Rappler Newscast | April 23, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- Canadian police foil an Al Qaeda backed attack on a passenger train in Toronto.
- Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev says his elder brother Tamerlan masterminded the attacks.
- A Pulse Asia survey shows 3 out of 4 Filipinos support gun control.
Story 1: CANADA NABS 2 IN ALLEGED QAEDA-BACKED TRAIN PLOT
Canadian police arrest two men accused of planning an attack, allegedly backed by al-Qaeda, on a passenger train in the Toronto area.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police says Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser were allegedly planning to derail a train traveling between Canada and the United States.
Assistant Police Commissioner James Malizia says the two are charged with "receiving support from al Qaeda elements in Iran."
But Malizia adds "There's no indication that these attacks were state-sponsored."
In a statement, Iran denies allegations al Qaeda is operating inside its borders.
Canadian police say the two “had the capacity and intent to carry out these criminal acts” but add an attack was not imminent.
The arrests come as Canada's parliament debates a proposal to beef up anti-terror laws.
The proposed bill would reinstate provisions for preventive arrest that would stop terrorist activities before they occur, and a clause on investigative hearings, which would give a judge the power to require those with information on terrorism offenses to appear at a hearing.
Story 2: BOSTON BOMB SUSPECT 'BLAMES BROTHER'
A U.S. government source says Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev points to his elder brother Tamerlan as the leader behind the April 15 attack that killed 3 people and injured more than 170.
CNN cites an unnamed government source as saying preliminary interviews with Tsarnaev indicate the two brothers "fit the classification of self-radicalized jihadists."
The report also says no international groups are involved in the bombings.
According to the CNN source, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev says his brother Tamerlan wanted to defend Islam from attack.
Tamerlan was killed early Friday in a shootout with police.
The 19-year-old Dzhokhar is in the hospital for gunshot wounds following his capture after a massive manhunt in Boston Friday.
He could face the death penalty after being charged Monday with using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction, and malicious destruction of property by means of deadly explosives.
A first court hearing is set for May 30.
A federal judge says Dzhokhar was "alert, mentally competent and lucid" during the initial court appearance at his bedside Monday.
Investigators want to get answers from Tsarnaev about the brothers' possible motive, and learn whether other attacks are in the works.
Story 3: REDDIT APOLOGIZES FOR BOMBING 'WITCH HUNTS'
Social news website Reddit apologizes for being a rallying point for online witch hunts for the Boston Marathon bombers.
In a blog post Monday, general manager Erik Martin says, "Though started with noble intentions, some of the activity on Reddit fueled online witch hunts and dangerous speculation which spiraled into very negative consequences for innocent parties."
But Reddit maintains it served as a quote -- "great clearinghouse" for information in the aftermath of the April 15 twin blasts near the Boston marathon finish line.
Self-anointed cyber-detectives went on social media in the days after the bombing, sharing and analyzing photos and videos of the attacks.
Taking the lead from the official investigation, the online manhunt focused on people with black rucksacks.
In the aftermath of the incident, Cindy Cohn of digital rights non-profit group the Electronic Frontier Foundation tells AFP, "I don't think we know yet whether crowd-sourced investigation like the Reddit one can work, since this is really very new."
Story 4: COMELEC TO POLLSTERS: DIVULGE FUNDERS
In a resolution, the Commission on Elections orders the Social Weather Stations, Pulse Asia, and other survey firms to divulge their funders.
Poll chief Sixto Brillantes says the resolution covers all survey subscribers, not only politicians.
He assures survey firms of confidentiality.
SIXTO BRILLANTES JR., COMELEC CHAIR: Naka qualify na what is given to us will be kept in confidence. (It’s qualified that, what is given to us will be kept in confidence.)
The resolution comes following a complaint from United Nationalist Alliance secretary general Toby Tiangco after survey firm Social Weather Stations refused to disclose its funders.
The firm said the law doesn't require them to disclose who funds their surveys.
SWS says its subscribers do not necessarily commission a survey.
But Brillantes explains otherwise.
