World’s top news stories for today from Washingtonian post (May 10, 2016)
Rodrigo Duterte wins Philippine presidency
On Tuesday, Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte, a tough-on-crime mayor nicknamed “The Punisher,” effectively won Monday’s presidential election after unofficial results showed him with a massive lead and his two main rivals, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and Sen. Grace Poe, conceded defeat.
“It’s with humility, extreme humility, that I accept this, the mandate of the people,” Duterte told AFP. Duterte’s inflammatory remarks, crude sexual jokes, big promises, and scant policy proposals have earned him a comparison to Donald Trump, and term-limited outgoing President Benigno Aquino III had warned that Duterte could endanger the Philippines’ hard-won democracy and economic gains. BBC News, The Associated Press via The Week
Facebook denies anti-conservative censorship
On Monday, the tech site Gizmodo caused quite a stir with an article alleging political manipulation at Facebook’s Trending Topics feature, citing unidentified former Facebook employees. Late Monday, Tom Stocky, the Facebook vice president, who oversees the Trending Topics team, hit back in a Facebook post.
“We take these reports extremely seriously, and have found no evidence that the anonymous allegations are true.” He referred to the anonymous former team members as “Facebook contractors,” and said that what they alleged to have done is implausible, if not impossible. “Facebook does not allow or advise our reviewers to systematically discriminate against sources of any ideological origin and we’ve designed our tools to make that technically not feasible.” Facebook, Gizmodo via The Week
90% of McMurray survived
Some 90% of buildings in the evacuated Canadian city of Fort McMurray have survived the massive wildfire, Alberta’s provincial premier said on a visit. Rachel Notley said the hospital and most schools were intact but 2,400 out of 25,000 structures had been burnt.
“It was a miracle we got the entire population out safely,” she told reporters. More than 80,000 people were evacuated from the oil sands city last week. Nobody was killed in the fire but two people died in a car crash when they were leaving the city.
Officials said they hoped to provide a schedule within two weeks for the return of residents. BBC
Researchers develop new Zika test
A team of researchers based at Harvard University say they have developed a testing method that could quickly diagnose Zika virus, and do so basically anywhere in the world. The researchers led by synthetic biologist James Collins came up with a way to screen blood, urine or saliva for Zika virus.
In a paper published in the journal Cell, they said previous techniques such as looking for antibodies in body fluids are limited because people could have antibodies from similar viruses present in the region such as Dengue. Other methods are expensive and require equipment that is not readily available in many areas.
Their method uses paper cards about the size of a human hand that contain freeze-dried biomolecular components. Because the concentration of Zika virus in the blood is very low, the researchers first amplify the sample through a process that triggers the virus to multiply. The amplified sample is then applied to the paper card, and if Zika is present, the card changes color. Samples from any positive test can then be applied to another card that is set up to determine which of the many strains of Zika virus is present.
The WHO says half of the world’s population lives in areas where the Aedes aegypti mosquito does too. VOA
US Presidential election
Trump to meet GOP leaders: Donald Trump will meet with several Republican leaders on Thursday, aides on Capitol Hill told Politico. The presumptive Republican nominee will be in Washington for a meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan, and while there, will stop in to visit Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his team. The GOP leadership team is comprised of Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, Senate Republican Conference Chair John Thune of South Dakota, Republican Policy Committee Chairman John Barrasso of Wyoming, and Republican Conference Vice Chair Roy Blunt of Missouri. McConnell has said he will support Trump, but wants to see him work to bring the Republican Party together. Politico via The Week
Trump named Christie as chairman of transition team: Trump on Monday named New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, one of the Republican presidential challengers Trump defeated in his months-long campaign for the nomination, to serve as chairman of his transition team if he wins the election as the successor to President Barack Obama. Christie dropped out of the presidential race in February, after finishing sixth in the party primary in the northeastern state of New Hampshire that Trump won. Christie subsequently endorsed Trump’s bid for the Republican nomination and has appeared numerous times at his campaign rallies. VOA
Libertarian sees hope: With Republicans not exactly united behind Donald Trump and polls showing a majority of voters holding unfavorable views of Democrat Hillary Clinton, Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson sees a “real opportunity” for another choice in the race to be the next leader of the United States. “I do think that Clinton and Trump are the two most polarizing figures in politics today,” Johnson said Sunday on ABC’s This Week. “And when 50 percent of Americans now declare themselves as independent, I happen to think that they’re libertarian, it’s just that they don’t know it.” VOA
No one loves TTP: Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton have spoken out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) in a year when almost no one has defended free-trade pacts on the campaign trail. Signed earlier this year, TPP aims to lower tariffs and boost trade among 12 Pacific Rim nations. The pact has yet to go into effect and is getting no love on the U.S. presidential campaign trail. VOA
Ryan would step down as convention chair if Trump asks: House Speaker Paul Ryan said Monday that if Donald Trump wants him to step down as chairman of the GOP convention, he will respect his wishes. “He’s the nominee. I’ll do whatever he wants with respect to the convention,” Ryan said when asked about that scenario in an interview with The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Ryan said he hopes he and Trump can begin to get to know each other when they meet later this week. USA Today
Rubio doesn’t want to be VP: Marco Rubio, a former 2016 GOP candidate, said in a statement on his Facebook page that he doesn’t want to be vice president. The Florida senator’s announcement comes after Trump praised Rubio and left the door open to a shared ticket last week in an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier. USA Today
Boehner to attend GOP convention: The current House speaker may not be going to the GOP convention, but the last one will be there. Former Speaker John Boehner — never one to miss a good schmooze fest — plans to attend the Republican presidential nominating party this summer in Cleveland, even though many of his old GOP colleagues have vowed to skip the convention. USA Today
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Related articles from around the web
- Duterte: Beheadings must stop; Roxas: Extinguish Abu Sayyaf, save captives (globalnation.inquirer.net)
- Canadian John Ridsdel Beheaded by Muslim Extremists in Philippines (usnews.com)
- Canada confirms first sexually transmitted Zika case (theglobeandmail.com)
- Decoding Zika to fight future outbreaks (esciencenews.com)