July 7, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. The remaking of Prabowo and short memories

    File photo by Romeo Gacad/AFP

    It’s a comeback story that brings a former disgraced general within touching distance of the Indonesian presidency. Prabowo Subianto, 62, was the rising star of Suharto’s military. Accused of ordering the kidnapping of at least 9 pro-democracy activists, he now says it was for their own “protection,” preventing the students from carrying out “bombing and arson” attacks. At least one of those kidnapped was found dead, but surprisingly, four now support him. His spokesman, Sandiaga Uno offers this explanation. “Indonesia loves a comeback story.” For Filipinos in Indonesia, Prabowo stirs up a parallel for a Filipino there:  “It’s like Bongbong Marcos winning as president of the Philippines!” Another Filipino writer working in Indonesia has this to say on cultures, “Neither the Indonesians nor the Filipinos have a long political memory.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read more on parallels between Marcos and Prabowo.

    Read Rappler’s interview with Prabowo spokesman.

    Watch this primer on the contenders.

  2. Facts about Indonesia’s presidential elections

    Did you know presidential elections in Indonesia take place every 5 years with one reelection, the president and vice president of Indonesia are elected as a pair and a candidate must secure an absolute majority of the votes, otherwise, the top two candidates would face off in a run-off election? And what challenges lie ahead for the winner? The next president will have to keep Southeast Asia’s top economy on track, from cutting fuel subsidies and fighting corruption to revamping creaking infrastructure and boosting spending on the poor. On top of that he will have to balance a rising tide of economic nationalism that has dimmed the country’s appeal as an investment destination. What’s at stake for Asia? A founding member of ASEAN – now about to create one market of more than 600 million people – Indonesia’s expected to take a key role in political and security issues.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read more on the economic challenges the winner will face.

    Watch “What’s at stake in the Indonesian elections?”

  3. Prosecutors in plunder cases at ‘tremendous disadvantage’

    De La Salle University College of Law dean Jose Manuel Diokno recommends pulling in private prosecutors in the plunder cases over the multi-million peso ‘pork barrel’ scam. In an interview on TalkThursday, Diokno said government prosecutors are at a “tremendous disadvantage” both in terms of skill and resources when pitted against the defense’s veteran lawyers. He also said the Ombudsman prosecutors’ recent attempts to amend the plunder cases have raised “a lot of questions about how effectively they can prosecute the case.” Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Revilla, and Juan Ponce Enrile are currently detained over the scam. The anti-graft court has also issued arrest warrants against several others.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Sandiganbayan justice linked to Napoles divides High Court

    Supreme Court justices are divided whether Sandiganbayan Justice Gregory Ong should be dismissed. The justices agreed that Ong violated the New Code of Judicial Conduct after his links to alleged pork barrel queen Janet Lim Napoles were exposed and confirmed. But they disagree on whether he should be meted the lighter penalty of suspension or the extreme penalty of dismissal with all his benefits forfeited. In an administrative proceeding, former Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez recommended Ong’s dismissal after finding “substantial evidence” that Ong was guilty of the 3 charges slapped against him. She also concluded that Ong was Napoles’ main contact at the anti-graft court, a claim raised by former Napoles employees turned whistleblowers Benhur Luy and Marina Sula. Luy said Napoles spent P100 million to fix the Kevlar helmet case that was tried by the 4th division that Ong chaired. Ong admitted he met Napoles thrice in 2012, but denied receiving money.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Enrile’s mugshots and Gigi Reyes’ jail problems

    Photo by Joel Laporada/Rappler

    The Philippine National Police (PNP) approved Senator Juan Ponce Enrile’s request to keep his mugshots confidential after he surrendered July 4 for graft and plunder charges filed over a massive fund diversion scandal. Enrile’s request comes after the surrender of Senators Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada stirred controversy over the release of their mugshots. In a letter addressed to the PNP, Enrile’s lawyers said releasing Enrile’s mugshots would “tend to sway public opinion against the subject,” given his status as a public figure, his surrender, and the fact that he has not been convicted. The 90-year-old Enrile is under temporary hospital arrest. Meanwhile, his former chief of staff Gigi Reyes is temporarily detained at the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan. The court ordered Reyes’ detention at the Quezon City jail, but ordered the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) to report if their facilities were adequate to secure Reyes. The BJMP said its jail facilities in Quezon City could not accommodate Reyes because it was already 8 times over capacity.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read more on Gigi Reyes’ jail problems.

