December 4, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Philippines braces for Typhoon Ruby

    Typhoon Hagupit entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility early December 4, and was given the local codename Ruby. Current Philippine forecast models see Ruby heading towards the Visayas, with first landfall over Eastern Samar in the coming weekend. The US Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) labeled Ruby a “super typhoon,” saying it is already carrying winds of 240 km/h near the center and gusts of up to 296 km/h. The JTWC’s forecast track also differs from the Philippine weather bureau track – the JTWC sees the typhoon moving slightly more northwest, and skirting the northeast coast of Bicol. The Japan Meteorological Agency, which is the regional meteorological center for the West Pacific, still classifies it as a typhoon.

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  2. National Police chief suspended

    The Ombudsman ordered on December 4 the suspension for 6 months of Philippine National Police chief Director General Alan Purisima over an alleged anomalous contract. Also suspended were 11 other police officials.

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  3. PH tops list of countries affected by climate change

    The Global Climate Risk Index 2015, the latest list of countries most affected by weather-related disasters like storms, floods, and heat waves, ranked the Philippines as number one based on events of 2013. This is a jump from the Philippines’ previous ranking of number 5 in an index based on data from 1994 to 2013. The findings, said German Watch, “reconfirm that, according to the Climate Risk Index, less developed countries are generally more affected than industrialized countries.” According to the report, from 1994 to 2013, over 15,000 extreme weather events killed more than 530,000 people worldwide and inflicted damage worth $2.17 trillion.

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  4. It will take years to defeat ISIS – US

    US Secretary of State John Kerry warned it will take years for a US-led coalition to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group, as Washington said arch-foe Iran had launched its first air strikes against the jihadists. Kerry, opening the talks at NATO headquarters, told foreign ministers taking part that the coalition of western and Arab states “will engage in this campaign for as long as it takes to prevail.” He added: “Our commitment will most likely be measured in years.” The Pentagon said Iranian F-4 Phantom jets hit ISIS fighters in eastern Iraq in recent days but denied any military coordination with long-term adversary Iran.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Philippines, Indonesia less corrupt

    The Philippines is perceived to be becoming less corrupt over the past 3 years as it continues to improve its ranking in a global corruption survey. The perception of how corrupt Indonesia also appears to be steadily improving, according to the latest global corruption survey by Germany-based watchdog Transparency International. The Philippines ranked 85th out of 175 countries in Germany-based watchdog Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2014, up from 94 in 2013, and 105 in 2012. Although the Philippines still scored below 50 in the index, its CPI score of 38 for 2014 is a “marked improvement” from how it fared in 2012 at 34, and 36 in 2013, the group said.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read the story about Indonesia’s global ranking on Rappler.

  6. Francis to Filipinos: don’t focus on me

    Quoting Pope Francis, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said on December 3: “It came from him: ‘I should not be the focus. Jesus should be the focus.’” During a recollection for organizers and journalists involved in the papal visit scheduled in January 2015, the cardinal added in Filipino, “Jesus – the Word of God fully alive – is what the Pope wants to bring us.” The Pope will visit the Philippines from January 15 to 19 primarily to comfort the survivors of the Bohol earthquake and Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in the Visayas. Tagle added that focusing on Jesus is also “the whole point of the Advent season,” a 4-week period of waiting for Christmas that began on Sunday, November 30.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. 2014 hottest on record

    This year may end as the hottest on record, the UN’s weather agency said, as it recounted a tale of rising seas, crippling droughts and floods since January. Provisional data for 2014 shows that 14 out of the 15 warmest years on record have all occurred in the 21st century, it added. “There is no standstill in global warming,” World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) chief Michel Jarraud said. The global average air temperature over land and sea surface for January to October was about 0.57 degrees Celsius (1.03 degrees Fahrenheit) above the average of 14 C for a reference period from 1961-1990, the WMO said.

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  8. Stephen Hawking warning: end of human race

    British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking warned that the development of artificial intelligence could mean the end of humanity, saying such technology could rapidly evolve and overtake mankind, a scenario like that envisaged in the “Terminator” movies. “I think the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,” the professor said in a BBC interview aired December 2. Hawking, who is wheelchair-bound as a result of motor neurone disease and speaks with the aid of a voice synthesizer, is however keen to take advantage of modern communications technology and said he was one of the first people to be connected in the early days of the Internet.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. PH bags 2nd record gold in ASEAN schools games

    The Philippines clinched its second ever gold in ASEAN Schools Games (ASG) history, finishing on top in the boys’ javelin event of athletics December 3. Joshua Patalud won gold after scoring a 59.45-meter throw, topping Malaysia’s Jali Bin Omar (54.79 meters), and Indonesia’s Chun Soon Kon (53.78 meters). The 17-year-old from De La Salle said the win was unexpected since his competitors were bigger in built. He started the sport when he was in Grade 6. After a year of practice, he started competing in the Palarong Pambansa. In 2014, he broke a Palaro record with a 61.46-meter throw. This earned him silver while his rival Bryan Pacheco – who won the Philippines’ first ever gold in ASG – took first place.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. ‘Gangnam style’ hits YouTube limit

    It was so mammoth that the Internet literally wasn’t ready to handle it. YouTube said that the 2012 song by South Korea’s Psy – accompanied by a horse-riding-like dance that became a global sensation – this week reached the maximum number of views that its counter had imagined to be conceivable. The video-sharing site shows that the official version of the video has had more than 2.15 billion views – the equivalent of one-third of the world’s population, although of course many people watched more than once. But YouTube designed its counter with what is known in computer science as a 32-bit integer, meaning that the maximum number of countable views was 2,147,483,647.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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