Rappler Newscast | September 13, 2012
Today on Rappler.
- Protests over a film mocking Islam continues in Cairo and spreads to Yemen a day after riots kill a US ambassador in Libya.
- USAID files fraud charges against the Philippines' top anti-slave trafficking group.
- CNN's Beijing Bureau chief says China will take a 'tough stand' on its territorial claims as a rising power in Asia.
Story 1: PROTESTERS IN YEMEN AND CAIRO CLASH WITH POLICE
Protests erupt at the US Embassies in Yemen and Egypt Thursday.
A day before --the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks-- protests break out in Libya as US officials confirm a US ambassador was killed when mobs stormed the consulate in Bengazi as well as the embassy in Cairo.
The protest in Sana’a, Yemen and Cairo, Egypt are the latest in a wave of violence to hit the Middle East over a film mocking Islam.
The movie "Innocence of Muslims" portrays Muslims as immoral and violent, and pokes fun at the Prophet Mohammed.
In Yemen, protesters storm the US embassy complex in Sana’a as police use water cannons to drive them away.
In Cairo, Egypt, police use tear gas against a crowd that threw stones and bottles.
This comes two days after US ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and 3 other Americans were killed in in Benghazi, Libya.
Story 2: MYSTERY OVER FILMMAKERS BEHIND ANTI-ISLAM MOVIE
The identity of filmmakers behind the anti-Islam film which sparked deadly protests in the Middle East remains a mystery.
The film's director who calls himself Sam Bacile, went into hiding after protests erupt over his movie.
He says he is an American-Israeli with Jewish financial backing.
Doubts over the director’s identity grew culminating in US reports that say the film's real director is a Coptic Christian convicted of financial crimes.
The film's cast and crew say they were deceived by the producers, adding they had no idea it was anti-Muslim propaganda.
A cast member says offensive words had been dubbed over the original dialogue.
A consultant of the movie, Steve Klein, denies Israeli authorities were involved in the film, and says Bacile -- which he acknowledges is a pseudonym -- was mortified to hear of the US ambassador's death.
The film was screened in a Hollywood movie theater about three months ago and got no attention, until an Arabic-language dubbed version was released last week and footage was aired by an Egyptian TV station, triggering protests.
Story 3: USAID SUES PH'S TOP ANTI-TRAFFICKING GROUP
The United States Agency for International Development files fraud charges against anti-trafficking group Visayan Forum Foundation.
In an August 31 search warrant, the presiding judge says Visayan Forum executive director Ma. Cecilia Oebanda may possess “falsified private documents” used to defraud the foundation’s donors.
The donor agency says the documents show Visayan Foundation meant to "defraud" USAID in a project worth at least 1.65 million US dollars or 69.16 million pesos.
The project involves building halfway houses for human trafficking victims in airports and harbors.
Visayan Forum legal counsel Laurence Arroyo says they feel "betrayed" because USAID has been a partner for 6 years.
Story 4: SANTIAGO: PALACE 'SABOTAGE' IN PUNO PROBE
Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago says the upcoming Senate probe on resigned Interior Undersecretary Rico Puno might have been "sabotaged."
None of the 11 senators of the committee conducting the probe confirms attendance.
Santiago, who called for the probe on September 14, says the senators could have been ordered by Malacañang to skip the hearing.
Santiago wants Puno probed on his attempt to retrieve documents from the condominium of late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.
She says that if Puno fails to show up at the hearing, it proves he is guilty of the charges.
Story 5: PNP CHIEF STAYING, WON'T REPLACE PUNO
Director General Nicanor Bartolome will stay as chief of the Philippine National Police until he retires in March 2013.
A source close to Bartolome says President Benigno Aquino decided not to move Bartolome to the Department of the Interior and Local Government to replace resigned Undersecretary Rico Puno.
Last week, Aquino told reporters he was eyeing Bartolome to replace Puno.
But in a chance interview with reporters on Wednesday, Aquino says Bartolome does not seem to be ready for the job.
A source tells Rappler, Bartolome finds the DILG post "too political".
Palace officials also reiterate, Incoming Interior Secretary Mar Roxas will have a free hand in appointing his undersecretary.
Story 6: BEIJING BUREAU CHIEF: CHINA A RISING POWER
CNN Beijing Bureau chief Jaime FlorCruz says it is predictable that China takes a 'tough stand' on its territorial claims, noting 100 years of colonial inroads into the world’s oldest civilization.
JAIME FLORCRUZ, CNN BEIJING BUREAU CHIEF AND CORRESPONDENT: The Chinese have always thought that they have this 100 years of history of having been a victim of colonial powers. And so whenever their claims, their territorial claims are challenged, by whoever, they really push back hard. They pushed back hard on the US, on Taiwan, they pushed back hard on South China Sea.
Florcruz adds, China will continue to rise and the Philippines along with other neighboring countries must learn to co-exist with it.
He notes, China’s leadership is in transition and beset by internal political unrest.
He calls it a teenager in the body of a hulk.
JAIME FLORCRUZ, CNN BEIJING BUREAU CHIEF AND CORRESPONDENT: This is a special year in China. it's a year of leadership transition. China is facing a lot of problems domestically. Lots of problems. China's economy is slowing down, their dissent is growing. China's economy and society's changing much faster than the political reform and so what we see is a rising power that's challenging the status quo power of the United States and yet I think the Chinese are still in the process of figuring out what does it mean to be a rising power. Imagine China as like a teenager who is inside the body of a 30-year-old Hulk.
Story 7: APPLE UNVEILS NEW IPHONE 5
Apple introduces its new iPhone 5, a lighter, thinner and more powerful version of its iconic mobile device.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook calls it "the biggest thing to happen to iPhone since the iPhone."
