Daily News Highlights – January 14, 2016 Edition

CJ Maglunog

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

  1. Casualties seen as blasts, gunfire heard in Jakarta

    Several blasts were heard in the center of the Indonesian capital Jakarta around Thursday noon, January 14, and casualties were seen lying on the ground, initial reports said. Six blasts were heard and at least 3 casualties were seen lying on the street, a journalist at the scene said. Gunfire was ringing out in the area afterwards.

    Follow Rappler Indonesia for updates.

  2. Philippines identifies 8 bases that US troops can use

    The Philippines is set to offer the United States military use of 8 bases, a military spokesman said after the country’s Supreme Court upheld a security agreement with Washington forged in the face of
    rising tensions with China. The facilities include the former US Clark airbase and air and naval facilities on the southwestern island of Palawan, which faces the South China Sea, the focus of territorial
    disputes with China. Military spokesman Colonel Restituto Padilla said the facilities would be used to store equipment and supplies.

    Read the full story on Rappler.


  3. No ISIS in PH? Experts warn not to underestimate terrorist group

    The Philippine military continues to dismiss reports of the ISIS or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria establishing its presence in the southern island of Mindanao, including Rappler’s exclusive, which cited a 7-minute video where Filipinos and Malaysians united 4 “battalions” in the Philippines, and their leaders pledged allegiance to ISIS’ self-appointed caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, formed a shura or leadership council, and named Abu Sayyaf ideologue Isnilon Hapilon their leader. Counter-terrorism and security officials from 4 different countries interviewed by Rappler said ISIS is set to exploit homegrown conflicts in Southeast Asia, with risks of a mass casualty attack growing significantly higher in the Philippines. “The next step ISIS is likely to take is the proclamation of wilayat Mindanao,” terror expert Rohan Gunaratna told Rappler over the weekend. The armed forces’ public affairs chief Colonel Noel Detoyato, however, maintained that that “there is no ISIS here.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Senator says official lied in executive session on anti-terror ops that killed 67

    Senator Grace Poe said one of the resource persons during last year’s Senate probe into a bloody police operation “was not honest” during his or her testimony behind closed doors. The senator, however, did not identify the person. Poe headed and will head again a Senate committee’s probe into “Oplan Exodus,” a controversial January 25, 2015, police operation that claimed the lives of more than 60, including 44 elite cops in Mamasapano town, Maguindanao. Opposition Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, who also called for the reopening of the investigation, citing new evidence,  expressed doubt that President Benigno Aquino III did enough to save the Special Action Force cops who were sent to the lair of Moro rebels.

    Read the full story on Rappler.


  5. Indonesia says it’s ‘ready’ anytime Mary Jane Veloso’s execution is ordered

    The life of Mary Jane Veloso was spared in April 2015, but the Indonesian government said the 31-year-old Filipina who is on death row for allegedly smuggling drugs into the country will still definitely be punished. Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo told Rappler they have not yet decided when to execute Mary Jane, but they “are ready” if ever it is ordered. He said however, that the government is still waiting for the ongoing case in the Philippines against Mary Jane’s recruiter Maria Cristina Sergio – although a guilty verdict will not automatically change her status of being on death row. “We will look at the verdict, perhaps the verdict can be new evidence to appeal for clemency from the president,” he said. “But surely Mary Jane will not be free from punishment…. The fact is that she smuggled drugs to Indonesia, and she was caught red handed at the airport.”

    Read the full story on Rappler Indonesia.

  6. 10 Germans killed, as 1 Syrian arrested in ISIS attack on Istanbul

    Turkey said it had arrested one person in connection with a deadly suicide bombing that ripped through the historic heart of Istanbul, killing 10 German tourists and raising alarm over security in the country. Ankara has said that Tuesday’s attack was carried out by a 28-year-old Syrian who belonged to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group and had recently entered Turkey from Syria. Turkish security forces over the last two days rounded up 68 suspected ISIS members across the country, state media said, but it was not clear if any of them were directly connected to the Istanbul bombing.

    Read the full story on Rappler World.

  7. Safehouses in Belgium used by Paris bombings suspects identified

    Brussels police | Photo by  Emmanuel Dunand / AFP

    Belgian police have found two apartments and a house used by suspects before they carried out the terror attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015, prosecutors said. The premises included a flat in the city of Charleroi, where investigators found fingerprints of suspected ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud and of Bilal Hadfi, who blew himself up outside the Stade de France on the night of the attacks. Prosecutors also cited a flat in the Brussels district of Schaerbeek already identified on January 8, and a small house in the rural village of Auvelais, near the French border. The Auvelais house was searched on November 26 and the Charleroi apartment on December 9, they said. No traces of explosives or weapons were found in either of those lodgings.

    Read the full story on Rappler World.

  8. Ebola epidemic over – WHO

    The two-year Ebola epidemic, which laid waste to communities across West Africa and killed more than 11,000 people, is due to be declared over on January 14, with Liberia expecting the all-clear. The worst outbreak of the tropical pathogen in history has devastated health services and wrecked the economies of the hardest hit nations since it emerged in southern Guinea in December 2013. At its height, the epidemic cut a swathe through the capital cities of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with bodies piling up in the streets and overwhelmed hospitals recording hundreds of new cases a week. WHO said Thursday’s announcement in Geneva will “mark 42 days since the last Ebola cases in Liberia were tested negative.” Francis Karteh, Liberia’s chief medical officer and major figure in the response to the epidemic, said, “We will remain careful and keep calling on the population to take the necessary measures in preventing reoccurrence.”

    Read the full story on Rappler World.

  9. Europe court allows employers to monitor workers’ online chats

    Employees in Europe will have to think twice about using the Internet to send private messages during office hours after Europe’s top rights court ruled that companies could monitor workers’ online communications. The case revolved around a Romanian engineer who was fired in 2007 after his company discovered he was using Yahoo Messenger to chat not only with his professional contacts but also with his fiancée and brother. Company policy prohibited the use of the messaging for personal purposes. The European Court of Human Rights in the French city dismissed the engineer’s argument that the company had violated his right to confidential correspondence. The court said it was not “unreasonable that an employer would want to verify that employees were completing their professional tasks during working hours,” adding that the company had accessed the messages in the belief they contained professional communications.

    Read the full story on Rappler World.

  10. Rappler, media groups partner with Comelec for election debates

    Rappler joined at least 8 other media organizations on in signing an agreement with the Commission on Elections to mount a series of presidential and vice-presidential debates. This is for the Philippines’ national elections on May 9. Rappler signed a memorandum of agreement as partner of a lead network, Nine Media, which runs CNN Philippines. Rappler will work with CNN Philippines and BusinessMirror on the vice-presidential debate set on April 10. In the MOA, the parties said the presidential and vice-presidential debates aim to help voters “in making informed choices” on election day.

    Read the full story on Rappler #PHvote.

    Meanwhile, on Wednesday, January 20, Rappler will mount its own forum at the De La Salle University, featuring presidential and vice-presidential candidates. Move, our citizen engagement arm, will be hosting viewing parties for this #TheLeaderIWant President-VP Forum. Check here the list of venues.

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CJ Maglunog

CJ Maglunog has been a content strategist for Rappler since 2015. Her work includes optimizing stories for various platforms. She’s a journalism graduate from Centro Escolar University.