July 8, 2014 Edition

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

  1. Japan issues highest alert over ‘Neoguri’

    Photo courtesy NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

    Japan braced for one of its strongest typhoons in over a decade as Typhoon Neoguri (Philippine codename Florita) barreled its way toward the southern Okinawa chain. The Japan Meteorological Agency issued its highest alert, urging 55,000 people to evacuate. The warning signaled a threat to life and risk of damage from torrential rain and wind of up to 250 kilometers per hour. Waves were expected to reach as high as 14 meters, accompanied by “record-level violent winds.” A weather bureau official said the powerful wind and torrential rain could reach mainland Japan on Wednesday, July 9.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Marijuana ok for terminally ill – PH bishops

    Toots Soberano/EPA

    If it will mean easing the pain of the terminally ill, using marijuana should be fine. The head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines on Monday, July 7, said however the Church remained firm in opposing its use for recreational purposes. In a press conference held to announce the visit of Pope Francis to the country in January 2015, Archbishop Socrate Villegas said, “We are not promoting the use of marijuana. We are only referring to terminally-ill patients who are in severe pain.” Philippine laws call for life imprisonment for the possession of just 500 grams of marijuana.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Bishops will be held accountable for not protecting youth – Pope Francis

    File photo by Fadi Arouri/EPA

    Catholic bishops who failed to protect children from sexual abuse “will be held accountable,” Pope Francis said on Monday, July 7. Considering that Vatican officials have been reluctant to act against bishops accused of hiding sexual abuse, it is the pope’s strongest acknowledgment yet that these cover-ups were no less evil than the crimes themselves. In a homily given during a Mass with 6 victims of church sexual abuse, Francis said “all bishops must carry out their pastoral ministry with the utmost care in order to help foster the protection of minors, and they will be held accountable.”

    Read the full story on CNN.

    A related story is on Rappler.

  4. Who has the edge in Indonesian polls?

    Photo by Tiziana Fabi/AFP

    Between a furniture maker who grew up in the slums of Java and who battles corruption with folksy charm, and a former general and chosen son of Indonesia’s most powerful political dynasties, who has the edge? Is it Joko Widodo or Prabowo Subianto who will win Indonesia’s presidential elections? Jokowi and his runningmate Jusuf Kalla were projected to win with 47.8% choosing them, as compared to 44.2% choosing Prabowo and Hatta Rajasa. While Prabowo’s campaign has centered on strength and stability, Jokowi has projected himself as having no ties to Indonesia’s traditional political elite. The world’s largest Muslim-majority nation and 3rd largest democracy will choose its new leader this Wednesday, July 9. As foreign policy observer Jamil Maidan Flores explained, the world should care about the polls in Indonesia because “the laboratory for democracy is here.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    The Q and A with Jamil Maidan Flores is also on Rappler.

  5. Pope Francis to focus on Visayas during PH visit

    Photo by Tiziana Fabi/AFP

    For the first time in 3 decades, and only the second time ever, a pope will go beyond the capital Manila and visit Tacloban, recently devastated by a super typhoon that killed tens of thousands of people. In a statement, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines said Pope Francis clearly laid out his wish that “the main objective of his visit is to bring Christ’s compassion for our suffering people still struggling to rise from the devastations wrought by the earthquake and typhoon that hit the Visayas.” A 7.2-magnitude quake destroyed Central Visayas, especially Bohol. The pope is expected in the Philippines in January 2015.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. NBI looking into Napoles NGOs anew

    File photo by Buena Bernal/Rappler

    The National Bureau of Investigation has started investigations into the “alleged use of DAP [Disbursement Acceleration Program] funds” by non-governmental organizations linked to businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles. This was after it was alleged that some DAP funds were given to lawmakers to augment their Priority Development Assistance Fund. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said they would have to see if the justice department under whom the NBI is, would have to refer probe results to the Ombudsman or be the one to directly file charges against those involved in the misappropriation.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Remote control contraception possibly available by 2018

    A contraceptive computer chip implanted under a woman’s skin that can be controlled remotely has been developed in Massachusetts. The microchip which measures 1.5 cm-wide releases a small dose of hormone called levonorgestrel, every day for 16 years, until it is stopped using a wireless remote control. The BBC reported the contraception project is supported by Microsoft’s Bill Gates and will be submitted for pre-clinical testing in 2015. By 2018, it can possibly be available for sale. Dr Robert Farra of MIT said, “The ability to turn the device on and off provides a certain convenience factor for those who are planning their family.”

    Read the full story on the BBC.

    Microchip image via Shutterstock

  8. Enrile to court: Let me post bail

    Citing his frail condition and his not being a flight risk, former Senate president and opposition senator Juan Ponce Enrile asked the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan to let him post bail. Charged with plunder, a generally non-bailable offense punishable by life imprisonment, Enrile cited “sheer insufficiency” of evidence and his compliance with previous bail conditions as support for his plea. His camp likewise asked the police to keep details of his health “as private as possible.” The Sandiganbayan’s third division has set the arraignment of Enrile and 37 of his co-accused on Friday, July 11.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Details of Enrile’s request to keep his health information private are also on Rappler.

  9. Lots of veggies but poor nutrition in Benguet

    Fritzie Rodriguez/Rappler.com

    Despite the abundance of vegetables in the northern province of Benguet, many families don’t eat them because they’ve grown tired of them. Poor nutrition has resulted in stunted growth among some of the children of the highland town of Atok. More than one-fourth of children under 5 years old have been found to be too short for their age, the latest local government unit survey, conducted in March 2014, showed. Midwife Martha Martin said government needs to “intensify health education, ” pointing out whenever they conduct health seminars, “only a few parents attend. Some think we’re only disturbing them.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Cebu priest chastises unwed mom in church

    Screengrab from Facebook video

    “What you did was worldly. You allowed yourself to sleep with a man who isn’t your husband? Have you no shame?” a priest told an unwed mother who brought her child to church to be baptized. A video of the public humiliation by the priest identified by a local newspaper in Cebu City as Fr Romeo Ubach had gone viral on Facebook on Monday evening. The video was uploaded by the baby’s grandmother who decried the behavior of the priest – a stark contrast to Pope Francis who, in January, himself baptized the child of unmarried parents at the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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