Rappler Newscast | July 13, 2012

Rappler.com
TOP STORY: A Chinese warship gets stuck in a reef within Philippine territory.

Today on Rappler.

  • A Chinese warship gets stuck in a reef within Philippine territory.
  • ASEAN fails to issue a closing joint statement for the first time in 45 years, as the Philippines and Cambodia lock heads.
  • The Bureau of Customs confiscates live coral and exotic fish about to be smuggled to Japan.

Story 1: CHINESE WARSHIP STUCK IN HALF MOON SHOAL
A Chinese warship is “thoroughly stuck” in a reef within Philippine territory.
Citing Western diplomatic sources, the Sydney Morning Herald says the warship “pinned itself” to a reef in Half Moon Shoal on the southern edge of Spratly Islands.
The warship was patrolling contested waters in the South China Sea.
US diplomatic and military sources tell Rappler,  a Chinese warship is stuck in the shoal.
The Sydney Morning Herald report says “Salvage operations could be diplomatically challenging given the vessel appears to have run aground within 200 kilometers of the Philippine coast which is squarely within what Manila claims to be its exclusive economic zone.”
The vessel is believed to be People’s Liberation Army Navy vessel No. 560, a Jianghu-class frigate.
The Australian news site says, “The accident could not have come at a more embarrassing moment for the Chinese leadership, who have been pressing territorial claims.”
The Philippines, for its part says it is ready to assist any ship in distress.
Western Command spokesperson Lt Col Neil Estrella says the Philippines is “duty-bound to provide assistance regardless of whether or not they intruded in our territorial waters.”
The Chinese Embassy in the Philippines, for its part, confirms a Chinese Navy warship ran aground at Half Moon Shoal.
Quoting the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines says a frigate ran aground accidentally during a routine patrol mission.
No personnel was injured.
Rescue is on its way.

Story 2: ASEAN FAILS TO AGREE ON JOINT STATEMENT
Days of heated diplomacy in Phnom Penh end in failure as splits over territorial disputes with China prevent Southeast Asian nations from issuing their customary joint statement.
China claims sovereignty over nearly all of the South China Sea but the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei have competing claims in the area.
The Philippines lambasts the outcome saying “it deplores the non-issuance of a joint communique which was unprecedented in Asean’s 45-year existence.”
It insists Asean refer to a stand-off last month with China over Scarborough Shoal, but Cambodia — a Beijing ally and chair of the meeting — resisted.
China is a key bankroller of Cambodia and some diplomats say Phnom Penh had played Beijing’s hand.
Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong expresses regret but says he cannot accept that the joint communique “has become the hostage of the bilateral issue between the Philippines and China”.

Story 3: CLINTON MEETS MYANMAR PREMIER
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets Myanmar President Thein Sein as Washington moves to ease sanctions and allow US firms to invest in the country.
Clinton says the US welcomes Myanmar’s reforms such as freeing democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and welcoming opposition back into mainstream politics.
But concerns over ongoing ethnic and sectarian violence remain.
Clinton says fundamental reforms are required to strengthen the rule of law and increase transparency.
Human Rights Watch says the US is moving too fast because it wants to cash in on Myanmar’s business potential.

Story 4: PANGILINAN: MINING ‘AT A STANDSTILL’ WITH EO 79
Philex Mining Corporation chair Manny Pangilinan says Executive Order 79, announced Monday, is a step in the right direction, but puts the mining industry “at a standstill.’’
Pangilinan admits the moratorium on new mining grants will impact Philex’s site in Surigao province.

MANNY PANGILINAN: I think it responds to the need to articulate an updated mining policy. If you look at it from the perspective of the more equitable sharing of, for me, profitability rather than revenues…It is a step in the right direction. We just, I think, have to move faster to move in that direction and get it done. In the meantime, obviously things are, rather, on a standstill. Well, the key provision there is the grant…the postponement of grant of mining permits and that seems to be subject to the enactment of the relevant tax legislation.

Story 5: CORONA LAWYER WANTS DE LIMA DISQUALIFIED
Former Renato Corona lawyer Rico Quicho wants Justice Secretary Leila de Lima out of the race for the post of chief justice.
Quicho asked the the Judicial and Bar Council, which vets nominees, to disqualify De Lima.
Quicho says De Lima lacks the “competence, integrity and independence” required of a chief justice.
De Lima testified against Corona during the trial.
She also defied a Supreme Court order last year which allowed former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband to travel abroad.
The JBC interviews 22 candidates starting July 24 up to July 27.

Story 6: LIVE FISH, MARINE TURTLE SMUGGLING INTERCEPTED
The Bureau of Customs confiscates 149 pieces of live coral found hidden under a shipment of live fish.
On Thursday, Customs detained the 33 boxes bound for Fukuoka, Japan.
The coral will be turned over to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
Exporting live coral is illegal.
In Palawan, the Philippine National Police Maritime Group intercepts 50 endangered turtles believed to be bound for China Thursday.

