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Today on Rappler.
Story 1: LOW-KEY POPE TO LEAD TROUBLED CHURCH
The conclave of cardinals elects a new pope this morning 2:05 am Manila time. The new pope emerges from the balcony, but few in the crowd know him.
He is the Cardinal from Argentina, Jorge Mario Bergoglio and he assumes the name of a saint famous for his humility and poverty -- Francis.
Paterno Esmaquel reports.
It’s the end of a historic conclave, but no one sees it coming.
For the first time, cardinals elect a low-key Jesuit Latin American to lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.
The 76-year-old Jorge Mario Bergoglio, former archbishop of Buenos Aires, addresses a Church that faces calls for transparency, simplicity, and greater attention to developing countries.
In his speech, Pope Francis stuns the public with his humility.
He chooses the name --Francis -- which many believe comes from St. Francis of Assisi, a 12th century friar who shunned a privileged life and lived in poverty.
The unassuming Francis begins his papacy by asking the public a favor.
POPE FRANCIS: And now I would like to give the blessing, but first I want to ask you a favor. Before the bishop blesses the people I ask that you would pray to the Lord to bless me – the prayer of the people for their Bishop. Let us say this prayer – your prayer for me – in silence.
At a time of rising secularism, the Pope calls for love and mutual trust among Catholics.
POPE FRANCIS: Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.
The son of a rail worker, Francis is known for his humility and love for the poor.
Religious writer Sergio Rubin describes him as “conservative at the level of doctrine, and progressive on social issues.”
In an interview on Rappler's #TalkThursday, Loyola House of Studies rector Fr Joe Quilongquilong says Pope Francis will make a positive impact on developing countries.
Quilongquilong recounts the Pope's reputation in Buenos Aires.
FR JOE QUILONGQUILONG, RECTOR, LOYOLA HOUSE OF STUDIES: He lived a very simple lifestyle. He refused to stay in the Bishop's palace in Argentina. He takes the public transportation. Even, one time, I think in one of the reports he even cooks his own meals. So, in a way, that's one way to connect with the ordinary people. This sense of solidarity that he knows the conditions of the poor and the ordinary life.
Pope Francis begins his papacy in the face of controversies like Vatileaks.
The challenge now for the first Third World pope: to keep the Church simple and closer to people.
Paterno Esmaquel, Rappler, Manila
Story 2: JESUITS INCREDULOUS OVER BERGOGLIO VOTE
Loyola House of Studies rector Fr Joe Quilongquilong says the election of a Jesuit pope comes as a surprise.
He says the Society of Jesus does not aspire for high positions in the Church.
FR JOE QUILONGQUILONG, RECTOR, LOYOLA HOUSE OF STUDIES: The reason why it's kind of unthinkable, it's part of our formation, our spirituality, not to aspire a position a position in the church.
Quilongquilong says the first gesture of Pope Francis suggests a Church reaching out to the world.
FR JOE QUILONGQUILONG, RECTOR, LOYOLA HOUSE OF STUDIES: The gesture of bowing down before the crowd and asking the crowd to bless him and to pray for him before he gives the final blessing. And he mentioned about journeying with them. That connects with solidarity and this deep spirituality.
Quilongquilong says Pope Francis is also consistent on his focus on the Catholic identity.
FR JOE QUILONGQUILONG, RECTOR, LOYOLA HOUSE OF STUDIES: We have a Pope who is very concerned in terms of the identity of a Catholic today. In a fast changing world, you know, identity is very important. Because without clear identity, you can get lost.
Although the new pope has been described as "conservative at the level of doctrine, and progressive on social issues," his rejection of liberation theology remains controversial among left-leaning Argentines and Catholics.
But Quilongquilong says liberation theology developed as a response to the “great structural injustice” at the time.
FR JOE QUILONGQUILONG, RECTOR, LOYOLA HOUSE OF STUDIES: Things have changed. And in fact later on even the Jesuits, we realized there were some problems in terms of really pushing a kind of a particular program, a political program which is very much associated with liberation theology. And we kind of realized as Jesuits, as religious, or as workers of the Church, we are not experts in political matters.
Story 3: CARDINAL JORGE BERGOGLIO, NEW POPE
In the streets of Buenos Aires drivers honked their horns in elation over the election of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio.
Latin Americans make up 40 percent of the world's Catholics.
The 76-year-old Bergoglio was chosen on just the fifth ballot.
He is said to have finished second when Pope Benedict XVI was elected in 2005.
New York Cardinal Dolan gave an inside glimpse into the drama of the conclave, saying that when the tally reached the necessary 77 votes to make Bergoglio pope, the cardinals erupted in applause.
