Daily News Highlights – March 27, 2015 Edition

CJ Maglunog

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

  1. Young co-pilot deliberately crashed Germanwings – prosecutor


    French probers have found that the 28-year-old co-pilot of the doomed Germanwings flight “deliberately” locked his captain out of the cockpit and crashed the plane into the French Alps. Based on recordings made by the Airbus’ cockpit flight recorder in the final minutes before the crash that killed all 150 aboard, Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin, “The co-pilot is alone at the controls. He voluntarily refused to open the door of the cockpit to the pilot and voluntarily began the descent of the plane.” There was no immediate clue to the motive of the co-pilot, but the prosecutor said that “at moment, there is no indication that this is an act of terrorism.”

    Read the full story on Rappler World.
    Know more about the young pilot, Andreas Lubitz, here.

  2. Indonesia’s high court rejects review of Filipina’s drug smuggling verdict


    Indonesia’s Supreme Court has rejected an application by a Filipina on death row for a judicial review of her case, taking her a step closer to being executed along with several other foreign drug convicts, a move welcomed by the Attorney General’s Office. Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso was caught at Yogyakarta airport, on the main island of Java, carrying 2.6 kilograms (5.73 pounds) of heroin on a flight from Malaysia. In her application for a judicial review, Veloso’s lawyers had reportedly argued that she was not provided with a capable translator during her first trial. Jakarta plans to execute all 10 of the convicts – nine foreigners and one Indonesian – at the same time, but has said it will wait for any outstanding legal appeals to conclude.

    Read the full story on Rappler Indonesia.

  3. Aquino asks for understanding, but won’t apologize for deadly police mission


    Promising to speak for the last time on the Mamasapano clash that left 44 police commandos dead, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday asked graduates of the police academy for their “deep understanding” and reiterated that he feels responsible for the deaths of the elite cops. “Regardless of my anger for the disregard for the orders I gave, regardless of my regret for trusting people who concealed the truth from me, I can never erase the fact: 44 members of our police force are dead. And this happened under my term. Let me stress it: I will bear this basic truth with me to my grave,” he said. Still, the apology that some quarters had been waiting for him was noforthcoming. A day before the President’s speech, governance expert Antonio La Viña suggested in a Rappler Thought Leaders piece what Aquino should and should not say in his speech: “In my view, an apology is not essential for the speech. One thing I do not want to hear from the President is his contesting the findings of the Board of Inquiry and Senate reports.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Recruiters who duped Filipinos for Dubai jobs to face criminal charges


    The Philippine Overseas Employment Agency is preparing criminal complaints against at least 21 local recruitment agencies which duped 30 Filipino workers in Dubai. The victims were promised higher-paying jobs but  domestic helpers. The complaints will be referred to the Inter-Agency Committee on Against Trafficking. While the POEA will pursue administrative cases against the agencies that may lead to the revocation of licenses, IACAT will look into possible legal action, including criminal charges.

    Read the full story and see the list of recruiters on Rappler.

  5. Girl who lost family in typhoon tops Philippine lawyers’ licensure exam


    A graduate of the San Beda College of Law topped the 2014 Bar exams, according to much-anticipated results announced Thursday. But before becoming the Red Lions’ pride, Irene Mae Alcobilla was the brave political science student at the West Visayas State University who managed to graduate magna cum laude despite losing her mother and brother when Typhoon Frank swept their house away in Antique province in 2009. When she came home after the typhoon, her father, who survived after clinging on a tree for hours, was in the hospital. One of her former professors recounted that Alcobilla had to miss about 5 weeks of classes during her senior year because of the disaster. The 2014 Bar exams had a passing rate of 18.82% – only 1,126 out of 5,984 examinees hurdled what’s reputed to be one of the hardest licensure exams in the Philippines. (See the full list of passers here.)

    Read Alcobilla’s full story on Rappler.

  6. SC expediting Maguindanao massacre case

    Still unresolved after 5 years, the pending case of the Maguindanao massacre is being expedited to the maximum by the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno told a forum on judicial reform that the High Court has directed Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes to focus solely on the case that involves 272 accused. She also said that Reyes devotes 3 days a week for the trial proper and two other days to resolve motions. The judge is allowed by the Supreme Court to issue decisions even without the completion of the presentation of evidence. The Maguindanao massacre is the country’s worst case of election-related violence in recent history and the world’s single deadliest attack against journalists. In November 2009, 58 individuals were killed and buried using a backhoe in that gruesome incident.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Pope Francis to meet with Obama

    President Obama will host Pope Francis at the White House on September 23 to continue talks about poverty, the environment, immigration and religious freedom. During his trip to the US, the Pope will also address the United Nations in New York and become the first pontiff to address the US Congress. Obama had accepted an invitation to host Francis during talks at the Vatican in 2014. The Pope is visiting the US to participate in a Catholic Church congress in Philadelphia.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. More than 50 hurt in Thai train crash

    More than 50 people were hurt when a rapid train from Bangkok to Denchai slammed into the back of a stationary express train in central Thailand. Six carriages had fallen off the tracks as a result of the collision that left two victims – the driver and technician on the Bangkok train – fighting for their lives in a hospital. A senior official at the State Railway of Thailand said that of the 52 injured, 6 are still in the hospital, while two are in critical condition. Thailand suffers from a decrepit railway system that the military junta wants to overhaul.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Singaporean mourn Lee with figurines, buns

    Ahead of Singapore founding leader Lee Kuan Yew’s funeral on Sunday, March 29, a mini-industry inspired by his death has sprouted. Ranging from bread buns to figurines and an exercise routine named LKY91, after the leader’s initials and age, the tributes were regarded as reverent or ridiculous. One such tribute included an online petition on Change.org seeking to rename Singapore’s Changi Airport to Lee Kuan Yew International Airport. By Thursday mid-afternoon, March 26, at least 758 people had signed the petition.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Men tricked into flirting with men on Tinder

    Man using smartphone image from Shutterstock

    Described as a “serious lapse of security” in the dating app Tinder, a prank played by a developer had men flirting with each other. The anonymous developer used fake profiles he created as a bait such that men who wanted to get in touch with one of the fake women ended up being matched with each other instead of the woman. The California-based developer managed to tweak Tinder’s application program interface which controls how apps and programs interact. The Verge quoted the developer as saying “Tinder makes it surprisingly easy to bot their system. As long as you have a Facebook authentication token, you can behave as a robot as if you were a person.” A security expert said this was a “serious lapse in security” for Tinder.

    Read the full story on the BBC.
    More details are on The Verge.

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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.