January 28, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. What happens to rebel group after peace deal?

    Photo by AFP/Karlos Manlupig

    After 16 years, a peace agreement to end decades of fighting in Mindanao is a signature away. MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said once a peace deal is signed the MILF will cease to exist as an armed group and start positioning itself as a “social movement.” Iqbal added the group will “no longer use the force of arms to achieve its objective, as it gets more democratic.” As part of the normalization process, several rebel camps will be transformed into “peaceful and productive” communities. Socio-economic programs will also be made available to help former rebels. The government will also grant amnesty to MILF troops charged with or convicted of crimes connected to the armed conflict in Mindanao. To oversee the normalization process, several coordinating bodies composed of government and MILF representatives will be created.

    Read the full story here and here.

  2. Lacson: Tacloban may not be the ideal economic hub

    Photo by EPA/Francis Malasig

    As the government rebuilds areas hit by Super Typhoon Haiyan, it is looking to prioritize the rebuilding the economic hub of Leyte. In the past, that was Tacloban, but now, the government is not so sure. Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Panfilo Lacson said, “Maybe the path of future calamities really crosses Tacloban. So that’s being studied too… Maybe Tacloban isn’t tenable anymore to be rebuilt in the manner it was before Yolanda.” Tacloban’s location on the country’s eastern seaboard exposes it to many climate risks. From a range of 1 to 10 – with 10 being most vulnerable – Tacloban was rated 6.74 in terms of how exposed it is to climate change impacts, like stronger storms, extreme droughts, sea level rise, and aggravated flooding and landslides, based on a study.

    Read the full story here and here.

  3. PH files suit to recover Monet painting

    The Philippines will file a civil suit in the US to recover a Monet painting that vanished after the 1986 revolution which forced former first lady Imelda Marcos into exile. The painting, one of more than 150 missing masterpieces the Philippines authorities are trying to recover, was sold by a one-time secretary of Marcos Vilma Bautista. The 75 year old woman was convicted by a US court in November of trying to sell part of the Marcos family’s hoard of artworks. The painting, one of the famous impressionist’s water lily series, had been taken along with 3 other works in late 1995 from the walls of a New York townhouse owned by the Philippine government. “There are over 150 missing paintings. We don’t know where they are located, paintings of all the masters: Rembrandts, Van Goghs, Picassos. We have a list… (but) we think there are paintings that are not on list,” he said.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Gov’t bends on protest law, offers amnesty

    Photo by Anatolii Boiko

    Ukraine’s embattled government agreed to scrap anti-protest laws and offered amnesty to demonstrators who seized the Justice Ministry headquarters. CNN reports the statement came after another round of talks between the government of President Viktor Yanukovych and the opposition whose followers rallied in central Kiev’s Maidan Square to demand Yanukovych’s ouster and new elections. Police and protesters fought pitched battles in the streets, culminating in a takeover of Justice Ministry building Sunday. Ukraine’s street clashes started out as peaceful public protests spurred by Yanukovych’s decision in November to spurn a trade deal with the European Union and turn toward Russia instead.

    Read the full story on CNN.

  5. Stage set for Morsi’s nemesis to run in elections

    Khaled Elfiqi/EPA

    Egypt’s top military body backed its commander Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to run for the presidency, with a landslide win expected. The army’s announcement came after a weekend in which dozens were killed in street clashes between ousted leader Mohamed Morsi’s supporters and police and militant attacks, underscoring the difficulties Sisi will face. In July, Sisi led efforts to topple Morsi, the country’s democratically elected leader and first civilian leader, following mass protests. Morsi hails from the Muslim Brotherhood movement, now outlawed as a terrorist group. A victory for the 59-year-old Sisi will continue a tradition of Egyptian presidents drawn from the armed forces.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. British reporter admits hacking

    WITNESS. British actor Jude Law arrives at the Old Bailey Criminal Court to give evidence in the 'News of the World' hacking trial, in London, Britain, 27 January 2014. Andy Rain/EPA

