SEA Games

Daily News Highlights – May 17, 2015 Edition

Aika Rey

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

  1. China to US: Safeguarding sovereignty, territory ‘firm as a rock’

    China’s foreign minister told top US diplomat John Kerry on Saturday, May 16, that Beijing was “unshakeable” in its defense of sovereignty, as tensions between the powers mount over Chinese island-building in strategic but disputed waters.

    The United States is weighing sending warships and surveillance aircraft within 12 nautical miles – the normal territorial zone around natural land – of artificial islands that Beijing is building in the South China Sea. Such a move could lead to a standoff on the high seas, in an area home to vital global shipping lanes and believed to be rich in oil and gas deposits.

    Read more on Rappler.

  2. Malaysia to Myanmar: Help us on Rohingya ‘catastrophe’

    Malaysia’s Prime Minister said on Saturday, May 16, he would seek help from Myanmar to address the unfolding “humanitarian catastrophe” involving a wave of boatpeople flooding to Southeast Asia, thousands of whom are ethnic Rohingya fleeing oppression in the mainly Buddhist country.

    Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand have come under increasing pressure to rescue a wave of starving and helpless Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants after triggering outrage by turning them back out to sea with scarce food and nowhere to go.

    Read more on Rappler.

  3. Peace: ‘Hopeful’ in Bangsamoro areas, but not so much nationwide

    In the aftermath of the January 25 Mamasapano incident, sentiments throughout the Bangsamoro Core Territory on peace agreements remain “hopeful,” the results of the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed.

    In contrast to residents in the Core Territory, “people in the Philippines as a whole are not hopeful that the proposed new Bangsamoro government will bring peace and development to the area,” the survey results showed.

    Nationwide approval of the BBL is at 23% while disapproval is at 48%. In the SWS survey conducted on public sentiment on the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) in July 2014, national approval for the pact was at 44%.

    Read more on Rappler.

  4. Cebu’s bus rapid transit project told: No tree-cutting please

    The regional environment office in Cebu has denied a Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) request for permission to cut at least 300 trees along major thoroughfares in Cebu City for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project.

    Dr Isabelo Montejo, regional executive director of DENR-7, said in a news briefing on Friday, May 15, that the regional DENR office has denied the request to allow the cutting of the trees, and returned it to DPWH last month.

    The BRT is a much-awaited project of the Cebu City government that is expected to ease traffic congestion. The project is the first of its kind and will be patterned after the BRT system in Curitba, Brazil where a specialized mass transportation bus with an exclusive lane will ferry passengers just like a train but cheaper in operational costs.

    Read more on Rappler.

  5. Palace: Up to Binay if he wants to stay in Cabinet

    Malacañang has not changed its stance on whether Vice President Jejomar Binay should resign from the Cabinet following a freeze order on his bank accounts over alleged irregularities.

    Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in an interview on state-run Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday, May 16, that as far is Malacañang is concerned, Binay would have to make the decision himself. Binay sits in the Cabinet as chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council and presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers’ concerns.

    Read more on Rappler.

  6. How the opah fish survive in the deep, cold ocean

    The silvery, round-bodied opah fish is the first warm-blooded fish known to science and this unusual ability gives it a competitive edge in the cold ocean depths, researchers said Thursday, May 14.

    Also known as a moonfish, the creature is about the size of a tire and can warm itself much the same way as a car radiator, researchers said in the journal Science.

    Learn more on Rappler.

  7. Now, lawmakers want a Spratlys trip, too

    Members of the Philippine House of Representatives told Armed Forces chief General Gregorio Catapang Jr they also want to visit the disputed Pag-asa island (Thitu) in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

    “I was approached by some congressmen and they also want to visit the island. They were also asking me how they can help Mayor Eugenio Bito-onon. It (my visit) has created an awareness among congressmen,” Catapang told reporters in a recent interview in Camp Aguinaldo.

    Read more on Rappler.

  8. Want to grow old healthy? 30 minutes exercise key

    Elderly men who do 30 minutes of physical activity 6 days a week are likely to have a 40% lower risk of death compared to couch-potato counterparts, researchers said Friday, May 15

    For men in this age group, just a small amount of regular exercise –regardless of intensity – is as beneficial as giving up smoking, they said. The evidence comes from a major project in Norway called the Oslo Study.

    Read more on Rappler.

  9. UFC Fight Night 66: Muñoz, Edgar lead winners

    Filipino-American fighter Mark Muñoz ended his career in the octagon on a high note, and in front of a hometown crowd, after dominating Englishman Luke Barnatt at the UFC Fight Night 66 on Saturday, May 16 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila.

    Aside from Muñoz, Frankie Edgar solidified his status as the next contender for the featherweight championship by outpointing Urijah Faber in the main event.

    Read more about Muñoz’s win on Rappler, and check out all the other bouts in this historic fight night, on Rappler Sports.

  10. El Gamma Penumbra to PH, Asia: Maraming salamat!

    Filipino shadow play dance group El Gamma Penumbra is back in the Philippines after their winning journey in the first season of the Southeast Asian pan-regional reality show Asia’s Got Talent.

    The group arrived from Singapore Friday night, May 15. “To all our supporters in all parts of the world, in Asia, especially to all Filipinos, maraming salamat po, thank you so much,” the Batangas-based group said after they were announced winners on Thursday, May 14. 

    Read more 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