September 9, 2013 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Troops in gun battle with Misuari’s followers

    DESERTED. Except for military personnel and media, a street in Zamboanga City is deserted Sept 9, 2013. Photo by Rappler

    Government troops battled it out with at least 300 suspected followers of Moro National Liberation Front founder Nur Misuari in Zamboanga City early morning of September 9 after their failed attempt to declare independence. At least one soldier was killed and the rogue forces took at least 20 residents hostage, according to Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco. Residents in 4 villages where the armed men were holed out heard gunshots and saw massive deployment of policemen and soldiers. Misuari, who signed a peace pact with the Ramos government in 1996, wants the agreement reviewed. Most MNLF troops have joined the police and the military, but some remain under the command of Misuari, who led them in a botched rebellion under the Arroyo government.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Gov’t, MILF aim for ‘final round’ of talks

    HOPEFUL. The government and the MILF resume talks this September. Photo by OPAPP

    They hope this is going to be the last. After more than 3 decades of armed struggle in Mindanao – and after 17 years of negotiations between the government and rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) – both parties have arrived at what they hope to be their final meeting in Kuala Lumpur. They will hold talks for at least 10 days in a bid to arrive at a deal on how power will be shared between the proposed Bangsamoro political entity and the central government, as well as how MILF troops will undergo the normalization process. There’s an air of optimism from both sides since the parties have already signed the contentious wealth-sharing annex, which gave the Bangsamoro 75% of revenues from taxes and metallic minerals.

    Read the full story on Rappler

  3. US steps up diplomatic offensive, but plans 3-day attack

    US Secretary of State John Kerry continued a diplomatic offensive in Europe on September 8, to win backing for military strikes in Syria, after Washington and Paris said support for action was growing. Heading into a crucial week for US plans to launch the strikes, Kerry was meeting with Arab League ministers in Paris and was set to head to London next before returning to Washington. The Los Angeles Times reported the  Pentagon is readying more intense and longer attacks on Syria than originally planned, set to last 3 days. War planners now aim to unleash a heavy barrage of missile strikes to be followed swiftly by additional attacks on targets that may have been missed or remain standing after the initial launch, the Times cited officials as saying.

    Read the full story on Kerry here.

    Read the story on the 3-day attack here

  4. Assad says no chemical attack

    ASSAD SPEAKS. A handout picture released by the Syrian presidency media office and made on September 2, 2013 in Damascus shows Syrian president Bashar al-Assad answering questions by French journalist Georges Malbrunot. AFP photo

    Syrian President Basar al-Assad has denied in an interview with CBS television that he was behind a chemical attack in a Damascus suburb last month, the US network said September 8. “He denied that he had anything to do with the attack,” CBS veteran correspondent Charlie Rose said, speaking earlier after interviewing Assad in Syria. Earlier, Secretary of State John Kerry said the US government has evidence to show that the Assad regime used chemical weapons in a Damascus attack. This was one of the main triggers for a US decision to attack Syria.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Rudd concedes, steps down as Labor chief

    CONSERVATIVE CHALLENGER. ABC predicts Tony Abbott's conservative coalition will win 90 seats in the 150-seat lower House of Representatives. Photo by AFP

    Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced he would step down as Labor chief after a heavy defeat to the conservatives in national elections on September 7, following years of leadership ructions. “I will not be recontesting the leadership of the parliamentary Labor Party. The Australian people I believe deserve a fresh start with our leadership,” Rudd said in his concession speech. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation called a clear win for the Tony Abbott-led conservative opposition over Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Labor in national polls. With nearly 21 percent of the vote counted, the ABC predicted Abbott’s Liberal/National coalition will win 90 seats in the 150-seat lower House of Representatives. It forecast Labor will take 58.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Senate doesn’t need senators’ testimonies

    NVESTIGATION CONTINUES. Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chair senator TG Guingona says the PDAF probe will ensue with or without the senators allegedly involved. File photo from Rappler

    With or without the participation of the allegedly involved lawmakers, the Senate probe into the multibillion peso Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam will push through, according to Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Senator Teofisto Guingona III. Guingona said there is no need to formally invite senators being accused of giving their PDAFs to bogus non-government organizations from 2007 to 2009. Senators accused of misusing their PDAFs are Senate minority floor leader Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Ramon Revilla Jr., Gregorio Honasan, and Ferdinand Marcos. Guingona said the senators can only be asked questions if they wish to make a statement.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. What’s the perfect time for new public float rule?

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it is looking for the right time to raise the minimum public ownership (MPO) requirement for listed companies amid market volatility. SEC chair Teresita Herbosa said they will hire consultants to study the plan and will “come up with the appropriate level or a graduating increase in the minimum public ownership level.” The securities regulator imposed a 10% MPO for companies last year and Herbosa earlier disclosed they want to raise this to 15% next year. Raising the MPO level will ensure there is enough liquidity in the stock market.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Samsung’s Note 3 is a gem

    NOTE 3. Roughly the same size as its predecessor but with a bigger 5.7-inch Full HD AMOLED display. Photo by Rappler / Michael Josh Villanueva

    While the hype from Samsung’s Unpacked 2013 event in Berlin has focused mainly on the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, the latest iteration of its phablet line the Note 3 is a gem. Sure the watch deserves the limelight, even if it is meant to be just an accessory, but the Korean manufacturer’s latest smartphone deserves a bit more attention than it is being given. Rappler’s Josh Villanueva was at the launch in Berlin and he said: “In fact I’m going on a limb here to say that the Note 3 could very well be Samsung’s best smartphone yet.” He cited 3 reasons for this verdict.

    Read the full story on Rappler

  9. It’s Tokyo!

    WINNING MOMENT. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (3-R) celebrates alongside Tokyo 2020 delegation members after Tokyo won the bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, during the 125th session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), in Buenos Aires, on September 7, 2013. AFP / Yan Walton

    Thousands of Japanese who stayed up all night to witness the Olympic vote erupted in joy on news that Tokyo will host the 2020 Games, as athletes hailed the “dream” result and TV hosts broke down in tears. As Olympic chief Jacques Rogge read the IOC decision, cheers and shouts rang out. Groups of ecstatic Japanese hugged each other and punched the air. “It is like a dream that Tokyo will host the Olympics,” four time Olympic swimming champion Kosuke Kitajima told NHK. “I hope the event will give children a chance to dream.” TV hosts and their guests were temporarily speechless and several were in tears, with some making reference to people living in the area affected by the earthquake-tsunami and the nuclear emergency it caused in March 2011.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. 17th Grand Slam crown for Serena Williams

    PERFECT HIT. Serena Williams of the US hits a return to Victoria Azarenka of Belarus during the women's final on the fourteenth day of the 2013 US Open Tennis Championship at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York, USA, 08 September 2013. EPA/Justin Lane

    World number one Serena Williams captured her fifth US Open title, and second in a row, by outlasting second-ranked Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-7 (6/8), 6-1 Sunday, September 8, to claim her 17th career Grand Slam crown. The 31-year-old American became the oldest Open Era women’s winner in US Open history, 293 days older than Margaret Court when she set the prior mark in 1973, and the third-oldest Grand Slam women’s champion of the Open Era. Williams won US$3.6 million, including a $1 million bonus for her success in US open tuneup events. She is the first top-seeded champion since Justine Henin in 2007 and the first woman to defend the US Open crown since Kim Clijsters in 2010.

    Read the full story on Rappler

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