Latin America

Daily News Highlights – April 29, 2015 Edition

CJ Maglunog

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

  1. Eleventh hour reprieve for Mary Jane Veloso


    Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, one of 9 drug convicts on Indonesia’s death row scheduled to be executed on Wednesday, won a reprieve at the eleventh hour shortly after midnight, April 29. Eight other drug convicts were executed on the island of Nusa Kambangan at around 12:25 am Indonesia time (1:25 Philippine time). According to Indonesia Attorney General HM Prasetyo, an exception was made for Veloso “because there was a last-minute plea from the Philippine President” to let Mary Jane turn witness against a drug trafficking syndicate. On Tuesday, Mary Jane’s alleged illegal recruiter turned herself in to authorities due to death threats but insisted she was innocent. Outside the Indonesian Embassy in Manila, protestors erupted into jubilant cries as news of the stay of the execution trickled in. The family of Mary Jane Veloso was equally stunned and thankful.

    Read the full story on Rappler.



  2. Family of Mary Jane Veloso: ‘Answered prayers’


    The family of Mary Jane Veloso celebrated in the early hours of Wednesday morning, April 29, upon learning of the news that the execution of Mary Jane would not be carried out. “The Lord has answered our prayers,” said Veloso’s mother Celia. The family was en route to Jakarta from Cilacap, a port town, when they learnt of the news. Rappler Indonesia’s Jet Damazo was on the scene and described their initial reaction as shock. “They were asleep (in the coaster) when we told them. They seemed shocked at first, unsure whether to believe me. But then a Philippine embassy staffer confirmed, and they started crying,” recalled Damazo.

    Read the full story on Rappler.


  3. Australia to withdraw ambassador over Indonesia executions


    Australia will withdraw its ambassador to Indonesia following the execution of citizens Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran early Wednesday morning, April 29, 2015. Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the move at a press conference in the capital Canberra on Wednesday morning. “The withdrawal of an ambassador is to register our displeasure at the way our citizens have been treated,” said foreign minister Julie Bishop. Both Abbott and Bishop have condemned the Indonesian government’s decision to proceed with the executions, despite claims of a “chaotic” legal process. The reaction in Australia to the deaths of the two convicted drug traffickers ranged from shock to disgust. Overnight vigils were held in various parts of Australia for the pair whose case has garnered worldwide media attention. Executed alongside the two were 6 other convicted drug traffickers.

    Read the full story on the Sydney Morning Herald and on Rappler.


  4. Pacquiao, Mayweather arrive in Vegas in contrasting style


    People’s champion Manny Pacquiao arrived in Las Vegas foregoing the usual “grand arrival” at the MGM Grand Hotel and opting instead for a fan rally at the Mandalay Bay. The rally had the feel of a barangay fiesta in the Philippines with singers and dancers. But it was Pacquiao’s entrance that predictably drew the biggest response. Pacquiao is set to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr on Saturday, May 2 (May 3 in Manila) and is seen as the underdog. It’s a role he’s embraced. “My confidence now is different from the others fights I’ve had. Maybe the people get nervous, but I feel excited. This is it, I have to prove something that every time I’m an underdog, I like that. My killer instinct, my focus is there. This is what I want,” said Pacquiao. In contrast, Mayweather entered like a rockstar at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, working up the thousands-strong crowd wearing TMT hats and shirts. “Everyone that’s in this area is The Money Team,” Mayweather told the audience referring to his company and clothing line.

    Read the full story on Rappler.



  5. Nigeria military rescue nearly 300 from Boko Haram


    Nigeria’s military on Tuesday, April 28, claimed the rescue of 200 girls and 93 women from a notorious Boko Haram stronghold, but said there was no confirmation the hostages were those kidnapped from Chibok a year ago. Boko Haram claimed the abduction of 276 girls from a secondary school in Chibok, also in Borno, on April 14 of last year. The Chibok attack brought unprecedented world attention to the Nigeria’s Islamist uprising. There is no indication as to how long it would take for the hostages to be identified.

