Daily News Highlights – March 20, 2015 Edition

CJ Maglunog

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

  1. 62% of Mindanao residents against BBL – poll

    62% of Filipinos in Mindanao are against the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the latest Pulse Asia survey for March 2015 shows. The BBL seeks to create a new autonomous region in Mindanao with more fiscal and political powers. Nationwide, 44% are against the passage of the proposed law which must be ratified in a plebiscite in areas of the new Bangsamoro region. Government peace panel chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer appealed to the media to help correct misinformation about the BBL. Likewise, the survey showed that while 79% found the President’s explanation on the Mamasapano operation that killed 67 people inadequate, more still believe he should remain in office.

    Read the full story on Rappler.
    A related story on the misinformed public is also on Rappler.
    The story on the Aquino resignation is likewise on Rappler.

  2. ISIS claims responsibility for Tunisia attack that kills 21

    The Islamic State claimed responsibility Thursday, March 19, for the assault on the National Bardo Museum in Tunisia that left 21 dead, 20 of them foreign tourists. The jihadist group threatened more attacks even as Tunisian authorities arrested 9 suspects and claimed to have identified the two gunmen who were killed after their attack. About 200 demonstrators gathered outside the museum, chanting “Terrorism Out” and laying flowers at the entrance stained by blood.

    Read the full story on Rappler.
    More details are available on the Washington Post.

  3. Aquino allows coco levy funds to be used by farmers

    President Benigno Aquino III has signed Executive Order (EO) 180, authorizing the use of the P71-billion coconut levy funds for coconut farmers. The P71 billion represents shares formerly owned by San Miguel Corporation, which the Supreme Court (SC) in 2012 declared as rightfully belonging to the government. The EO seeks to improve coconut farm productivity, develop coconut-based enterprises, and increase the income of coconut farmers who are among the nation’s poorest. The President also signed EO 179, which, among others, instructs government agencies to take all the necessary steps to implement the SC decision.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Arctic’s sea ice drops to record low for winter


    Arctic sea | Image via Shutterstock

    US scientists said sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has dropped to a record low for the winter season. The lowest since 1979 when satellite records began, sea ice was measured at 14.5 million sq km, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado. It found that the maximum level of sea ice for winter was reached last February 25 and that the ice was starting to melt. What was measured at end-February is 130,000 sq km below the previous record winter low in 2011. A recent study has found that sea ice had thinned by as much as 65% between 1975 and 2012.

    Read the full story on the BBC.

  5. Fruits and veggies about to expire can still help end hunger

    Ever heard of freeze-drying? It’s a process that helps preserve the life of perishable food by extracting water that’s often the cause of the increase of bacterial colony that leads to spoilage. A team of graduate students that includes two Filipinos under the Erasmus Mundus Master’s program won in a “Thought for Food Challenge” in Lisbon, Portugal. They’re applying the process in their Food Powder Company that will buy expiring produce, freeze-dry them to preserve micronutrients, and convert them into powder that can be used to make juices and sandwich spreads, among others. This, according to them, can help boost food security.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Zest-O juice drinks to break into US market

    Local company Zest-O Corporation will soon produce tropical juice drinks in the US after it buys a factory in Texas within the year. This will firm up its strategy of bringing the local Zesto juice brand to the mainstream US market, Alfredo Yao, Zest-O CEO, said. Tropical juices like mango, dalandan, guyabano and pineapple will initially be produced, after which, Western flavors like orange, apple, and grape will be introduced.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Malcolm Fraser, former Aussie PM, dies at 84

    Malcolm Fraser, former Australian prime minister from 1975-1983, died Friday, March 20, after a short illness, at the age of 84. A liberal, Fraser was Australia’s 22nd leader after his predecessor Gough Whitlam was dismissed in a constitutional crisis in November 1975. As prime minister, he sought to reduce spending and push for responsible fiscal management. A strong supporter of human rights, he was succeeded by the Labor Party’s Bob Hawke in 1983.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Solar plane on epic journey lands in Myanmar

    After completing the 4th leg of its landmark circumnavigation of the globe, Solar Impulse 2 landed Thursday, March 19, in Mandalay, Myanmar’s second largest city. Powered completely by the sun, the single-seater aircraft landed at 7:51 pm local time after a 13-hour trip from India’s holy city of Varanasi. The team behind the solar plane wants to promote green energy with their circumnavigation attempt.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Is free Facebook all that great?

    In partnership with newly launched Internet.org and some other sites, Facebook became free to access for people on the Smart network. On the up side, it’s easy to navigate. The main pages are available on the top menu, and the timeline and profiles still use the scroll down function. It’s user-friendly, fast to load, and a great step forward in bringing free access to the Internet in the country. Gone are the colorful photos, however, usually visible on our timelines.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. One Direction’s Zayn Malik not coming to Manila

    Zayn Malik is skipping Manila and won’t be able to join British boyband One Direction in concerts set for March 21 and 22. Band publicist Simon Jones said he flew back to the UK to recuperate from stress. One Direction wrapped up their Hong Kong concert before proceeding to Manila and will head to Jakarta after. The band paid a “marijuana bond” required by the Bureau of Immigration. The order was issued after Malik and another One Direction member were caught smoking marijuana on video, which went viral in 2014.

    Read the full story on Rappler.
    A related story on the Immigration’s cash bond requirement is also on Rappler.

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CJ Maglunog

CJ Maglunog has been a content strategist for Rappler since 2015. Her work includes optimizing stories for various platforms. She’s a journalism graduate from Centro Escolar University.