December 3, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Hagupit now a typhoon

    State weather bureau PAGASA upgraded that classification of cyclone Hagupit into a typhoon from its previous classification of tropical storm as it picks up strength. PAGASA reported measuring maximum sustained winds of 130 km/h near the center and gusts of 160 km/h. Meanwhile, the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) reported winds of 157 km/h and gusts of 194 km/h. While it is still too early to determine if the typhoon will make landfall in the Philippines, forecasts from different weather organizations show that Hagupit will bring heavy wind and rains to the eastern seaboard of the country. Hagupit will be renamed typhoon Ruby when it enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) in the morning of December 4, Thursday.

    Get the latest weather alert on Rappler.

  2. Analysts: DILG post won’t help Roxas’ 2016 bid

    Interior and Local Government secretary Mar Roxas may be expanding his influence over local government leaders across the country but this exposure might not help him in his possible presidential campaign in 2016, according to several political analysts. In a panel interview by ANC’s Lynda Jumilia, political scientists and strategists said that Roxas is still being viewed as an elitist, despite his prominent role as DILG secretary. University of the Philippines professor Grace Gorospe Jamon said that the masses are not concerned about his performance in the DILG. Professor Prospero de Vera added that, as a campaign strategy, latching on to LGUs is not the best way to win an elections because they do not deliver bloc votes. Campaign strategist Malou Tiquia gave another reason what Roxas needs to do to win in 2016: “he has to want it.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Why Mercado surfaced to turn against Binay

    Rappler takes a look into why Ernesto Mercado, a former Makati vice mayor and close ally of Vice President Jejomar Binay, resurfaced after living a life of relative obscurity to accuse Vice President Binay and his family of corruption. Mercado tells Rappler he sensed that someone was following him early this year. He also said the death of former city engineer Nelson Morales was a bad omen for him. Morales was a staunch Binay supporter who was gunned down in Albay in September 2012. A source in the Liberal Party says Mercado sought out the camp of Mar Roxas to reveal things that he knew. Mercado also reached out to other known rivals of Binay, and even to Senator Antonio Trillanes to see if they would use the information he had. The rest, as they say, is history.

    Read the full report on Rappler.

  4. Iskolar ng Bayan law gives scholarships to top high school grads

    President Benigno Aquino III signed on Thursday, November 27 a new law that will give automatic scholarships to 80,000 underprivileged top public high school graduates to any of the state universities and colleges (SUCs) – except the University of the Philippines. Republic Act 10648 or the Iskolar ng Bayan Program mandates SUCs to admit and provide scholarship to the best-performing students in the graduating class of public high schools. The scholarship will apply only for the first year of college. After that, the student may apply for financial assistance from the government. In the proposed 2015 budget, the government will allocate P3.5 billion for scholarships in SUCs and P2.2 billion for student financial aid for CHED.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. FBI warns of malware in latest cyber attack

    The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a warning to US businesses on Monday, December 1, that malicious software (malware) may have been used by hackers to attack Sony Pictures Entertainment in the United States. The malware damages computers by overriding the data on the hard drive and the master boot record. Cybersecurity experts believe this same malware was used against Sony, which shut down the company’s corporate email for a week. Some of Sony Pictures’ unreleased films were also made available online following the attack. Reports allege that the attack could have been sponsored by North Korea in retaliation for the upcoming release of “The Interview,” a comedy film about an assassination plot against North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-Un.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Hong Kong protest founders to ‘surrender’

    The three original founders of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Occupy movement tearfully announced Tuesday, December 2, they would “surrender” by turning themselves in to police and urged protesters still on the streets to retreat. The announcement came 2 days after hundreds of pro-democracy protestors clashed with police on Sunday, November 30 leaving dozens injured. Occupy Central leader Benny Tai said the trio would surrender to police on Wednesday, December 3. He also urged protestors to retreat and “put down deep roots in the community and transform the movement.” While there is no specific warrant out for the founders’ arrest, Hong Kong and Chinese authorities have consistently slammed the protests as illegal.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Kenya security chiefs sacked after new Shebab attack

    Kenya’s interior minister and police chief were removed from their posts on Tuesday, December 2, hours after Somalia’s Shebab rebels carried out a fresh massacre in the northeast of the country. Kenya President Uluru Kenyatta also vowed to intensify the war on terrorism against the Islamic militants. On Tuesday, a group of Shebab rebels stormed a quarry near the border town of Mandera. They weeded out non-Muslims and shot them in the head. The group later claimed that the attack was in retaliation for Kenya’s 2011 invasion and continued presence in Somalia, as well as its treatment of Muslims in Mombasa. The group warns that more attacks are to come.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Experimental Ebola vaccine shows promise

    An experimental vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus shows some promise after volunteers reported only mild side effects in clinical trials in Switzerland. The Geneva University Hospital (HUG), which is conducting the trials, said Tuesday, December 2 said only a mild inflammatory reaction was reported in the group of volunteers that received the VSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine. The hospital is just one of the few worldwide hosting trials of the experimental vaccine. The clinical trial will continue into early 2015 with around 115 volunteers taking part. The VSV-ZEBOV vaccine is manufactured by the Public Health Agency of Canada and licensed by US firm NewLink Genetics.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. PH peacekeepers complete Ebola quarantine

    The first batch of 133 Filipino peacekeepers completed on Tuesday, December 2, their 21-day mandatory quarantine and were allowed to return to their families. The troops left Caballo Island, the designated quarantine area, for Manila at 12 noon on Tuesday. None of them tested positive for Ebola but there were two soldiers who needed to be treated for other conditions. The military will hold a belated Heroes Welcome for the peacekeepers on Thursday, December 4.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Philippine tech company Xurpas goes public, shares up

    Mobile consumer company Xurpas (X) made its debut at the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Tuesday, December 2, marking a milestone in the company and the stock exchange for greater acceptance of tech-based companies. The newly-listed company is trading 344 million shares, which represent 20% of the company’s equity. In the first day of trading, the stock price reached P5.95 per share or a 49.87% increase from its initial public offering (IPO) of P3.97 each. Nico Jose Nolledo, president and CEO of Xurpas and a Board Member of Rappler, said Xurpas aims to raise up to P1.24 billion ($27.72 million) of capital to expand to its core target markets: Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Thailand. Xurpas provides mobile content to enterprise and retail clients.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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