October 7, 2013 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Obama’s absence leaves stage clear for China

    SECURITY. Members of security check a car at the entrance to the media centre and other venues holding various sessions of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on October 6, 2013. AFP / Richard A. Brooks

    Asia-Pacific leaders convene on October 7 for an annual economic summit in the shadow of global growth clouds that are darkening by the day as the United States struggles to shake off policy paralysis. US President Barack Obama’s enforced absence at both APEC and an East Asia summit afterwards in Brunei leaves the stage clear for Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has been touring the region and will address a parallel meeting of APEC business leaders on October 7. According to APEC’s Indonesian hosts, the title of Xi’s speech is “China in transition: what can the Asia-Pacific expect?”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. For shouting at Aquino, Hong Kong journalists kicked out of APEC

    APEC INCIDENT. A Hong Kong journalist was expelled from the APEC summit in Bali, Indonesia for shouting at Philippine President Benigno Aquino III. In this file photo, Aquino arrives in Bali, Indonesia October 6, 2013. Photo courtesy Malacañang Photo Bureau

    APEC hosts Indonesia on October 7 denied stifling press freedom after withdrawing the credentials of several Hong Kong journalists for shouting questions at President Benigno Aquino III. “We deemed it improper for media to act that way, as they didn’t talk normally but they were very demonstrative, like they were protesting,” Gatot Dewa Broto, the Indonesian communications ministry official who is in charge of the APEC media center in Bali, said. They were free to remain in Bali, but could no longer access the media center or venues being used for the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. The Hong Kong Journalists’ Association protested the move.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Hounded by scandal, Aquino ally retires

    GRACEFUL EXIT? Land Transport Office chief Virginia Torres retires as government investigates her casino 'presence.' Photo is a screenshot of YouTube video that went viral in August

    She’s been hounded by controversy since President Benigno Aquino III named her chief of the Land Transportation Office. But the last straw seems to have been a viral video showing her playing in a casino. Virginia Torres however refuses to say whether or not this had anything to do with her decision to retire. Torres said on October 7 that she and the President agreed that she will retire effective October 30. Both hail from Tarlac and are known to be shooting buddies.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. SC weighs in on PDAF scam

    On Tuesday, October 5, the Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments on the controversial Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), which petitioners want the High Tribunal to declare as unconstitutional. The Court on September 10 stopped the release of the PDAF because of these petitions. But the executive and legislative branches asked the Court to allow its release, saying the issue merited a “political solution.” In a Thought Leaders piece, Dean Tony La Viña said the case highlights questions about separation of powers and accountability which “only the Supreme Court can answer.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Junior justice heads anti-graft court

    President Benigno Aquino III has appointed Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, the most junior justice in the Sandiganbayan, as its presiding justice. The President signed Tang’s appointment document on October 1, addressed to Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. A former Assistant Solicitor General, Cabotaje-Tang bested 4 other nominees to the position, including Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Rafael Santos, a key ally of Interior Secretary Mar Roxas. The anti-graft court is a key component of the President’s aggressive campaign against corruption in the country.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Experts start destroying chemical weapons

    DAMASCUS ARRIVAL. A convoy of UN vehicles carrying team of inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) arrives at the Four Season hotel in Damascus, Syria, 01 October 2013. EPA/Youssef Badawi

    Experts destroyed missile warheads, aerial bombs and chemical mixing equipment October 6 on the first day of a campaign to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons. The operation, performed by Syrian personnel under the supervision of international disarmament experts, took place under the terms of a UN Security Council resolution that will see Damascus relinquish the banned arms. The team faces the daunting task of disposing of an estimated 1,000 tons of the nerve agent sarin, mustard gas and other banned arms at dozens of sites in Syria by mid-2014.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. 50 killed in clashes

    NEW EGYPT PROTESTS. Egyptians wave a giant national flag on Tahrir Square as they mark the 40th anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war on October 6, 2013 in the Egyptian capital Cairo. AFP / Khaled Desouki

    At least 50 people were killed in clashes between Islamists and police in Egypt on October 6, as thousands of the military’s supporters marked the anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. Loyalists of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, overthrown in a July military coup, tried to converge on a central Cairo square for the anniversary celebrations, when police confronted them. The death toll was the highest in clashes between Islamists and police since several days of violence starting on August 14 killed more than 1,000 people.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Heavy flooding in evacuation centers

    TENT COMMUNITY. Government tents in evacuation centers cannot withstand the heavy rain falling since October 4. File photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

    Heavy rain flooded evacuation centers in Zamboanga City, adding more misery to thousands of people displaced by a bloody Muslim rebel siege. Almost a month after followers of Moro National Liberation Front leader Nur Misuari besieged Zamboanga, over 116,000 people — around one-tenth of the port city’s population — are still sheltered in evacuation centers, where there is a shortage of toilets and medicine. But government tents have been unable to withstand the heavy rain which has been falling since October 4, causing knee-deep floods. Of the 71,000 evacuees in the city’s sports stadium, 46,000 have had to be moved from their tents to higher ground.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. China hires 2 million to watch Internet

    SURVEILLANCE. The govenment's propaganda arm employs

    China is employing two million people to keep tabs on people’s Internet use, according to state media, in a rare glimpse into the secret world of Beijing’s vast online surveillance operation. Many of the employees are simply performing keyword searches to monitor the tens of millions of messages being posted daily on popular social media and microblogging sites, the Beijing News said. The “web police” are employed by the government’s propaganda arm, as well as by commercial sites, the Beijing News said.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Megan Young: People constantly need help

    BEAUTY WITH A PURPOSE. Megan Young believes the essence of Miss World is in helping others. Screen Grab from the interview

    Miss World 2013 Megan Young is set to take part in BBC’s 100 Women Conference, to be held on October 25 in London. Asked by BBC about her decision to join the competition, the 23-year-old American-Filipino admitted she was once skeptical about beauty pageants, subscribing to the notion that they were “superficial.” But she said: “People constantly need help, and that’s the purpose of Miss World, to reach out to the less fortunate.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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