February 20, 2015 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Red alert on Pacquiao-Mayweather announcement

    File photos by Showtime Boxing and Team Pacquiao/Mike Young

    On Friday morning, February 20, leading American boxing writers scrambled on word that a Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather fight announcement could be coming soon. ESPN boxing writer Dan Rafael tweeted that after a “busy morning” he was moving his Pacquiao-Mayweather “threat level” to red. “There is severe risk this fight will be finalized,” said Rafael. Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix tweeted a similar message. “Optimism at an all-time high that Pacquiao-Mayweather is near finish line. From what I hear virtually all lingering issues resolved,” wrote Mannix. Much of the public remains leery after several false announcements, but the only party who can make an official confirmation is Mayweather, who seems in no rush to alleviate the suspense.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. PNP awaits Purisima affidavit

    Police investigators are scheduled to visit Mamasapano, Maguindanao, next week as they wrap up their probe into the January 25 clash with Moro rebels that left 44 of their elite commandos dead. The Philippine National Police has received more than 400 affidavits from cops, soldiers and civilians, but its resigned chief, Alan Purisima, has yet to submit his own. Police Director Benjamin Magalong, who heads the PNP Board of Inquiry, said the probe is “70% complete” and will end this month. On February 19, police and military generals also buried the hatchet – at least before the media – as they linked arms during turnover ceremonies of police weapons seized and returned by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to the government.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read the full story on AFP, PNP mend rift on Rappler

  3. Binay nemesis is Acting COA chief

    Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioner Heidi Mendoza has been named as the acting chairperson of the constitutional body following the retirement of Grace Pulido Tan. The designation of Mendoza is effective until a permanent replacement is appointed. As COA Commissioner, Mendoza served as an expert witness during the impeachment trial of then Chief Justice Renato Corona, who was eventually dismissed. Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said Mendoza helped analyze Corona’s dollar accounts. She is also a government witness in the trial of Elenita Binay before the anti-graft Sandiganbayan on corruption charges over dubious transactions that Makati City allegedly entered into when the wife of Vice President Jejomar Binay was still city mayor.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Leave Yemen, Filipinos told

    The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs ordered Filipinos to leave Yemen as the political crisis worsened in the Middle Eastern country. President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and his Cabinet quit in the face of an apparent coup attempt by anti-US rebels. “Alert level 4 is raised where there is large-scale internal conflict of full-blown external attack. Under this alert level, the Philippine government undertakes mandatory evacuation procedures,” the DFA said in a statement. The DFA cited “the continued occupation of the capital city Sana’a by Houthi rebels, as well as the recent suspension of operations of numerous embassies in the capital.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Egypt-Qatar row escalates

    Qatar has recalled its ambassador to Egypt, following a dispute over Egyptian air strikes on Islamic State (ISIS) targets in Libya. The diplomatic row came just 3 months after a thaw in relations between the two countries. Egyptian jets bombed sites in Libya on  February 16, hours after ISIS militants there released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians, drawing Cairo directly into the conflict across its border. Qatar expressed reservations over the attack at a subsequent meeting of the Arab League, drawing the ire of Cairo. The row could revive a rift within the Western-allied and oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Council, which peaked when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors from Doha last year over its support for Islamists.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. US sets policy on export of drones

    After a two-year review of the controversial weapons system and amid growing demand from US allies for the new breed of weapons, the US government established a policy for exports of military and commercial drones, including armed ones. Stressing that it plans to work with other countries to shape global standards for the use of the controversial weapons systems, the State Department said it would allow exports of lethal US military drones under strict conditions, including that sales must be made through government programs and that recipient nations must agree to certain “end-use assurances.” The policy could help US companies boost sales of military and commercial drones in an increasingly competitive global market.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Express bus on EDSA: Free WiFi, GPS-equipped

    Free WiFi, GPS-equipped, and promises of faster travel time. This is how transport officials will try to persuade commuters and car owners to consider taking the bus when the EDSA express bus service launches on March 16. The express bus aims to make travel along the busy thoroughfare faster by making only 4 stops from the terminal to its destination. The buses will also be allowed to use mixed traffic lanes and underpasses along EDSA. Around 50 buses are set to be deployed for the pilot run next month.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. While you’re running, this robot feeds you tomatoes

    Screenshot from YouTube.com/Technology News

    It’s called “Tomatan,” a backpack that can be loaded with six mid-sized tomatoes, enough, say the makers, to power runners through this weekend’s Tokyo Marathon. The Tomatan looks like a small humanoid robot – with a tomato for a head – and sits snugly on the athlete’s shoulders. Tugging a tiny lever in the foot moves the arms to catch a tomato from the dispensing shoot. The arms then rotate the fruit over the runner’s head and hold it in front of his mouth. “Tomatoes have lots of nutrition that combats fatigue,” said Shigenori Suzuki of maker Kagome. What do you think?

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Craziest ever NBA trading day

    Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP

    The 2015 NBA Trade Deadline was arguably the craziest ever in league history. Multiple players will switch uniforms following the February 20 events, a number of which will affect the playoff race in both conferences. The steal trade of the day comes courtesy of Pat Riley and the Miami Heat, who acquired All-NBA Third Team guard Goran Dragic from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Danny Granger, Shawne Williams, Norris Cole, Justin Hamilton, and two future first-round picks. Plus the most shocking deal of the day:  the Bucks, 76ers, and Suns took part in a massive three-way deal with the Boston Celtics also included to a degree.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Fireworks, festivities greet ‘calmer’ 2015

    Fortune tellers in Hong Kong said that the Year of the Sheep should be calmer in general than the previous Year of the Horse, which was characterized by catastrophic international air accidents, brutal terror attacks, global political upheaval, a resurgent Ebola virus and war. On February 19, fireworks illuminated the skies across China as millions around Asia ushered in the Year of the Sheep, kicking off festivities with an annual televised gala that got a thumbs down on social media for heavy Communist Party preaching against corruption. Many people across the world – including those who are not Chinese – observed the Chinese New Year in Chinese communities called “Chinatowns.” In the Philippines alone, these communities have found their way in at least 5 cities.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read the full story on Chinatowns in PH on Rappler.

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