Improvements include a larger screen, a faster processor, an 8-megapixel camera and support for the latest wireless Internet service, LTE.
The iPhone 5 will be available September 21 in some parts of the world, including the US, Singapore and Hong Kong.
It's not expected to arrive in the Philippines until October or November.
Apple also unveils an all-new iPod nano and iPod touch.
Story 8: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 3, Just days after his election on Monday, Somalia's new president, Hassan Sheik Mohamud, survives an attack by three suicide bombers at a hotel that was his temporary residence.
Terrorist group al-Shabaab claims responsibility for the attack on micro-blogging site, Twitter: "HSM successfully targets a hotel near the airport in Mogadishu where a high profile meeting was being held.”
HSM is the acronym for the al-Qaeda linked group's full name, Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujaheddin.
Several tweets followed with the last one saying, "HSM will continue fighting until the very last invader is eliminated from our land."
At number 10, while Apple was announcing its new products, 5000 start-ups and entrepreneurs gathered in San Francisco for TechCrunch Disrupt.
The speakers included Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg, who was asked about his company's disappointing IPO, Linked-in's founder, Reid Hoffman, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and Yahoo's new CEO Marissa Mayer, formerly Google’s employee #6.
One of the speakers is film star Jessica Alba, who talked about her new endeavor as a technology entrepreneur.
Story 9: PACQUIAO MARQUEZ IV ALMOST FINALIZED
It looks like it's going to be a Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez fight again.
ESPN’s Dan Rafael reports Top rank promoter Bob Arum met with Michael Koncz, Pacquiao's adviser, to "lock down final terms for Pacquiao-Marquez 4."
Arum says it will definitely be held on December 8, in the MGM Grand at Las Vegas -- dispelling rumors the two would be fighting in Marquez's hometown of Mexico.
Other opponents considered to fight Pacquiao were Timothy Bradley and Miguel Cotto.
The report dashes hopes of fans waiting for a historic showdown between Pacquiao and undefeated American boxer Floyd Mayweather.
Story 10: FLIGHT SCHOOLS FIGHT FOR REPUTATION
After the crash that claimed the life of DILG Secretary Robredo, the Philippine aviation sector is under scrutiny.
Are local charter companies and flight schools safe?
Carlos Santamaria reports.
Captain Ben Hur Gomez was a Philippine Airlines pilot for over 40 years before he established a flight school in Clark.
He charters flights like the one Jesse Robredo took when his plane crashed near Masbate.
Captain Gomez says an essential security protocol was ignored when they let student pilot Nepalese Shitiz Chand on board.
CAPTAIN BEN HUR GOMEZ, OMNI AVIATION: It's a no-no. A training flight cannot be a commercial flight. A charter flight cannot have a student on board.
The crash put the spotlight on the flight school and charter flight industry in the Philippines which experienced a boom a few years ago but is now fighting to change its bad name.
Captain Gomez thinks this should start with the regulator.
The United States and European Union say the industry regulator in the Philippines is not capable of enforcing global safety standards.
CAPTAIN BEN HUR GOMEZ, OMNI AVIATION: Somebody from up there must put his foot down and say, let's clean up our act, and mean it, instead of appointing people that are not qualified. It's a case of the blind trying to lead those who can see.
Some schools are accused of padding the logbooks of their students so they graduate with less flight hours than required.
But Ben Hur's school claim they can make money without cheating.
ANDREW LASALA, INSTRUCTOR: We're honest, its part of our mission and vision. Nothing is added or padded.
Like the Nepalese student in Robredo's flight, a number of foreigners are enrolled in local flight schools.
It's cheap for them, and the instruction is in English.
Most are from Asian countries, like Raymond Au, who's from Macau.
RAYMOND AU, STUDENT: Expensive, I don't know about Hong Kong but the United States it costs at least 50% more. That's why I chose the Philippines.
Becoming a pilot is a good career option for Filipinos.
The problem is how to come up with 2 million pesos, but if you can get the money, it's a glamorous career that pays well.
DAN DE GUZMAN, STUDENT: When I was an engineer, i was making 20,000 to 35,000 a month. But as a pilot, a have a lot of friends in the airline industry, as a first officer, not a captain yet, they are making about 180,000 a month, and I know some captains that are making half a million.
Filipino pilots can earn even more overseas, so there is an almost guaranteed return on investment.
CARLOS SANTAMARIA: Despite the bad reputation and the crash in Masbate, there are still some flight schools that say they are training their students properly.
The Philippines can be a great place to learn how to fly and a training center for Asia.
Carlos Santamaria, Rappler, Clark Air Field.
Story 11: DONATED BALLS FOR PEACE HANDED OVER IN ZAMBOANGA
Marking the last stretch of the "Balls for Peace" drive, Rappler holds a symbolic handover of footballs to various Sulu units of the Philippine Marines.
Marine Corps’ Col. Ernesto Evangelista Jr. receives the donations from Rappler's citizen journalism and community engagement director Chay Hofileña.
PMU units in Sulu distribute the balls to communities where they formed football teams.
The innovative campaign has been extended to Cotabato and Maguindanao.
The drive has so far collected 1,176 balls.
Story 12: RAPPLER WINS BRONZE IN BOOMERANG AWARDS
The Internet Mobile & Marketing Association of the Philippines or IMMAP holds its 6th Boomerang awards celebrating innovations on how brands communicate with their audience.
Rappler’s mood meter and mood navigator bags the bronze medal.
It is the only winner in the awards’ Publishing category.
BBDO Guererro takes home the Gold Boomerang for the Tourism Department’s ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’