Daily News Highlights – April 30, 2015 Edition

CJ Maglunog

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

  1. PH police gives protective custody to illegal recruiter


    The Philippine National Police has assigned a team to provide protection to Maria Kristina Sergio, the alleged recruiter of Indonesian death row convict Mary Jane Veloso, after she surrendered, citing threats to her life. Sergio turned herself in on April 28, hours before Veloso was to be executed, giving the Philippines basis to ask Indonesian authorities to postpone Veloso’s execution so shecould testify against Sergio, prove her (Veloso’s innocence), and possible help point Indonesian authorities to the Malaysian drug trafficking ring that supposedly duped her into smuggling heroin into Jakarta in 2010. The interior and justice secretaries in the Philippines clarified that granting Sergio’s request for protective custody does not mean she is absolved of the charges filed against her and two others. Charged of illegal recruitment, estafa, and human trafficking have been recommended against Sergio, her partner Julius Lacanilao, and a certain “Ike.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.


  2. How PH negotiated for stay of Mary Jane Veloso’s execution



    Not until 15 minutes after Filipina domestic helper Mary Jane Veloso was supposed to be executed in Indonesia did her sisters realized she was spared. Indonesian authorities decided to stay her execution after last-minute efforts by the Philippine government, among them a phone call by President Benigno Aquino III to the Indonesian foreign minister, which could be considered a breach of protocol. Aquino wanted Indonesia to let Veloso testify against her illegal recruiter, who had surrendered to Philippine authorities hours before that, and possibly help lead Indonesian probers to a drug trafficking ring in Malaysia. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima advised Aquino to invoke the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ 11-year-old Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, which obliges member countries to help each other in fighting crimes across their borders. Indonesian President Joko Widodo, meanwhile, cited the work of human rights groups in convincing him to allow the postponement of Veloso’s execution until the case against her recruiter is resolved in the Philippines.

    Read the full story on Rappler.


  3. PH hails ‘marked change’ in ASEAN approach to South China Sea


    Philippine President Benigno Aquino III was pleased to report that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations showed “marked change” in its stance on China’s aggression in disputed parts of the South China Sea in the region. While initially it was only the Philippines, which later got support from Vietnam, which aggressively questioned Beijing’s activities in the area, Malaysia, which chaired the just-concluded 26th ASEAN Summit, issued a statement saying China’s land reclamation “has eroded trust and confidence and may undermine peace, security, and stability.” Malaysia also instructed the foreign ministers of ASEAN countries to “urgently address this matter” through dialogue mechanisms set up between the bloc and China. “We emphasize, there is an ASEAN centrality, that China talk to us as a group and this is how we should behave,” said Aquino.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Japan on WWII: ‘Condolences’ to US, ‘remorse’ over Asian sex slaves

    After offering a flower wreath at a monument in the United States capital for the estimated 400,000 Americans who were killed during World War II, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on April 29 addressed a joint meeting of the US Congress, where he offered “with profound respect, eternal condolences” to the lives lost in the brutal battles, such as those in Pearl Harbor and Iwo Jima. Some US lawmakers, however, said it was “shocking and shameful” that the Japanese leader “continues to evade his government’s responsibility for the systematic atrocity that was perpetrated the Japanese Imperial Army” in other Asian countries, such as forcing tens of thousands of women into sexual slavery by Japanese troops. Abe expressed his “deep remorse” over Japan’s actions toward neighboring Asian nations, but stopped short of a full apology demanded by many.

    Read the full story on Rappler World.


  5. Saudi Arabian king consolidates power in inner circle

    Saudi Arabia’s King Salman announced a new heir and made his son second in line to rule Wednesday, April 29, concentrating power in his inner circle as the kingdom faces enormous regional challenges. The major shake-up in the line of succession and cabinet comes with oil giant Saudi Arabia increasingly assertive in the fight against Islamic extremists and in its rivalry with fellow regional power Iran. Salman named as the new crown prince his nephew Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, 55, the powerful interior minister who a decade ago led a crackdown on Al-Qaeda.

    Read the full story on Rappler

  6. Vietnam marks 40 years since Saigon’s fall

    Vietnam was set Thursday, April 30, to mark the 40th anniversary of Saigon’s fall with a huge military parade celebrating the moment their communist forces ended a decades-long conflict and delivered a painful blow to American moral and military prestige. The center of Vietnam’s usually bustling southern business hub was sealed off ahead of the parade marking the moment tanks smashed through the gates of the Presidential Palace in the then southern capital of Saigon – now named Ho Chi Minh City. The Northern victors went on to reunite the country under a communist government after a draining war which eviscerated much of Vietnam, killing millions of its people as well as 58,000 American servicemen.

    Read the full story on Rappler

  7. Unmanned Russian cargo spacecraft plunging back to earth

     Russian cargo spacecraft

    An unmanned Russian cargo spacecraft ferrying supplies to the International Space Station is plunging back to Earth and apparently out of control, an official said on Wednesday, April 29.  An official speaking on condition of anonymity said the descent likely marked the end of the Progress spacecraft’s mission although the Russian authorities will contact it again to make sure everything has been done to rescue it. The loss of the Progress supply ship would be the latest embarrassment for Russia’s space programme that has been recently hit by a series of mishaps.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Philippine rice terraces not pre-Hispanic, experts say

    The Ifugao Rice Terraces in the northern Philippines – taught in grade school history books as the 8th Wonder of the World – may turn out to be not 2,000 years. A group of archeologists in the Philippines and the United States, who will reveal their full findings in June, said the iconic rice terraces may only be 300 or 400 years old. This means that, far from pre-dating Spanish colonization, the Ifugao Rice Terraces may be just as old as some colonial-period churches, and may have been a consequence of Spanish colonization in more low-lying communities.

    Read the full exclusive story on Rappler Science.

  9. LG announces G4 smartphone

    LG Electronics revealed its much-awaited LG G4 smartphone on Wednesday, April 29, via launch events in New York, London, Paris, Singapore, Istanbul, and Seoul. Weighing 155 grams, the LG G4 sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor with X10 LTE and 3GB of LPDDR3 RAM, carrying 32 GB of space that’s expandable with a microSD slot. The LG G4 will run Android 5.1 Lollipop.

    Read the full story on Rappler

  10. Fil-Am Gail Banawis to sing PH anthem at Pacquiao-Mayweather fight

    A 19-year-old Filipino-American from New York has been chosen by Manny Pacquiao to perform the Philippine national anthem on Saturday May 2 (Sunday, May 3) at the much-awaited Pacquiao-Mayweather fight in Las Vegas, USA. According to a report from 24 Oras published on Pep, Gail Banawis said that Manny personally told her that she will perform together with the Singing Pastors or World Chorale. Gail has opened for a number of local celebrities in their shows in the US, including Gabby Concepcion, Billy Crawford, and K Brosas.

    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.