February 1, 2015

Michelle Fernandez

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

  1. After Mamasapano, pleas for peace continue

    Philippine government and Muslim rebel negotiators issued a joint plea Saturday, January 31, for the country to stick to a historic peace accord that is now in peril after a deadly clash spurred calls for retribution against the guerrillas. Both sides told a press briefing in Kuala Lumpur that two days of talks in Malaysia on decommissioning rebel firearms had made progress, and they vowed not to waver in implementing an accord on the voluntary surrender of weapons.

    Read Agence France-Presse’s report on Rappler.


  2. Second Japanese captive beheaded

    The Islamic State group (ISIS) said in a video Saturday (Sunday in Manila), January 31, it had beheaded a second Japanese hostage, drawing outrage from Tokyo and condemnation from Washington. The claim was made in a video released online that included no mention of a Jordanian pilot also being held by ISIS, whom the jihadist group has also threatened to kill.

    A visibly upset Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday, February 1, vowed to “never forgive terrorists.” “I am extremely angry about these heinous and despicable terrorist acts. We will never forgive terrorists,” Abe told reporters in Tokyo. “We will cooperate with the international community to make them atone for their crimes.”

    Read more on Rappler here and here.

  3. Civilians killed in SAF-MILF clash, says mayor

    An 8-year-old girl and 3 men – one with his hands bound – were among those killed in a botched anti-terror police operation in Mindanao last weekend, a local official said Saturday, January 31. Mamasapano town mayor Benzar Ampatuan said residents had told him police tied up the man to stop him tipping off their targets ahead of the pre-dawn raid, in which 44 commandos died in one of the force’s bloodiest days in recent years.

    Read more on Rappler.


  4. Angry relatives slam Malaysian government ‘accident’ declaration

    Traumatized relatives of those aboard missing flight MH370 Friday, January 30, blasted the Malaysian government for declaring the passengers and crew dead without evidence of the plane’s fate, and rejected compensation offers. Malaysian authorities a day earlier had said they were now classifying the unexplained disappearance of the plane as an “accident” under global aviation conventions and said for the first time that all 239 on board were presumed dead. But relatives in both Malaysia and China – two-thirds of the passengers were Chinese nationals – rejected that declaration.

    Read more on Rappler.


  5. Pope ‘updated’ on RH issue when he visited PH

    Pope Francis factored in the Reproductive Health (RH) law, which funds artificial contraceptives, when he slammed the “ideological colonization” of families during his trip to the Philippines. In fact, Francis was “certainly” updated on the Church-opposed law even before he stayed in the Philippines from January 15 to 19, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) confirmed to Rappler on Friday, January 30.

    Read more on Rappler.


  6. With SK polls postponed, voters’ registration continues

    Voters’ registration for the 2016 national elections will proceed in February, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said. The Comelec en banc – through Minute Resolution No. 15-0050 released on Friday, January 30 – ordered that the system of continuing registration of voters, validation, and updating of registration records “continue on February 1, 2015, until further orders.” The poll body had previously ordered the suspension of voters’ registration from February 1 to 28 because of activities related to the SK polls.

    Read more on Rappler.


  7. Long-term growth if reforms put in place – analysts

    Critical reforms in government, if put in place, will address development issues that still haunt the country, despite trumpeting that the Philippines is one of Asia’s fastest growing economies, analysts said. Experts are wary of non-inclusive growth, but the Aquino administration has consistently said that it is striving for inclusive growth.

    Read more on Rappler.


  8. In US, opinions of scientists vary greatly from public

    Average Americans hold vastly different opinions than scientists about animal experiments, climate change, genetically modified foods and offshore oil drilling, researchers said Thursday, January 29. The largest opinion gap found in the study, published in the US journal Science, was on whether genetically modified foods are safe to eat or not.

    Read more on Rappler.

    Researchers in a discussion image from Shutterstock.


  9. Benedict Cumberbatch leads UK petition for gay men ‘indecency’ charges

    Actor Benedict Cumberbatch was among some 75,000 people to sign a petition Saturday, January 31, urging a pardon for all gay men convicted of indecency in Britain under historic laws. An open letter published in the Guardian newspaper urged Prince William and his wife Catherine to step in to make the case for a blanket pardon for the 49,000 men who were convicted. Other famous signatories include British actor and comedian Stephen Fry and the director of “The Imitation Game.” Morten Tyldum.

    Read more on Rappler.


  10. Serena beats Maria to get 19th Grand Slam title

    American top seed Serena Williams won her sixth Australian Open and 19th career Grand Slam title on Saturday, January 31, with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) victory over Russia’s Maria Sharapova. The triumph means the world number one overtakes 18-time major champions Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert to go a clear second on the all-time Open-era winners’ list, three behind Steffi Graf on 22. It also extends her staggering decade-long dominance of arch rival Sharapova, with the world number one posting her 16th straight victory over the Russian.

    Read more on Rappler.


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