January 7, 2015 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. DOTC warns Cebu Pacific could face heavy sanctions

    The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has warned that budget carrier Cebu Pacific could face a “full range of sanctions” for numerous delays and cancelled flights during the holiday rush which affected thousands of passengers. The possible penalties range from fines and suspension to a revocation of its franchise. A Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) investigating panel released an initial report in the first week of January debunking claims made by the airline company that air traffic congestion was the cause for flight delays. Meanwhile, members of the House of Representatives is mulling a separate probe into the holiday flight delays.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Grieving family remembers AirAsia victim’s final birthday wish

    When fashion store owner The Meiji Thejakusuma bid goodbye to relatives before boarding AirAsia’s Flight 8501, she light-heartedly quipped she would “spend time alone at sea” on her birthday, which she planned to mark with a New Year’s cruise. On January 3, her birthday, the body of Thejakusuma was turned over to her extended family in Surabaya. Her nephew, Eric Edi Santo, told AFP that “Maybe God was trying to be good to her, and didn’t want her to spend her birthday alone at sea, so he brought her back.” Thejakusuma, together with her husband, mother 3 children and prospective son-in-law were headed for Singapore to start a cruise. Some 40 bodies have since been recovered from the fatal crash with search operations still ongoing.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Papal chair and altar to have ‘Filipino touch’

    Organizers of the visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines know the Pope does not have enough time to see the whole country. So, they want to bring the country to him. The altar table, chair, and linen cloth that the Pope will be using for his Masses will bear images such as the Philippines’ national leaf, the anahaw, to give them a ‘Filipino touch’. The altar, meanwhile, will resemble hands lifted up in prayer and the linen cloth made from piña (pineapple) fiber. Pope Francis will visit the Philippines form January 15 to 19.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Rappler and Viber host an online discussion on Pope’s visit

    In its continuing effort to share stories and inspire smart conversations through innovative means, Rappler takes another step forward and launches its presence on popular messaging mobile application Viber with the Pope Francis in PH public chat thread. Viber users in the Philippines can follow live conversations of thought leaders such as Dr Margie Holmes, Dr Sylvia Estrada Claudio, preacher Bo Sanchez, and Islamic scholar Mussolini Lidasan. Look for the Pope Francis in PH public chat on Viber and join in the discussion by sending your thoughts via Twitter to @moveph.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Philippines climbs 8 notches in Forbes’ best countries for business rankings

    For weathering global economic and financial downturns, the Philippines climbed 8 notches to 82nd place in the annual Forbes list of “Best Countries for Business” for 2014. The business magazine noted that a lower dependence on experts, relatively resilient domestic consumption, large remittances from overseas Filipinos and a rapidly expanding business process outsourcing industry were among the top reasons for better economic performance in 2014. But Forbes noted that, despite overall growth in the economy, the poverty rate has not improved. Topping the list of 146 countries was Denmark, Hong Kong and New Zealand while Libya, Chad and Guinea ranked at the bottom.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Extreme cold grips Canada, the US and Turkey

    Extreme cold gripped Canada and northern parts of the United States on Monday, January 5, prompting calls for residents to stay indoors amid increased risks of frostbite and hypothermia. Freezing rain and heavy snow draped eastern Canada under a sheet of ice making driving impossible while dozens of flights were delayed. Temperatures hovered around -20ºC (-4ºF), but with a windchill felt like -45ºC (-49ºF) in some parts, according to meteorologists. At these temperatures, exposed skin can freeze in under two minutes. Meanwhile in Turkey, heavy snowfall descended on large parts of Turkey on Tuesday, January 6, snarling road and air traffic and leading to closures of schools. At least 44 international and domestic flights were also cancelled. Authorities have been warning for days that the cold spell would be unprecedented, saying the temperatures might drop to as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius for Istanbul.

    Read the full story on Rappler here and here.

  7. Germany anti-migrant rally draws crowd, criticism

    A record 18,000 people turned out Monday, January 5, for an anti-immigrant rally by a right-wing populist movement, ignoring a call by Chancellor Angela Merkel to snub such street protests. But thousands others joined counter-demonstrations in several cities against the “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident” or PEGIDA group. The group says it aims to protect “Judeo-Christian” values and urges tolerance for integrated Muslims. But opponents accuse it of thinly veiled neo-Nazi rhetoric and whipping up xenophobic sentiment in Germany. In Cologne, several public and historic buildings dimmed outdoor lights in a stand against PEGIDA.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Philippine Airlines cancels flights during papal visit

    Philippine Airlines (PAL) is canceling a total of 71 flights on January 15 and 19 to give way to the arrival and departure ceremonies for Pope Francis at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Passengers booked on cancelled flights are advised to call PAL reservations at +632-855-8888 for rebooking or refund assistance. Tickets may be refunded without penalty. The announcement comes after Cebu Pacific and Tigerair also announced cancellations of 95 domestic and 8 international flights also due to the papal visit.

    See the full list of cancelled PAL flights on Rappler.

  9. Military officers warned vs supporting candidates in 2016

    Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin cautioned the country’s top military officers on Tuesday, January 6, against violating the law preventing them from involvement in partisan politics as the 2016 elections draws near. Garmin, speaking to the officers at the New Year’s Call, said that, aside from voting, officers and troops are constitutionally mandated not to engage directly or indirectly in any partisan political activity.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Private space company aborts landmark Falcon 9 launch

    A last-minute rocket glitch forced private space company SpaceX to abort a landmark bid on Tuesday, January 6 to launch a reusable rocket into space. The Falcon 9 rocket would be the first recyclable rocket in the industry, which would in turn allow for cheaper space travel and exploration. Instead of simply falling into the ocean and breaking apart, the first stage of the rocket would be guided slowly to a floating platform in the middle of the ocean and reused. But a technical glitch forced launch managers to cancel the launch until it could be fixed. SpaceX also supplies cargo to the International Space Station under a contract with NASA.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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