July 9, 2014 Edition

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  1. Indonesians go to the polls in a close race

    More than 188 million Indonesians get to vote today on who they want to lead the world’s fourth most populous nation for the next 5 years. It’s a choice between two very different candidates: Suharto-era general Prabowo Subianto, who promises strong leadership, and relative political newcomer Joko “Jokowi” Widodo who is seen as a reformer. Jokowi had an early 20 percentage point lead in the campaign period but Prabowo was able to narrow it down to just 4 percent. It is only the third time Indonesians will directly vote for their president. Official election results are not expected for another two weeks but early exit polls should indicate who will emerge victorious.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Get the latest from Rappler’s extensive coverage of the Indonesian elections.

  2. Germany upsets host Brazil in historic 7-1 victory

    Photo by Fernando Bizerra Jr/EPA

    Brazil’s World Cup dream was smashed into oblivion as majestic Germany ran riot to win an extraordinary semifinal, 7-1, and send the South American hosts crashing to their worst ever defeat in their 100-year footballing history. Germany advanced to Sunday’s final in the Maracana after a brilliant first-half blitz which included a burst of 4 goals in six devastating minutes. Dead and buried inside half an hour, the crowd at the Mineirao Stadium was stunned into silence. Many fans burst into tears as they struggled to comprehend the enormity of what had taken place. Brazil’s team captain David Luis apologized to Brazilians after the game saying Germany prepared and played better.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Only 2 dead from typhoon Neoguri in ‘prepared’ Okinawa

    Hitoshi Maeshiro/EPA

    Typhoon Neoguri lashed Japan’s southern Okinawa islands, reportedly leaving two dead and forcing more than half a million to seek shelter. It is the region’s worst storm in years. High speed winds uprooted trees, damaged buildings, and brought power outages across the island. Okinawa, however, emerged remarkably unscathed despite the 250 kph winds. Journalists report that Okinawa residents were well prepared for the super typhoon. On early Wednesday, the Japan Meteorological Agency downgraded all severe warnings for Okinawa. The typhoon is forecast to continue up the eastern coast of Japan.

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  4. At least 28 dead after Israel launches Gaza offensive

    Abir Sultan/EPA

    An Israeli operation against Gaza militants has killed 28 people in a day of air strikes which began on July 8. Those killed include two women and 5 children. Israeli forces say they’ve also killed 4 Hamas militants who staged a beachfront assault on an army base just north of the Gaza strip. Israel has launched an air offensive against the homes of identified militant leaders, saying they are legitimate targets. In response, Hamas said “all Israelis” would be potential targets for retaliation. The attacks come after heightened tensions over the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens and a related retaliatory attack against a Palestinian youth who was reportedly kidnapped and burned.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Cebu priest apologizes for lecturing unwed mother

    Screengrab from Facebook video

    The Cebu priest vilified in social media for castigating an unwed mother at her child’s baptism rites has issued a public apology, saying he has realized the “cruelty” of his “unbecoming” actions. In a letter dated July 8, Fr Romeo Obach, CSsR, said his “rude attitude” was regretful and asked the mother and her relatives to forgive him for the “mistake.” He also extended his apology to all the people who expressed outrage over his “sermon” to the young mother, which went viral online. “I am sorry to the internet viewers, to media listeners and viewers for this mistake.” Netizens compared the unbecoming priest to Pope Francis who, on January 12, baptized the child of unmarried parents at the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. DFA urges Filipinos to leave Afghanistan

    Photo by Jawad Jalali/EPA

    The Philippine government urged its nationals in Afghanistan on Tuesday, July 8, to leave the Central Asian country as violence increased during the presidential elections. In a statement, the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) advised voluntary repatriation by raising crisis alert level 3 in Afghanistan, following heightened tensions over the disputed presidential elections. It added that the Philippine government “maintains a total ban on the deployment of Filipino workers to Afghanistan.” An estimated 4,000 Filipinos are now working for US contractors in Afghanistan, DFA spokesman Charles Jose told Agence France-Presse.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Obama asks for $3.7 billion to address border crisis

    US President Barack Obama asked Congress on July 8 to release $4 billion in emergency funding to confront a surge of young migrants from Central America crossing the border into Texas. Calling it “an urgent humanitarian situation,” the President said the money would go to set up new detention facilities and to hire more immigration judges and Border Patrol agents. Already the request has become entangled in a fierce political debate over immigration. Republicans said they could not immediately support it after criticizing the Obama administration’s failure to secure the Mexican border. Obama also faces resistance from members of his own party.

    Read the full story on the New York Times.

  8. DOTC on LRT bid: No favors granted to winners

    Photo from the PPP Center

    The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said Tuesday, July 8, it had acted properly in the bidding of the Light Rail Transit line 1 (LRT 1) Cavite extension project, dismissing allegations of conflict of interest. The agency denied allegations that undersecretary Rene Limcaoco did not favor the lone bidder for the P65-billion ($1.49 billion) project – Light Rail Manila, a consortium of Ayala Corporation and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation. Limcaoco’s brother, Jose Teodoro, works for the Ayala group. The Cavite extension project will lengthen Line 1 from 20.7 km to 32.4 km with a new south endpoint in Niog, Bacoor, Cavite. Approximately 10.5 km of the Cavite Extension System will be elevated and 1.2 km will be at grade level. The extension will serve nearly 4 million residents of Parañaque, Las Piñas, and Cavite.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Pink Floyd to release first album in 20 years

    Photo by John D McHugh/AFP

    British rock legends Pink Floyd are set to release a new album called The Endless River in October, their first in 20 years. “It is an album of mainly ambient and instrumental music,” a statement on the band’s website said on Monday, July 7. The album will be based on recording sessions from 1993 and 1994, when the band were working on their The Division Bellalbum. It will feature guitarist David Gilmour, drummer Nick Mason and keyboardist Richard Wright, a founding member of the band who died in 2008. Pink Floyd have sold over 250 million copies of its albums worldwide.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. JK Rowling gives fans a glimpse into Harry’s future

    Photo from Facebook

    Though the last book in the Harry Potter series came out in 2007, die hard fans and new fans alike haven’t been left wanting for more. Rowling has made sure these fans can relive their best memories through interactive websites like Pottermore. In a recent post on the site, Rowling writes through the character Rita Skeeter who reports on the Quidditch World Cup. The article is set years after the events of Voldermort’s defeat. Harry is about to turn 34 and Hermione is now a high-official in the wizard world. Fancy taking a look at this parallel universe? Check out Pottermore.com.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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