Pinay scientist discovers world’s largest caldera in Benham Rise

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 24, 2019   •   801

Filipina scientist, Jenny Anne Barretto, along co-authors Ray Wood and John Milsom have discovered what may be the world’s largest caldera located in Benham Rise.

The New Zealand-based scientist recently published a paper describing the morphology and formation of the Benham Rise.

Among their discoveries is the Apolaki Caldera which may be the world’s largest known caldera.

A Caldera is a crater-like feature that forms when a large eruption of magma leaves a gigantic empty chamber underground.

Based on their paper, the Apolaki Caldera has a diameter of ~150 km or twice the size of the Yellowstone in the United States.

“For comparison, Earth’s largest calderas, like the Yellowstone, is only about 60 km. The size is comparable to shield calderas in Mars (Olympus Mons; 80 km x 65 km) and Venus (Sacajawea; 150 X 105 km),” according to the University of the Philippines (UP) MSI Geological Oceanography Laboratory.

The researchers named the caldera Apolaki, meaning “giant lord”.—AAC

PH bags 4 gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze medals at 2019 World Para Bowling Tour

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 22, 2019

The Philippines won 4 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze at the recent 2019 World Para Bowling Tour held in Manila from November 14 to 20.

The Philippines has bagged a total of 10 medals, placing second to Malaysia that has a total of 26 medals.—AAC

PH ranks 9th among countries most impacted by terrorism in the world

Marje Pelayo   •   November 21, 2019

MANILA, Philippines  —  The Philippines ranked 9th among 163 countries in the world most impacted by terrorism, based on the 2019 Global Terrorism Index (GTI).

The country moved up one spot from last year despite a slight drop in the number of terrorist activities.

According to the report, terror-related deaths in the country declined by nine percent with only 297 deaths recorded in 2018.

Likewise, terror-related incidents also reduced by 13% from 486 in 2017 to 424 in 2018.

Despite these improvements, the Philippines remains the only Southeast Asian country to be included in the top 10 list most impacted by terrorism.

The top 10 countries are as follows with their scores (10 being the highest)

  1. Afghanistan        9.603
  2. Iraq                        9.241
  3. Nigeria                 8.597
  4. Syria                      8.006
  5. Pakistan               7.889
  6. Somalia                 7.8
  7. India                      7.518
  8. Yemen                 7.259
  9. Philippines          7.137
  10. The Democratic Republic of the Congo 7.039

The GTI noted the New People’s Army (NPA) as the terror group responsible for over 36% of the deaths (107 in total) and 39% of the terror-related incidents (179 in total) recorded.

The NPA is engaged in insurgency with the government for five decades already causing the deaths of 2,387 people since the 1970s, making it the Philippines’ deadliest terror group.

The second deadliest group, the GTI noted, was the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM) whose attacks increased by 115% between 2017 to 2018.  

The third deadliest group was the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) which sparked terror in Mindanao with its affiliate groups BIFM, Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and the Maute Group.

They orchestrated three suicide bombing attacks in 2018 killing a total of 18 people.

According to the GTI, attacks on government targets increased by 45% between 2017 and 2018, resulting in 139 deaths.

However, attacks on civilians slightly dropped from 103 in 2017 to 92 in 2018.

Meanwhile, attacks on police and military targets also declined significantly by 41%.

Published by the Sydney-based Institute for Economics & Peace, the Global Terrorism Index notes terrorism as “the threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a non-state actor to attain a political, economic, religious, or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation.”

Robredo: Majority of illegal drugs in PH came from China

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 15, 2019

Vice President Leni Robredo

Vice President Leni Robredo who is also the co-chairman of the government’s anti-illegal drug program, said that the majority of the illegal drugs in the country came from China.

After the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) Enforcement Cluster Meeting on Thursday (November 14), Robredo said this is based on the reports they currently have.

“Kasi iyong pinaka-report talaga sa atin ngayon, karamihan sa supply na pumapasok dito, galing China. Pati iyon mga nahuhuli sa ma nago-operate within the Philippines, karamihan Chinese nationals or Filipino-Chinese national (Because based on the reports we have, most of the supply entering the country came from China. Even those who are arrested for operating in the Philippines, most of them are Chinese nationals or Filipino-Chinese nationals),” she said.

The vice president also said she wants to collect more data and review the information they have gathered regarding the supply of illegal drugs entering the country.

However, according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Chief Aaron Aquino the drugs entering the country came from the Golden Triangle Drug Syndicate.

The Golden Triangle, Aquino said, is an area on the border of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos.

Aquino added that due to the crackdown of illegal drugs in China, drug syndicates in the said country opted to get their supply from other places instead of manufacturing it.

Meanwhile, Robredo also plans to coordinate with other countries including the United States regarding the drug war in order to strengthen the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.—AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

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