Daily News Highlights – May 21, 2015 Edition


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

  1. Unless Myanmar stops abusing the Rohingya, regional crisis continues – HRW

    Even if Malaysia and Indonesia have decided to provide temporary shelter to some 7,000 Rohingya Muslims who fled Myanmar, the problem will repeat itself, Human Rights Watch warned. The root cause of these people getting on boats, starving at sea, and being turned away by Asian neighbors have to be addressed, the group said. This is “a local domestic human rights problem in Burma that has been left festering by ASEAN and its neighbors for years,” said HRW’s Phelim Kine. The solution, he said: “ASEAN, including Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, need to speak up forcefully and demand that the Burmese government stop abusing the Rohingya within their borders. Until they do that, this is going to continue to be a regional problem.”

    Read the full story on Rappler Indonesia.

  2. Bill for new Muslim region hurdles Congress committee

    The proposed law that would create an expanded and more powerful autonomous Muslim region in southern Philippines got past an ad hoc committee in the lower House, with key provisions intact, but observers doubt whether it will be approved with finality within the next 3 weeks that President Benigno Aquino III has wanted it. After the days-long hearings, where the ad hoc committee members voted per provision, the bill will have to go through two more committees in the House of Representatives, before it is presented to plenary. After that, the bill will have to pass through the Senate, where a number of lawmakers have vowed not to let it pass with what they deem are unconstitutional provisions. Congress will adjourn on June 11, giving the passage of the bill and the projected plebiscite before the May 2016 national elections a slim chance.

    Read the full story on Rappler’s #ProjectMindanao page.

  3. HIV epidemic rising fastest in the Philippines

    The World Health Organization urged the Philippines to intensify its efforts at addressing the spread of HIV, warning that unless a “bigger” response is made, the epidemic will be out of control. The Philippines has the fastest growing HIV epidemic in the world, said WHO country representative Julie Hall. “The window of opportunity is fairly small and there’s a few years, really, where intensive work needs to be done to bring this outbreak into control. Otherwise, it simply gets bigger and bigger, more and more costly, more and more difficult to bring it under control,” she said. The Philippine health department has so far recorded 24,376 cases of HIV since 1984. The number of new cases recorded daily has risen from 17 in 2014 to 21 in 2015.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Recruiter says Filipina on Indonesian death row is innocent

    The alleged “recruiter” of Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, who is on Indonesian death row for drug smuggling, has confirmed portions of the condemned maid’s testimony, bolstering her narrative before the Indonesian court. In 31-page counter-affidavit before a Philippine court, Cristina Sergio affirmed that her neighbor Veloso was innocent of drug trafficking, and that she was only duped by two African-looking men whom they met while they were in Malaysia in April 2010. Veloso was supposed to be executed by firing squad on April 29, 2015, but got a last-minute reprieve hours after Sergio surrendered to local authorities because of alleged threats to her life and her live-in partner, Julius Lacanilao. At least 3 other victims of Sergio and Lacanilao’s illegal recruitment activities have since surfaced to file complaints.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. 17 Filipino fishermen brought home from Indonesian jail

    The Philippines brought home another group of fishermen that Indonesian authorities arrested and jailed in 2012 for illegal fishing. The 17 who were repatriated brought to 139 the Filipino fishermen who have been brought home from Indonesia since January. The Philippine foreign affairs department said these men “were arrested in groups for illegally fishing in Indonesian waters” and “were not in possession of passports nor travel documents.” Ambassador Ricardo Endaya said, “The Philippine government is committed to providing repatriation assistance to Filipinos who may find themselves in distress overseas, including fisherfolk who stray into foreign waters.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Maps show PH residential areas that sit on earthquake fault

    Should a magnitude 7.2 earthquake strike Metro Manila and surrounding provinces – something likely to happen, given a major fault’s 400-year cycle of activity – residential buildings will suffer the most damage, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. Based on maps recently released by the agency, Rappler compiled a list of subdivisions or residential villages that appear to have been built on top or around the active West Valley Fault and East Valley Fault.

    Read the full story and see the maps on Rappler’s #ProjectAgos page.

  7. Grace Poe doesn’t see teaming up with VP Binay in 2016

    The popular senator Grace Poe has ruled out being the running mate of Vice President Jejomar Binay in the latter’s declared bid for the presidency, days after the two hinted that one was a better choice than the other. Binay said the next Philippine leader should be competent, in apparent reference to his decades in government service, compared to Poe’s few years as censors chief and now senator. Poe responded that before competence, it is honesty that the next president should possess, obviously referring to the strings of corruption allegations against Binay and his family. Binay was the campaign manager of Poe’s father when the latter ran for president in 2004 and was believed to have been cheated by then President Gloria Arroyo. However, when Poe decided to enter politics in 2013, she, while independent, chose to campaign with the ruling Liberal Party. The party is now considering her for 2016 as well.

    Read the full story on Rappler #PHvote.

  8. Philippine flag carrier to fly to New Zealand

    Philippine Airlines will start flying to New Zealand in December, looking to serve business travellers and tourists, as well as some 40,000 Filipinos residing in the country. PAL will have 4 flights a week – every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday – to serve the Manila-Cairns-Auckland route. 

    Read the full story on Rappler Business.

  9. Spotify expands to have video, news, non-music content

    Swedish company Spotify, so far the largest company in the streaming industry, wants to broaden and personalize the platform to attract more subscribers daily. It will do so by introducing video and original content, including news and non-music content.

    Daniel Ek, company founder and chief executive, said Spotify’s core mission remains music, but it wants to give users more incentives to turn to Spotify, as it recognizes the all-encompassing power of smartphones in modern life.

    Read the full story on Rappler Technology.

  10. David Letterman airs last show after 3 decades

    David Letterman, the king of America’s special brand of late-night television, made his final broadcast Wednesday, May 21, closing the door on a pioneering, 33-year-long career that inspired a generation of comedians. Wednesday’s episode of the Late Show with David Letterman, aired from the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York, was his 6,028th television show in his career. Critics have praised Letterman for combining innovative and odd-ball antics with traditional interviews, and for inspiring some of most the talented comics working today in Britain and the United States. He announced his retirement in 2014. “I’m naked and afraid,” Letterman told CBS on May 17. “Any enormous uprooting change in my life has petrified me.”

    Read the full story on Rappler Entertainment.

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