February 7, 2014 Edition

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

  1. Ex-Erap aide Ruby Tuason now ‘provisional’ state witness

    Ruby Tuason is now under the government’s provisional coverage as a state witness in its cases against private and public officials linked to the pork barrel scam, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Friday, February 7. De Lima explained that the provisional status means Tuason is not yet granted full coverage under the Witness Protection Program (WPP) of the justice department pending further evaluation of her testimony. De Lima confirmed that Tuason, an associate of alleged pork barrel scam queen Janet Lim Napoles, has executed an affidavit containing “vital information” that could pin down the accused in the plunder complaints filed with the Office of the Ombudsman. Tuason arrived Friday morning in Manila and is now under the custody of the Department of Justice (DOJ).

    Read the full story on Rappler.
    Further background on Tuason can be found on Rappler.

  2. UN says Visayas quake rehab needs $19M more

    File photo by Bea Cupin/Rappler

    The province of Bohol, where the epicenter of the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that hit Central Visayas last October was located, needs an additional $19 million for recovery efforts. The estimate is based on a revised action plan, which earlier raised over $15.1 million from donors, according to the United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator in Manila. The additional funds will cover shelter needs, health, education, and early recovery efforts. Rehabilitation has been slowed down by typhoons that hit the province in succeeding months.

    Read the full report here.

  3. New media breeds new sexual behavior among young people

    The 2013 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study reveals an increasing number of Filipino youth exploring new forms of sexual activities using technology and the Internet. Consider: 1 in every 4 Filipino youth has sent or received sex videos through the cellphone or the Internet; 1 in every 100 has recorded his/her own sex video; 4 in every 100 has had sex with someone they met online or through text messaging; 6 in every 100 engaged in phone sex.

    Read here the other findings of the survey conducted by the University of the Philippines Population Institute and the Demographic Research & Development Foundation.

  4. Cooperative engaged in rice smuggling faces raps


    Amid revelations that rice smugglers are using cash-strapped cooperatives as dummies, the Bureau of Customs filed smuggling charges against officials of a cooperative for the illegal importation of 28,000 sacks of rice worth P34 million. Named respondents are officers of the San Carlos Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Sacamuco), one of entities previously identified to be bringing rice into the Philippines without import permits. In 2013, the BOC filed 22 rice-related smuggling cases, seized P1.2 billion worth of illegally imported rice, and cancelled the accreditation of 14 importers.

    Read the story here.

  5. State power plant to ensure no blackouts during hot months

    File photo by Romeo Gacad/AFP

    The government was criticized when it failed to activate the state-owned Malaya thermal power plant in Rizal to help bring down the price of electricity in November and December. As the weather – and the power rate hike debate – heats up, however, Malacañang relayed assurances from the energy department that the plant will be up for “70 days to boost supply during the summer months, when demand is expected to rise especially in Luzon.”

    The full story here.

  6. Pakistan gov’t starts talks with Taliban

    Photo by Aamir Qureshi/AFP

    Hoping to end a bloody 7-year insurgency, negotiators for Pakistan’s government and Taliban met on Thursday to chart a “roadmap” for future peace talks, which observers from within and outside Islamabad are skeptical about. Gun and bomb attacks launched since 2007 by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an umbrella grouping of numerous militant factions, have killed thousands of people. Stability in nuclear-armed Pakistan is seen as important to neighboring Afghanistan, where United States-led NATO troops are pulling out after more than a decade of war.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Twitter, Sony suffer losses

    File photo by Fred Tanneau/AFP

    Twitter reported modest growth in the number of its monthly users in the last quarter of 2013, during which it became a public company and investors were expecting a surge in growth. Its revenues for the entire 2013 more than doubled to $664 million, but its loss widened to $645 million from $79 million in 2012.

    More details in this report.

    In Tokyo, consumer electronics giant Sony reported it would lose about $1.08 billion as it also announced exiting the personal computer business. It will also cut 5,000 jobs from its workforce through restructuring.

    Read more here.

  8. Xbox-like sensor deployed in Korean border

    Photo by Jung Yeon-Je/AFP

    Microsoft’s Kinect has gone beyond a movement-sensing software in the popular Xbox game. It’s also the foundation of the security device deployed along the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea – a no-man’s land of heavily fortified fences that bristles with the landmines and listening posts of the two nations. The software developed by Ko Jae-Kwan has been taken up by the South Korean military because of its ability to differentiate between human and animal movement.

    Read the full report here.

  9. Bargain finds turn out to be multi-million items

    PRICELESS. Have you gone to a flea market lately? You may pick up something precious

    Agence France-Presse compiled 6 recent cases of buyers bringing home items from bargain haunts which turn out to be historical and art treasure worth millions of dollars. An example: a Chinese bowl bought for $3 at a house clearance sale later sold for $2.23 million (1.64 million euros) at a Sotheby’s auction. Check out the other surprise finds here.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. An immigrant in Houston starts Rappler blogs in Filipino

    An immigrant in Houston starts Rappler blogs in Filipino

    And things fell into place. Just as Rappler was planning to start regular blogs in Filipino, a former Philippine journalist now based in Houston, Texas, sent in a piece about his bittersweet decision to leave his country and why, even if he realizes he wants to be home, returning is no longer an option.

    Read his blog in our #Balikbayan section.

    You may also want to check out Rappler’s pioneering Filipino poetry contest on Twitter called #Tweetanaga.

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