December 5, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Aquino: We should’ve learned from Yolanda

    President Benigno Aquino III grilled his Cabinet members for over two hours Thursday over their agencies’ preparedness for Typhoon Ruby (international name: Hagupit), which was expected to make landfall in Eastern Samar Saturday, December 6. Pointing out that Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) – for which government was criticized for its response a year ago – was far stronger and worse, he said he was expecting government to be more prepared for response and that he “will not be patient” with excuses in case of failure or inefficiency in its aftermath. “The checklist for what should be done, preferably, should have been done yesterday,” he said during the national disaster management meeting. He also ordered the trade department to ensure price control on commodities in affected areas.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Help, Rappler’s citizen engagement arm, map reports of emergencies during disaster and we’ll connect you to authorities, responders, and volunteers.

  2. Philippine cops routinely torture suspects – Amnesty Int’l

    The human rights group Amnesty International released a report showing that despite a law that makes torture illegal in the Philippines, “torture is still rife” in the country “and that the overwhelming majority of reports of torture involve police officers.” AI secretary general Salil Shetty told Rappler: “On the legal side and by international standards, [the Philippines’ stand against torture is] pretty good. So we were very shocked ourselves when we were checking the on-the-ground situation [and we saw] widespread use of torture by the police forces.” He noted that “anyone arrested on suspicion of theft or other criminal activity in the Philippines risks being tortured or otherwise ill-treated in police custody.” The Philippines is one of 5 countries that AI studied as part of its stop torture campaign. The other countries are Nigeria, Mexico, Western Sahara, and Uzbekistan. The 120-page report is based on more than 50 interviews with police torture victims and their family members. Its findings are considered only the tip of the iceberg.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. 8 more bodies from sunken Korean trawler retrieved

    Eight more bodies were recovered from the area of the Bering Sea off Russia’s far east coast where a South Korean trawler sank with 60 people on board. This brings to 20 the number of bodies recovered, and leaves 33 crew members, including 7 Filipinos, still missing. Only 7 people on the vessel were rescued. The newly recovered bodies included two Filipinos, two Indonesians, two South Koreans, and two unidentified crew members, said a spokesman for the vessel’s operator, Sajo Industries.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Malacañang wins as bicam redefines ‘savings’ in 2015 budget bill

    The bicameral conference committee approved in principle to treat “savings” under the proposed budget law for 2015 according to how Malacañang wanted it – that such can be declared even before a fiscal year ends so these can be realigned to other purposes. The compromise, as pushed by the Senate, will be to allow the movement of such savings under limited circumstances. The proposed definition is “in consonance with the Supreme Court ruling” on the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program, a spending program declared partially unconstitutional for skipping Congress’ approval before the executive branch declared “savings” mid-year and transferred the funds not just between agencies but between government branches. On the same day, an anti-corruption group followed up with the Ombudsman on the status of its probe into the possible liabilities of government officials who thought up and implemented the DAP, 5 months after the chief graft investigator announced the probe.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Tax evasion charges filed vs VP’s campaign donors

    The Bureau of Internal Revenue filed separate tax evasion cases against the brother and sister-in-law of billionaire Antonio Tiu, the alleged dummy of Vice President Jejomar Binay. James and Ann Loraine Tiu – said to be among Binay’s biggest campaign contributors – allegedly “willfully attempted to evade or defeat the payment of tax” and “failed to supply correct and accurate information on [their] income tax returns” in the years 2010 to 2012. BIR Commissioner Kim Henares said the couple accumulated a liability of over P39 million. Commission on Elections records show that James Tiu contributed P7.5 million to the vice presidential campaign of Binay and P2.5 million to his political party, PDP-Laban, in 2010. Tiu’s wife Ann Loraine Buencamino contributed identical amounts to Binay and his political party in the same year. Previous Rappler reports said that prior to that, James was a Chinese interpreter for PAL and manager of Fresh & Green Corporation. Bondal concluded that James Tiu was fronting for someone who was donating funds to Binay.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. GrabTaxi gets fresh investment of $250M from Japan’s SoftBank

    Japanese telecom giant SoftBank will invest $250 million in Southeast Asian mobile taxi booking app GrabTaxi, as rivalry in the region between United States-based Uber and homegrown rivals increases. This will make Softbank the biggest investor in the Malaysia-based startup. In October, GrabTaxi announced that it had raised $90 million to finance its talent acquisition and driver loyalty program efforts. GrabTaxi, also backed by Singapore state investment firm Temasek Holdings, operates in 17 cities across Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, and Vietnam. Its app employs smartphone and satellite technology to match customers with registered taxis close to their location.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Winds, glitches postpone Orion test flight

    The United States space agency decided to postpone to Friday, December 5, the first test launch of Orion, its new deep space capsule after wind gusts and technical issues with the rocket forced NASA to abort the launch several times in the nearly 3-hour launch window on Thursday. No astronauts were aboard the capsule – meant to carry humans to an asteroid or Mars in the coming years – for this initial flight test from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The capsule’s four-and-a-half hour test flight is due to carry the spacecraft around the Earth twice before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. “Despite the valiant attempts of the launch team and mission managers around the country, we basically ran out of time in trying to troubleshoot,” said NASA spokesman Mike Curie. The launch is the first of a US spacecraft meant to carry people into deep space in more than 4 decades, since the Apollo missions that brought men to the Moon.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. UP student is first Filipina to bag Asian chess championship

    MANILA, Philippines – Mikee Charlene Suede, a physical education student at the University of the Philippines, defeated her last round foe to become the first Filipina to win the Asian juniors girls’ division. She finished with 7.5 points, one point ahead of J. Saranya of India. Not only is Suede the country’s latest Woman International Master but the 3rd Filipina this year to get a grandmaster norm after Janelle Mae Frayna and Jodilyn Fronda. Three norms must be achieved in international tournaments to become a grandmaster.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. A-list actors join Craig in latest James Bond flick

    Spectre. This is how the new James Bond movie is called, it was revealed. The movie, which will be released in November 2015, will see A-list actors joining main star Daniel Craig. Sam Mendes, who helmed Skyfall, announced from the 007 stage December 4 key casting information.

    Rappler has the details.

  10. Want to party? Go to a silent disco

    A quieter, more polite clubbing experience is gaining fans in London, which has been legendary for its nightclubs where sweaty revellers move and shake to thumping beats. In these parties, dancers choose their soundtrack from 3 different channels, don headphones, and dance noiselessly to the music they are listening to. Their headphones light up red, blue, or green to show others which one they were listening to. Those who are not dancing can talk, laugh, and clink glasses as if they were in their own home. It’s called silent disco and “we think it is the highest silent disco in the world,” a DJ said. “We can have three separate gigs, so no one in the building will have the same experience because they’re always changing to different music.”

    Read on Rappler how a silent disco works.

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