    British reporter Dan Evans admitted illegally accessing celebrities’ voicemail messages while working at Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World tabloid and its rival, the Sunday Mirror. Evans is the fourth News of the World journalist to plead guilty to phone hacking, but the first reporter to admit he also used the illegal practice at the Sunday Mirror. During Britain’s phone-hacking trial Monday, Evans said he was recruited by News of the World in 2005 partly because of his phone-hacking skills. He claimed meeting former editor Andy Coulson for a job interview, in which Evans boasted he could provide “big exclusive stories cheaply” by listening to celebrities’ voicemails to work out who they were dating. Coulson and other news executives are accused of hacking the phones of hundreds of celebrities and public figures. Media tycoon Murdoch shut down the News of the World in July 2011 following the controversy. British actor Jude Law, testifying at the trial told the jury the media seemed to have an “unhealthy amount of information” about his private life.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Who’s the victim? Local actor and model trade accusations

    Screengrab from ABS-CBN interview

    Was local actor Vhong Navarro attacked because he tried to rape a girl or was he the victim of extortion? Three days after the story broke, primetime television and social media can’t get enough of the two parties as they trade accusations. 22 year-old model Deniece Cornejo claimed Navarro tried to rape her in her own condominium. Her friends who allegedly came to her rescue said he was injured as they tried to subdue him and bring him to the police station. A police blotter report supports Cornejo’s version. The actor and his lawyers deny allegations of attempted rape and insist he was set up for extortion and brutally beaten. The actor said the armed men threatened him with a gun and asked him to pay P1 million. Navarro claimed he signed the police blotter out of fear. In a TV interview Sunday, the actor said, “I am not a rapist, I couldn’t do that. I’m God-fearing.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Ex-partner of France PM pushes through with humanitarian trip

    Divyakant Solanki/EPA

    Valerie Trierweiler, the ex-partner of French President Francois Hollande pushes through with her humanitarian trip to India on Monday, making her first public appearance since revelations of Hollande’s affair with an actress. On Saturday, Hollande announced he was splitting from Trierweiler, his partner of eight years, following the scandal over Hollande’s relationship with French actress Julie Gayet. Although she is not married to the French leader, Trierweiler assumed the role of first lady at official functions after Hollande’s election in 2012. Following the announcement of their separation, Trierweiler tweeted: “I extend all my gratitude to the fantastic Elysee staff. I will never forget their dedication nor the emotional farewell.” Despite no longer being France’s first lady, Trierweiler arrived in Mumbai for her two-day mission with French charity Action Against Hunger, which helps care for malnourished children.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. International Space station a hub of “unlimited opportunity”

    Image courtesy NASA

    The International Space Station (ISS) may require regular expensive maintenance, but experts said it’s crucial to advances in science, health and technology. Earlier this month, NASA said the life of the $100 billion ISS would be extended until at least 2024. The space station, launched in 1998, is maintained by a rotating crew of six astronauts and cosmonauts from 14 countries. Despite the expense in repairing the aging space station, ISS scientist Julie Robinson says the ISS is a hub of unlimited opportunity: allowing scientists to study the effects of weightlessness on the human body, testing new space technologies, studying Earth climate, and developing knowledge that can directly help bio-medical treatments. Robinson added that many of the research results from the ISS are making their way into drug development and medical technology.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. 7,000 old man had dark skin and blue eyes

    Photo from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

    Scientists studying the remains of a 7,000 year old man from the Mesolithic period found he had dark skin and blue eyes. The remains of the man, dubbed “La Brana 1” by scientists, was found in Spain in 2006 along with a second individual, whose remains were less well preserved. Carles Lalueza-Fox from the Spanish National Research Council said African versions of pigmentation genes determined the skin color of La Brana 1, but the biggest surprise was that he had blue eyes associated with northern Europeans. This resulted in a “unique phenotype in a genome that is otherwise clearly northern European.”

    Read the full story on CNN.

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