SIXTO BRILLANTES JR., COMELEC CHAIR: Under Republic act 9006, required silang i-disclose kahit subscriber lang because a subscriber is the one that pays for, or at least pays for part, of the survey. So if they don't divulge, we will apply the provision of [Republic Act] 9006 that says may violation, an election offense. (They’re required to disclose funders, even if they’re just subscribers. A subscriber is the one that pays for, or at least pays for part, of the survey. So if they don't divulge, we will apply the provision of [Republic Act] 9006 that says there’s a violation, an election offense.)
The Fair Elections Act says firms that publish surveys during the election period should publish the names of those who commissioned or paid for the surveys.
Brillantes says those who refuse or fail to comply with the resolution will face criminal charges.
Story 5: PH POVERTY IN H1 2012 UNCHANGED FROM 2006
National Statistical Coordination Board Secretary General Jose Ramon Albert says the country's poverty incidence in the first semester of 2012 is virtually unchanged from the same period in 2006 and 2009.
The 2012 poverty incidence stands at 27.9%.
Poverty incidence in the same period in 2009 was 28.6% and 28.8% in 2006.
The government considers a Filipino family poor if monthly earnings are less than the poverty threshold.
In the 1st semester of 2012, poverty threshold for a family of 5 was at P5,458 per month to meet basic needs.
New data also show the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao remains the poorest region in the Philippines with a poverty incidence of 46.9%.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan attributes this to problems with peace and security in the region.
Albert says the government's budget for conditional cash transfer anti-poverty program is only 25% of the required annual cost of eradicating poverty.
Balisacan says, "Without the CCT, the poverty numbers that we are seeing here could have been higher."
Story 6: KAPUNAN: I ORDERED OLALIA'S SURVEILLANCE, BUT TERMINATED IT
A former Air Force officer admits he ordered the surveillance of a labor leader murdered in 1986, but says he also ended the operation.
In a hearing on his motion for bail, retired Lt. Col. Eduardo 'Red' Kapunan says he had Kilusang Mayo Uno leader Rolando Olalia trailed in 1986, following reports the government of then President Corazon Aquino had "linkages" with the left.
Kapunan says he ordered then Sergeant Medardo D. Barreto to conduct the surveillance, but recalled it in September 1986 because he was transferred to the general headquarters.
Two months after the surveillance operations were ended, Olalia and his companion Leonor Olay-ay were found dead in Antipolo on Nov.13, 1986.
Kapunan surrendered on October 6, 2012 and is now detained in the National Bureau of Investigation.
Story 7: BARCLAYS: SURGE IN FOREIGN INVESTMENTS MAY HURT PH
British bank Barclays says a surge in foreign investments in the Philippines may quote -- "create additional appreciation pressure" on the peso.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan says a strong peso is quote -- "threatening to erode our competitiveness" because it poses a threat to OFW remittances as well as the outsourcing and export sectors.
Barclays advises the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to increase returns on foreign assets through the diversification of foreign reserves to counter the bad effects of currency appreciation.
In a report entitled "Double-edged Foreign Inflows," Barclays says, "We think the Philippines… may increase exposure to higher-yielding or strong-growth emerging markets in order to increase their historically low returns on foreign assets."
The country's foreign direct investment inflows stood at P2.033 billion in 2012, up 10% from P1.852 billion in 2011.
Story 8: PULSE ASIA: MOST PINOYS FAVOR GUN CONTROL
A survey shows 67% of Filipinos consider guns and their proliferation to be a major cause of crime and violence in the country.
In Pulse Asia’s March 2013 Ulat ng Bayan survey, 3 out of 4 Filipinos support a policy of gun control in the Philippines with people in Metro Manila more inclined to support the policy than people in Mindanao and Visayas.
The report says majority of Filipinos across different geographic areas and socio-economic classes favor a law allowing only law enforcers and licensed private security guards to carry firearms in public places.
Story 9: WARRIORS FROM CARAGA
On Day 2 of Palarong Pambansa, athletes from all over the country compete.
