August 22, 2013 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Napoles Forbes Park house rented by monsignor

    NAPOLES FRIEND. Monsignor Josefino Ramirez admits knowing Janet Lim-Napoles and working with the family. Photo from Ramirez's Facebook fan page

    Monsignor Josefino S. Ramirez, a retired priest of the Archdiocese of Manila, is renting a Forbes Park house said to be owned by Janet Lim-Napoles, for P280,000 a month. A two-year contract of lease was signed by Ramirez on March 7, 2013 and indicated that the priest “agrees to pay the sum of P1,120,000” upon the signing of the contract. P560,000 was required as advance rental, while the balance was supposed to cover a two-month security deposit. Gertrudes Luy, a former employee of Napoles, said the property was never used by the Napoleses as a house and was instead just used as a place to hear Mass. In an affidavit submitted to the court, Napoles herself denied owning the property.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Aquino spots 2nd error in COA report

    KEEP PDAF. President Benigno Aquino III stands firm on his stance to keep pork barrel. Photo by Malacañang Photo Bureau

    President Benigno Aquino III said in an exclusive interview with GMA News the Commission on Audit (COA) committed a mistake when it identified a supposed non-congressman named “Luis Abalos” as the recipient of P20 million in pork barrel. COA chair Grace Pulido Tan had said, “Our research shows Abalos was not a lawmaker during the 13th or 14th Congress.” Aquino however pointed out that COA got Abalos’ first name wrong as it should have been Benhur Abalos who was congressman of Mandaluyong during the 13th Congress. Reacting to the COA report which detailed irregularities in pork barrel disbursements, Aquino described his initial impression as one of “disgust.” He has consistently rejected the abolition of the congressional funds but said he was willing to listen to other voices.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    A related story about President Aquino’s disgust over the COA report is also on Rappler.

  3. 17 dead, P67M in damage from ‘Maring’

    Graphic by

    The death toll from the southwest monsoon has risen to 17, according to updates from disaster management and local officials on Wednesday night, August 21, with P67 million in damage caused by the rains. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) noted 15 dead, with one additional body tallied by the Office of Civil Defense in Region IV-A, and another in Pangasinan. The NDRRMC placed initial damage from Maring at P66,763,939 in Regions I (Ilocos), III (Central Luzon), IV-A (CALABRZON), IV-B (MIMAROPA), and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). Damage to infrastructure totaled P56,582,000, while agricultural damage amounted to P10,181,939.

    Read the full story on the current death toll of Maring on Rappler.

    Read the fuill story of the storm damage on Rappler.

  4. Manning gets 35 years for leaks

    SORRY. In this file photo, US Army Private First Class Bradley Manning leaves a military court facility after hearing his verdict in the trial at Fort Meade, Maryland on July 30, 2013. Photo by AFP/Saul Loeb

    American Army soldier Bradley Manning was sentenced by a military court to 35 years imprisonment on Wednesday, August 21, for causing the biggest-ever security breach in the US. The 25-year-old private could be freed on parole within a decade and will serve his sentence in military custody before being dishonorably discharged, AFP reported. He had handed secret government documents to Wikileaks, including material showing graphic cockpit footage of two US Apache attack helicopters firing at and killing 12 people in Baghdad in 2007. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said Manning’s sentence was a “significant tactical victory” for his anti-secrecy cause.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    More details are available from The Washington Post.

  5. NSA surveillance covers 75% of US Web traffic

    Graphic by

    The US National Security Agency (NSA) has surpassed legal authority to spy on its citizens. Quoting current and former NSA officials, the Wall Street Journal said the security agency has built a surveillance network that reaches about 75% of all US Internet traffic in its hunt for foreign intelligence. Filtering of emails and domestic phone calls made with Internet technology is done with telecom companies. The filter works in such a way that communications that originate or end abroad, or are passing through the US even though they are completely foreign. The NSA however has defended its practices, saying they are legal and respectful of privacy.

    Read the full story on the Wall Street Journal.

    More information is on CNN.

  6. House arrest for Mubarak

    HOSNI MUBARAK. An image grab taken from Egyptian state TV shows ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak gesturing behind bars during a hearing in his retrial at the police academy in Cairo on July 6, 2013. While Mubarak has been granted conditional release in one of the corruption cases against him, an additional corruption case kept him in custody until August 21, 2013. Photo by AFP/Egyptian TV

    Egyptian former president Hosni Mubarak was ordered placed under house arrest by the military on Wednesday, August 21. He was set for conditional release in mid-trial on murder and corruption charges. The 85-year-old former leader still faces charges of complicity in the killing of protesters during an uprising that ousted him in 2011. State TV was quoted in reports as saying, “In the context of the emergency law, the deputy military commander issued an order that Hosni Mubarak should be put under house arrest.” If and when his release happens, analysts said, it would indicate the military is rolling back changes that stemmed from the 2011 uprising, the BBC said.

    Read the full story on the BBC.

    A similar story is on Rappler.

  7. FDA warns against flood-tainted food

    RELIEF GOODS. Citizens bring goods they received back to their homes. Photo by EPA/Francis Malasig

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautioned the public on Wednesday, August 21, from buying and consuming flood water-damaged food products. In an advisory, the FDA said that these damaged goods are often offered in discounted prices or in promotional schemes like “buy one take one” or “bundle-packed goods.” It ordered establishments to “immediately pull out” all damaged products from their shelves. It also warned consumers against the poor storage and handling of food, medicine, and cosmetic products this rainy season.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. wants to get everyone online

    INTERNET.ORG'S GOALS. is a global partnership that aims to speed up Internet adoption around the world. Screen shot from

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced, a global partnership aimed at making Internet access available to more people around the world. In its announcement post, the partnership’s founders – Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm, and Samsung – said they will work together to set up projects, share knowledge, and help convince industry and governments to “bring the world online.” As only a third of the world has Internet access, aims to speed up the current rate of adoption to get more people online.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Astronaut remembers nearly drowning in space

    Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano. Photo courtesy ESA/M. Koell

    Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano on Wednesday, August 21, recounted clinging to the International Space Station as he drowned in his spacesuit in the terrifying moments following an as-yet unexplained leak. Writing on his blog from the International Space Station, Parmitano said he felt drops of liquid on the back of his neck shortly after starting a spacewalk on July 16. Parmitano described being blinded and suffocated as he struggled to make his way back to the airlock, the water level quickly rising in his helmet. As communications grew becoming fainter with water covering his headphones, he struggled to hear instructions from Houston. Parmitano made it safely back inside and was unhurt, though NASA experts said he faced the risk of drowning had the ordeal gone on much longer.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Celebrities aid in disaster relief

    RAINBOW DURING THE RAIN. Stars caught on camera during the Maring relief operations. Photo from Instagram (buernrodriguez)

    Local celebrities took a break from tapings and photoshoots to join relief operations for victims of tropical storm Maring. While many took to social media to offer prayers and help disseminate information on evacuation, rescue, and safety measures during the storm, there were those who braved the harsh weather to lend a helping hand. Stars like Gary Valenciano turned regular gigs into fund-raising events, while others, such as Angel Locsin, Ogie Alcasid, and Regine Velasquez went out with the Philippine Red Cross to volunteer aid.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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