February 25, 2015 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Senate ends Mamasapano inquiry

    Senators on Tuesday, February 24, wrapped up their inquiry into the clash at Mamasapano, Maguindanao that led to the deaths of 65 people, including 44 Philippine National Police Special Action Force operators. At the final hearing, senators pressed former PNP chief Alan Purisima, former SAF chief Getulio Napeñas and other officials to identify who was responsible for the lapses in the bloody operation. Purisima acknowledged accountability for the operation, codenamed “Oplan Exodus.” Napeñas also admitted his responsibility but said he took direct orders from Purisima. Both officers affirmed that President Benigno Aquino III ordered them to coordinate with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in a meeting on January 9.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Did Bongbong Marcos lie about Oxford, Wharton?

    Presidential son and senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr lists himself as a graduate of the prestigious Oxford and Wharton schools. But a Rappler investigation has found no evidence that the senator received degrees from either institution. Marcos, who is perceived as a possible presidential candidate in 2016, lists in his resume that he studied in Oxford University in England from 1975 to 1978. But a list of all graduates in 1978 does not contain his name. At the Wharton School in Pennsylvania, where he studied from 1979-1980, he never completed his masters in business administration (MBA). Marcos, who declined to be interviewed for the piece, released a statement on Tuesday, February 24 affirming that he graduated from Oxford University but did not complete his MBA at Wharton School because he ran and won as vice-governor of Ilocos Norte.

    Read the full story on Rappler here and here.

  3. New law gives Egypt security officials sweeping powers

    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has granted sweeping powers to authorities to crack down on individuals or groups deemed as threats to national security, in an anti-terrorism law announced Tuesday, February 24. The law allows authorities to ban activities and meetings of individuals as “terrorists.” The apparent target of the law are Islamist protestors who have frequently demonstrated on university campuses and blocked off roads. This is the latest in a series of steps by the military-backed government to stymie opposition movements, particularly those sympathetic to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood organization.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. SC bans religious schools from firing pregnant, unmarried workers

    The Supreme Court ruled it illegal on Tuesday, February 24 for companies to fire pregnant, unmarried employees on the grounds of ‘morality.’ The decisions stems from a case of Cheryll Santos Leus, who sued her former employer, St Scholastica’s College Westrgove (SSCW) for unjust dismissal. Leus was fired after she conceived a child out of wedlock. The school dismissed her in grounds that she showed “disgraceful or immoral conduct.” But the Supreme Court division hearing the case disagreed, saying that morality in this case should refer to “public and secular morality and not religious morality.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Online child abuse moving to Skype, Bitcoin

    Child pornographers are shifting from stand-alone websites to legitimate chat sites and apps like Skype, making the fight to curb the illegal trade more challenging, Europe’s police agency warned on Tuesday, February 24. Child porn peddlers are also using hard-to-trace virtual currencies like Bitcoin to avoid leaving money trails. The Philippines remains a hotbed of activity, with poor children lured into performing sexual acts for money. Philippine police recently busted a pedophile ring that streamed live sex involving children as young as 6.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. US court sentences Filipino to 25 years for terror plot

    A district court in the United States sentenced a Filipino citizen residing in California to 25 years in federal prison for terror plots, local news wire City News Service reported. Ralph Kenneth DeLeon, 26, of Ontario City in California was convicted on February 23 (February 24 in Manila) along with 36-year-old Sohiel Omar Kabir of Pomona. DeLeon was convicted for conspiring to murder or maim members of the armed services. DeLeon’s family migrated from Laguna to the US in 2002. He remains a Filipino citizen but is also a permanent US resident.

    Read the full story on Rappler:

  7. UN climate panel head resigns over harassment charge

    Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the UN’s climate science panel, stepped down on Tuesday, February 24, over a sexual harassment claim against him. A 29-year-old female researcher at a think tank that he heads accused Pachauri of sending her inappropriate messages. Pachauri claims his email account and mobile phone were hacked. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) agreed to designate vice-chair Ismail El Gizouli as acting IPCC chair.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Obama vetoes Keystone XL pipeline

    US President Barack Obama on Tuesday, February 24, as promised, swiftly vetoed a Republican bill approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline, leaving the long-debated project in limbo for another indefinite period. US Republicans vowed to override the veto or attach language approving spending for the pipeline in other legislation. The TransCanada Corp pipeline would carry 830,000 barrels a day of mostly Canadian oil sands crude to Nebraska en route to refineries and ports along the US Gulf. It has been pending for more than six years. The Republicans have touted the project for its job creation potential, but Obama and environmental groups have raised concerns over its environmental impact.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Pebble’s new Kickstarter venture raises US$1 million in record time

    Startup smartwach maker, Pebble, kicked off its latest venture with a Kickstarter crowd fund campaign that raised US$1 million after 46 minutes, setting a new record. The Pebble Time is the projected upgrade to Pebble’s first smart watch and will feature a color e-ink display and better battery life. Pebble first went to Kickstarter to raise capital for its pioneer model, so a return to the same crowd funding platform was more than likely. The previous record holder, according to Kickstarter, is Reaper Miniature Bones, which raised $1 million after 162 minutes.

    Read the full story on Mashable.

  10. Europe protests winter World Cup for 2022

    A FIFA task force’s call on Tuesday, February 24, for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to be shortened and held in November-December met immediate condemnation from Europe’s major football powers. Football’s ruling body said the tournament had to be moved from the traditional summer months because of the scorching temperatures in Qatar. A final decision will be made by the FIFA executive committee at a meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, on March 19-20. Fierce lobbying is expected up till then.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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