June 26, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Revilla, Napoles face court

    It’s their day in court after a prolonged corruption scandal that has enraged many Filipinos. Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr, alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles, and their co-accused were arraigned June 26 at the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court for the plunder and graft charges filed against them. Revilla, who left his detention facility in Camp Crame past 7 am on Thursday, was not handcuffed and was not in detainee uniform since there was “no threat of flight,” police said. The senator was in formal attire – he wore a polo barong. In contrast to Revilla, Napoles appeared before the court wearing a hoodie and sunglasses. Revilla is one of two Philippine senators detained on corruption charges. On Monday, June 30, it will be the turn of jailed Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada to be arraigned in court.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Embassy staff face charges for ‘sex for flight’

    A labor attaché tasked to protect Filipino workers abroad will be facing charges of two counts of abuse against chastity in relation to cases filed by 4 female overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Saudi Arabia, whom the justice department refused to name. The department will also file acts of lasciviousness charges against the former driver of  another labor attaché. This comes a little over a year after Akbayan Representative Walden Bello on June 18, 2013, exposed the sex-for-flight scheme. The scheme involves sexually abusing distressed OFWs in exchange for repatriation. The Senate conducted an investigation into the issue, with a victim even unmasking herself for the first time to face her alleged abuser.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Solicitor General declares war on Chief Justice

    File photo by Buena Bernal/Rappler

    It’s unprecedented in recent history. In a letter-petition he filed with the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), which screens nominees to the Supreme Court, Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza asked that the JBC head, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, be disallowed from voting on the shortlist to be submitted to President Benigno Aquino III. Jardeleza is a nominee for the vacant SC position. He said he doubts if Sereno would be a neutral judge as far as he was concerned, saying Sereno’s issues against him seemed like “a ruse to favor her alleged candidate.” These are strong words coming not only from someone who wants to be justice of the highest court of the land but who also happens to be the government’s chief lawyer who defends its cases in court.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Strong quake hits Manila, Luzon

    The earth shook as Filipinos in Metro Manila and Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon provinces were either having dinner, about to have one or wrapping up their day at work. A strong tremor hit south of Manila Wednesday evening, June 25, but it was felt as well in the national capital region and even as far as Central Luzon. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said it was magnitude 5.7 earthquake with a depth of 36 kilometers that hit Calatagan, Batangas, at around 7:52 pm. The quake was tectonic in origin. Agencies were not expecting damage from it.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read a list of earthquake tips on Rappler.

  5. Indonesia warns against haze in Singapore, Malaysia

    Photo by Azwar/EPA

    Indonesia’s disaster agency warned June 25 that haze could return to neighboring Singapore and Malaysia after a huge jump in forest fires in a province at the center of a smog crisis last year. June is the start of the forest fire season – when slash-and-burn techniques are used to clear land quickly and cheaply, often for palm oil plantations – and disaster officials said the number of blazes in Riau province, on western Sumatra island, was rising quickly. A total of 366 “hotspots” – either forest fires or areas likely to soon go up in flames – had been detected in the province on June 25, up from 97 the previous day. Experts have said that an expected El Nino weather phenomenon later this year is likely to fan the forest fires as conditions become drier than usual.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. British PM says sorry for ‘wrong decision’

    File photo by EPA/Andy Rain

    He made the wrong decision to hire former tabloid editor Andy Coulson who has just been convicted of phone hacking, Prime Minister David Cameron said on June 25 as he apologized to parliament. But the British leader faced fresh embarrassment as the judge rebuked him for speaking out about the case. The 8-month phone-hacking trial came to an end as jurors were sent home without reaching a verdict on two further charges that Coulson faced relating to alleged payments to police officers. Cameron hired Coulson just months after he resigned as News of the World editor in 2007, soon after the jailing of the paper’s royal editor and a private investigator for hacking.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. From Google TV to Android TV

    Screen shot from keynote.

    It’s a set-top box meant to augment your TV viewing experience, using the Google Play store and partners like Netflix and Hulu to provide content, as well as recommendations based on your viewing habits. At Google I/O on June 25 (June 26, Philippine time), Google unveiled its successor to Google TV, called Android TV. It takes advantage of Google’s search system, allowing users to get contextual information for programs you’re watching. Thanks to this development, Google Play games are also coming to your television. Devices will get a controller, and gamers can play multiplayer games online, earning achievements on Google Play Games along the way.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Check the liveblog on the event on Rappler.

  8. Footballers turn into fashion icons

    Photo by Jeon Heon-Kyun/EPA

    The World Cup happening in Brazil isn’t just about football. It’s also about tattoos, hairstyles, clothes and the big business of setting trends. Footballers arrive at airports, training sessions, press conferences and matches with carefully crafted looks, conscious that a new hairdo or tattoo can set social media networks abuzz – and that global brands with multimillion-dollar sponsorship deals are watching. Cristiano Ronaldo when he emerged from the dressing room for Sunday’s match against the United States with what looked like a lightning bolt shaved into the side of his head. Brazil’s star striker Neymar, 22, meanwhile appeared in the magazine’s Brazilian edition with supermodel Gisele Bundchen. And French striker Olivier Giroud, 27, turned heads by posing bare-chested for gay magazine Tetu.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Diane Sawyer to stop anchoring ABC World News

    Photo from EPA

    TV journalist Diane Sawyer will be stepping down as the anchor of the “ABC World News” nightly newscast, Reuters said June 26, quoting ABC News President James Goldston. The 68-year-old journalist has been with ABC for more than 2 decades and has been anchoring its primetime newscast for almost 5 years. Sawyer will be staying with ABC, however, in a new role, according to Reuters. Before joining ABC, Sawyer worked at CBS news and was a correspondent for “60 Minutes.” David Muir, who is ABC’s weekend anchor, will be replacing Sawyer, Reuters added.

    Read the full story on Reuters.

  10. Rappler joins calls to #FreeAJStaff

     Image from @malonebarry

    Rappler joined calls for the Egyptian government to release the staff members of Al Jazeera. The convictions of the 3 journalists are unjust and detrimental to freedom of expression. On June 23, an Egyptian court convicted 3 Al Jazeera journalists of aiding the now illegal Muslim Brotherhood and “reporting false news.” Australia’s Peter Greste and Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fadel Fahmy were each sentenced to 7 years, while Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed was given 2 sentences – one for 7 years and another for 3 years. Amid mounting pressure on Egypt to pardon the journalists, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said that he “will not interfere in judicial matters.” Sisi cannot legally pardon the convicted journalists until a final court ruling after an appeal.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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