January 18, 2015 Edition

Michelle Fernandez

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

  1. ‘I am here to be with you,’ Pope tells Yolanda, Bohol quake survivors

    I am here to be with you. A little bit late, I have to say, but I’m here.” Despite the threat of another storm, Pope Francis made a shortened tour of Tacloban and Palo in Leyte – ground zero of 2013’s Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). In a Mass at Tacloban Airport, the Pope ditched a prepared homily and delivered an impromptu one, addressed to the victims of the typhoon and the deadly Bohol earthquake. “Many of you lost everything. I don’t know what to say to you. Many have asked, why, Lord?” He said: “All I can do is keep silent.” Tropical Storm Amang (Mekkhala) kept the visit short, but the pontiff was still able to meet survivors of the storm and the members of the religious community there.

    Later in Manila, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said that on the flight back, the pontiff told him, “This visit is really for me. I’m learning.”

    Read the Pope’s heartfelt homily (in Spanish and the English translation) for the disaster survivors, as well as his undelivered homily and speech, on Rappler. Rappler’s full coverage of the papal visit on the #PopeFrancisPH microsite.

  2. Bad weather threatens papal visit activities in Manila

    The first storm of 2015 threatens Pope Francis’ last major public event in his visit to the Philippines. State weather bureau PAGASA raised public storm warning signal number 1 over the National Capital Region on Saturday, January 17, through its 5 pm update on Tropical Storm Amang (international name Mekkhala). The storm signal comes the evening before a public outdoor Mass to be given by the Pope at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila. As many as 6 million people are expected to flock to the surrounding area to hear him. Government officials advised attendees to wear raincoats and to come early to the Luneta.

    Read more on Rappler.


  3. Cebu celebrates Sinulog Festival

    Photo from Rappler

    Despite the threat of Tropical Storm Amang (Mekkhala) and the ongoing papal visit in Manila, millions of people are in Cebu City to celebrate the Sinulog festival, one of the Philippines’ largest religious festivals and biggest tourist draws. On Saturday, January 17, an estimated 1.8 million devotees of the Santo Niño flocked to the city’s streets to join the procession for the festival. Prior to that, hundreds lined the shores of Mandaue, Cebu, and Mactan to witness the fluvial procession, with a total of 106 vessels accompanying the main vessel carrying the image of the Holy Child.

    On Sunday, people are once more expected to be back on the streets, this time for the climax of the festivities – the grand Sinulog parade, which will see hundreds of street performers and dozens of floats passing through the city’s streets, all in celebration of Cebu’s grandest festival.

    Read more on The Freeman, GMA News, and the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

  4. Tacloban accident: Plane carrying gov’t officials skids off runway

    A small plane skidded off the wet runway of the Tacloban airport as it attempted to take off Saturday, January 17. Among the passengers of the plane were Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr, Undersecretary Emmanuel Bautista, and Undersecretary Felizardo Serapio. “The aforementioned officials were on hand in Tacloban to ensure that the activities of Pope Francis in Tacloban and Palo would go as planned,” a statement released by Malacañang said.

    Read more on Rappler.


  5. Six drug offenders executed in Indonesia

    Indonesia put to death 5 foreigners and one local woman convicted of drugs offenses on Sunday, January 18, unleashing a diplomatic storm as Brazil and the Netherlands condemned the execution of their citizens. The executions – the first under Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo – were carried out by firing squad on foreigners hailing from Brazil, the Netherlands, Vietnam, Malawi and Nigeria. Jakarta halted capital punishment in 2008 but resumed executions again in 2013.

    Read more on Rappler Indonesia.


  6. Belgium on alert after ‘terror plot’ arrests in Greece

    Belgium on Saturday, January 17, deployed troops to patrol its streets after smashing an Islamist “terrorist” cell that allegedly planned to kill police officers, as Greece arrested 4 people in connection with the foiled plot. The arrests come after Belgian security forces killed two suspected Islamists in a huge anti-terror raid in the eastern town of Verviers Thursday, January 15, disrupting a suspected plan to attack police in the country.

    Read more on Rappler.


  7. It’s getting really hot in here: 2014 hottest year on record

    Record-breaking temperatures scorched the planet last year, making 2014 the hottest in more than a century and raising new concerns about global warming, US government scientists said Friday, January 16. The much-anticipated report by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was confirmed by an independent analysis from the US space agency NASA that reached the same conclusion. “Record warmth was spread around the world,” said the NOAA report.

    Read more on Rappler.


  8. Mall developer uproots trees, people furious

    While almost the entire nation’s attention was focused on the visit of Pope Francis, residents of Baguio City woke up on Saturday, January 17, to discover that SM Baguio had decided to cut 60 trees surrounding the mall for its expansion. In a statement issued Saturday evening, SM Supermalls president Annie Garcia said the mall has secured all the necessary permits for the planned expansion project. Netizens and residents on Saturday expressed their sentiments on social media, with many slamming SM for the move.

    Read more on Rappler.


  9. Message to Mayweather: ‘Time to say yes’ to fight

    Manny Pacquiao made an appearance on The Today Show in New York on Friday, January 16 to promote the US release of his docu-flick, Manny, but he didn’t shy away from speaking on a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Pacquiao reaffirmed to Today hosts Willie Geist and Natalie Morales that he has agreed to the “terms and conditions” Mayweather has set for a clash on May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. “My promoter and I, we agreed to all that [Mayweather] wants,” said Pacquiao, an 8-division and current WBO welterweight champion. “We’re just waiting for the signed contract to make it happen.”

    Read more on Rappler.


  10. What diversity? Oscars slammed for being ‘too white, too male’

    Too white and too male. That is the charge facing the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after it unveiled its nominations this week for the 2015 Oscars race. The phrase #OscarsSoWhite soared up the Twitter trending topics within minutes of Thursday’s nominations for the Oscars, the climax of Hollywood’s annual awards season. Not a single non-white actor or actress was shortlisted in any of the 4 main acting categories, although the Martin Luther King Jr movie Selma did make it into the best picture race.

    Read Agence France-Presse’s story on Rappler.


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