June 23, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Jinggoy’s take two: In jail again for plunder

    For the second time in his life, Senator Jinggoy Estrada will land in jail over charges of plunder. On Monday, anti-graft court Sandiganbayan’s 5th division upheld the finding of probable cause by the Ombudsman against Estrada and ordered the issuance of a warrant for his arrest.  Estrada was also temporarily jailed with his father, former President and now Manila mayor Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada, in 2001. At the time, the older Estrada was the principal accused in a plunder charge. This time, the younger is Estrada is one of 3 senators principally held to be probably liable for diversion of development funds to ghost projects. Jinggoy said he would willingly surrender to authorities. While plunder is a non-bailable offense, his lawyer said they will file a motion for bail.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read: Graft court calls on Jinggoy to respect appointed justices

    Read more on Jinggoy asking for cable TV in jail

    Read more on Jinggoy’s charges of political persecution

  2. Revilla’s alleged kickbacks: Just how much?

    Senator Bong Revilla is the first senator to be arrested in connection with the public fund scandal and supposedly the one who got the biggest kickbacks. Just how much? Let’s put it this way: His alleged “commission” from the pork barrel scam outweighs the entire net worth of the Sandiganbayan justices combined. As of December 31, 2012, the 14 anti-graft court justices had a collective net worth of P215.65 million (US$4.9 million. It’s about P8.8 million ($200,000) less than the P224.5 million ($5.1 million) Revilla is accused of collecting in 2006-2010.

    Read the full Rappler exclusive.

    Read more on Revilla in jail.

  3. Spotted in PH: ISIS online cheerleader Musa Cerantonio

    One of the top two most influential jihadist “inspirations” for fighters in Syria and Iraq is in the Philippines.Australian authorities confirm Melbourne-born Musa Cerantonio has been spotted in Manila, Cebu and Zamboanga for nearly a year. The 29-year-old Cerantonio is a Christian convert to Islam who combined traditional media with new media to urge Muslims to join the jihad in Syria and Iraq. His radical teachings are on YouTube, and he spreads the ideology espoused by al-Qaeda on Twitter and Facebook. Reacting to reports the Australian Federal Police may be moving against him, he said, “Come and meet us in the mountains of Sulu if you wish to find me,” he wrote in another tweet. “We will be waiting, no promises that we will be gentle though.” Soon after, Cerantonio’s Twitter account was shut down. So far, Filipino sources said there has been no request from Australia for his arrest. When asked why, a Filipino official not authorized to speak about him replied, “He’s always in the gray area… He knows what governments can do to him so he makes sure he stays in the gray area.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Insurgents capture strategic border with Syria and Jordan

    The Iraqi government lost control of its western borders after Sunni militants reportedly captured crossings to Syria and Jordan. BBC reported that officials confirmed the fall of two key crossings in Anbar on Sunday, a day after seizing one at Qaim, a town in the province that borders Syria. A strategic airport in the northern town of Tal Afar has also reportedly fallen to the rebels. Isis-led militants marched through parts of Iraq since June, taking four key towns in the predominantly Sunni Anbar province – Qaim, Rutba, Rawa and Anah. The Sunni militants are led by the brutal terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Analysts say the capture of frontier crossings could help ISIS transport weapons and other equipment to different battlefields.

    Read the full story on BBC.

  5. Outrage follows sexist comments hurled at assemblywoman

    Anger grew in Japan after lawmakers hurled sexist comments at an assemblywoman giving a speech about the plight of women. Your Party member Ayaka Shiomura was talking about the struggles Japanese women face when dealing with pregnancy and raising a child when she was heckled by a member of the ruling LDP.  The male shouted, “You should get married!” Shiomura smiled weakly and continued amid male laughter. A second outburst, “Can you even bear a child?” followed as tears welled up in her eyes and her voice broke. She was seen drying her eyes with a handkerchief after her speech. She later posted on Facebook that it was like “a punch in the gut” and called on the hecklers to come forward. Backlash ensued, with women lawmakers demanding the names of those responsible to be released publicly.

    Read the full story on CNN.

  6. Over 500,000 vote in Hong Kong democracy poll

    File photo of the Hong Kong skyline.

    More than half-a-million people voted in an unofficial Hong Kong electoral reform poll amid massive cyberattacks. Beijing was vocal in its censure of the exercise, calling it “illegal.” Online polling started on Friday, June 20 with some 514,996 residents taking part in the “civil referendum.” The poll  asked how voters would like to choose their next leader. China has promised direct elections for the next chief executive in 2017, but ruled out allowing voters to choose which candidates can run. The 500,000 who voted in the first 29 hours of the poll represented a sizeable chunk of the 3.47 million people who registered to vote at elections in 2012.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Pope visits mafia clan heartland

    Fadi Arouri/EPA

    Pope Francis visited the heartland of one of Italy’s most feared mafias as he travelled to the hometown of a toddler killed in a clan war. “It must never again happen that a child suffers in this way,” the pope said as he met relatives of “Coco” Campolongo. The 3-year-old was shot dead in January in the turf of the powerful ‘Ndrangheta mafia in an apparent mob hit over money. Coco was shot in the head, executed along with his grandfather and his Moroccan companion after a drug debt went unpaid.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. ‘Looper’ director to write, direct upcoming Star Wars films

    File photo of Rian Johnson from Agence France-Presse

    Action film director Rian Johnson is up for an inter-galatic adventure as he begins talks of writing and directing Star Wars: Episode VIII and writing for Star Wars: Episode IX, The Hollywood Reporter said. Johnson is known for writing and directing original projects like 2012’s Looper, a time-travel saga. He also directed a few episodes of AMC’s Breaking Bad, including the season finale. Hiring the 40-year-old Johnson is part of Lucasfilm’s strategy of recruiting directors who grew up with Star Wars, according to Entertainment Weekly.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Amazon phone is a shopping mall

    CNN’s technology forecaster Paul Saffo said Amazon’s new Fire Phone isn’t a phone, “It’s a shopping mall.” Calling it a “gorgeous mall with infinite selection and endless opportunities,” he says the Fire Phone may well give its competitors a run for the money. Noting that Amazon had entered the mobile game pretty late, he said it wouldn’t have a prayer of catching up to Apple or Google if the retail giant was playing catch-up. He explained, “It’s changing the game by shifting the focus of mobile devices to what it does best: Satisfying our seemingly endless desire to buy stuff.”

    Read the full story on CNN.

    Read on Rappler.

  10. Messi stunner breaks Iranian hearts

    Photo by Felipe Trueba/EPA

    A stunning injury time strike from Lionel Messi spared Argentina a disappointing draw as it qualified for the last 16 of the World Cup. The 1-0 victory over Iran came courtesy of second-half saves from goalkeeper Sergio Romero and Messi’s magic moment when the team needed a goal the most. Argentina now leads Group F with maximum points from two games. Argentine boss Alejandro Sabella said,  “Messi… showed perseverance, patience, attitude and always looked for the goal. He never gave up.” Iran coach Carlos Queiroz also praised Messi, but claimed his side had also been undone by Serbian referee Milorad Mazic’s decision not to award a penalty when his side were on top in the second-half.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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