September 10, 2013 Edition

Michelle Ann Lorenzo

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

  1. Zamboanga, Basilan at a standstill

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

    Streets were deserted and shops were shuttered as heavily armed private security personnel and military troops engage about 400 suspected members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) who took over 4 villages in  Zamboanga City early Monday morning, September 9. At least 6 were reported killed and 24 were wounded. MNLF members belonging to the faction of their founder Nur Misuari wants to march to the City Hall to raise their flag there and declare independence from the government. As they continued to hold at least 80 hostages and threaten to mount more attacks in Zamboanga, nearby Basilan province went on alert with the governor imposing an 8 pm curfew following intelligence reports that it is the next MNLF target. The attacks came on the day that both the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are scheduled to resume the final leg of their peace talks. Misuari has protested the ongoing peace talks between the government and the MILF, a rival organization of the MNLF

    Read more on Rappler here and here.

    Check the timeline and live blog.

  2. US, Russia and Syria: a breakthrough coming?

    The US Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 2, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB

    US President Barack Obama said on September 9 that a Russian plan to secure Syria’s chemical weapons could be a “significant breakthrough” but warned he had not taken US strikes off the table. Obama had intended to spend the day selling his plan to launch punitive military strikes against Bashar al-Assad’s Damascus regime to skeptical US voters and lawmakers. Instead, he found himself responding to a surprise Russian diplomatic initiative which would see Assad’s stockpile of banned chemical arms taken under international control. Obama faces a tough task winning Congressional approval for even a limited military action

    Read more on Rappler.

  3. PH only emerging Asian nation with strong momentum — OECD

    Asian business cycle indicators showed that the Philippines is the only emerging Asian nation with strong business cycle momentum, the OECD Development Center said. China and developed nation Singapore have stabilized, according to the latest Asian Business Cycle Indicators report. Regional powerhouse China’s growth is now returning to trend, meriting a “stay the same” reading for the business cycle, after a slowdown that had weakened momentum across ASEAN nations. India had a “weak” business cycle reading with growth below trend, while Singapore and Malaysia were now rated as stable.
    Indonesia and Thailand had weak ratings.

    Read more on Rappler.

  4. The downside of over 7% growth: brownouts

    With the Philippines growing better-than-expected at 7.5% in the second quarter, energy demand is expected to shoot up as well. This means the new power generation plants and additional supply capacities in the pipeline may not be able to meet the vastly increasing energy needs in the near future, particularly in Luzon, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said.  in an energy forum on Friday, September 6. It takes up to 4 years to build new power plants that began construction about 2 years ago — when the economy was projected to grow at 6.6%.

    Read more on Rappler.

  5. China’s world investment soars to $88-B

    This general view shows a central business district in Beijing. AFP PHOTO / WANG ZHAO

    China became one of the world’s top 3 investors for the first time in 2012 as its foreign investment soared to a new record, the government said September 9. Amid weak global economic recovery, China’s overseas direct investment rose 17.6% last year from 2011 to $87.8 billion, according to statements of 3 state agencies. Globally, overseas direct investment fell 17%, with China’s comparative rise making it one of the world’s top 3 investors, the statement said without specifying which were the other two. The government aims to increase overseas direct investment at an average annual rate of 17% through 2015 to $150 billion. By the end of 2012, China’s total outstanding overseas direct investment stood at $531.9 billion, the 13th highest in the world, said the statement.

    Read more on Rappler.

  6. Miriam dishes out pork barrel punchlines

    THAT'S SOLUTION. This is what Sen Miriam Defensor Santiago calls throwing corrupt politicians at sea. Santiago cracked jokes on the pork barrel scam at the National Student Conference on Hotel and Restaurant Management. Photo by Rappler/Franz Lopez

    Sen Miriam Defensor Santiago veered away from her usual pick-up lines, the staple of her public speeches. At the National Student Conference on Hotel and Restaurant Management on September 9, the senator focused her ire and humor on the  multi-billion pork barrel scam, which involves an alleged web of corruption where lawmakers, including her archenemy Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, reportedly allow their development funds to be transferred to fake non-government organizations in exchange for kickbacks
    A sample of the punchlines she gave that draw laughter from the audience: “What do you call throwing trash at sea? Answer: Pollution. What do you call throwing corrupt politicians at sea? Answer: Solution.”

    Read more on Rappler here and here.

  7. Businessman-turns-politician is new Pakistan president

    NEW PRESIDENT. Pakistan Pres. Mamnoon Hussain. File photo by AFP/Aamir Qureshi

    Pakistan’s new President Mamnoon Hussain took office on September 9, presiding over a government battling to overcome a Taliban insurgency, resolve an energy crisis and repair the economy. A respected businessman from the financial capital of Karachi but with no political powerbase of his own, Hussain is Pakistan’s 12th president and a ceremonial head of state. His time in office should cement Pakistan’s transition back to a strong prime minister and parliamentary democracy after his predecessor reversed amendments made by military rulers. The 73-year-old Hussain was elected on July 30 by members of the four provincial assemblies and the federal parliament.

    Read more on Rappler.

  8. What will Apple launch?

    NEW IPHONES? Rappler rounds up rumors in preparation for Apple's September announcement.

    What will iPhone launch on 10 am of September 10 (1 am, September 11, Philippine time) at its Cupertino headquarters? Is it the next iteration of iPhone or something totally new? Pundits have been busy churning out information, predictions, and speculations. Here are some of them: an iPhone 5S, a budget iPhone, a fingerprint scanner, an iOS 7, new screens  with sizes ranging from 4.8 inches to 8 inches, or champagne gold or graphite-colored casings.

    Read more on Rappler.

  9. With 150-M followers, will Instagram consider ads?

    INSTAGRAM GROWS. Instagram plans ads within the next year as its userbase grows to 150 million.

    Photo and short video sharing unit Instagram is growing, and with it comes the considerations of monetizing the service’s popularity. Instagram, owned by tech giant Facebook, announced on its blog that the service has grown to a “community of more than 150 million people.” Instagram notes how more than 50 million users have joined within the last 6 months, with more than 60% of users coming from outside the US. WSJ said Instagram is considering some form of monetization, such as advertising within the next year.

    Read more on Rappler.

  10. Rodman sets North Korea-US friendship game in January

    Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman announced plans to organize friendship games between the the United States and North Korea. Just back from another visit with his new buddy North Korea leader Kim Jong-un, he said the first game will be on January 8, Kim’s birthday, and the other on the 10th. Rodman said he will return to North Korea December 14 to train the local players who will play Americans in games sponsored by Irish bookmaking company Paddy Power. Rodman said the American team that will play in North Korea will be made of former stars from his era, such as Karl Malone and Scottie Pippen. He said he has also agreed to train the North Koreans for the 2016 summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

    Read more on Rappler.

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