Daily News Highlights – March 24, 2015 Edition


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

  1. Napoles daughter returned to Manila 2014

    Jeane Napoles, daughter of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Napoles, returned to Manila as early as October 2014, although the Bureau of Immigration confirmed her return only last March. The jailed Napoles had previously denied her daughter, who was living abroad, was back in the country. But a smiling Jeane was photographed with family members in a children’s party on October 10, 2014 in Manila. She was with siblings, some of whom also face graft charges. Jeane was put under the spotlight after social media posts of her lavish lifestyle were exposed, amid prevailing sentiment the money which sustained her was ill-gotten.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. 60% of Filipinos favor legalizing divorce

    It’s the only state in the world – aside from the Vatican City – where divorce remains illegal. The Philippines however will probably have to come to terms with this reality soon: that a clear majority of Filipinos favor divorce. A Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released on March 23 found that 60% of adult Filipinos support divorce for “married couples who have already separated and cannot reconcile anymore, so that they can get legally married again.” It’s the first time that “public support” for the legalization of divorce grew to a “clear majority,” the SWS said. Support for the legalization of divorce in the Philippines has been on an upward trend since 2005.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Singapore bans protests in free-speech park

    Singapore indefinitely banned protests and other gatherings at the country’s sole free-speech park, declaring it a zone for honoring the late former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew. In a surprise move hours after Lee’s death, Home Affairs Minister Teo Chee Hean revoked a legal provision allowing public meetings and protests at Speakers’ Corner. Lee, who died aged 91 after a long illness, was known for his tough stance on dissidents and political groups opposed to his People’s Action Party. Singaporean lawyer Choo Zheng Xi, who handles civil liberties cases, noted that “no timeline has been given in the notice as to when they (permits) will be re-instituted.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Indonesia ready to mediate between Tokyo, Beijing 

    Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said Indonesia is “ready to play a role of mediator” between Tokyo and Beijing in the midst of territorial disputes in the region. Jokowi met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on March 23, as Tokyo works to court friends in the face of a rising China. Abe has been actively courting Southeast Asian nations to join Japan to create a counterweight to China, which is locked in territorial disputes with Japan in the East China Sea and with Vietnam and the Philippines in the South China Sea. Jokowi previously told Japanese media that China’s claim to virtually all of the South China Sea has no legal foundation.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. What now, Mar Roxas?

    The surveys are out and public sentiment is clear: Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II did not move any inch closer to his dream of getting respectable public opinion ratings a year before the 2016 presidential race. Worse, the man he’s banking on to push his presidential campaign forward, President Benigno Aquino III, also suffered an all-time low in public opinion surveys in the aftermath of the Mamasapano operation. Which begs the question: Should Roxas have quit after Mamasapano? To former senator and ex-National Police chief Senator Lacson, Roxas should have at least offered a “courtesy resignation” for being kept out of the loop in the operation and considering his closeness to the President as one of his alter egos. 

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. EDSA express buses hit the road

    Express buses hit the road on Monday, March 23, as part of a joint project of the Department of Transportation and Communications, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board. The buses, which ply 3 routes – from Quezon City to either the Ayala central business district or SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City – aim to cut travel time by 30 minutes and reduce road congestion by presenting an option to private car owners.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Coast Guard on full alert March 27

    Coast Guard on full alert for Holy Week | File photo by Agence France-Presse

    Anticipating a 30% increase in the number of passengers traveling by sea during the Holy Week, the Philippine Coast Guard said it will go on full alert by Friday, March 27. The Holy Week starts on Palm Sunday, March 29 but sea travel is usually heavy the Friday before. The Coast Guard will be conducting inspections in ferry terminals to ensure the safety of passengers, the seaworthiness of vessels, and the correct passenger load in these vessels.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Feces contain precious metals worth millions

    There’s gold and other precious metals in human poop, experts found. A team from the US Geological Survey discovered metals like platinum, silver and gold in treated waste, while another group found that waste from a million Americans can contain as much as $13 million worth of metals. Extracting and retrieving the metals is a challenge that scientists are eager to face as it could minimize mining and reduce the unwanted release of metals to the environment.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Facebook testing a new app called ‘Phone’

    Facebook tries Phone App | Photo from Android Police

    Is Facebook up to something? It looks like it’s testing a new app called “Phone”, a dialer for Android that will indicate who is calling and will automatically block calls from unwanted callers. Forbes reported that a Facebook spokesman confirmed to Venture Beat they were testing the service but that they “have nothing to announce at this time.” The app was intended to be internally tested at Facebook, but the message to install it popped up for a handful of Facebook users, not just Facebook employees, in the main Facebook app itself. Forbes said the testing of the app suggests Facebook wants to be part of the phone-calling service still dominated by carriers.

    Read the full story on Forbes

    A related story is on Venture Beat.

  10. Taylor Swift buys .porn domain name

    Taylor Swift | Jimmy Morris/EPA

    TaylorSwift.porn and TaylorSwift.adult are web domain names that now belong to the popular singer. The Internet Connection for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), an American non-profit group, is selling new addresses to the public by June 1 but some stars and companies are being given first crack. ICANN said the web address endings will allow users to get to their destinations faster because they know what they will be getting.

    Read the full story on the BBC

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