Let's make a deal
TV5 chair Manny Pangilinan said he expects a deal between TV5 and GMA7 "by the end of the year" putting together the resources of the 2nd and 3rd television networks in the Philippines. At the PLDT shareholders meeting Thursday, Pangilinan, the chairman of the largest telecommunications company in the country, said he believed telecommunications companies like PLDT may become obsolete and that "social media is the future." It's a much broader vision of convergence than previously stated by the PLDT chairman and addresses his reasons for his media buys. At about the same time, San Miguel president Ramon Ang said he is "seriously considering" entering the field of media. Ang has previously said he has great relations with GMA7 owners and seemed to hint he would buy into a broadcast firm - or firms - in the future.
Former Solicitor General Frank Chavez, former Makati Congressman Teddy Boy Locsin and government peace panel chairman Marvic Leonen are nominated to the Judicial and Bar Council for the post of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Chavez as the solicitor general from 1987 to 1992, a candidate for the ombudsman in 2011, which he declined. He filed numerous cases against public officials - the latest, a plunder case against former President Gloria Arroyo. Locsin was an editorial writer for the Philippine Free Press and publisher of the newspapers, the Daily Globe and Today. He is the former press secretary, speechwriter and presidential legal counsel of former President Cory Aquino. Locsin was a candidate for associate justice in the Supreme Court in 2009 but was not appointed. Marvic Leonen is a former law professor, later dean of the UP Law School. He was admonished by the Supreme Court in 2011 for leading 36 other faculty members of the UP Law School in calling for the resignation of Justice Mariano del Castillo, who allegedly plagiarized parts of his decision in a case. Leonen is now the chairman of the peace panel in peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
The US military's Joint Typhoon Warning Center upgraded "Butchoy" (international codename Guchol) into a typhoon. Butchoy registered winds of up to 70 knots per hour or 130 kilometers per hour. Philippine weather bureau PAGASA, however, still classified Butchoy as a tropical storm. The weather disturbance was last spotted 150 kilometers east southeast of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, with maximum sustained winds of 110 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 140 kph. PAGASA forecast it to miss land. Luzon will experience occasional rains brought by the southwest monsoon while the rest of the country will have cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms.
Read more on Rappler.
About 300 farmers marched to Malacanang Thursday to commemorate the 24th anniversary of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) on Thursday. Set under former President Cory Aquino, CARP is set to end in 2 years. For the first time, her son addressed the farmers and religious leaders in a hastily-called meeting. They said they doubted whether the government could still distribute about 1 million hectares of agricultural land. The country's rich families maintain control over 107, 639 landholdings, including the land owned by President Aquino's family, Hacienda Luisita. Mr. Aquino promised he would set aside the funds to make sure land reform is done by 2014.
Read more on Rappler.
Egypt's Islamist-dominated parliament was declared "illegal and illegitimate" by the country's Supreme Constitutional Court, paving the way for a military take-over of power. According to the ruling, portions of the law that governed parliamentary elections held 6 months ago was unconstitutional, leaving a third of the legislature elected illegally. After the decision, Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, in power since the end of Hosni Mubarak's rule last year, announced it had full legislative control and that it would announce Friday the composition of a 100-man assembly that would draft a new constitution. The Court also ruled that the last prime minister to serve under Mubarak can remain in the presidential race. These developments though raise doubts about this weekend's presidential elections and escalates a battle with the Muslim brotherhood.
It's been a rollercoaster week after a weekend bailout for Spain's banks. On Thursday, the UK unveiled measures which try to insulate its economy from the deepening crisis of the euro zone. Greece is preparing for its elections. The global banking lobby IIF on Thursday called on Group of 20 leaders to act decisively and jointly at their summit next week to avert the risk of another worldwide recession.
United Nations monitors are investigating another alleged massacre in the town of Haffeh, where President Basharal-Asad prevented them from entering Tuesday. US officials say Russian-made weapons are killing civilians "hourly" although it backtracked from an earlier statement by Hillary Clinton that Russian helicopters were being used. Vladimir Putin's return to power and the Syrian massacres are straining ties between the United States and Russia.
Read more on the New York Times
Finland-based mobile phone giant Nokia announced plans to cut an additional 10,000 jobs by the end of next year after profits fell in the second quarter of 2012. According to Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, "These planned reductions are a difficult consequence of the intended actions we believe we must take to ensure Nokia's long-term competitive strength." The company is planning to close down facilities in Germany and Canada. Nokia, which dominated the mobile phone market since the late nineties is under fierce competition from smartphone market manufacturers like Apple, Samsung and, to some extent, Blackberry maker RIM. Earlier this year, it lost the title of world's largest cell manufacturer to Samsung.
Read more on CNN and on Rappler
Newly-elected Burmese parliamentary leader Aung San Suu Kyi called on world business and government leaders to invest in Myanmar. Addressing the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Geneva on Thursday, Suu Kyi spoke about unemployed youth in Myanmar who have lost confidence in the future. "It's not so much joblessness as hopelessness that threatens our future," she said. A day earlier, the ILO lifted a more than decade old restriction on Myanmar after new laws on trade unions and the government committed to end forced labor. Suu Kyi says foreign direct investments to create new jobs are welcome but also stressed it should contribute to democracy. "Any new investment that comes in because of the lifting or suspension of snactions should add to the democratic process rather than subtract from it," she said. Suu Kyi is on a landmark trip to Europe, the first since she was put under house arrest more than two decades ago. On Saturday, she will visit Norway to finally accept the Nobel peace prize she received 21 years ago.
Read more on Rappler
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and actor Ben Affleck kick off "Call to Action for Child Survival," organized by the US, Ethiopian and Indian governments at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. More than 700 government, private and civil society leaders are attending the event. Among them is Sen. Pia Cayetano, who tweeted updates and photos. According to USAID's Rajiv Shah, this year alone, more than 7 and a half million children will die before their 5th birthday. Affleck, who started the Eastern Congo Initiative calls this "abhorrent" and "unacceptable." Affleck opened his Twitter account Thursday. @BenAffleck's first tweet: "Timing feels right to bring awareness to what's happening in the #Congo today & to share my stories from this part of the world." Clinton said that saving the lives of children "cannot just be the job for governments," stressing the importance of "shared responsibility" between other partners, including the private sector, non-profit groups and faith-based organizations.
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