February 17, 2015 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Sulpicio Lines banned from ferrying people

    More than 6 years after the sinking of its ferry which killed over 200 passengers, Sulpicio Lines Incorporated is now limited to cargo operations. The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) cancelled Sulpicio’s certificate of public convenience for the transport of people on January 23 but made the decision public only on February 16. Sulpicio has had a string of ferry mishaps, the latest of which involved the M/V Princess of the Stars which left more than 200 dead in 2008. The 1987 sinking of the Doña Paz left more than 4,300 dead and was considered the world’s worst peacetime shipping disaster.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. PNP: Wait for probe results

    Downplaying reports that grenades issued to Special Action Force troopers were duds and that the United States spearheaded the Mamasapano operation from beginning to end, police officials said it was best to wait for the results of investigations conducted by the Board of Inquiry (BOI). According to SAF intelligence officer Superintendent Raymund Train’s sworn statement, the grenades were “defective and apparently did not explode.” He also said his team, the 84th Seaborne Company, which served as the striking force to neutralize Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, ran out of bullets. Philippine National Police OIC Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina said the BOI should be ready with their findings in one or two weeks’ time. Pending the BOI probe results, the House of Representatives has suspended its own inquiry.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    A related story on the suspension of the House of Representatives probe is also on Rappler.

  3. Victims of pedophile-priests ask Pope to act

    Coming together, victims of sexually abusive priests from the United States to Argentina, Chile, Mexcio and other nations, told Pope Francis in a letter made public in Mexico City: “Words are not enough.” They said the pope’s recent admonitions of sex abuse in the Church are “ambiguous and contradictory” because they do not lead to any “institutional process toward truth and justice.” Pope Francis has called for “zero tolerance” of abusive priests since he was chosen to lead the Catholic Church in March 2013.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Buying power of half of Pinoys unchanged – survey

    Close to half of Filipino consumers feel their purchasing power has remained unchanged since 2013. This, despite government saying it is domestic consumption that is fueling the economy. A December 2014 survey by Kantar Worldpanel Philippines showed that 48% of Filipino consumers their buying power has remained the same, compared to 27% who said it has improved, and 24% who said otherwise. Among those surveyed, 61% said rising food and commodity prices are their topmost concern.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Strong 6.8-quake hits northern Japan

    A minor tsunami hit the coast of northern Japan Tuesday morning, February 17, after a strong 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck at 8:06 am in the Pacific, about 210 kilometers east of Miyako in northern Japan. A wave of 10 centimeters or 4 inches was recorded on the shore of Miyako in eastern Iwate at 2347 GMT, Monday, after Japan’s meteorological agency warned a tsunami of up to one meter could hit the region. There were no immediate reports of injuries or casualties. The Japanese agency recorded the quake at 6.9.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Thousands hold vigil for shooting victims

    Tens of thousands of Danes gathered for a vigil in central Copenhagen on Monday, February 16. Lit by torches, the vigil was intended to commemorate the two victims who were shot by 22-year-old Omar El-Hussein. The attacker, born and raised in Denmark, had a violent history of crime. Two suspects were charged also on Monday with aiding the gunman get rid of his weapon and giving him somewhere to hide. The two suspects have denied the allegations against them. The incident has sparked fears of a rise in anti-Semitic violence in one of the world’s most peaceful countries.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    A related story on the arrests is also on Rappler, as the story on the suspects denying the charges, also is.

  7. No Aquino resignation call by Cardinal Vidal

    The secretary of retired Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal said the prelate is not calling on President Benigno Aquino III to resign and that he felt bad the National Transformation Council (NTC) used him to spread their sentiment. After meeting with the NTC in his home, Vidal read a statement the group prepared, but omitted and revised some parts. After reading the statement, Vidal told reporters he was not making any calls for resignation but said the President as commander-in-chief should be held accountable for the Mamasapano operation. By lending his voice to the group, Vidal merely wanted to get the attention of the Palace and facilitate a dialogue between government and those calling for his resignation, Archdiocese of Cebu spokesman Monsignor Joseph Tan said.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. 2 Filipinos get a chance to go to Mars

    Filipinas Minerva Rañeses and US-based Jaymee Orillosa del Rosario are two out of 202,586 people from around the world who originally applied for the Netherlands-based Mars One project. The $6 billion project aims to get people on Mars by 2024 and establish a colony there. The applicants were reduced to 600, and further trimmed to 100. The final list will have 24 who will be sent to Mars in 6 separate launches. Rañeses, 24, describes herself as a writer, while Orillosa, 27, is an entrepreneur distributing raw material metals and exotic alloys to aerospace, defense, and commercial industries.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Climate change making food production harder

    Food production will have to be doubled over the next 35 years to feed a global population of 9 billion in 2050, scientists said during an annual science conference. The volatility of rainfall, more droughts, and rising temperatures affect crop yields, according to Jerry Hatfield, director at the National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment. Reducing consumption waste and decreasing red meat consumption could help, however, as reducing the size of herds decreases their environmental impact, James Gerber, an agricultural expert at the University of Minnesota, said.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Scientists baffled by Mars’ mysterious haze

    Photo from the European Space Agency

    A mysterious haze stretching for more than 1,000 kilometers by the side of the planet Mars is leaving scientists in a quandary. They wrote in the journal Nature that the plume could be a cloud of carbon dioxide or water particles, or that it could be a Martian version of the northern or southern lights. They could not explain, however, how the haze – first spotted in March 2012 – could have formed in the Martian atmosphere. It was last seen in April of the same year.

    Read the full story on the BBC.

    There are more details in the journal Nature.

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