Daily News Highlights – June 3, 2015 Edition


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  1. Binay keeps slight lead over Poe – Laylo survey

    Vice President and potential presidential contender Jejomar Binay maintained a slim lead over Senator Grace Poe in a new poll on the 2016 presidential elections conducted by Laylo Research and published in the Manila Standard. Binay registered a national preference rating of 28% as against Poe’s 24%. Binay led polls conducted in rural areas while Poe led in urban areas. Binay scored highest in Mindanao with 41% compared to Poe’s 10%. Rico Quicho, Binay’s political spokesperson, celebrated the survey results and added that “Binay remains the top choice for president.” Poe has yet to announce her intentions for 2016. 

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. US Congress clips NSA surveillance powers

    The US Senate passed landmark legislation on June 2 that ends the government’s bulk telephone data collection program, reining in the most controversial surveillance program since the 9/11 attacks of 2001. The “USA Freedom Act” is hailed as the “first major overhaul of government surveillance laws in decades” by the bill’s sponsor, Senator Patrick Leahy. It shifts responsibility for storing the data to telephone companies, allowing authorities to access the information only with a warrant from a secret counterterror court. The passage of the bill follows days of sharp debate, with Republicans split over the issue. The bill will be sent to Obama for signature. 

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Metro Manila to conduct earthquake drills on July 30

    All cities and municipalities of Metro Manila are set to their disaster response plans in a metro-wide earthquake drill on July 30. The drill will be conducted for one hour from 10:30 am to 11:30 am, according to Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino. Original plans called for power and communication lines to be shut down, but Tolentino said this proposal was not approved. The MMDA hopes all schools, hospitals, malls, call centers, offices and the government will participate in the drill and take it seriously. Meanwhile, Pasig City will conduct another earthquake drill on the same day in the evening from 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm in the city’s Ortigas business district.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Top CPP-NPA leader arrested in Cavite – military

    The military arrested the top communist guerrilla leader in the Philippines on Monday, June 1, according to the military. Adelberto Silva, a low-key suspected member of the New People’s Army (NPA), is considered the “highest ranking” leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) armed wing, after taking over from arrested party leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon. Police said Silva was arrested at his hideout in the town of Bacoor on Manila’s southern outskirts where he had posed as a businessman. Silva will stand trial for the murder of 15 people who were said to have been killed by the NPA. Their remains were recovered from a mass grave in the central island of Leyte in 1985, the military said. 

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Rescuers battle time to find survivors of China ship

    Chinese rescuers worked through the night on Tuesday, June 2, in a desperate race to find survivors of a capsized cruise ship, with more than 400 people still missing after the boat sank in a storm on the Yangtze river. Authorities have confirmed only 14 survivors after the Dongfangzhixing, or “Eastern Star,” rapidly overturned late Monday. At least 7 bodies have been recovered from the wreckage. The boat had more than 450 people on board, with most passengers over the age of 60. The captain and chief engineer, who were among the survivors, both reportedly said the ship was caught in a freak “cyclone”. 

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Sepp Blatter resigns as FIFA president

    The head of the world football federation, Sepp Blatter, resigned on Tuesday, June 2 amid increasing pressure over his possible involvement in a mounting corruption scandal. The 79-year-old Swiss, FIFA president for 17 years, was reelected on Friday in a controversial congress of FIFA members. In his resignation letter, Blatter said that while he has the support of FIFA members, he does not have the support of everybody in the world of football. Blatter has come under fire for being at the helm of FIFA when allegations of corruption and bribery have reached its peak. Blatter is not implicated in the ongoing corruption investigation, but reports say the US is trying to get one of the arrested officials to speak up about Blatter’s possible involvement. A special FIFA congress will be held to elect Blatter’s successor. 

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Myanmar escorts boat with 700 migrants to Rakhine state

    Myanmar’s navy on Tuesday, June 2, escorted a boatload of more than 700 migrants towards its western state of Rakhine, authorities said, 5 days after it was found adrift in the Bay of Bengal. Myanmar authorities said the passengers onboard were “Bengalis” and threatened to send them across the border. Myanmar describes its persecuted Rohingya Muslim community as “Bengalis”. Most of the 1.3 million Rohingya have no citizenship and are considered to be illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. Around 3,500 migrants, mainly Rohingya from Myanmar or economic migrants from neighboring Bangladesh, have come ashore in Southeast Asia in recent weeks in an ongoing migrant crisis.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Apple loses trademark case against MyPhone

    US technology giant Apple lost a trademark case against Philippine-based Solid Broadband Corporation, the seller of MyPhone smartphones, according to a May 19 decision from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) of the Philippines. Apple contested the “MyPhone” brand saying it sounded similar to the Apple’s iPhone brand of smartphones. Records show that Apple launched the iPhone in January 9, 2007. Solid Broadband applied to register the MyPhone name 5 months later or 4 days before the first public release of the iPhone. 

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Safety checks on NCR businesses begin June 8

    Metro Manila fire inspection | Photo by Rappler

    Labor and fire officials will conduct safety checks on “high-risk” industrial facilities in Metro Manila beginning Monday, June 8 to ensure the safety of workers in factories and offices. The move, announced by Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, comes in the aftermath of a factory fire in Valenzuela City that claimed the lives of 72 workers. A team composed of personnel from the Bureau of Fire Prevention (BFP), the labor department, the mayor’s office, and the Philippine National Police (PNP), will inspect facilities for compliance with fire safety and labor safety regulations. The inspections are expected to be completed by the end of June.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. COA finds ’Marcos watches’, diamonds, and silver in old vault

    State auditors discovered two gold watches bearing the faces of the late President Ferdinand Marcos and wife Imelda along with a collection of millions of pesos worth of diamonds, silver, and foreign currencies in a neglected vault of the Bureau of Treasury (BTr). The Commission on Audit (COA) did not identify the original owners of the diamonds – worth at least P2 million. Up to 166 pieces of silver one-peso coins, 412 pieces of various foreign currencies, and two gold pens were also discovered. The government will have the items appraised.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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