Daily News Highlights – March 26, 2015 Edition


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  1. Pilot locked out of cockpit before crash 

    One of the pilots of the Germanwings flight that crashed in France was locked out of the cockpit before the plane descended and was not able to get back, the New York Times reported March 26. Citing a senior military official involved in the investigation, the Times reported that based on the recordings from the cockpit voice recorder (CVR), one of the pilots left the cockpit in the early stages of flight, but was not able to reenter. There is no indication yet on what happened to the pilot that was left inside the cockpit, but the CVR recording told the investigators that at the moment of the crash “the other pilot is alone and does not open the door,” the Times added.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Aquino biggest loser in survey on top 5 officials

    President Benigno Aquino III is the biggest loser in the Mamasapano debacle as he suffered the greatest drop in public trust and performance ratings among the top 5 national officials in the country. Pulse Asia revealed in its latest survey on March 26 that Senate President Franklin Drilon is now the most trusted and most appreciated national official in the country, topping both approval and trust tratings. None of the country’s top 5 officials, however, obtained majority approval and trust among Filipinos – a first since the start of the Aquino administration. 

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Aquino lawyer is new COA head

    President Benigno Aquino III has appointed Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs Michael G. Aguinaldo as chairperson of the Commission on Audit (COA). As Deputy Executive Secretary, Aguinaldo handled the legal affairs for the Office of the President, “including the formulation of operational policies, standards and processes for efficient and effective provision of legal and legislative assistance and services to the organizational units of the Office of the President and the different departments and government agencies,” Malacañang said. Aguinaldo, who replaces retired COA chair Grace Pulido-Tan, will be COA chairperson untilFebruary 2, 2022. Aguinaldo headed the Investigation and Adjudication Office, formerly the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission, handling complaints against presidential appointees and certain local government officials and the Integrity Management Program.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. DFA Secretary visits Filipina on death row

    In a high-level show of support, Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario visited Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, the 30-year-old Filipina on death row in Indonesia, in prison on March 24. Veloso, a single mother of two who left the Philippines to work as a maid in Kuala Lumpur, has been incarcerated at the Wirogunan Penitentiary, Yogyakarta, since 2010 – the year she was arrested and sentenced to death for attempting to smuggle 2.6 kilograms of heroin into Indonesia from Malaysia. The Philippine government has been helping Veloso seek a judicial review of her case – the final legal option open to her. Last week, Indonesia’s Supreme Court granted that request based on claims by Veloso’s lawyers that she wasn’t provided a proper translator during her first trial.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Standoff puts Makati payroll in peril 

    Because he is now Makati’s acting mayor and no longer vice mayor, Romulo Peña has refused to sign the pay checks of city councilors and their staff, raising concerns they may not get their salaries in time for the Holy Week break. Makati Vice Mayor Romulo Peña did not sign the payroll for the 17 city councilors and around 83 personnel of the council. Peña asserted that he is no longer the vice mayor but the city’s acting mayor, following the suspension of Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay last March 16. Because of his new post, he said, he could no longer discharge the functions of a vice mayor, which includes signing for the city council as its presiding officer. Now on its second week, the leadership confusion in the country’s premier city has caused worry among city hall employees.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. MVP firm partners with Bloomberg Television

    The Manuel V. Pangilinan-led MediaQuest Holdings’ TV5 and Cignal Digital TV signed a deal with Bloomberg, the American-based international cable and satellite news network, on March 25. To be called Bloomberg Television Philippines, the local channel will be the first 24/7 business news channel in the country, with a target launch this 2015. Bloomberg Television Philippines will be distributed exclusively via Cignal Digital TV, the Philippines’ direct-to-home (DTH) satellite provider with about 844,000 subscribers. This is the latest addition to Pangilinan’s media empire, which includes TV5, Businessworld and the Philippine Star.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. MRT-LRT automated ticketing goes live May

    The automated fare collection system for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) lines will go live in May. Old magnetic tickets would be decommissioned, to be replaced with contactless-based smart card technology. A centralized back officer will also be put up to apportion the revenues. Work is in full swing to replace ticketing infrastructure at LRT2 and the MRT 3, where new gates are being installed at the Santolan station. The new gates will be placed either in front of or behind the existing gates for the MRT stations.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Uber for motorbikes?

    Uganda Safeboda App | Image from safeboda's video on website

    If the Philippines has the 2-wheeled habal-habal or the 3-wheeled tricycles, the capital city of Kampala in Uganda has the 2-wheeled boda boda motorbike. It’s the backbone of public transport in Kampala. Today a local startup in Uganda is offering commuters a way to hail a boda boda on their smartphone. A click on the SafeBoda app will bring a commuter a Safeboda bike with a uniformed driver wearing helmet and an extra one for the rider, CNN reports. “Bodas are the main thing getting people from A to B,” CNN quoted Alastair Sussock, co-founder ofSafeBoda, as saying.  “We’re trying to professionalize this transportation in the city,” he added.

    Read the full story on CNN.

  9. BBC drops Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson

    The BBC announced March 25 that it was dropping one of its most popular presenters, Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson, after he verbally and physically attacked a producer. The outspoken 54-year-old presenter helped the show become the world’s most popular factual television program, with 350 million viewers a week in 170 countries. But he was on his final warning after a string of controversies including accusations he used racist language. Magazine Radio Times said Clarkson was being accused of aiming a punch at a male producer in an incident that occurred last week.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Awful day: Zayn Malik leaves One Direction 

    The 5-member band – Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan, and Zayn – has now officially become a 4-man group after Zayn Malik announced that he is leaving British boyband One Direction. I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight. I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall. I know they will continue to be the best band in the world,” Malik wrote in a post on One Direction’s official Facebook page. Speculations of the 22-year old singer leaving the band only grew after Zayn’s sudden departure from the On The Road Tour due to stress, leaving the originally 5 members of the band to be 4 during the Manila and Jakarta legs. Reports have said that Zayn was going through some personal trouble.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Check netizens’ reaction to Malik’s departure on Rappler.

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