Hello, Rappler readers!
Two Philippine senators tell President Rodrigo Duterte that the refusal of the United States to sell military weapons to Manila might be a wakeup call for the country to start producing its own weapons. Meanwhile, Duterte new best friend China is battling troubles within its own ruling communist party, and has apparently not honored an understanding that Duterte reached with its leaders to open up Scarborough Shoal to Filipino fishermen.
Here are the other big stories you shouldn't miss:
‘Friendly understanding’? China still occupying Panatag Shoal
A week after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte made a 4-day state visit to China, where an official said the two countries reached a “friendly understanding” on access to Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, photos were taken to show that Beijing was still blocking Filipino fishermen’s access to the rich fishing ground. In a ruling in July, an international tribunal effectively declared the shoal a common fishing ground, and that in preventing Filipinos from fishing there, China is violating their sovereign rights.
Can PH produce own weapons? Senators tell Duterte to try
After the United States reportedly halted rifle sales to the Philippines, Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto and Senator Panfilo Lacson are pushing for the local production of weapons, saying the Department of National Defense should revive its our self-reliance program. One of them said the US’ move should be a wake-up call for the Philippines to stop depending on foreign suppliers. President Duterte has said he was looking at Israel and Russia, among other countries, for arms supplies.
Some cities earned more than provinces in 2015
Cities made up the list of 10 highest-earning local government units in 2015, even reporting higher revenues than the top biggest earner provinces, the recently-released Annual Financial Report on LGUs by the Commission on Audit (COA) showed. The report covered 78 provinces (out of 81), 141 cities (out of 145), and 1,428 municipalities (out of 1,489) in the country.
Look what prospect of ‘President Trump’ does to markets
Global stock markets spiralled downwards on Wednesday, with Europe following Asia lower as investors fretted over growing fears of a Donald Trump presidency. Asian equities sank and the Mexican peso fell after an poll Tuesday showed Trump overtaking market favourite Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House. “This is what happens when politics trumps economics. We saw volatility rise yesterday, which was bad news for stocks. Trump’s comeback is a lightning rod for volatility,” said City Index analyst Kathleen Brooks. In the Philippines, stocks also plunged on US election fever, Fed rate hike talks.
China’s Xi slams corruption, poll fraud, conspiracies in Communist Party
China’s president slammed “conspiracies” in the ruling party Wednesday, saying corruption and election fraud had undermined the country’s governance and that a tighter ideological grip on its leaders was needed. Xi Jinping’s strongly-worded statement followed a meeting in Beijing last week of hundreds of the party’s elite, who declared him the “core” of China's leadership and pledged to reform “norms for political life.”
In Germany, anti-refugee sentiments pose challenge to Merkel’s party
Germany’s mass refugee influx may have abated, but the fears and tensions it stoked loom large. A weakened Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to lead her party into a tough election year. When her Bavarian allies, the CSU, kick off the 2017 campaign season with a party congress Friday, Merkel, for the first time in her 16 years at the helm of the ruling CDU party, won't be on the guest list. Her absence is a sign of the lingering rancor over her open-door migrant policy that brought almost 900,000 asylum seekers to Europe’s top economy last year, most of them passing through Bavaria.
High Court: UK gov’t has not done enough vs air pollution
Environmental campaigners in Britain won a High Court legal battle over the government's failure to tackle air pollution to meet European standards. The non-governmental organization ClientEarth argued that Britain’s environment minister had failed to take action to comply with European Union law on levels of nitrogen dioxide “as soon as possible.” A judge declared that the government’s Air Quality Plan was unlawful and “must be quashed” and rewritten.
827 journalists killed in 10 years – Unesco
One journalist is killed every 4 and a half days, according to a shocking report released by UNESCO. During the last decade, 827 journalists have been killed while on the job, it said. Most deaths – 59% over the last two years of the 2006-2015 report – happen in conflict zones. During that period, 78 of the 213 journalists killed (36.5 percent) were in Arab States.
How about shopping via Instagram?
Instagram will start testing features that let smartphone or tablet users easily buy items they find on the popular photo and video sharing service. The test, slated to begin next week in the United States, will be tailored for Instagram applications on Apple mobile devices, according to a blog post by the Facebook-owned service. The move will build on a strategy by the world's leading online social network to connect shoppers and shops, earning revenue from purchases.