Daily News Highlights – April 24, 2015 Edition

CJ Maglunog

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

  1. Customs’ Sevilla: Political appointments were last straw


    Resigned Customs Commissioner John “Sunny” Sevilla submitted his resignation to President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday, April 22, after finding out an appointment he opposed was going through. Teddy Sandy Raval was being pushed by the Iglesia ni Cristo for the post of Director of Enforcement and Security Service, otherwise known as the head of the Customs police. “Why are we appointing people at the behest supposedly of Iglesia ni Cristo? That goes against my own principles. Every assurance I made to our own tea here at Customs that politics and influence-peddling would have zero role in appointments and promotions in Customs,” Sevilla recounted the reason for his resignation. Earlier, Sevilla announced his refusal to have the Customs bureau used for fundraising for the 2016 elections. Businessman Alberto Lina has been named as Sevilla’s replacement.

    Read the full story on Rappler.
    A related story on the new Customs chief is also on Rappler.

  2. Mary Jane moved to execution island


    Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, the 30-year-old Filipina mother on death row for drug trafficking, was transferred to Nusa Kambangan prison island in Central Java early morning Friday, April 24. Police officers and soldiers arrived at the Wirogunan Penitentiary in Yogyakarta at around 1 am Friday. A few minutes later, police cars left with Mary Jane; the convoy arrived at around 5 am at the port of Cilacap from where they boarded a boat to the prison island, where executions are made. No date for the executions have been made. Convicts are supposed to be given 72 hours’ notice before execution, and no one, including Mary Jane, has received such notice.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. China reclamation could cost PH P4.8B

    The Philippines stands to lose up to P4.8 billion in economic benefits as a result of China’s reclamation activities in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). An assessment by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) indicated that the Chinese reclamation in 5 reefs in the West Philippine Sea buried over 300 hectares of coral reefs, about 5 times the size of Rizal Park in Manila. This is likely to endanger the fisheries sector and pose threats to food security as the West Philippine Sea accounts for 26% of the country’s fishing grounds.

    Read the full story on Rappler.


  4. SWS: Grace Poe is top-of-mind for VP


    Senator Grace Poe is the top choice of most voters for vice president in the May 2016 elections. Polling firm Social Weather Stations said 26% of respondents nationwide chose her as their “top-of-mind” candidate. She was followed by Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II with 12%, Vice President Jejomar Binay with 7%, Senator Francis Escudero with 6%, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago with 5%, and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte with 4%. The survey was conducted from March 20-23.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Malaysia asks China for cooperation in South China Sea


    Days before Malaysia hosts a regional summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman called on China to cooperate with Southeast Asia in speeding up talks on a maritime Code of Conduct (CoC) in the disputed South China Sea. In an interview published in The Star, Anifah said Malaysia planned to use its position as ASEAN chair to push for a CoC that would prevent provocative actions. ASEAN has been pushing China to agree to a legally binding CoC, but Beijing has been lukewarm to setting rules that could hinder freedom of action in an area it considers to be part of its territory.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Obama apologizes for deaths in drone strike


    US President Barack Obama on Thursday, April 23, apologized and said he assumes “full responsibility” for the deaths of two hostages accidentally killed in an American drone strike in Pakistan last January. American hostage Warren Weinstein, a 73-year-old economic advisor held by Al-Qaeda since 2011, and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian aid worker held since 2012, died in the strike on an Al-Qaeda compound in Pakistan. “It is a cruel and bitter truth that in the fog of war generally and our fight against terrorists specifically, mistakes – sometimes deadly mistakes – can occur,” Obama said.

    Read the full story on Rappler.
    Related stories are on the Washington Post and the New York Times.

  7. Ex-CIA chief Petraeus fined, given 2 years probation


    Decorated 4-star general and former CIA chief David Petraeus was fined $100,000 and given two years’ probation on Thursday, April 23, for passing on classified secrets to his mistress. Feted for changing the course of the Iraq war, Petraeus pleaded guilty in a North Carolina court, avoiding a trial that would have opened embarrassing details of his affair and his flouting of secrecy laws. He gave 8 “black books” containing logs he kept as US commander in Afghanistan to his lover and biographer, Paula Broadwell, for her book about the general, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus. The notebooks contained “Top Secret” and “national defense information,” court records said.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Car crash kills 3 Fil-Ams in N. California


    A Toyota Prius going the wrong way collided head-on with a pickup truck, a Ford F-150, with 3 Filipino Americans on board. The 3 men and the female driver of the Prius were declared dead at the scene. The 3 men – Nick Bacareza and friends Pete and Antonio Kilayko – were said to be on their way back home to Stockton from a Red Hawk Casino in Placer County when the accident happened. The pickup truck burst into flames after careening out of its lane and crashing into a third vehicle.

    Read the full story on Rappler.


  9. Microsoft’s profits down due to reorganization costs


    Microsoft reported a drop in quarterly profit Thursday, April 23, dragged down by higher costs for restructuring and integrating Nokia mobile phone operations. The company’s net profit for the fiscal quarter ending March 31 fell 12% to $4.985 billion on revenues, which rose 6% to $21.7 billion. Chief executive Satya Nadella cited gains in Internet “cloud” services and other offerings for enterprise. Microsoft saw revenue gains for its “devices and services” segment, which includes most of its computer products including the Surface tablet, which has struggled to gain traction. Microsoft said revenues from Surface jumped 44% from a year ago, helped by the introduction of the Surface Pro 3.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. YouTube turns a decade old, faces challenges


    YouTube, the Web’s de facto home for video turned a decade-old on Thursday, April 23. Starting out with an 18-second clip of co-founder Jaweed Karim noting that elephants have “really really really long, um trunks,” YouTube has since evolved, but faces questions about its business model. 90% of analysts say “it is not profitable,” according to Frost and Sullivan analyst Dan Rayburn, who also said the vast amount of YouTube content “cannot be monetized.” Google paid YouTube $1.65 billion in 2006. Founded by Karim and entrepreneurs Chad Hurley and Steve Chen who simply wanted an easy way of sharing videos, YouTube today boasts of one billion unique visitors a month, with localized service in 75 countries and 61 languages.

    Read the full story on Rappler.
    A related story is on Cnet.com

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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.