January 21, 2015 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. DSWD takes street families on a ‘retreat’ during papal visit

    On the day Pope Francis arrived in Manila, a news report in a UK tabloid accused the Philippine government of rounding up and caging street children. The government was quick to deny this and even conducted an investigation which they said yielded negative results. But, according to one local NGO, the government did round up street families and brought them to a resort in Batangas for 5 days from January 14 to 19. The DSWD confirms this and said it was part of an annual ‘retreat and orientation’ for family beneficiaries of the government’s conditional cash transfer program. Up to 600 individuals stayed at the resort on the government’s account. Many families were only told of the trip two days before they left.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Public unhappy with gov’t over slow Maguindanao case

    While the Aquino administration has enjoyed overall approval of its performance, a survey indicates that people are dissatisfied with the lack of progress in the Maguindanao massacre case. A recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted in December 2014 shows the Aquino administration getting an overall ‘good’ performance rating of +34 but a poor performance rating in handling the Maguindanao massacre case (-41). Respondents also said inflation, hungry families, and oil prices are issues where the government has performed poorly. President Benigno Aquino III inherited the Maguindanao massacre case from his predecessor, former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Supreme Court junks disqualification case vs mayor Estrada

    The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday, January 21, junked the disqualification case against former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada. Voting 11-3, the high tribunal upheld a previous Commission on Elections (Comelec) decision dismissing the disqualification case against him. Those who dissented are Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, and Associate Justice Marivic Leonen. Estrada was convicted of plunder by Sandiganbayan and was pardoned by former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Senator Pimentel: Cite mayor Binay for contempt

    Senator Aquilino Pimentel III wants the Senate to cite Makati Mayor Junjun Binay in contempt for refusing to attend hearings of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee which is investigating corruption allegations against the mayor and Vice President Jejomar Binay. Pimentel also asked the Senate to cite 6 other people in contempt for snubbing the hearings. The camp of mayor Binay says no law was violated and that Binay was actually following Senate Rules. Binay, however, has questioned the jurisdictional authority of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee over the case. Should Binay be citied in contempt, he can be detained by the Senate until he agrees to testify.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Muslim protests against Charlie Hebdo increase

    Kyrgyzstan, a Central Asian nation, joined the list of Muslim countries where protests agains the satirical French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, were held. More than 1,000 people turned up to rally against the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, which Muslims find offensive. A cartoon depicting Mohammed holding a #JeSuisCharlie sign was published by Charlie Hebdo the week after a deadly Paris attack which killed 12. Other protests have been staged in the Philippines and France.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Crashed plane ‘climbed too fast’

    Indonesia’s transport minister revealed preliminary findings that the ill-fated Air Asia QZ8501 plane ascended too fast and is believed to have stalled before crashing into the ocean. Minister Ignasius Jonan said the flight ascended at a speed of 6,000 ft (1,828m) per minute, unusual for a commercial jet plane. Both the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder were retrieved from the plane resting in deep waters. But a full report will not be available until the end of the month.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. ISIS demands ransom for 2 Japanese hostages

    The Islamic State (ISIS) group threatened to kill two Japanese hostages unless it receives a $200 million ransom within 72 hours. Japan, in turn, demanded the immediate release of the hostages and said it would not give in to “terrorism.” ISIS said the $200 million ransom will serve as ‘compensation’ for the $200 million in non-military aid pledged by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged in support of countries hit by ISIS violence.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. IMF slashes world growth forecast for 2015-2016

    The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday, January 20, sharply cut its 2015-2016 world growth forecast of only 6 months ago, saying lower oil prices did not offset pervasive weaknesses around the globe. The IMF cited poorer economic performance of China, Russia, the euro area and Japan will hold world GDP growth to just 3.5% this year and a slightly higher 3.7% in 2016. The forecasts were lower than the 3.8% and 4% growth for 2015 and 2016 respectively given in the previous World Economic Outlook in October. The cut underscored the steady deterioration of the economic picture for many countries, due to sluggish investment, slowing trade and falling commodity prices.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Ebola virus can mutate, may thwart cure

    Scientists say the Ebola virus, which has spread widely in parts of West Africa, is changing with new genetic mutations arising in the past four decades. This could thwart experimental drugs in development. “The virus has not only changed since these therapies were designed, but it’s continuing to change,” said lead author Jeffrey Kugelman, a viral geneticist at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. Clinical trials of treatment drugs were accelerated last year as an Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia caused global alarm. There is no cure or vaccine yet for Ebola.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Samboy Lim out of coma, returns home

    PBA legend Samboy Lim is awake and has returned home under supervised medical care after nearly two months in a comatose state. The basketball coach was released from the hospital last Wednesday, January 14. The family has built a make-shift hospital room and will provide him with round-the-clock nurse care. The PBA legend can show emotion and do basic gestures, says the family. Lim collapsed during an exhibition game on November 28 and fell into a coma.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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