September 16, 2013 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Lawmakers face PDAF scam cases

    EFFECTIVELY SUSPENDED. Senate President Franklin Drilon changes his statement, saying an arrest warrant in a plunder case will effectively suspend lawmakers charged over the pork barrel scam. Photo by Senate PRIB/Joseph Vidal

    The government on September 16 was set to file complaints against lawmakers involved in the pork barrel scam. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is filing the first batch of complaints in relation to the misuse of lawmakers’ pork barrel with the Office of the Ombudsman. A source privy to the investigation said they have classified lawmakers into those who habitually misused their pork barrel and those who fell for the scam only once. They are mainly targetting those who mishandled their funds repeatedly. The source told Rappler that more senators and congressmen than those initially identified by whistleblowers have been found misusing their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Day 8: Where is it headed?

    TAKING AIM. A soldier on board a truck aims his weapon towards rebel positions in Zamboanga City. Photo by AFP

    The bloody siege in Zamboanga City entered its 8th day on Monday, September 16, with military troops advancing to rebel-occupied villages and rebel forces digging in. At least 51 rebels have died in the week-long siege, according to the military. Close to 70,000 civilians have fled their homes while 105 have been wounded. The Human Rights Watch said many more civilians continue to be trapped in their homes and buildings. It also accused the military of turning a civilian hospital into a virtual garrison.

    Read the story on Day 8 here.

    Read the Human Rights Watch statement here.

  3. Zamboanga rebels ‘ready to die’

    Habier Malik, the commander of a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leading the attacks that shut down Zamboanga City, said he and his remaining troops are ready to die. In a phone interview with Rappler, Malik admitted that the government is closing in on his men and that their control of the city is shrinking. “I can see that. Even if we all die, the principles of the MNLF will not die with us,” Malik said. Malik and about 400 troops sailed to Zamboanga September 9 to protest what they  have described as government’s failure to fully implement the peace agreement they signed in 1996. A massive September 13 attack by the Army prompted speculation Malik was one of the casualties. He laughed off the report.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. PH now exports bananas to US

    AVAILABLE SOON. Highlands bananas from Bukidnon will be available in Los Angeles stores soon. Photo courtesy of Philippine embassy in Washington

    The Philippines has become the first Asian country to export banana to the United States. The first batch of highlands banana from Bukidnon in Mindanao — 7.047 metric tons — arrived in Port of Los Angeles on September 9. The US has agreed to an estimated 3,000 metric tons of bananas coming from the Philippines this year. Dole Philippines exported the bananas to its parent firm Dole Food Company Inc., an American firm. They will bear the Sweetio brand of Dole.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. US military threat is real – Kerry

    The threat of US military action against Syria remains “real,” Washington’s top diplomat said on September 15, a day after striking a deal with Russia to destroy Damascus’s chemical weapons stockpile. Kerry’s remarks were made following a four-hour meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, where they discussed the US-Russian agreement on eradicating Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons, and also talked about the ongoing Middle East peace talks. “Make no mistake, we have taken no options off the table,” Kerry warned after news of the deal appeared to stave off the threat of a US-led military strike on the Syrian regime after a chemical attack last month on a Damascus suburb.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Death sentence for Indian rapists

    DEATH SENTENCE. A judge convicts the 4 men for the shocking gang rape on a bus in New Delhi, India. Photo by AFP/Noah Seelam

    It’s the “rarest of rare category,” which justified capital punishment. The judge hearing the case of 4 men convicted for a shocking gang rape on a bus in New Delhi last December sentenced them to death on September 13. As the news broke, crowds inside the building and outside the courtroom roared with cheers and applauded the judgment. The father of the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said the family was also satisfied. One of the men, Vinay Sharma, broke down in tears as the sentence was announced.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Girl in Florida commits suicide

    A 12-year-old Florida girl who suffered months of ruthless cyberbullying from other girls committed suicide this week. Rebecca Ann Sedwick of the town of Lakeland in central Florida jumped from a platform at an abandoned cement plant near her home on September 9. Her death is the latest in an apparently growing phenomenon of youths driven to taking their own lives after suffering cruel treatment online via text and photo messaging applications. The bullying apparently started with a dispute over a boy that Sedwick had dated for a while, the New York Times reported.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Drones and hurricanes’ secrets

    WEATHER DRONE. A NASA Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone aircraft, is towed after landing during a Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel, or HS3, mission at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia, on September 10, 2013. AFP / Saul Loeb

    A pair of converted military drones are the US space agency’s newest tools for tracking hurricanes and tropical storms, with the aim of improving forecasters’ ability to predict them. The two Global Hawks began operating as NASA drones in 2012, as part of a project that will last for three years. The drones operate in most active months — August and September — of the Atlantic hurricane season, which goes from June to the end of November. Originally built for military reconnaissance missions around the world, they are the size of large commercial jets and are flown remotely from a NASA base on the Virginia coast.

    Read the full story on Rappler

  9. Lorenzo Ruiz in rock opera

    SOLACE. Pieta as enduring symbol

    “Lorenzo,” the Filipino-language rock opera on the life of Lorenzo Ruiz, first Filipino saint and patron of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who was martyred on September 29, 1637, was recently staged at the De La Salle College. It’s a play within a play – a post-modern story wherein the artistic process that leads to the creation of the play becomes part of the story. It is a Brechtian piece where the spell of suspended disbelief is broken, the “fourth wall” separating the stage and the audience is torn down, and theatergoers are intentionally reminded of the illusion that this is just a stage production with actors playing their parts. “Lorenzo” is directed by the acclaimed Nonon Padilla and features the music of Ryan Cayabyab, with libretto by Juan Ekis, Paul Dumol, and Joem Antonio.

    Read the full story on Rappler

  10. Derrick Rose is in town

    MVP. Rose is in town for his adidas tour. Photo by Rappler/Jedwin Llobrera.

    Derrick Rose, the former NBA Most Valuable Player, arrived on September 13 in Manila for the Philippine stop of his adidas D-Rose tour this weekend. The Chicago Bulls guard landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport aboard a Cathay Pacific flight and went straight to the Marriott Hotel just across NAIA to prepare for his two-day visit that includes watching the adidas 3 on 3 Grand Finals on Saturday, September 15 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Rose will hold a media conference on September 16.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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