#ThewRap: Things you need to know, June 6, 2017
Hello! Here are the stories you shouldn't miss this Tuesday.
Good day, Rappler readers,
The Marawi crisis now enters its 3rd week, as government forces continue to hunt down the members of the terrorist Maute Group in the besieged city. The humanitarian crisis has affected the opening of classes in the area, and now, a combined bounty of P20 million is being offered for the capture of Isnilon Hapilon and the Maute brothers. Meanwhile, the martial law declared in the aftermath of the siege is now being challenged at the Supreme Court.
In other news, Qatar is now in a diplomatic quagmire as a number of its neighbors sever transport and diplomatic links; UK police have identified two of the the London Bridge attackers; and Apple promises a new kind of music experience with its latest gadget.
These stories, and more, are in today's wRap!
Clashes between government forces and terrorists approach the 3rd week and civilians remained trapped in the combat zone. The estimated number of trapped residents varies – from at least 500 to a maximum of 2,000, based on interviews with local and national officials.
Meanwhile, President Duterte has offered a combined bounty of P20 million for the capture of Isnilon Hapilon and the Maute brothers. The military is also looking at the possibility of attacing mosques and madrasahs, which are protected by international law, in the hunt for the siege perpetrators.
Arab nations including Saudi Arabia and Egypt on Monday, June 5, cut ties with Qatar accusing it of supporting extremism, in the biggest diplomatic crisis to hit the region in years. Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen joined Saudi Arabia and Egypt in severing relations with gas-rich Qatar, with Riyadh accusing Doha of supporting groups, including some backed by Iran, "that aim to destabilise the region". Qatar reacted with fury, denying any support for extremists and accusing its Gulf neighbors of seeking to put the country under "guardianship."
Six out of the 7-member House opposition bloc filed a petition before the Supreme Court on Monday, June 5, questioning the constitutionality of President Rodrigo Duterte's declaration of martial law in Mindanao. Seven members of the House opposition bloc believe Proclamation Number 216 was "bereft of sufficient factual basis" and want the High Court to nullify it.
Police identified two of the London attackers on Monday, June 5, as Prime Minister Theresa May came under mounting pressure over security just days ahead of elections. National counter-terrorism police chief Mark Rowley named two of the 3 slain assailants as Khuram Butt and Rachid Redouane, revealing that Butt had been known to security services.
The US and UK computer bans are looming large over the agenda as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) holds its annual meeting in the Mexican resort city of Cancun. Alternative proposals include sniffer dogs, bomb-detection technology, increased training – anything but the ban, which IATA says is threatening the industry just as it was enjoying a boom.
Jessie Carlos, identified by police as the lone gunman in the deadly attack at Resorts World Manila, was a former tax specialist at the Department of Finance (DOF) who faced a case before the Ombudsman for alleged ill-gotten wealth. The Office of the Ombudsman in 2012 found Carlos guilty of grave misconduct and grave neglect of duty for the underdeclaration of his wealth in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN). The Ombudsman dismissed him in 2014. More about the gunman in this profile.
Apple on Monday, June 5, unveiled its "HomePod" speaker as it moved to challenge Amazon Alexa and Google Home as a smart home and music hub. HomePod will be taking on Amazon Echo and Google Home, which have been building momentum in the market for voice-controlled speakers capable of controlling smart appliances, fetching content from the internet and more.
Bill Cosby goes on trial Monday, June 5, after being accused of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his Philadelphia mansion 13 years ago, with the megastar turned pariah facing prison if convicted. He is facing 3 counts of aggravated indecent assault, which each carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail and a $25,000 fine.
Top photo: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) communication satellite GSAT-19, carried onboard the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-mark III), launches at Sriharikota, India, on June 5, 2017. Arun Sankar/AFP