Today on Rappler.
Story 1: PH GETS US AVIATION UPGRADE
After 6 years, the Philippines regains its much-coveted rating upgrade from US aviation authorities.
The US Federal Aviation Administration or FAA grants the Philippines a Category 1 rating for complying with safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization or ICAO.
A Category 1 rating allows Philippine carriers to add flights to the United States.
In a statement, Transport Secretary Jun Abaya praises the US agency's move, saying it "cements a landmark era in the Philippine aviation sector."
The Philippines held a Category 1 rating until January 2008, when it was downgraded to Category 2 by the FAA.
It prompted the European Union to blacklist Philippine carriers two years later.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines worked to address safety concerns to regain its Category 1 status and get off the EU's blacklist.
In March 2013, the ICAO gave the Philippines a passing mark in its safety audit.
The upgrade to Category 1 came after the EU lifted a ban on Philippine carriers in July 2013.
Story 2: APPEAL SC RULING ON RH LAW, MIRIAM TELLS ADVOCATES
Senator Miriam Santiago urges supporters to appeal the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Reproductive Health law.
In a statement, Santiago says there’s a chance to convince the High Tribunal to declare as constitutional the 8 provisions it struck down.
Santiago says, “I am fairly confident that a more exhaustive study of the principles of constitutional law will support a reconsideration of all 8 provisions.”
On April 8, the Court declared the RH law constitutional, except for 8 provisions.
RH law authors in the House of Representatives said the ruling does not diminish the law.
In a TV interview, Senator Pia Cayetano said, “If one or two provisions would be stricken down, to me that’s acceptable, as long as the heart and the meat of the bill is still there. And it is, without a doubt.”
Story 3: ARROYO'S STEM CELL DOCTOR CHARGED WITH ILLEGAL PRACTICE
The National Bureau of Investigation files a case against the stem cell physician of former president Gloria Arroyo for the illegal practice of medicine.
Alternative medicine doctor Antonia Carandang-Park is charged for violating Republic Act 2382 or The Medical Act of 1959.
The bureau's investigation found that Park "misrepresented herself as a licensed physician [on] several occasions."
Park and some of her staff face charges of estafa and reckless imprudence resulting in homicide with the death of 23-year-old Kate Tan after undergoing stem cell treatment.
Park supposedly signed an official statement in her diagnosis suggesting stem cell therapy for Arroyo, who suffers from debilitating neck and back pain.
Park is also not in the Professional Regulatory Commission database of physicians as of August 2013.
Park earlier told Rappler that she is an unlicensed physician in the Philippines, but said she is a registered medical practitioner in London and Korea.
Story 4: ROXAS DELIVERS P802M TO YOLANDA-HIT LEYTE LGUs
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas goes around Leyte towns and cities affected by Typhoon Yolanda or Haiyan to distribute P802 million in checks for the rehabilitation of public buildings.
Roxas says the government will release an initial P1.8 million to rehabilitate and reconstruct "vital public buildings owned and operated by local government units in Yolanda-affected areas."
The biggest share of the funds will go to Tacloban City.
Over P230 million from the interior department will be spent to rehabilitate Tacloban’s city hall, public market and civic center.
Among the 4 provinces affected by the typhoon, Leyte will receive the biggest chunk of the initial fund release.
The second batch of funds amounts to over P358 million.
Story 5: THE FIGHT AGAINST HUNGER
World Food Program Philippines National Ambassador KC Concepcion says hunger and malnutrition are the world’s greatest health risks.
The two are even greater than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.
But with informed action, hunger can be stopped.
In partnership with the social welfare department and the WFP, Rappler's #HungerProject aims to raise awareness about hunger in the Philippines.
Concepcion emphasizes the impact of hunger on productivity.
KC CONCEPCION, WFP PHILIPPINES NATIONAL AMBASSADOR AGAINST HUNGER: There's nothing you can do when you're hungry. And there's nothing you can do when you're chronically hungry, which is the focus of the World Food Programme, which is to really target acute malnutrition.
In 2013, the Global Hunger Index ranks the Philippines the 28th hungriest country in the world.
Concepcion says the problem lies in the lack of access to food resources.
KC CONCEPCION, WFP PHILIPPINES NATIONAL AMBASSADOR AGAINST HUNGER: The biggest issue for us is really purchasing power, not being able to have access to the same food resources. We don't know, a lot of people that I talked to are shocked to find out that there might be an issue of hunger in the Philippines kasi ang hihilig natin kumain. We're an agricultural country, we have oceans and the seas surrounding the country so why should there be a lack of resources? And that's exactly the point, there's enough food in the whole world, to feed the whole population of the world. So it's more about equal distribution of food and being able to have access to that food.
