February 4, 2015 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Jordan vows revenge after ISIS burns hostaged pilot alive

    The Islamic State (ISIS) group released a video Tuesday, February 3, purportedly showing a Jordanian pilot being burned alive in a cage, in the jihadists’ most brutal execution yet of a foreign hostage. The highly choreographed 22-minute video released online showed images of a man purported to be First Lieutenant Maaz al-Kassasbeh, captured in December, engulfed in flames. King Abdullah II vowed an “earth-shattering response.” Al-Kassasbeh, who was only 26, was held hostage by ISIS after his plane crashed over northern Syria. ISIS had tied the pilot’s fate to that of two Japanese hostages, both of whom were eventually murdered last week.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. A look inside Mamasapano

    Rappler takes a look into what happened to the operators of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP SAF) on Sunday, January 25 which resulted in the deaths of 44 policemen and 10 others. The operation intended to capture or kill international terrorists Zulkifli bin Hir and Abdul Basit Usman involved three SAF companies: a strike team, a blocking team, and a backup team. Majority of those killed on that day came from the blocking team which was caught surrounded by forces from the Moro Islamic Liberation Force and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. Despite being fully equipped, the SAF operators were outnumbered and were not reinforced until the evening of the 25th. Rappler’s Carmela Fonbuena explains why they were left to fend for themselves in Mamasapano.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. British parliament approves ‘three-parent’ babies

    Britain on Tuesday, February 3, became the first country in the world to allow the creation of babies with DNA from three people after parliament approved the controversial procedure. Dubbed “three-parent” babies, babies born from this procedure will have “healthier” genetic material, which is introduced into the embryo from a woman donor. Scientists say this could reduce the chances for inherited diseases to pass on from mother to child. Critics, however, say it opens up the possibility for “designer babies” in the future.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Supreme Court partially grants gov’t appeal on DAP

    The Supreme Court on Tuesday, February 3, partially granted the government’s appeal on its earlier ruling on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). SC spokesperson Theodore Te announced that the High Court reversed itself on its ruling on one of 3 executive acts under the DAP it had deemed unconstitutional in its July 1, 2014 decision. Specifically, the Supreme Court agreed that the executive act of augmenting existing projects with funds from savings is constitutional. The High Court affirmed the unconstitutionality of the remains two acts.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Ex-prostitute testifies in Strauss-Kahn trial

    In a trial that has gripped France, an ex prostitute nicknamed “Jade” took the witness stand on Tuesday, February 2, and told the court of lunchtime sex parties and orgies participated in by high-profile French men. One of the men implicated is former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who allegedly organized these parties together with his friends. Strauss-Kahn was the former finance minister of France. He was widely tipped to be a top presidential contender before a sexual assault case in 2011 shot down his political career. Strauss Kahn has admitted to attending orgies but denies knowing that the women were prostitutes. Prostitution in France is legal but pimping is outlawed.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Infrastructure spending to climb by 4% in 2015

    In an effort to address underspending in 2014, the government will increase infrastructure investments by 4% of projected gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said. DBM said it already released P2.037 trillion ($461.95 billion) or 78% of the P2.606 trillion ($591.53 billion) budget for 2015 at the start of the year to address procurement and implementation delays and fast track the release of funds for public goods and services. The Department of Public Works and Highways is allowing P185.8 billion ($4.21 billion) for the completion of all national roads by 2016 and all national bridges by 2015. The World Bank has cautioned that restricting government spending for much-needed infrastructure could curtail the country’s long-term growth.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Pope Francis apologizes for quick Leyte trip

    Pope Francis apologized “for any impatience” he showed during his trip to typhoon-hit Leyte, and said he is “deeply saddened” that a storm forced him to cut his visit short. The Archdiocese of Palo revealed these details as it publicized on Tuesday, February 3, a letter signed by Francis and addressed to Palo Archbishop John Du.

    Read the full story and what Pope Francis had to say on Rappler.

  8. Brazil beauty contest ends in chaos

    Miss Amazon 2015 in Brazil ended in acrimony and accusations of cheating when a runner-up tore the sash and crown from the winning contestant. In a video posted on the Internet, the two finalists are seen smiling and holding hands moments before the winner and the first runner up are announced. Carolina Toledo had just a moment to celebrate her victory before furious rival Sheislane Hayalla sneaked up from behind and yanked off her crown and sash. Hayalla accused the pageant organizers of favoritism and alleged bribery was involved. The winner of Miss Amazon competes in Miss Brazil in September.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. McDonald’s to let random customers pay with hugs, kind words

    From February 2 to 14, fast food giant McDonald’s will let some lucky customers pay for their orders with random acts of kindness, like dancing or saying “I love you”. In an advertisement aired during Super Bowl XLIX, surprised customers are asked to call their mothers or talk about why they love their children in exchange for a meal. The promo will only run in McDonald’s stores in the United States, however. Could the Philippines be next?

    Read the full story and watch the advertisement on Rappler.

  10. Viral: Executed Japanese journalist’s peace tweet

    A poignant tweet by murdered journalist Kenji Goto on the virtue of being calm was spreading rapidly on social media Tuesday, February 3, days after he was apparently beheaded by Islamist militants. “Close your eyes and remain patient. It’s over once you get angry or yell. It is almost like praying. Hating is not the role of humans; judgement is God’s domain,” Goto’s 4-year-old tweet read. “It was my Arab brothers who taught me this,” he tweeted in Japanese on September 7, 2010. The message had been retweeted more than 25,000 times in Japanese, with English versions also widely circulated.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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