    Read the full story on Rappler.


  6. Aid reaches quake-hit Nepal villages as death toll passes 5,000


    Hungry and desperate villagers rushed towards relief helicopters in remote areas of Nepal Tuesday, April 28, begging to be airlifted to safety, four days after a monster earthquake killed more than 5,000 people. As the Himalayan nation’s Prime Minister Sushil Koirala said getting help to remote areas was a “major challenge”, aid finally began reaching areas that had to fend for themselves since Saturday’s (April 25) 7.8-magnitude quake. Around 8,000 people had been injured while the United Nations estimated that 8 million people had been affected. Around 250 people are feared missing after an avalanche Tuesday, April 28, hit an area of Nepal that is in the popular Langtang trekking route. A local official said foreign tourists may have been among those missing after the avalanche, but details remained scant as the area is remote and communications difficult. The Langtang range is relatively close to Kathmandu and is popular among foreign trekkers for its teahouses.

    Read the full story on Rappler here and here.



  7. Customs deputy chief Dellosa vows to stick it out


    Despite calls for him to leave the Bureau of Customs (BOC) following the resignation of Commissioner John Sevilla, Deputy Commissioner Jessie Dellosa said he has chosen to stay in the tax-collecting agency. In a statement released on Tuesday, April 28, Dellosa insisted he will stay in the post until he is asked to leave by the President. Dellosa heads the agency’s intelligence group. He added that the resignation of Sevilla has exposed problems and issues of the Bureau to the public. Dellosa was former Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff before he was appointed to BOC in 2013.

    Read the full story on Rappler.


  8. MNLF calls on Aquino to flex muscle to pass the BBL

     Ambassador Datu Abul Khayr Alonto

    The leadership of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) – its chairman Ambassador Datu Abul Khayr Alonto and its cental committee – declared their support for the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), in assembly of thousands on Monday, April 27, in Marawi City. Alonto said the peace talks between the MILF and the government is the best so far and should be supported as the people of Mindanao wanted peace. He called on the Muslim people to exercise utmost patience as the BBL is now on its final phase. “The signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) has declared that we, the Bangsamoro, are finally home and dawn is about to come,” he told those who joined the rally. On Monday, thousands of Bangsamoro people held a peace walk and rally at the Banggolo Plaza in Marawi to acknowledge the peace efforts of the government and the MILF.

    Read the full story on Rappler.


  9. US Supreme Court begin historic gay marriage hearing


    The US Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday, April 28, on whether gay couples have a constitutional right to wed – a potentially historic decision that could see same-sex marriage recognized nationwide. Hundreds of activists from both sides of the debate were expected to rally in front of the Supreme Court building as the 9 justices hear a case on one of the most divisive social issues in the United States. Experts say recognition of same-sex marriage – already legal in 37 of the country’s 50 states and in the capital Washington, DC – seems inevitable. The Supreme Court will hear from plaintiffs from 4 states where gay marriage is still barred. A ruling on these states will be a de facto decision on all other states that have banned gay marriage. In a landmark decision in June 2013, the court struck down a law denying federal benefits to homosexual couples.

    Read the full story on Rappler.


  10. BSP: More poor Filipinos own financial accounts


    More poor Filipinos own a bank or financial accounts in 2014 than in 2011, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said Tuesday, April 28. The percentage of the poorest 40% of Filipino adults who own a formal account has increased to 17.8% in 2014 from 10.7% in 2011. Formal accounts refer to accounts in financial institutions such as banks, cooperatives or microfinance institutions and can be mobile money accounts as well. They can be used to save money and send or receive payments and remittance. Over 3 million new formal, financial accounts were opened in the country from 2011 to 2014, the central bank added. It also noted that there is growth in account penetration across income class, gender, age, and educational attainment. BSP said the gains cited in the World Bank report is a result of continuing efforts in bringing the financial system closer to the people, especially to the disadvantaged segments.

    Read the full story 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.