July 22, 2014 Edition

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  1. Rebels release bodies, plane’s black boxes

    A train carrying the bodies of 280 crash victims in the Malaysian plane disaster was allowed to leave rebel-controlled territory in Ukraine, even as pro-Russian separatists turned over two black boxes recovered from the crash site of Flight MH17 to Malaysian officials on Tuesday, July 22. One of the boxes is expected to hold a recording of all conversation in the cockpit and contain all flight data. A Malaysian team of experts and representatives of the separatist group then signed a protocol before the black boxes were handed over. The separatists likewise declared a ceasefire spanning a 10-kilometer radius around the crash site. This is to allow investigators access to the site where the Malaysian plane was believed to have been shot by a surface-to-air missile on Thursday, July 17.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Related stories are in the New York Times and The Washington Post.

  2. Putin must force Ukraine rebels to help MH17 probe

    An irate US President Barack Obama demanded that Russian President Vladimir Putin force Ukranian separatists to cooperate in the investigation of the recent Malaysia Airlines crash. In a statement read on the White House south lawn on Monday, July 21, Obama said, “Our friends and allies need to be able to recover those who were lost. That’s the least we can do. That’s the least that decency demands.” Failure by Russia to rein in the rebels would only lead to greater isolation, Obama said, hinting at more US sanctions.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    A related story is on CNN.

  3. Moscow: Ukraine fighter jet near MH17 before crash

    Denying it supplied Ukrainian separatists with Buk missile systems believed to have been used to down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, Russia claimed on Monday, July 21, that a Ukrainian fighter jet was flying close to the Malaysian plane before it crashed. Faced with mounting international anger and criticism, Moscow also said a US satellite was flying over separatist territory at the time. Russian military officials said the Malaysian plane strayed north of its planned route, even as a Ukrainian fighter jet, which is usually equipped with air-to-air missiles, was recorded to be 3 to 5 kilometers from the Malaysian plane. Lieutenant-General Andrei Kartopolov challenged Washington to release its satellite images to prove that separatists used a surface-to-air missile.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Body of tycoon owner of sunken ferry found

    The heavily decomposing body of 73-year-old fugitive business tycoon Yoo Byung-Eun, owner of the South Korean Sewol ferry that sank and killed 300, has been found. South Korean police announced on Tuesday, July 22, Yoo’s body was found on a ground in a plum orchard on June 12 in Suncheon, 300 kilometers south of Seoul. Several empty bottles of alcohol were found at the scene but police authorities said they have yet to ascertain whether the cause of death was a homicide or a suicide.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Scientists mark new record high for June

    It was the hottest June ever since record-keeping began in 1880, US climate scientists said in a monthly report on Monday, July 21. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said that June registered a combined average temperature over land and ocean surfaces at 61.2°Fahrenheit or 16.22°Celsius. This was .72°C or 1.30°F warmer than the 20th century average for the month. The month of June has been warmer than the 20th century average for 38 years in a row, NOAA said. The last time June broke records for being cooler than normal was in 1976. May was also a record-setter, topping its previous high set in 2010.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. SWS survey: Binay drops 6 points

    After recording a 73% rating in the March 2014 survey of polling firm Social Weather Stations, Vice President Jejomar Binay posted a lower 67% net rating in a June 27-30 poll. Despite the 6-percentage-point decline, his remains the highest among ranking government officials. President Benigno Aquino III registered a 25% net satisfaction rating, his lowest since 2010. The drop in satisfaction ratings coincided with the arrest of Binay’s key allies, Senators Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada, who have been charged with plunder in relation to the alleged misuse of their Priority Development Assistance Fund.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. JBC member to Jardeleza: Why the SC?

    File photo by Rappler

    While sympathetic to the cause of Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza, an aspirant for the Supreme Court (SC), Iloilo Representative Neil Tupas Jr questioned his move to complain before the High Court. Tupas, who represents Congress in the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), the body which submits nominations for the Supreme Court to the President, said Jardeleza should have brought his case first to the JBC. “We wanted to listen but he refused to argue and went straight to the SC,” Tupas said. Jardeleza was excluded from the JBC’s list of nominees after his integrity and his reported move to exclude “portions” of the country’s arguments against China from a memorandum submitted to the arbitral court were questioned. SC Senior Justice Antonio Carpio testified against Jardeleza.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. DFA to Filipinos in Israel: Prepare to evacuate

    The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs warned Filipinos in Israel to prepare for possible evacuation as a result of the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas. Its earlier order for Filipinos to flee the Gaza Strip stands. There are over 36,000 Filipinos in Israel and an additional 113 in the West Bank. DFA has raised alert level 2, which is issued when there are “real threats to the life, security, and property of Filipinos arising from internal disturbance, instability, and external threats.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Twitter, Facebook spammers exploit MH17 crash

    file photo by EPA

    Online security experts warn that scammers are using the MH17 crash in east Ukraine to link to either pornographic websites or spam pages. On Twitter, a security firm detected tweets pretending to be about MH17 but which bore spam links. On Facebook, a community page dedicated to one of the victims uses his name and photo but users who click on the link end up on a pornographic website. Richard Cos, chief intelligence officer of anti-spam body Spamhaus told the BBC, “It is a fairly rapid and predictable response by the individuals behind it. They are all to make money. There is no compassion involved.”

    Read the full story on the BBC.

  10. Magician David Blaine comes to Manila

    Manila will be in for a bag of tricks later this year as magician David Blain is set to perform at the Araneta Coliseum on September 12. The New York-born magician will stage a 90-minute show called Real or Magic. It will be his first-ever show in the country. He started his magic tricks in 1997 and took them to a higher level by performing death-defying performances inspired by his idol, Harry Houdini. These include being encased in ice for 63 hours. Blaine previously said he performs his magic to make people stop and think, and to challenge himself.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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