, Pyongyang instead threatened to conduct a fresh nuclear test. The communist country said the resolution – passed by 111 votes to 19, with 55 abstentions – was pushed by the United States. Meanwhile, Russia shrugged off reports that North Korea may be firing up a facility for processing weapons-grade plutonium. It instead reiterated its proposal for the resumption of the activities of a working group on peace and security on the Korean peninsula.

    Read on Rappler the full story on the threat for fresh nuclear test.

  5. Court in Sweden rejects Assange’s appeal against detention

    The Court of Appeal in Sweden rejected an appeal of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange for his arrest warrant to be set aside. The 43-year-old Australian – accused of sex crimes – has been holed up in the Ecuador embassy in London for two years to avoid extradition to Sweden. He had called on Swedish prosecutors to travel to London to question him or, alternatively, to do so by video link, but the appeal court rejected the demand. A European arrest warrant has also been issued to support the Swedish move.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. WHO says number of actual Ebola cases higher than what it knows

    The World Health Organization said 5,420 people had so far died of Ebola across 8 countries, but believes that the actual number was likely higher, considering the fatality rate in the current outbreak is known to be around 70%. As of late December 2013, a total 15,145 cases of infection has been recorded. The deadliest Ebola outbreak ever continues to affect Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone the most.

    Read the full report on Rappler.

  7. Shell wants 15 more years to operate Malampaya natural gas project

    Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (SPEX), the operator of the Malampaya deep water gas-to-power project gas, is discussing with the Philippine government a possible extension for 15 years of its contract. The project fuels 3 natural gas power plants with a combined capacity of 2,700 megawatts (MW), equivalent to about 36% of Luzon’s power generation requirements. The license granted to the Malampaya consortium to conduct exploration and drill activities under SC no. 38 is valid until 2024. But a SPEX executive said that to do more drilling, they need government assistance.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Developer of Camp John Hay may lose registration with gov’t

    The Securities in Exchange Commission has issued a warning against Camp John Hay Development Corporation, the developer of the military property in Baguio City, that its certificate of incorporation may be revoked due to its failure to submit its financial reports from 2003 to 2011. A company with a revoked registration is considered not in operation. The Bases Conversion and Development Authority In May 2012 terminated the lease of CJHDevCo over the 247-hectare Camp John Hay Economic Zone for its failure to perform its obligations and for defaulting on its lease payments despite 3 restructurings.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Uber exec in hot water for tracking journalist

    The car service company announced that it is investigating an Uber New York executive over reports that he used his executive access to track a journalist’s location without permission. Former Uber employees said the company’s corporate employees can track customers using an internal company tool known as “God View.” God View shows an Uber vehicle’s location, as well as the location of a customer requesting a car. The probe comes just a few days after Another Uber exec remarked at a private gathering that they can spend $1 million to dig the dirt on critical journalists.

    Read the full report on Rappler.

  10. Yahoo now the default online search site for Firefox browsers

    Firefox maker Mozilla announced that it is switching to Yahoo as the default service for online searches done through the Web browser in the United States. Google has been the default option for Firefox searches since 2004, but beginning December, that role in the US will go to Yahoo. “We are ending our practice of having a single global default search provider,” an executive said. “We are adopting a more local and flexible approach to increase choice and innovation on the Web, with new and expanded search partnerships by country.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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