  6. NSA scooped up baby pictures, illicit sexual liaisons and selfies

    Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP

    The National Security Agency or NSA held on to materials described by analysts as “useless.” CNN described the haul as “heaps of baby photos, fitness selfies, medical records and resumes.”  The findings are the result of a Washington Post 4-month study of NSA-intercepted electronic date provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden. These files “tell stories of love and heartbreak, illicit sexual liaisons, mental-health crises, political and religious conversions, financial anxieties and disappointed hopes.” The Post also said, nine of 10 account holders found in the data “were not the intended surveillance targets but were caught in a net.” Some of the files included “discoveries of considerable intelligence value.”  The study was based on some 160,000 emails and 7,900 documents taken from more than 11,000 accounts intercepted during President Barack Obama’s first term in office.

    Read the full story on CNN.

    Read more on Rappler.

  7. Who is Caliph Ibrahim, the chief of the Islamic State?

    Photo by AFP/Ho/Al-Furqan Media

    Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the enigmatic self-proclaimed “caliph” of a state straddling Iraq and Syria, is increasingly seen as more powerful than Al-Qaeda’s chief. On June 29, the Islamic State (IS) militant group declared him “caliph” in an attempt to revive a system of rule that ended nearly 100 years ago. In a video posted online on Saturday, July 5, he ordered Muslims to obey him during a Ramadan sermon. Baghdadi is touted within IS as a battlefield commander and tactician, and has attracted legions of foreign fighters. On July 1, one of the fiercest recruiters for jihad in Syria and Iraq, Musa Cerantonio, tweeted that he would join the caliphate and jihad in Ash-Sham, a historical name for Syria. The 29-year-old Cerantonio is Australian born and a Christian convert to Islam. Authorities from the Philippines and Australia told Rappler Cerantonio had been in the Philippines for nearly a year, pushing Muslims on social media to join the jihad. A recent study said he was one of the two most influential voices providing “inspiration and guidance” to foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read more on ISIS’ leading cheerleader.

  8. Fierce Typhoon Neoguri threatens Okinawa

    Typhoon Florita (international name Neoguri) may turn into a super typhoon by Monday afternoon, although it is not expected to make landfall in the Philippines. As it continues to move northwest, it is expected to strengthen monsoon rains in Mimaropa, Panay including Guimaras and Negros Occidental from Sunday to Monday. Western Visayas, Zambales, Bataan, Cavite, Laguna and Batangas will experience monsoon rains. Typhoon Neoguri is also gaining strength as it threatens the Japanese island of Okinawa. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center said the typhoon could produce sustained winds of 260 kph with gusts as powerful as 315 kph. CNN reports the typhoon is likely to generate winds as strong as a Category 5 hurricane when it nears Okinawa early Tuesday, adding the typhoon’s trajectory could drive a storm surge over Okinawa’s shores.

    Read the full story on CNN.

    Read on Neoguri’s effects on the Philippines.

  9. Neymar laments end of dream

    Brazil’s star striker Neymar fought back tears as he urged his teammates toward a World Cup victory without him, after suffering a fractured vertebra in the quarter-final win over Colombia. In an emotional video message, Neymar said, “They took away my dream of playing in a World Cup final, but the dream of being a world champion is not over.” On July 4, Neymar was forced out of the World Cup after Colombian defender Juan Zuniga kneed the Brazilian in the back. Zuniga apologized to Neymar but insisted he had not deliberately hurt the star striker. FIFA announced it would consider action against Zuniga. Brazilians were heartbroken over the incident, as the nation’s hopes of a record-extending sixth World Cup had rested on the shoulders of Neymar. Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff wrote a personal message to the 22-year-old star, and football legend Pele wrote on Twitter: “It hurts our hearts to know that he can no longer defend Brazil in the World Cup.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read more on Rappler.

  10. Djokovic beats Federer in epic clash, Kvitova crushes Bouchard

    Crowd favorite and 7-time champion Roger Federer lost to Novak Djokovic in an epic 4-hour final at 6-7 6-4 7-6 5-7 6-4. The Swiss took the opening, but the Serb rallied toward the end, giving him his 2nd Wimbledon title. In a Tennis.com report, Federer summed up the game, “I thought it had everything for fans to like. The swing of momentum in the first set, him coming back in the second, staying even in the third, all the back and forth in the fourth set, and the drama of the fifth.” Federer has not won a Grand Slam title since Wimbledon in 2012, but played superbly throughout the tournament, losing only one set on the way to the final. Federer said he was happy with his performance, “That clearly makes me believe that this was just a stepping stone to many more great things in the future.” Meantime, Petra Kvitova stormed to her second Wimbledon title in the shortest women’s final, as the sixth seed Czech crushed another crowd favorite, Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard 6-3, 6-0 on Saturday.

    Read the full story on Tennis.com

    Read more on Federer’s reaction to his loss.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read more on Kvitova.

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