June 25, 2014 Edition

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  1. Philippines supports Japan’s ‘collective self-defense’

     Photo by Gil Nartea/ Malacañang Photo Bureau

    President Benigno Aquino III expressed his country’s support for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s bid to change Japan’s constitution to allow it to defend its allies. Speaking in Japan on his recent working visit, Aquino said the Japanese government should be empowered to assist others in time of need. Aquino made reference to Japan’s pacifist post-World War II constitution which prohibits the buildup of an active military force. Abe has said he wants to have the constitution changed by 2020. Both Japan and the Philippines are currently involved in a territorial dispute with China over parts of the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) and the Senkaku Islands.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Aquino: Enrile ‘deserves consideration’ in jail

    File Photo

    President Benigno Aquino III said on Tuesday, June 24, that the court should consider the age and medical condition of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, who is facing plunder charges before the Sandiganbayan. “I’m sure the courts will be cognizant of fulfilling the obligations,” Aquino said, but added that “the advanced age of Senator Enrile” should also be a factor. Aquino cited the Bill of Rights which prohibits inhuman or cruel punishment. The anti-graft court has yet to issue a decision on whether there is probable cause to the charges filed against Enrile. Critics have hit President Aquino for allowing Enrile’s co-accused senators Bong Revilla Jr and Jinggoy Estrada to stay in special custom-built cells in Camp Crame. Cultural historian John Silva, in an open letter to the president, questioned Aquino’s “kid glove” treatment of the three accused and compared it against the imprisonment of the president’s father, senator Ninoy Aquino, during martial law.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Journalist hold silent protest for jailed Al-Jazeera staff

    Photo by Tarek Wajeh and Almasry Alyoum / EPA

    Hundreds of journalists from the BBC and other news organizations held a silent protest in London on Tuesday, June 24, in support of Al-Jazeera reporters jailed by an Egyptian court. The journalists, wearing black tape over their mouths, staged the protests outside BBC’s broadcasting headquarters in support for their former colleague, Australian Peter Greste, Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and producer Baher Mohamed. The three journalists were sentenced to 7-10 years in jail for allegedly aiding the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood movement and “spreading false news.” Despite international condemnation, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said the government would not interfere in the case.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Top journalists convicted, cleared in UK phone-hacking trial

    Daniel Leal-Olivas/EPA

    News editor and former confidante of Ruper Murdoch, Rebeka Brooks was cleared of all charges in a phone-hacking trial that stirred controversy in Britain. But former News of the World editor Andy Coulson was convicted of phone hacking in a decision handed down by a jury on Tuesday, June 24. Coulson, who had resigned from the News of the World when the hacking scandal first came to light, was hired by British Prime Minister David Cameron to be his media chief. Cameron swiftly gave a full apology for hiring Coulson. The trial also revealed that Brooks and Coulson had an on-off extra-marital affair for several years while working at the paper.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. French court approves ending life support for quadriplegic

    Photo by Francois Guillot / AFP

    France’s top administrative court approved on Tuesday, June 24, the ending of life support for a 38-year-old quadriplegic in a vegetative state, despite his parents’ wish to keep him alive. The State Council approved the recommendation of the Vincent Lambert’s doctors to stop providing intravenous food and water which is keeping him alive. The decision is supported by the patient’s wife and 6 of his 8 siblings, but is opposed by the Lambert’s conservative Catholic parents and two siblings. Lambert has been a quadriplegic since a 2008 car crash. The decision could still be halted by the European Court of Human Rights which is also looking into the mater. France legalized passive euthanasia in 2005.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. PH internet penetration doubles in 4 years

    Internet penetration – or the percentage of the population with access to the internet – has nearly doubled in the last 4 years as more Filipinos turn to mobile phones, according to ratings firm Nielsen. In the its Pinoy Netizen report, Nielsen found that 52% of the population have access to the internet today, up from 27% in 2010. The trend follows the decline of desktop computers as a means to access the internet at home. Desktop users dropped to 35% this year from 63% in 2012 – equal to mobile usage. Laptops remain the most preferred device for accessing the web, with tablets gaining ground.

    Read the full report on Marketing Interactive.

    Hands holding gadgets image from Shutterstock

  7. Uruguay’s Suarez bites Italy’s Chiellini

    Photo by Emilio Lavandeira Jr/EPA

    Italy’s loss to Uruguay, 0-1, on Wednesday, June 25 is being eclipsed by another controversy. Italy center-back Giorgio Chiellini claims Uruguay striker Luis Suarez bit him on the shoulder during the World Cup match. The match’s referee did not see the incident, but camera playback clearly shows Suarez leaning in to Chiellini. Suarez, no stranger to controversy, reportedly denied biting Chiellini. In April 2013, he was given a 10-match ban by the English Football Association for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Filipino tops Southeast Asia Google Code Jam

    Photo from Kalibrr.

    A Filipino engineer now belongs to the top 0.15% of the world’s coders after beating colleagues in the online semifinals of Google’s yearly Code Jam. Kevin Atienza, an artificial intelligence engineer working for Kalibrr, bested a roster of 50,000 participants to make it to the 3rd round semifinals. While Atienza did not rank in the top 25 needed to advance to the finals, his 72nd place finish put him at the top of Southeast Asia’s contenders for Google’s coding throne, currently held by Ivan Miatselski of Belarus.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Past controversies hound National Artist Awards

    The current controversy over the alleged snub of multi-awarded actress Nora Aunor for the coveted National Artist Award by President Aquino is nothing new in the history of the award itself. Newsbreak takes a quick look at past controversies that have hounded the National Artist Awards, which are meant to recognize exemplary artists for their contribution to Philippine culture and the arts. Among the many incidents in the past, former President Gloria Arroyo’s naming of filmmaker Carlo J. Caparas and theater stalwart Cecile Guidote-Alvarez stand out because their names were not part of the shortlist given by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) to the former president. But, as Newsbreak discovers, the law is silent on the leeway the President has in adding or dropping names from the list.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Queen Elizabeth visits ‘Game of Thrones’ set

    AFP PHOTO/POOL/Jonathan Porter

    Is life imitating art or the other way around? On a visit to Northern Ireland on Tuesday, June 24, Britain’s longest reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth, visited the Game of Thrones set and met with a few of its popular cast members. The HBO show is filmed in Belfast’s Paint Hall studio. The Queen was welcomed by British actors Lena Heady (Cersei Lannister), Kit Harrington (Jon Snow), and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), to name just a few. She was reportedly impressed with the iron throne prop used in the television series; but, she resisted the temptation to sit on it. Instead, the producers and actors gave her a miniature version to take home and put beside her real throne.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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