When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Passengers at Manila airport with anti-scam stickers.
Passengers at Manila airport with anti-scam stickers.

A scam at the Manila International Airport, involving security personnel planting bullets in the luggage of unsuspecting passengers to extort money, caused outrage throughout the Philippines earlier this month.

As reported by KBR, carrying a single bullet on the Southeast Asian island is illegal. Several Filipino and foreign passengers have claimed in recent weeks that airport security staff asked them to pay a fee — ranging from $12 to $600 — for them to turn a blind eye after "finding" ammunition in their bags. Those who refused to pay the bribe were detained and taken to court.

After legislators started denouncing the scheme, known as laglag-bala ("drop bullet"), Filipino President Benigno Aquino III ordered an investigation into the matter and authorities created a public help desk at the Manila International Airport.

But the Filipino public didn't await the investigation's outcome before expressing outrage. Passengers have started attaching notices to their bags that say "this bag is bullet-proof" or wrapping their luggage in plastic cling wrap to prevent bullets being planted.

The scandal even inspired the creation of a mobile game in which users have to avoid bullets being dropped into their bags while going through airport security. Alma Cabasal, former Miss Philippines Earth, also asked airport staff to "plant trees, not bullets," and the boxer Manny Pacquiao, who is also a member of the Philippine House of Representatives, has offered legal advice to victims of the scheme.

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Future

Injecting Feminism Into Science Is A Good Thing — For Science

Feminists have generated a set of tools to make science less biased and more robust. Why don’t more scientists use it?

As objective as any man

Anto Magzan/ZUMA
Rachel E. Gross

-Essay-

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, a mystery played out across news headlines: Men, it seemed, were dying of infection at twice the rate of women. To explain this alarming disparity, researchers looked to innate biological differences between the sexes — for instance, protective levels of sex hormones, or distinct male-female immune responses. Some even went so far as to test the possibility of treating infected men with estrogen injections.

This focus on biological sex differences turned out to be woefully inadequate, as a group of Harvard-affiliated researchers pointed out earlier this year. By analyzing more than a year of sex-disaggregated COVID-19 data, they showed that the gender gap was more fully explained by social factors like mask-wearing and distancing behaviors (less common among men) and testing rates (higher among pregnant women and health workers, who were largely female).

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