June 16, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Government forces halt advance of militants; massacres reported

    Supported by Shia Muslim and Kurdish militias, Iraqi government forces have halted the advance of Sunni militants north of the capital Baghdad. Iraqi army spokesman Lt General Qasim Ata told a news conference the military had “regained the initiative,” killing at least 279 militants and winning in several areas, even as heavy fighting was reported in the city of Tal Afar and a US aircraft carrier had been dispatched to the Gulf. But on Sunday, June 15, Sunni fighters posted photos online of Iraqi soldiers being massacred. The photos could not be independently verified but the BBC said there is little to indicate they are not genuine.

    Read the full story on the BBC.

    A related story on the massacres is also on the BBC.

    A related story on American commitment to Iraq is on Rappler.

    Another story on the deployment of a US aircraft carrier is also on Rappler.

  2. Leave Iraq, Pinoys advised; US evacuates embassy staff

    Photo by Ali Al-Saadi/AFP

    The Department of Foreign Affairs asked Filipinos working mostly in American military bases in Baghdad to voluntarily return home at government expense. Recognizing the rapidly “deteriorating security situation” in Iraq, the foreign office raised crisis alert Level 3 which calls for voluntary repatriation. An Al-Qaeda breakaway group, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), has been advancing toward the capital of Baghdad. There are an estimated 500 Filipino workers in the war-torn Middle Eastern country. By Monday, June 16, the US embassy in Baghdad, the largest in the world, started evacuating staff. They would be temporarily located to US consulates in Basra and Arbil which are safe from the ISIS.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Details about the evacuation of US embassy staff is also on Rappler.

  3. Kerry, Hague, Jolie call for end to rape as tool of war

    Image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/foreignoffice/

    US State Secretary John Kerry, British Foreign Secretary William Hague, and actress Angelina Jolie came together at the “End Sexual Violence in Conflict” Summit in London to make a pressing call to end wartime rape. In his keynote, Kerry said the issue should be personal to all, while Jolie said, “Warzone rape is not simply a women’s issue. It is not a humanitarian issue. It goes to the heart of international peace and security.”  Hague pointed out there is new support for survivors and “new determination to tackle impunity.” The summit brought together leaders, survivors and experts in an “unprecedented way,” Jolie said.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    The story on Angelina Jolie’s presence in the Global Summit Against Sexual Violence in Conflict is also on Rappler.

    The US position on wartime rape is likewise on Rappler.

  4. Argentina wins World Cup opener

    Antonio Lacerda/EPA

    Lionel Messi pushed Argentina to a 2-1 win over Bosnia on Sunday, June 15, overcoming a faltering performance. The Barcelona superstar had a largely quiet game by his own standards but provided two decisive moments to score for Argentina. After just two minutes and 8 seconds, Messi’s free-kick escaped the Bosnian defense, marking the fastest own goal in World Cup history. On the 65th minute, Messi again unleashed a low shot which flew past Asmir Begovic in the Bosnian goal. The win puts Argentina on track for the last 16, with games versus Iran and Nigeria in line.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Spurs claim 2014 NBA title

    Photo by Andy Lyons/AFP

    The San Antonio Spurs clobbered the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the best-of-7 Finals series, scoring 104-87 on Monday, June 16, Manila time. They outplayed Miami and promptly closed the series at 4-1 to capture their 5th NBA championship. The win avenged their 2013 Finals defeat to Miami Heat. The Spurs paraded their superiority with a 30-18 third quarter onslaught against Miami, which won Game 2 of the series. San Antonio claimed the NBA crown before their home crowd.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Enrile challenges gov’t, says evidence is hearsay

    File photo of Enrile by Francis Malasig/EPA

    Opposition Senator Juan Ponce Enrile filed a 53-page urgent omnibus motion on Friday, June 13, questioning the veracity and quality of the evidence presented by the Office of the Ombudsman. At the same time, he asked the anti-graft court hearing the plunder and graft cases against him to allow him to post bail in the event an arrest warrant is issued against him. The 90-year-old legislator cited his poor medical condition as reason for the request. He is accused of pocketing P172 million from his Priority Development Assistance Fund via commissions given to him by businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles. Enrile said the evidence against him is “inadequate, even inexistent” and is based on hearsay and poor investigative work by the Ombudsman.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Woman indicted under PH cybercrime law

    Karla Martinez Ignacio faces up to 6 years in jail if found guilty of transferring thousands of dollars to her bank account using fraudulent computer data. She has been indictaed for computer fraud and is set to be the first charged under the Philippines’ cybercrime law. Passed in 2012, its implementation was suspended until the Supreme Court ruled in February 2014 that it was “not unconstitutional.” Ignacio was indicted by a prosecutor in Las Piñas and will be charged under the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Rafting adventure ends in death

    Photo by Bobby Lagsa/ Rappler

    A first-time visitor to Cagayan de Oro, 26-year-old Aiza Balbin, met an accident while white water rafting on Friday, June 13. The raft she was on, along with friends, capsized near a boulder, throwing passengers into the waters of the Cagayan de Oro River, just a kilometer away from the end of the route. While her friends were able to swim to safety, Balbin was not as fortunate. She went missing until Sunday morning when divers found her body among limestone rocks. Lifeless, she was still wearing her life vest. Balbin is the first fatality since Cagayan de Oro started commercial rafting operations in 1995.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    The first story about the accident is also on Rappler.

  9. Tracking online getting more intrusive

    Online marketers of various companies are tracking where consumers go on the Web, often through cookies, to be able to lead them to customized ads. But increasingly they are also tracking users offline by collecting data about their offline habits. ProPublica quoted broker firm chief executive officer Scott Howe as saying, “The marriage of online and offline is the ad targeting of the last 10 years on steroids.” Tracking consumers via their email addresses, or what’s called “onboarding,” has been a hot trend in Silicon Valley. Critics are worried about the implications of allowing data brokers to profile Internet users, tracking their recent purchases, the cars they drive, or even where they live.

    Read the full story on ProPublica.

  10. Latest iPhone 6 has two models?

    Leaks about the new models for the iPhone 6 have begun to proliferate as the French blog Nowhereelse.fr showed images of the phone’s casing, while Taiwanese  pop star Jimmy Lin posted photos on his Weibo account. News has been getting around in the last few months that Apple will be launching two versions of the iPhone 6, a 4.7-inch model and a 5.5-inch model. Sonny Dickson, described as a “notorious leaker” by Forbes, posteqd photos of the new phone as well. Dickson had previously leaked correct images of the iPhone 5C before it was officially released.

    Read the full story on Forbes.

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