Dolan says when Bergoglio accepted the huge responsibility --quote--"there wasn't a dry eye in the place."
The Dalai Lama congratulates the Argentinian pope and lauds his decision to become the first pontiff to go by the name Francis.
Pope Francis considers social outreach, rather than doctrinal battles, to be the essential business of the church.
President Barack Obama says in a statement, "As a champion of the poor and the most vulnerable among us, he carries forth the message of love and compassion and that in each other, we see the face of God."
Vatican watchers say in choosing Francis, the cardinals clearly decide they didn't need a young pope who would reign for decades, but rather a seasoned, popular and humble pastor who would draw followers.
Catholics in Argentina still remember his speech last year, accusing fellow officials of hypocrisy for forgetting that Jesus Christ bathed lepers and ate with prostitutes.
Under Bergoglio's leadership, Argentina's bishops issued a collective apology in October 2012 for the church's failures to protect its flock.
He biographer, Sergio Rubin, says he is a staunch critic of human rights violations of the dictatorship as well as leftist guerrillas.
According to his biographer, Bergoglio personally saved two Jesuit priests who were kidnapped in 1976 for advocating liberation theology.
Story 4: AQUINO WEBSITE DEFACED OVER SABAH
Hackers claiming to be part of "Anonymous Philippines" deface President Benigno Aquino’s website to criticize his handling of the Sabah conflict.
The hackers post a message saying --quote--"If you can’t act on the issue as the Philippine President, at least do something as a fellow Filipino. We are watching."
In a statement, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr says, "No further intrusions were made as the internal security protocols were activated."
The President's staff regains control of the website within a few hours.
Story 5: NORTH KOREA'S KIM OVERSEES LIVE FIRE DRILL
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un oversees a live-fire artillery drill near the disputed sea border with South Korea.
The Yellow Sea border is the site of bloody North-South clashes in the past and is seen as the prime location for another confrontation.
It is not clear when Kim supervised the live-fire drill.
During the latest drill, the Korean Central News Agency reports "shells intensively hit the imaginary targets of the enemy while the roar of the artillery pieces rocked heaven and earth."
North Korea threatens war on South Korea in response to UN sanctions on its third atomic test and joint South Korea-US military maneuvers.
South Korea dismisses the North's threats as a crude attempt to put "psychological pressure" on Seoul.
On Thursday, South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-Won urges troops in one of the islands near the sea border to prepare for any aggression from the North.
Story 6: UN CUTS GOLAN PATROLS AS SYRIA DANGERS MOUNT
The Philippines says it will keep its United Nations peacekeepers in the Golan Heights after Syrian rebels held 21 of them hostage last week.
The UNDOF has been in the Golan Heights since 1974 to monitor a ceasefire between Syria and Israel.
But senior UN diplomats say Syria's civil wars could prompt new withdrawals from the peacekeeping force.
Canada, Japan and Croatia have withdrawn their contingents in recent months.
Only the Philippines, Austria and India remain in UNDOF.
On Wednesday, the UN cuts peacekeeper patrols and closes down some observation points.
A senior UN diplomat says, "There is a risk they will all leave. If they all leave then the mission is in definite crisis."
Story 7: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 6, China’s parliament names Xi Jinping president Thursday, formalizing his leadership of the world’s second largest economy.
The 59-year-old leader is elected for a 5-year term but will hold the post for 10 years.
While he has threatened to eradicate corruption, Xi may be compromised by reports his own family amassed millions of dollars in assets.
At number 8, the world’s largest ground-based observatory opens in Chile.
The Atacama Large Millimeter Array or ALMA space observatory is inaugurated Wednesday on a desert plateau 5,000 meters above sea level.
ALMA’s ultra precise equipment can peer through the clouds and capture the faint glow and gas present in the formation of the first stars and possibly provide answers to questions about the universe.
And at number 9, After announcing a new News Feed look, Facebook is improving its Timeline.
It’s a response to users’ claims that the “current timeline layout is sometimes hard to read.”
The new design will allow users to organize the “About” section, while applications like Flixster and Netflix will allow users to add movies they like or are currently watching.
Instagram users can make their photo stream appear as a section on their Timeline.
Facebook’s new Timeline will roll out in the next few weeks.
Newscast production staff
|EXECUTIVE PRODUCER / WRITER||Lilibeth Frondoso|
|ASSOCIATE PRODUCER / PUBLISHER||Rodneil Quiteles|
|HEAD WRITER / PROMPTER||Katerina Francisco|
|MASTER EDITOR / PLAYBACK||Vicente Roxas|
|TECHNICAL DIRECTOR / CAMERAMAN||Charlie Salazar|