Meet Team Caraga -- what they lack in training, they make up for in spirit.
Devon Wong reports.
In a sea of brightly coloured uniforms representing regions from across the Philippines, it’s hard to stand out in a crowd.
But one group of athletes vows to never forget where they come from.
BERNARD ABELLANA, DELEGATION HEAD OF REGION 13: Caraga derives from its name, ‘soul’, “Cagaran.” Our ancient name is kalagans and we’re a soul-baring people.
Known as one of the poorest regions in the Philippines, Caraga sends a modest group of athletes to this year’s Palaro.
But they say they’ll bare and bring their all.
LJAY GUATNO, ARNIS PLAYER: We fight. We don’t give up. We never give up.
The warrior spirit of Caraga comes to life when sports level the playing field.
Some are born athletes, but others are born fighters.
JIMBOY LIBRANZA, BOXER FROM REGION 13: You really need the fighting spirit to pass through your challenges.
Like many athletes here at Palaro, Jimboy hopes his sport will earn him a scholarship so he can help support his family.
He splits his time between school and helping with the family business. He only trains when he finds the time.
JIMBOY LIBRANZA: If I have a place to practice in, I practice. But I really need to manage my time. Because, for example, at 3 AM I go to sea and fish and then go home at 6 AM, and then go to school, and then 4 to 6 practice boxing.
But what they lack in facilities and preparedness, Caragan warriors make up in spirit.
BERNARD ABELLANA: Sure thing, we are lucky enough that we have everything except money.
Athletes from Caraga say they’re confident going into the games, and particularly in combat sports.
DEVON WONG, REPORTING: Each athlete here today overcomes their own set of personal challenges.The medals are beginning to tally, but Palaro also lets athletes show what really counts, their passion.
Devon Wong, Rappler, Dumaguete
Story 10: ATHLETES BREAK RECORDS IN #PALARO2013 DAY 2
Record after record falls on Day 2 of the 2013 Palarong Pambansa as action continues to heat up in Dumaguete.
Bryan Jay Pacheco of Central Luzon opens the day throwing 57.81 meters to break the javelin throw record in high school, boys division.
NCR swimmers Catherine Bondad, Regina Castrillo and the region's elementary girls relay team shatter marks in 100-meter backstroke, 50-meter butterfly and 200-meter medley, respectively, while Central Luzon's Rafael Barreto breaks the 200-meter freestyle record.
Big City gymnasts reassert their dominance in the sport and at the end of competitions today winning 14 of the 16 gold medals at stake.
NCR continues to lead the medal tally with a total of 39 thanks to wins in swimming and gymnastics.
Western Visayas is at second with 19 total medals while Calabarzon is at third with a total of 14 medals.
Story 11: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 4, San Miguel Corporation officials and the Flight Attendants' and Stewards' Association of the Philippines seal a collective bargaining deal that may end a 15-year legal saga.
San Miguel’s move addresses Philippine Airline’s labor woes under tycoon Lucio Tan following the company’s move to retrench employees in 1998.
The 1,600 FASAP members get a raise and more benefits for services rendered between 2010 and 2015.
At number 7, nearly 216,000 people left Spain in 2012, causing the troubled country's population to shrink for the first time since the 1990's.
The drop in population to 47.1 million is largely attributed to the departure of Ecuadorian, Colombian, Romanian and Moroccan foreign immigrants, who left the country as unemployment soars to about 25%.
Spain’s economy shrinks by 1.37% in 2012, the effects of the collapse of a decade-long property boom in 2008.
And at number 10, Mars One, a Dutch start-up, announces a call for travelers to Mars starting in 2022.
Those chosen will never return back to Earth, but will live and start a colony on the Red Planet.
The colony's budget is pegged at "about $6 billion," more than the $2.5 billion mission of NASA's rover Curiosity,
the most advanced and biggest robot to ever traverse Mars.
Each flight will carry two men and two women.
A new crew will join the first batch of astronauts every two years.
The company says it received over 10,000 e-mails from interested would-be spacefarers.
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|