Daily News Highlights – May 15, 2015 Edition

Aika Rey

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

  1. CA: Mayor Binay’s income, bank deals don’t match

    The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has found that Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr had 5 accounts whose transactions were “disproportionate” to his net worth declared in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth. This was the basis of a freeze order issued by the Court of Appeals. Citing AMLC findings, the CA said “at least 78 large transactions and five notable transactions” were made from April 2, 2003 to January 8, 2015. The Makati mayor and his father, Vice President Jejomar Binay, are facing graft charges before the Ombudsman in connection with two big-ticket Makati building projects.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. UN body: PH a ‘strong performer’ in 2015

    The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) said in its latest macroeconomic outlook report that the Philippines will be “another strong performer” in 2015. Compared to its 6.1% growth in 2014, the country’s economy will grow by 6.5% this year, and will expand by 6.4% in 2016. The forecast however falls below the government’s growth target of 7% for 2015 and 8% for 2016. UNESCAP said the services sector will continue to drive growth.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. ISIS releases ‘al-Baghdadi message’

    Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi | Handout photo from al-Furqan Media/AFP

    The Islamic State (ISIS) released an audio message reportedly from its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Analysts said the voice which calls on Muslims to take up arms to further their cause and to emigrate to the “caliphate” ISIS has proclaimed in parts of Syria and Iraq belongs to Baghdadi. If confirmed and verified, it would be the first message in months, the BBC reported. The message was released by the al-Furqan media outlet and has appeared on several websites. Baghdadi had been previously reported as having been seriously wounded in air strikes conducted by a US-led coalition.

    Read the full story on the BBC.

  4. BBL June deadline ‘very difficult’ to meet


    Meeting the June deadline for the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) may be “very difficult” to pull off, according to Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Chair of the Senate Local Government committee, he held public consultations in Sulu and Zamboanga where an anti-BBL sentiment became evident. Local officials repeated their call for Zamboanga to be excluded from the Bangsamoro autonomous region, while senior leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and representatives of the Sulu sultanate and indigenous peoples’ groups lamented being excluded from the peace process. Marcos said his priority is “not the schedule but to get it right.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Malaysia rejects weary boat people

    Malaysia turned away two vessels filled with hundreds of migrants, off the northern islands of Penang and Langkawi. The boat off Langkawi could have been the same one that later turned up in Thai waters, both carrying a makeshift banner saying the passengers were Rohingya. Regarded as one of the world’s most persecuted minorities, the Rohingyas live in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State and have been targeted by sectarian violence. Passengers said they have been at sea for two months and have been trying to reach Malaysia.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Technology could have averted US train derailment

    Lawmakers and experts said the deadly train derailment in Philadelphia could have been averted if technology that has been available for years had been installed. A Positive Train Control (PTC) system which combines satellite and computer data to monitor train movements can prevent collisions by overriding a driver’s actions or lack of them. Investigators found that the train was traveling at double the 50 mph speed limit as it entered a curve. The train derailment killed at least 7 and injured about 200 others. A PTC in place would have prevented the crash.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    More details are on the New York Times.

  7. PH’s El Gamma Penumbra wins ‘Asia’s Got Talent’

    Filipino shadow play dance group El Gamma Penumbra won over Mongolian group Khusugtun on Thursday, May 14, in the first season of Asia’s Got Talent. Filipino classical singer Gerphil Flores, who made it to the Top 3, was eliminated. The winning dance group performed a tribute performance to Mother Nature to the song “Colors of the Wind” from the film Pocahontas. As winners, they will receive a cash prize of $100,000 and a chance to perform at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    The highlights of the show are also on Rappler.

  8. Nepal gov’t runs relief operations from tents

    Nepal ministries are working from tents and makeshift shelters to reach remote mountainous areas in parts of the country worst hit by a deadly quake that struck last April. With government buildings severely damaged by the earthquake, operations are all focused on disaster management, Uttar Kumar Khatri, spokesman of the prime minister said. The quake killed more than 8,000 people and destroyed close to half a million homes.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Gov’t to probe hiring system in Valenzuela factory

    Owners of a footwear factory which caught fire on Wednesday, May 13, and left at least 72 dead, will be investigated for hiring casual, unregistered workers on a daily or weekly basis. Kentex Manufacturing Corporation in Valenzuela City hired workers either directly, through an agency, or what is called a “pakyawan system”, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II said. In the latter, workers have no records with the company, which could be guilty of labor violations. Probers will also need to find out why most of those who died were on the second floor and if the proper permits were secured by Kentex.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. China company sends 12,700 tourists to Thailand

    Over 12,000 tourists were sent on holiday to Thailand by Infinitus China, a direct sales company. Thai tourism officials said the group of tourists is one of the largest they have had to accommodate from a Chinese company. They will be traveling in groups of 2,000 to 3,000 at a time, and will be visiting Bangkok and the seaside town of Pattaya. Less than a week ago, France received more than 6,000 Chinese tourists from one Chinese firm that booked close to 5,000 rooms in 79 4- and 5-star hotels. 

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.