Story 7: SINGAPORE GDP DOWN 1.1% IN Q2
Singapore’s trade-driven economy contracts by 1.1 percent down from 9.4 percent growth in the second quarter of 2012.
Analysts says Singapore’s economy has been resilient in weathering the financial storm from the eurozone, but the headwinds are too strong as Asia takes a hit from slowing European trade.

Story 8: OBAMA ON HIS ‘BIGGEST MISTAKE’
US President Barack Obama reveals what he says is his biggest mistake in office.
Obama says he focused on policy and now regrets not fostering a “sense of unity and purpose and optimism”.

BARACK OBAMA: The mistake of my first couple of years was thinking that this job was just about getting the policy right. That’s important, but the nature of this office is also to tell the story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism especially during tough times. So getting out of this town, spending more time with the American people, listening to them and also being in a conversation with them about where do we go together as a country…I need to do a better job at that in my second term.

His Republican rival Mitt Romney reacts and says Obama’s problem is not how he connected with the American people, but what he had to say.

Story 9: CONDOLEEZZA RICE FOR ROMNEY’S VICE PRESIDENT?
US Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is reportedly considering Condoleezza Rice for his vice presidential running mate.
The former secretary of state under George W. Bush is considered a surprise pick because she is identified with the unpopular Bush era.
Rice is known for her role as an architect of the Iraq war.
She has repeatedly said she is not interested in being Romney’s running mate.
Romney announces his decision before the Republican convention on August 27 to 30.

Story 10: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 6, Cambodian troops admit firing shots at a passenger aircraft flying near the country’s disputed border with Thailand, believing it to be a spy plane.
The Bangkok Airways plane couldn’t land at Siem Reap airport because of bad weather. No one was hurt.
Cambodia and Thailand traded heavy arms fire over a disputed border in early 2011 but ties have improved since Yingluck Shinawatra became Prime Minister.

At number 7, The head of the Philippine Commission on Human Rights condemned Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for forcing an accused swindler to eat his counterfeit documents.
Duterte, a former mayor of Davao, is known for his hardline stance against crime.
The man was allegedly selling fake titles to squatters.
Human Rights chairperson Etta Rosales says this is another example of “impunity” in the country.
She adds “forcing a person to eat fake land titles is a form of torture.”

At number 8, Britain’s army will have to provide extra troops to police Olympic venues because a private security firm can’t supply enough trained staff.
The country’s interior ministry acknowledges it intervened “by revising the level of military support” for the summer Olympic games which open July 27.
A security force of more than 40,000 people, backed by a huge intelligence operation, will guard the Games.

At number 9, Many companies advertise on Facebook for users to “like” them.
But a BBC report says they could be wasting their dollars on fake “likes.”
The report notes some Facebook members who click on “like” have no real interest in the products.
Worse, some accounts appear to be “fakes” run by computer programs to spread spam. Facebook says it had no “evidence of a significant problem.”

And at number 10, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler is leaving American Idol.
Tyler was a judge in the reality talent show for two years, as Simon Cowell’s replacement.
Tyler says in a statement “I’ve decided it’s time for me to let go of my mistress American Idol before she boils my rabbit.”
He adds, the decision was reached after “long, hard thoughts.”
For the full top 10 visit Rappler.com’s ‘the wRap.’

Story 11: TAYLOR SWIFT IS FORBES’ HIGHEST-PAID CELEB UNDER 30
Female singers dominate the top of Forbes’ list of the highest-paid celebrities under the age of 30, starting with country pop sensation Taylor Swift.
The business magazine says the 22-year-old Swift earned $57 million in the 12 months to May.
It says each Swift concert rakes in an average of $1 million, with multi-platinum album sales and product endorsements.
18-year-old Justin Bieber, the only male in the top five, places second at $55 million..
followed by Rihanna at $53 million, Lady Gaga at $52 million and Katy Perry at $45 million.

Story 12: ESTRADA PAYS RESPECTS TO COMEDY KING
Former President Joseph Estrada came to pay his respects to his good friend, Dolphy, and to give him a special award for his contributions to Filipinos.
He tells media he and Dolphy never had any misunderstandings and that his fondest memory of the Comedy King is his love for his children.
Estrada also says the late actor will be most remembered for the joy he has given Filipinos.

JOSEPH ESTRADA: “Syempre mamimiss natin ang kanyang ginawa sa ilang taong sa —, kaya napaligaya niya ang ating mga kapus-palad na kababayan na naiiyak sa hirap sa kanilang bahay, sa kanilang tahananan, na pagpasaok sa sinehan pag nakikita si Dolphy, nakakalimutan nila ang paghihirap nila. Yan ay isang malaking tulong ni Dolphy.”

– Rappler.com