January 16, 2014 Edition

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

  1. Police from 3 countries probing PH child sex abuse ring

    Police authorities in Britain, Australia, and the US are working together to break a Philippine pedophile ring that streams live scenes of child abuse over the Internet. The British National Crime Agency (NCA) has been investigating the ring since its discovery of obscene videos two years ago on the computer of registered sex offender Timothy Ford. He was imprisoned for 8-and-a-half years after being found guilty of paying to view live sex abuse. Such abuse in developing countries has been described by the NCA as a “significant and emerging threat.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    More details are on the BBC.

  2. PH to post growth above 6% till 2016: World Bank

    The Philippine economy is expected to post growth above 6% until 2016, according to the World Bank. In its 2014 Global Economic Prospects report, the multilateral agency said the Philippines will grow 6.5% in 2016, when the Aquino administration ends its term. Growth is seen hitting 7.1% in 2015, 6.5% in 2014 and 6.9% in 2013. The World Bank noted that consumption, supported by sustained remittance inflows, will remain as the key driver of the economy. Reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts will also help spur growth, offsetting the impact of widespread damage caused by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Two arrests over Danish tourist gang-rape

    AFP Photo

    Two persons were arrested late Wednesday, January 15, in connection with the alleged gang-rape of a 51-year-old Danish tourist in New Delhi. The two men were said to be “vagabonds” at the Delhi railway station. The victim told police she had been attacked by a group of men, mostly youngsters, after she lost her way while returning to her hotel. Her mobile phone and cash were also taken from her. She was dragged to a secluded area shrouded by trees near a statue, the police said.  This is the latest of shocking sex crimes reported in India.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. New low-profile chief appointed

    Photo by Buena Bernal/Rappler

    The National Bureau of Investigation has a new boss. Virgilio Mendez, a veteran field investigator and lawyer who rose from the ranks, took his oath before Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Thursday, January 16. This is the same date he joined the bureau 36 years ago as NBI Agent 1. Described as low-key with no political assoiciations, Mendez honed his investigator skills in Mindanao. Prior to his appointment, Mendez was deputy director for regional operations services, a post he held starting 2011.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Afghanistan’s Karzai accuses US of killing 7 children in airstrike

    Findlay Kember/Pool/EPA

    Afghan president Hamid Karzai accused the United States on Wednesday, January 15, of killing 7 children and a woman in an airstrike in central Afghanistan – an incident set to further damage frayed ties between the two allies. According to a statement from Karzai’s office, “As a result of bombardment by American forces last night… in Siahgird district of Parwan province, one woman and seven children were martyred and one civilian injured.” Civilian casualties have been one of the most sensitive issues of the 13-year military intervention in Afghanistan, and Karzai has often used accidental shootings and misguided airstrikes to berate foreign countries and stir public anger.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Egypt looks to outcome of constitutional referendum vote

    Radwan Abul Magd/Almasry Alyoum/EPA

    Egypt on Wednesday, January 15, wrapped up a two-day referendum on a new constitution that could set up a presidential bid by the army chief who toppled Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. There was little doubt the vote would back the new charter, which the military-installed authorities say provides greater protection for freedom of speech and women’s rights, as the Islamist opposition called for a boycott. Initial tallies reported by state media suggested at least 90% of voters approved the constitution, but the turnout remained unclear. The early results were based on initial counts by returning officers. The official results will be announced within 72 hours.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Pinay winner in X Factor can’t sing as pro

    Image courtesy of Reshet TV/X Factor Israel page on Facebook

    She may have won Israel’s “X Factor” but she can’t sing professionally. Filipina caregiver Rose Fostanes, winner of Israel’s first “X Factor” competition, will not be allowed to put her talent to professional use. A spokeswoman for Israel’s population and immigration authority said, “She can only work as a carer, according to the law.” In other countries, winners of the competition are awarded a recording contract. Fostanes has worked  overseas for more than two decades to support her family.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. NSA can spy on computers via radio tech?

     Photo from EPA

    The National Security Agency has implanted software, codenamed Quantum, in nearly 100,000 computers worldwide, allowing the US to keep tabs on those machines and maintain a means of launching cyberattacks. According to NSA documents, computer experts, and US officials, the software is aided by technology relying on a covert channel of radio waves that can be sent out from tiny circuit boards and USB cards hidden secretly in the computers. The NSA and the US Cyber Command reportedly frequently target units of the Chinese army, which the US has accused of launching regular digital probes and attacks on American targets. It has also put this software into Russian military networks, systems used by Mexican police and drug cartels, and trade institutions in the European Union, among others.

    Read the full story on NY Times.

  9. PH looking at South Korea food banks as model

    Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP

    As part of efforts to eliminate hunger, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is looking closely at the community-based South Korean food banks. The 4th Quarter SWS nationwide survey on self-rated food poverty shows that 41% claim to be food poor. This is slightly higher than the previous 3rd quarter results of 37%.  Community organizer and sociologist Maria Fides Bagasao said the food banks have tie-ups with restaurants, groceries, convenience stores, and other private business owners who donate supplies.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. 2 sides of the brain needed for speech

    Researchers have discovered that humans need both sides of the brain to speak.  Working with 16 volunteers for their study published in the British scientific journal Nature, they found that speech is “bilateralized,” meaning that both hemispheres of the brain are used in making words. Associate professor Bijan Pesaran said findings can help researchers develop new ways to help those “trying to regain the ability to speak after a stroke or injuries resulting in brain damage.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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