January 25, 2015 Edition

Michelle Fernandez

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

  1. AMLC reveals Jinggoy Estrada’s undeclared wealth

    Senator Jinggoy Estrada, already in detention over plunder charges, finds himself in hot water anew after an Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) investigation revealed he did not declare more than $3-million in dollar deposits and life insurance policies in his statements of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN). In a report submitted to the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan, the AMLC also said that Estrada’s cash assets jumped significantly from 2005 to 2012. Estrada also withdrew P76 million in September 2013 as the DOJ readied plunder charges against him. Estrada is accused of pocketing money from his pork barrel fund meant for NGOs.

    Read the full story on Rappler


  2. ISIS beheads Japanese hostage

    The Islamic State (ISIS) group beheaded one of two Japanese hostages according to various reports. A video posted on YouTube, which was later removed, showed the decapitated body of Haruna Yukawa. The ISIS demanded a ransom of $200 million from the Japanese government. Yukawa was a freelance journalist. ISIS still holds another Japanese hostage, Kenji Goto. Japan has condemned the execution even as it is trying to verify the video’s authenticity. The US and the UK have also condemned the murder.

    Read the full story on Rappler


  3. Obama shortens India trip to meet new Saudi king

    US President Barack Obama will cut short his visit to India and head to Saudi Araba to ‘pay respects’ to new King Salman. Obama was scheduled to see India’s famous Taj Mahal with First Lady Michelle Obama. Instead, he will travel to Riyadh on Tuesday morning, January 27, to meet with King Salman, the half-brother of King Abdullah who passed away on Friday, January 23. Saudi Arabia and the United States are staunch allies, with the US once highly dependent on imports of Saudi Arabian petroleum.

    Read the full story on Rappler


  4. Australia bans dumping waste in Great Barrier Reef

    Photo courtesy of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

    After drawing criticism for not doing enough to protect the environment, the Australian government is banning the dumping of dredge waste on most of the Great Barrier Reef. The ban is in response to a threat by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to put the reef in its danger list. Conservationists say dumping waste in reef waters damages the corals and seagrass. UNESCO has given Australia until February 1 to put the ban in place.

    Read the full story on Rappler


  5. Mercado: Binay used Boy Scout funds for 2010 bid

    Former Makati vice mayor and ex-Binay ally Ernesto Mercado accused Vice President Jejomar Binay of pocketing P189 million after brokering a deal between the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) and property developer Alphaland. In a senate hearing on January 22, Mercado who was the senior vice president of the BSP at that time, said he even supported Binay’s proposal for a joint venture but did not realize that Binay would make money from the deal. Binay has been the BSP national president for over two decades. The camp of Binay and the BSP have denied any wrongdoing in the joint venture.

    Read the full story on Rappler here and here


  6. OFW working in Hong Kong gets NYU scholarship

    A Filipina aspiring photojournalist and professional nanny in Hong Kong is on her way to New York University as one of Magnum Foundation’s Human Rights Fellows for 2015. Xyza Cruz Bacani, who has worked in Hong Kong as a nanny for over a decade, is one of 7 international Human Rights Fellows. The scholarship will help support and mentor the photographers by introducing them to photo editors and international media networks. Bacani has published photos depicting the life of migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong and the 2014 democracy protests.

    Read the full story on Rappler


  7. Divers to float AirAsia fuselage

    Indonesian salvage teams will make a second attempt to raise the fuselage of AirAsia Flight 8501 from the sea after a first attempt was aborted. Divers on Saturday, January 24, also recovered four more bodies inside the main wreckage of the crashed jet. But the difficult weather conditions and jumbled wires inside the aircraft body made it difficult for divers to check if there are more bodies inside the plane. An investigation into the exact cause of the crash is ongoing but initial findings show the plane climbed abnormally fast before stalling and plunging into the sea. Indonesia also said it will not release to the public the preliminary findings of the investigation.

    Read the full story on Rappler


  8. No need for additional international support to fight Boko Haram – Nigeria

    Nigeria’s top security official on Friday, January 23, ruled out the need for a United Nationa or African Union-backed force to fight Boko Haram, saying the country and its partners could handle the threat. National security adviser Sambo Dasuki reiterated that the present group of soldiers from Niger, Chad, and Cameroon working with Nigerian troops could deal with the Islamist militants responsible for killing thousands and abducting hundreds of women. But an existing force appears to have collapsed in disarray even before the January 3 attack on its headquarters near the town of Baga.

    Read the full story on Rappler


  9. Palace defends DSWD in sending street families to resort

    Malcañang came to the defense of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) which has come under scrutiny for bussing Manila families with no permanent address to a Batangas resort during the visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines on Jan 15 – 19. Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the trip was a “normal project” for the DSWD as part of its modified conditional cash transfer program. Valte added the group that went on the “retreat” are “no longer sleeping in the streets.” Valte said the intention was not to hide the street families even as Soliman admitted they were take away during the days of the papal visit for the “safety” of the families.

    Read the full story on Rappler


  10. Weekend markets help urban residents unwind

    Weekend markets in Metro Manila are all the rage. Slowly but surely, they have begun to blossom all around the city, each one with unique qualities that cater to different wants and needs. Check out Rappler’s review of the four most popular weekend dives that will get your tastebuds craving for more this weekend and every weekend after that.

    Read all about the weekend markets on Rappler


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