Daily News Highlights – May 26, 2015 Edition

CJ Maglunog

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

  1. Safety check for schools near West Valley Fault ongoing


    Classes will still open in June for 6 schools along the West Valley Fault. The Department of Education says local engineers are already assessing the vulnerability of the schools’ buildings. Earlier, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology director Renato Solidum warned the schools to transfer their students. A major earthquake could happen in the Philippines once the West Valley Fault moves. The fault is expected to greatly affect the country since Metro Manila is not only highly populated, but also hosts the seat of government and the country’s business capital. 

    Read more on the West Valley Fault schools.


  2. Human Rights Watch on Duterte and Death Squad: ‘Defending the indefensible’


    Human Rights Watch (HRW) deputy Asia director Phelim Kine on Monday, May 25, called Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s “justification” of the need for a so-called “death squad” to solve crime in his city as merely an “attempted defense of the indefensible.” Duterte made – and continues to make – national headlines for his unapologetic and tough stand against crime in his city. He has long been linked to the Davao Death Squad (DDS), a loose group of vigilantes in the city that target known criminals.  Over the weekend Duterte said “Am I the death squad? True. That is true.” on his regular local TV show.

    Watch Rappler’s full interview with Kine.

  3. Aquino on LP bet: Roxas is ‘top of the list’ but…

    President Benigno Aquino III says Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas still tops the list of the Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer for 2016 even if his ranking in presidential surveys remain low. Aquino adds the LP is still “undergoing a lot of consultations” and will only reveal its choices after his State of the Nation Address this coming July. Roxas was supposed to run for president in 2010 but stepped down for Aquino. Instead, he ran for Vice President but lost to Jejomar Binay, who consistently tops surveys on choices for president.

    Read more on the Liberal Party’s bet.

  4. PH, Japan to discuss ‘transfer of military assets’

    Philippine and Japanese defense officials will discuss during President Benigno Aquino III’s trip to Tokyo next week the possible transfer of military assets to the Philippines. Aquino will be in Japan from June 2-5 for a state visit as the two countries face maritime and territorial disputes with China. Japanese defense officials have been in and out of the Philippines in recent years to discuss its commitment to help the country defend its islands in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). China has massive reclamation activities in 7 reefs in the South China Sea and has started challenging airplanes flying over the disputed region. 

    Read more on PH-Japan discussions on disputes with China.

  5. Taal 1754: Will historic eruption repeat itself?

    The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has created hazard maps based on Taal Volcano’s 1754 eruption, fearing it could happen again. Its biggest so far, the eruption was so devastating that it has become the government’s worst-case scenario for the volcano. The dangers of such an eruption are unique because of Taal Volcano’s extraordinary topography. Because of the steep slopes forming the wall of the larger caldera, fleeing residents would have to climb up before reaching the safer parts of the mainland. Ash could also collect on the slopes of the bowl, endangering people below. Today, around 6,000 people live on Volcano Island, thriving on fish farms and crop farming, and even making a living as tour guides for visits to the Taal Crater Lake.

    Read more on the potential hazards of a Taal Volcano eruption.

  6. More than 430 dead in heatwave

    More than 430 people have died in two Indian states during a heatwave that has seen temperatures nudge 50 degrees Celsius and force Kolkata’s iconic yellow taxis off the road, officials said Monday, May 25. Officials warned the toll was almost certain to rise, with figures still being collected in some parts of the hard-hit Telangana state in the country’s south, and with no end in sight to the searing conditions. Large parts of India, including national capital New Delhi, have endured days of sweltering heat, prompting fears of power cuts. But the highest temperatures have been recorded in Telangana and neighboring Andhra Pradesh state.

    Read more on the Indian heatwave.

  7. Aussie-trained lifeguards save lives in Boracay

    Boracay is home to the only professional lifeguard team in the Philippines trained to Australian standard. The Australian-modelled surf safety and lifesaving program has been highly successful. Since the program commenced there have been no drowning deaths on White Beach under the watch of the lifeguards. Through the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program in the Philippines, Australia has supported the development of lifesaving capabilities across the country. There are 45 Australian volunteers currently deployed in the Philippines under the AVID program.

    Read more on lifeguard training.

  8. The rise of the tech-savvy elderly

     Tech-savvy elderly | Photo from Shutterstock

    It has been said that the elderly are generally slower and more resistant to adopt new technology. However, the inability to catch up with technology may also be because of how newer iterations are designed. In a report by the BBC, Ian Hosking, an expert in design for the elderly, says there are many who feel excluded by technology. “They find it a bit impenetrable,” he says. The elderly population is rising – it is estimated that by 2030, 19% of the US population will be over 65. This is roughly the same number of people who currently own iPhones. Apple is looking to address this in a joint venture with IBM by designing iPad apps that would be “very easy to use for seniors.”

    Read more on technology for the elderly at BBC.

  9. SpaceX travel posters and pad abort test video

    SpaceX released 3 travel posters for Mars. One poster says “Discover Valles Marineris… land of Martian chasms and craters.” Another invites people to “take a space age cruise aboard the moons of Mars” Phobos & Deimos. Yet another one hypes up Olympus Mons, the solar system’s highest peak. SpaceX also shows how it’s like onboard a space capsule that’s being aborted. The footage comes from tests made by SpaceX on its Crew Dragon capsule, the vehicle that will ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

    Watch SpaceX’s travel posters and video on Rappler.

  10. Man stolen as baby reunites with mom 41 years later

     Man stolen as a baby in Chile reunited with his mother after 41 years | Screengrabbed from CNN video

    A Chilean-born American stolen from his biological parents reunited with his mother after 41 years. CNN reports Travis Tolliver grew up believing he was an abandoned baby adopted by an American couple in Washington state. His adoptive parents had no knowledge of what had happened, while his biological mother desperately tried to find him. Tolliver was stolen only hours after his birth. A probe by Chilean authorities reveal thousands of babies were stolen and sent off to be adopted illegally during the 1970s and 1980s. A priest named Gerardo Joannon is accused of acting as a conduit between affluent families in Chile and adoptive parents as a part of a scheme also involving doctors, nurses and nuns in the 1970s.

    Read more on Chile’s stolen babies.

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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.