July 11, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Catholic bishops to medical workers: There’s way out of birth control law

    Bishops in the Philippines are set to organize seminars in their dioceses to inform government health workers who are Catholic of their right not to follow the newly implemented reproductive health law on the basis of their religious belief. “Obviously, Catholics should not, on moral grounds, seek employment in the very government agencies that promote artificial contraception…. But if circumstances compelled them to be employed in such agencies…said Catholics should be aware that they cannot be forced to promote, distribute or dispense artificial contraceptives against their religious or moral conviction,” said a pastoral guidance issued this week. The Catholic church, whose powerful lobby stalled the law’s passage for more than a decade, and delayed its implementation for a year, disputes the law’s provisions that conscientious objectors are required to immediately refer patients to another service willing to supply information or birth control.

    Read the full story here.

    Meanwhile, in Warsaw, Poland, the head of the public hospital was fired by the mayor for refusing to carry out an abortion on religious grounds on woman whose unborn baby suffered from serious malformation.

  2. Hazing suspects on immigration watchlist, to face charges

    File photo by Jose Del/Rappler

    Philippine authorities were set to file Friday morning, July 11, criminal charges against those allegedly involved in the Tau Gamma hazing rites that killed a student of De La Salle University-College of St Benilde and seriously injured 3 others. At least 17 of these suspects have been placed on the immigration bureau’s lookout list. They include one who had fled to the United States.

    Read the full story here

  3. Anti-graft court enters not guilty plea for Philippine senator

    Rappler file photo

    Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, accused of plundering development funds, refused to enter a plea with the anti-graft court Friday, the third senator to do so in the biggest corruption case in the country’s recent history. The Sandiganbayan entered a not guilty plea for him. The senator, one of the architects of martial law in the Philippines decades ago, is accused of earning millions of pesos in kickbacks from ensuring that his office’s discretionary fund would go to ghost projects of bogus organizations. Doctors at the police hospital, where he is temporarily detained, initially announced they wouldn’t let him go to court due to his unstable hypertension. Enrile former chief of staff, detained elsewhere for the same charges, had to skip the arraignment upon doctors’ advice.

    Read the full story here.

  4. Aquino: Budget chief stays despite unconstitutional spending program

    Philippine President Benigno Aquino III announced that he didn’t accept the resignation of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad over a spending program, several aspects of which have been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. While the President is empowered to use the savings of any executive agency to fund other projects within that same agency, the Disbursement Acceleration Program designed by Abad moved funds from one agency to another and one government branch to another even before fiscal years were over, pulling out allocation from supposedly slow-moving funds. A senior SC justice pointed out the budget chief did this without the President’s written approval.

    Read here how Aquino maintained that Abad, also his campaign manager in 2010, did good with DAP.

    Rappler has a timeline of the rise and fall of the so-called presidential pork barrel.

  5. As Jokowi leads count, Prabowo allies move to control legislature

    File photo by EPA

    Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo may appear to be winning in the Indonesian presidential election, based on the quick count of various groups, but parties supporting his rival Prabowo Subianto have begun to maneuver to take control of the legislature. A day before the election, pro-Prabowo parties that dominate the chamber changed the rules on choosing the speaker of the House of Representatives – from being automatically given to the party with the most number of seats to being elected. This can possibly give the new president a hard time putting programs in place, although Jokowi’s party mates believe some parties will change alliances once Jokowi is officially proclaimed.

    Read the full story here. Also check out Rappler’s coverage of the Indonesian elections here.

  6. US intelligence chief expelled from Germany

    File photo by AFP / JOHN MACDOUGALL

    Germany expelled the chief of the United States secret services station in Berlin after two cases of spying by the Americans were uncovered in less than a week. The discovery happened while anger still simmered within the US’ long-time European over the revelation of fugitive intelligence contractor Edward Snowden that the National Security Agency wiretapped German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone calls.

    Read the full story here.

    Meanwhile, the US was the target of hackers traced in China, trying to access information on people who had applied for top-security clearances. The government said no data were compromised.

  7. 12 charged over illegal World Cup tickets sale

    Abedin Taherkenareh/EPA

    Rio de Janeiro police have filed charges against 12 people suspected to be part of a network that illegally sold millions of dollars in World Cup tickets. The names of the suspects were not disclosed, but arrests were made. Among those picked by authorities was Ray Whelan, a director of Zurich-based Match Services, a FIFA partner, accused of facilitating the illegal sale of tickets. Police and prosecutors are applying Article 41 of a Brazilian statute which makes it illegal to sell tickets at a higher price than face value.

    Read the full report here.

    Keep yourself updated on the World Cup through Rappler’s football page.

  8. Myanmar sentences journalists to 10 years of hard labor

    A Myanmar court sentenced 4 reporters and the chief executive of the Unity Weekly News to 10 years in prison with hard labor over their report that the military was operating a chemical weapons factory in the town of Pauk in Magway, under the instructions of former strongman junta chief Than Shwe. They were arrested in February, days after the article was published. Their lawyer said they would appeal the verdict.

    Read the full report here.

  9. Nominees for 2014 Emmys announced

    Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images/AFP

    Nominees for the 2014 Emmy Awards have been announced, delighting TV fans and disappointing some. Popular series like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and House of Cards are nominated for Oustanding Drama Series, while The Good Wife didn’t make it. Nominees were also announced for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, Outstanding Miniseries, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie, and Outstanding Television Movie.

    See the complete list of nominees here.

  10. Little gains in Philippine fight against hunger in 5 years

    File photo by Rappler

    The number of Filipino children 5 years and younger who are too thin for their height increased in the last 5 years, indicating little progress in improving their nutritional status. This is according to the latest National Nutrition Survey covering the years 2008 to 2013. Experts revealed that this age group marks a crucial stage for mental and physical development, and poor nutrition during this period can have irreversible health impacts which may extend into adulthood. Majority of undernourished Filipino children belong to the poorest households.

    Read here the details of survey, and the factors that experts say contribute to the lingering problem of malnutrition.

    For ways you can help the campaign against hunger in the Philippines, check out Rappler’s Project Hunger microsite here.

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