November 25, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. UN: Child trafficking getting worse

    Of every 3 victims of human trafficking worldwide, one is a child, a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said on Monday, November 24. Since 2010, child trafficking has increased 5%, with girls and women accounting for 70% of the overall number of victims worldwide. Many of them are subject to sexual exploitation or forced labor, while children are also forced into combat or compelled to commit petty crimes. About 15% of the 128 countries covered by the report did not record a single conviction.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. FOI bill goes to House plenary for deliberations

    The public information committee of the House of Representatives approved by a vote of 10-3 the consolidated version of the proposed Freedom of Information Law. The bill, which will facilitate access to government documents, will be moved to the House plenary for deliberations. Advocates hope to pass the bill on 3rd reading by middle of 2015. The Senate passed the measure on 3rd and final reading in March 2014.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Defense Secretary Hagel resigns

    US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, under pressure from the White House, submitted his resignation on Tuesday, November 25 (Manila time) after serving for less than two years under President Barack Obama. The US president announced Hagel’s resignation in a press briefing. Obama said he is grateful that Hagel, a Republican, “agreed to stay on” until his replacement is confirmed by the US Senate. Hagel’s resignation comes as the White House faced criticism over its handling of the Islamic State group and its campaign in Afghanistan.

    Read the full story on Rappler and the New York Times.

    A related story is on The Washington Post.

  4. Miriam questions lopsided DILG budget

    The proposed 2015 national budget favors the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and a few other agencies, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago said. Speaking to reporters after she delivered a privilege speech, Santiago questioned the allocation of funds for the DILG’s water supply project, which is not part of the department’s mandate. She likewise criticized the lump sums amounting to P37.3 billion in the budgets of the departments of public works and highways, health, social welfare and development, labor, the Commission on Higher Education and the Bureau of Customs.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. New types of rice can survive climate change

    The International Rice Research Institute in Los Baños, Laguna has developed 3 types of rice that can withstand the worst of climate change – varieties that are tolerant of flood, droughts, and saline. IRRI said rice with a special gene called SUB1 could thrive after being submerged in floodwaters for 10-15 days, and allow farmers to harvest up to 10.6 tons per hectare – above the normal harvest of 3 tons per hectare. The sahod ulan types of rice, which can survive drought conditions, generate a yield of up to 6.7 tons per hectare. The saline-resistant types of rice can have yields of up to 3.9 tons per hectare, depending on variety. IRRI estimates that only 10% of Filipino farmers use these rice varieties.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Miriam: Ready for EDCA debate in the Senate

    Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, chair of the Senate foreign relations committee, told a press briefing on Monday, November 24, she is “very happy” Supreme Court justices seem to prefer transmitting the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) to the Senate. The High Tribunal is hearing oral arguments on the constitutionality of the EDCA Tuesday afternoon, November 25. Government lawyers will take the stand. Santiago said her committee is ready for a “full blown debate” on the issue. She has maintained that Senate ratification is necessary for the EDCA to be valid.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Pacific, Atlantic hurricane season ends

    The hurricane season will end on Sunday, November 30, with the Pacific being the most active since 1992 and the Atlantic being “relatively quiet,” US meteorologists said. A total of 20 tropical storms were recorded in the Pacific Ocean, with 14 reaching hurricane status. Eight became “major hurricanes” from May 15 to November 30. For the Atlantic Ocean, 8 tropical storms were recorded during its hurricane season from June 1 to November 30, compared to an average of 13. Of these, 6 reached hurricane status, two were “major hurricanes” with destructive winds. The years 2013 and 2014 combined represent the calmest period in the Atlantic since 1995, said Gerry Bell, lead hurricane forecaster of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Time for the Love Bus to return?

    Is it time to bring back the Love Bus identified with the Marcos government? Supposed to be part of a unified transport system, the air-conditioned, blue, heart-decked Love Buses had designated stops and did not allow standing on the aisles. Former finance secretary Roberto de Ocampo during an economic outlook forum on Friday, November 21, said a diversified, intermodal and interconnected network is what the metropolis needs for an efficient transportation system.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Obama honors Meryl Streep with ‘love’

    US President Barack Obama conferred on actress Meryl Streep a Presidential Medal of Freedom award, the highest civil honor in the United States. Joining Streep were 17 other people including musician Stevie Wonder, Chilean-American author Isabel Allende, journalist Tom Brokaw and composer Stephen Sondheim. Obama said he is “in love” with Streep and that there is nothing her husband and his wife Michelle can do about it. “Meryl is truly one of America’s leading ladies,” Obama said.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Building collapses due to exploding poop

    A blast sparked by a man in China burning waste close to a cesspool filled with excrement knocked down a building and injured 15 people. Methane gas which was emanating from the pit was ignited when he tried to burn waste. The incident happened in the central province of Hunan, specifically in Zhangjiajie City.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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