January 14, 2015 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Pope Francis tells Sri Lanka religious leaders to work together

    Pope Francis on Tuesday, January 13, called on Sri Lanka’s religious leaders to work together for post-war reconciliation on the island, where bitter ethnic and religious divisions persist. Speaking to Buddhist, Hindi and Muslim leaders, the pope said religious beliefs should never be a cause for violence. He added that his thoughts are with the families of the victims of the country’s 37-year civil war. Although the Tamil rebels lost the war, deep divisions still exist in Sri Lankan society. Religious violence has also risen in recent years in the mainly Buddhist country, which has significant Hindu, Muslim and Christian minorities. The Pope will travel to the Philippines on Thursday, January 15 for the second leg of his Asian tour.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Look at photos from Pope Francis first day in Sri Lanka.

  2. Despite storm threat, preparations underway in Leyte for papal visit

    Government workers and officials of the Catholic Church are rushing to prepare the venues where Pope Francis will celebrate mass and meet people when he visits Leyte on January 17. But intermittent rains flooded the Holy Mass site on Monday, January 12. A tropical depression in the Pacific Ocean threatens to bring more rain to the Eastern Visayas region, forcing organizers to mull the cancellation of the Pope’s visit to the island. Despite the bad weather, the organizers say they are ready to welcome the pontiff and have heeded his request to remove posters bearing the Pope’s face from roads in Leyte.

    Read the full story on Rappler here and here.

    View a list of class and work suspensions here.

    Want to see the Pope? Here’s a cheat sheet on the routes and rules of his visit here.

  3. France victims buried as Charlie Hebdo hits back

    Victims of a wave of Islamist attacks in France were being buried Tuesday, January 13, as the Charlie Hebdo weekly hit back after the massacre of its staff with a front-page cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed under the banner: “All is forgiven”. The coffins of three police officers killed during the attacks were carried at a solemn ceremony attended by President Francois Hollande. In Israel, thousands of mourners gathered at a cemetery for the funeral of four Jews gunned down in a Parisian kosher supermarket. The magazine at the center of the attack refused to back down, despite continued security threats in the French capital. The French military was put on heightened alert after the attacks.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Brewing tropical depression to enter Philippines Wednesday or Thursday

    A tropical depression that had developed from a low pressure area in the Pacific Ocean could enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Wednesday (January 14) evening or Thursday (January 15) morning, said state weather bureau PAGASA. Once it enters PAR, it will be given the name “Amang”, making it the first storm of 2015. Parts of the Philippines are already experiencing wet weather, particularly in Eastern Visayas, Caraga, and Davao region in Mindanao. There is still a chance for the weather system dissipate as it nears land. Already, organizers of the Pope’s visit to Leyte are mulling the cancellation of his trip if the weather system intensifies.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Cebu Pacific questions P52M fine over holiday fiasco

    Cebu Air Inc (Cebu Pacific) wants to know from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) the basis of its P52.11 million ($1.14 million*) fine over the budget carrier’s hundreds of flight delays and cancellations during the holidays. The company added they have yet to receive formal notice of the fine. A total of 10,400 passengers were reportedly affected by flight delays and cancellations over the holiday period that started on December 4. The CAB Board decided to impose a P5,000 ($111.68) fine for every affected passenger. CAB also issued a strong reprimand to Cebu Pacific on top of the hefty fine. The airline company blamed air traffic congestion and overworked staff as the cause of the delays and cancellations.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Sabah standoff leader Agbimuddin Kiram dies in Tawi-Tawi

    Sabah standoff leader Agbimuddin Kiram died of cardiac arrest in his hometown in the province of Tawi-Tawi Tuesday, January 13, police said. Kiran, also known as Datu Puing, led a group of about 200 armed followers of the Sultanate of Sulu to Lahad Datu, Sabah in February 2013, ostensibly to revive the sultanate’s claim to the Eastern Malaysian state. The stunt led to a standoff between the small armed group and Malaysian security forces, causing the lives of 60 people and forcing 6,000 Filipinos to flee Sabah. Kiram managed to escape to the Philippines and his whereabouts were unknown prior to his death.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Messi mulls leaving Barcelona

    Lionel Messi saw arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo beat him to the Ballon d’Or in Zurich Monday, January 12 and then reignited speculation over his own future by saying: “I don’t know where I’ll be next year.” The Barcelona and Argentina superstar appeared to back on his own comments made a day earlier that rumors he could leave for Chelsea or Manchester City were “all lies.” “I don’t know where I’ll be next year,” said the superstar player to reporters. His latest comments are sure to regenerate interest from a number of cash-rich English Premier League clubs.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Philippines ranks 19th top viewer of popular porn website

    The Philppines is one of the 20 countries that visit popular pornography website Pornhub in 2014, according to figures released by the company on Wednesday, January 7. Ranking 19th place from the top, the Philippines jumped 8 places from 2013’s ranking. The United States, United Kingdom, Canada, India and Germany were the top 5 consumers of pornography in the world, the company said. Pornhub had 78.9 billion videos viewed in the year, or approximately “11 videos viewed for every person on Earth.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. ‘Voice Kids’ Lyca Gairanod to sing for Pope Francis

    The Voice Kids grand champion Lyca Gairanod is set to perform for Pope Francis at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday, January 16. The young singer said this is a dream come true for her and added that she would like to take a selfie with the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics. Lyca will sing “Tell the World of His Love,” the theme song of the 1995 World Youth Day celebrations. The song will be sung by Lyca during the Meeting of the Families event at the MOA Arena.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Chinese man caught smuggling 94 iPhones on his body

    Chinese authorities arrested a man who tried to smuggle 94 iPhones from Hong Kong into China by strapping the phones to his body. Sina News reports authorities noticed the man was walking strangely and a joint stiffness. When the man triggered the metal detector, authorities knew something was off. While Apple iPhones are made and available in China, heavy taxation makes it a very costly phone compared to local brand phones. With the phones strapped around his torso and waist, it’s a puzzle how this man would be able to answer the ‘call of nature.’

    Read the full story on CNet.

    Image from Shutterstock

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