Story 6: DOJ FILES CHARGES VS LEE, CORNEJO OVER VHONG MAULING
The justice department files serious illegal detention and grave coercion charges against businessman Cedric Lee and his camp over the mauling of ABS-CBN comedian-host Vhong Navarro.
The investigating panel finds probable cause to indict Lee, his sister Bernice, model Deniece Cornejo, and 4 others.
The charges are based on the January 22 mauling incident, where Lee’s camp beat up Navarro for allegedly raping Cornejo.
In the same resolution, the panel dismisses Cornejo's rape charge against Navarro.
Story 7: TOYOTA RECALLS MORE THAN 6M VEHICLES WORLDWIDE
Car manufacturer Toyota recalls almost 6.4 million vehicles worldwide.
It announces 5 separate recalls involving 26 Toyota models.
Problems found include a driver's seat defect, steering column problems, and an engine starter glitch that poses a fire risk.
The car manufacturer also recalls Innova, Fortuner and Hilux models sold from November 2004 to June 2010.
Toyota says a problem may prevent the airbag from deploying in a crash.
Authorized Toyota dealers in the Philippines will replace parts for free.
Story 8: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 5, the International Monetary Fund or IMF cuts its global growth forecast because of the Ukraine crisis and the slowdown in major emerging economies.
In a new report, the IMF cuts back the forecast to 3.6% this year and 3.9% in 2015.
The global economy grew 3% in 2013.
At number 8, US space agency NASA reveals ambitious plans at a US Senate hearing on space missions.
Among its goals: to send human missions to Mars and throwing an asteroid to the moon.
NASA associate administrator William Gerstenmaier says the agency is looking at long-term human exploration of the solar system.
He adds, “We're going to grab a piece of the solar system, we're going to deflect it around the moon and insert it into a distant retrograde orbit around the moon where our crews can go visit.”
NASA is targeting a Mars trip by the 2030s.
And at number 10, iconic comic book character Archie Andrews gets an unexpected ending to his story.
CNN reports the freckled redhead will meet his untimely death in issue number 36 to be published July 2014.
The story will revolve around how he makes a sacrifice to save another friend. Issue number 37, which will be published a week later, will be the last for the series and will be set a year after Archie’s death.
Archie's death is seen to underscore his impact on pop culture and pay tribute to the smiling everyman.
Story 9: FIL-AM MODEL ON COMING OUT AS A TRANSGENDERED WOMAN
Filipina American Fashion model Geena Rocero tells Rappler, she spent years hiding her identity as a transgender woman until her recent Ted Talk.
Rocero’s coming out as a transgender woman inspired thousands around the world.
Rocero says her mom convinced her to fly to the US and live as a woman.
GEENA ROCERO, FIL-AM MODEL: The culture I grew up with in the Philippines, especially when I was doing the beauty pageants, was a lot of fun…So when my mom called me that I needed to all of a sudden leave that life, I really resisted. But then mom… she specifically said that to me, 'well, if you're really a woman. If you really want to be a woman, and fully be recognized as a woman, there's a law in the United States that would allow you to be a woman and changed your gender marker.
Soon after coming out, she founded "Gender Proud."
GEENA ROCERO, FIL-AM MODEL: Gender proud is a campaign that's raising awareness to transgender people all over the world. But at the core of gender proud, we're trying to create a global, unified messaging, why it's important for countries all over the world, to adapt new policy on gender recognition law. We are all assigned a gender at birth, but sometimes that gender just doesn't match, so people should be allowed to self identify, whether you want to transition from male to female. Female to Male or gender variant.
Story 10: SOCIAL MEDIA POST OF THE DAY
For our social media post of the day:
The second season finale of reality search show Asia’s Next Top Model stirs online anger among Filipino fans.
Malaysian Sheena Liam emerged winner, with Filipinas Jodilly Pendre and Katarina Rodriguez as runners-up.
Avid followers were dismayed with the results, when Jodilly, the online favorite, ended up second place.
@techpinas says, “I have wonderful Malaysian friends and I hope Malaysia finds that airplane. But clearly, Jodilly deserved that title more.”
@schanneG says, “A contest held in Malaysia, judged by Malaysians, sponsored by Malaysians and a Malaysian won. Not surprised.”
Newscast Production Staff