Rappler Newscast | May 21, 2013
Today on Rappler.
• A powerful tornado hits an Oklahoma City suburb, killing at least 51 -- 20 of them children.
• The Philippines protests the presence of 30 Chinese fishing vessels, including 3 government ships, in waters off Palawan.
• Chiz Escudero replaces Sen Trillanes as the country’s poorest senator while Sen Manny Villar remains the richest.
Story 1: 51 KILLED AS TORNADO HITS OKLAHOMA SUBURB
A powerful tornado sweeps through an Oklahoma City suburb Monday -- Tuesday in Manila -- destroying blocks of homes, two schools and killing at least 51 people -- 20 of them children.
Rescue workers search through the collapsed remains of Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, where seven children are found dead.
CNN reports at least 145 people are hospitalized.
Oklahoma’s state medical examiner says it expects about 40 more bodies from the disaster.
Local broadcaster KFOR captures scenes of widespread destruction after the three-kilometer wide tornado plowed through densely-packed suburbs.
The National Weather Service gave the tornado a preliminary rating of EF-4, indicating it packed winds of 267-322 km/h -- more severe than a category five hurricane.
US President Barack Obama declares a "major disaster" in Oklahoma and orders federal aid to supplement local recovery efforts.
Oklahoma City lies inside what’s called "Tornado Alley" stretching from South Dakota to central Texas, an area particularly vulnerable to tornadoes.
Story 2: LAST RECOURSE FOR PH VS CHINA'S MARITIME CLAIM
Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio says the Philippines would likely “appeal to world opinion” as its last recourse against China's claim in the South China Sea.
In January, the Philippines elevated the territorial dispute to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Carpio says China may use its naval power and its permanent membership in the UN Security Council to enforce its claim.
He adds, "The Philippines does not have the naval might to compel China to comply with any decision of the arbitral tribunal."
The Philippines rejects China's 9-dash line, saying it is an "excessive declaration of maritime space in violation of international law."
Story 3: 30 CHINESE VESSELS, 1 WARSHIP SIGHTED IN PALAWAN
Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez says around 30 Chinese fishing vessels are seen for more than a week at Ayungin Shoal, part of the Kalayaan Island Group off Palawan.
Hernandez says the DFA filed a protest with the Chinese Embassy in Manila on May 10 over the --quote-- “provocative and illegal presence” of the Chinese government ships, two China Marine Surveillance ships and one warship.
The incident is the latest in tensions between the two countries over competing territorial claims to parts of the South China Sea.
Story 4: DRILON TO DFA, COMELEC: EXPLAIN LOW OVERSEAS VOTES
Senator Frank Drilon wants the Commission on Elections and the Department of Foreign Affairs to explain the low turnout of overseas absentee voters.
In a statement, the campaign manager of Team PNoy says, “I again deplore the dismal implementation of the absentee voting law in the just-concluded midterm elections."
Drilon says only 15.35% of registered overseas voters actually cast their vote, less than the 26% turnout in the 2010 presidential elections.
In April, Comelec predicted 60% of overseas voters would participate in the polls.
Comelec received P105 million from the 2013 national budget, while the DFA received P43 million to implement the absentee voting law.
The turnout of only 113,209 overseas Filipinos means each absentee vote costs P1,310.
Drilon adds, "This is outrageous. I wonder how the Comelec and the DFA can justify these numbers.”
Story 5: 11 SENATORIAL BETS NOT NO. 1 IN BAILIWICKS
Nine candidates for senator in the 2013 polls win in their home provinces and cities, with four making it to the top 12 in the national count.
Eleven candidates fail to capture the top spot in their home provinces and cities.
Four bets lose the top spot in their bailiwicks to Senate race frontrunner Grace Poe, Loren Legarda, JV Ejercito, Bam Aquino, and Nancy Binay.
Story 6: CHIZ POOREST SENATOR, VILLAR STILL RICHEST
Newly re-elected Sen Chiz Escudero replaces Sen Sonny Trillanes as the country's poorest senator.
Based on his Statement of Assets and Liabilities, Escudero's net worth in 2012 is P4.02 million, down from the P9.86 million reported in 2011.
Businessman Sen Manny Villar remains the richest senator, with a net worth of P1.45 billion in 2012, an increase from his 2011 net worth of P854 million.
The Constitution requires public officials to file SALNs within 30 days after assumption of office.
Story 7: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 2, Chinese state media says North Korea releases 16 Chinese fishermen following reports armed attackers took the sailors hostage.
While no details about the incident were provided, the vessel's owner says armed North Koreans seized the boat in waters between the two countries on May 6 and demanded 600,000 yuan ($98,000) for the men's release.
The incident is the latest to strain the relationship between China and North Korea.
At number 5, A British climber who made the first video call from the top of Mt. Everest, is now in a fight with the Nepalese government over the ‘illegal call’.
Daniel Hughes scaled the highest mountain Monday and called the BBC via a satellite phone.
But Nepal’s tourism Ministry says, “'Mr Hughes has broken the law by not seeking permission from the communication ministry.”
It’s unclear what the Nepalese government intends to do when Hughes returns to Base Camp.
And at number 9, Diagnosing leukemia? There's a computer algorithm for that.
Tech news website Mashable says 18-year-old whiz kid Brittany Wenger from Florida taught a computer to diagnose mixed-lineage leukemia or MLL by building a cloud-based "artificial neural network."
Prognosis for MLL is poor, with the 5-year survival rate hitting only 40%.
This isn't Wenger's first science breakthrough.
She also developed technology that could diagnose breast cancer.
Newscast production staff
|EXECUTIVE PRODUCER / WRITER||Lilibeth Frondoso|
|ASSOCIATE PRODUCER / PUBLISHER||Rodneil Quiteles|
|HEAD WRITER / PROMPTER||Katerina Francisco|
|MASTER EDITOR / PLAYBACK||Vicente Roxas|
|TECHNICAL DIRECTOR / CAMERAMAN||Charlie Salazar|