August 3, 2014 Edition

Michelle Fernandez

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

  1. AFP asks MILF to share info on ‘killing’ video

    CAPTIVE. Series of screenshots show a man being kicked by men in military uniform then dragged to the center of the field

    The Philippine military chief said the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) should share any information it might have on the video showing alleged soldiers brutally beating and killing a man. The video, supposedly captured in June, circulated among MILF members in July likely because the voice in the video identified the victim as one of their members. The MILF said the perpetrators were soldiers, but the victim is a member of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, an MILF splinter group. The military, which is investigating the issue, believes the video is several years old. Armed Forces chief General Gregorio Catapang Jr told reporters in Zamboanga City, “If the MILF knows some details about it, they can give us information. If these allegations are true, we will look for these soldiers.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Rainy Sunday in Metro Manila, 4 other regions

    Typhoon Jose (Halong) becomes stronger as it continues to move in a west northwest direction since it entered the Philippine area of responsibility Saturday evening. In its 11 am weather bulletin on Sunday, state weather bureau Pagasa said the typhoon was located at 1,100 km east of Casiguran, Aurora. It has maximum sustained winds of 185 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 220 kph. The typhoon is expected to be at 870 km east of Casiguran, Aurora by Monday morning. While it will not yet affect any part of the country, the southwest monsoon will bring occasional rains over Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Ilocos Region, CALABARZON and MIMAROPA.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Gov’t defers to state lawyers on Maguindanao massacre case

    MASSACRE. Police investigators looking at dead bodies covered with banana leaves, victims of a massacre in the town of Ampatuan, Maguindanao province. File photo from Agence France-Presse

    Malacañang defers to the judgment of state prosecutors in their decision to rest the prosecution’s case against the suspects of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre. Some private prosecutors involved in the case reportedly said the move would prohibit the prosecution from filing further evidence and could lead to mistrial. Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the government would leave the case to the “wisdom of the government prosecutors.” She also asked both camps to discuss and settle any misunderstanding or personal differences. Valte added the government does not forget the brutal November 23, 2009 massacre, where at least 58 people, including 32 journalists, were gunned down and then buried in a mass grave in Ampatuan, Maguindanao. Former Datu Unsay town mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr and 27 others stand accused of perpetrating the massacre. 

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Filipino workers return home from Libya

    21 Filipino workers flew home from strife-torn Libya on August 2, after the Philippine government ordered a mandatory evacuation of its 13,000 nationals from the North African nation. Manila issued the order in July following the beheading of a Filipino construction worker in the eastern port of Benghazi. A Filipina nurse was also abducted and gang-raped in Tripoli on Wednesday. Despite the dangers, the foreign affairs department said only about 800 Filipinos have returned to the Philippines. The agency appealed to its remaining nationals to be repatriated, with avenues of repatriation “quickly diminishing.” Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario fears the sea route “may be the only means of repatriation.” A ship chartered by Manila is set to sail from Malta in the coming days to pick up Filipinos from Benghazi, Misrata, and possibly Tripoli. 

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. First Ebola case on US soil as doctor returns home

    America’s first Ebola virus patient arrived August 2 aboard a private air ambulance. Doctor Kent Brantly is one of two American aid workers infected with Ebola as they helped to battle an Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Christian missionary worker Nancy Writebol will also be airlifted back to the United States. They will be treated at Emory University Hospital’s isolation unit. Brantly’s arrival marks the first time a patient infected with Ebola has been brought to the US, triggering criticism in some quarters. But Bruce Ribner, who oversees the isolation unit at Emory, dismissed the criticism, adding, “They have gone over on a humanitarian mission (and) they have become infected giving medical care. We owe them the right to receive the best medical care that is available.” The latest outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has killed 729 people of the more than 1,300 infected since March. Ebola, which has no vaccine, causes severe muscular pain, fever, headaches and, in the worst cases, unstoppable bleeding.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Israel, Hamas vow no let up in fighting

    Both Israel and Hamas vow to continue their bloody 26-day confrontation in Gaza, shunning efforts to broker an end to the conflict which has claimed more than 1,700 lives. A senior Palestinian delegation landed in Cairo for talks on an Egyptian ceasefire initiative, but Israel said it was not sending a negotiating team. Earlier, Israel pulled back troops from two areas in Gaza in what was initially interpreted as a sign it was winding down its military operations. But in a news conference, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas would pay “an insufferable price” for continued cross-border rocket fire. The Israeli army also announced the death of Hadar Goldin, the Israeli soldier who went missing during fighting in the Gaza Strip two days ago. An army spokesman refused to confirm or deny that the soldier’s remains had been found.

    Read the full stories here and here.

  7. Soldier’s selfie stirs questions over Moscow’s role in Ukraine

    Photos taken by a Russian soldier sparked controversy after it was revealed they may have been taken in Ukraine, despite Moscow’s denials that its troops have intervened in the conflict across the border. 24-year-old Russian soldier Alexander Sotkin recently uploaded a series of self-taken photos on photo-sharing app Instagram. The geolocation data showed several images were taken in Ukraine. First reported by the US news site BuzzFeed, the two selfies could represent proof the Russian army has crossed the border into Ukraine despite denials by the Kremlin. A computer expert told Agence France-Presse that while it is possible to falsify the geolocation of photos posted online, it requires a particularly advanced knowledge of coding.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Pope to visit PH on January 15-19

    EYES ON VISAYAS. Pope Francis waves next to Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle during a ceremony to bless the new image of St Pedro Calungsod of Philippines at St Peter's Basilica on November 21, 2013 at the Vatican. Photo by Tiziana Fabi/AFP

    Pope Francis will visit the Philippines from January 15 to 19, 2015 to meet earthquake and typhoon survivors in the Visayas. Explaining the choice to visit disaster-hit Visayas, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said, “Pope Francis, from day one of his papacy, has wanted to journey with people where they are.” Tagle recalled that shortly after Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck the Philippines in November 2013, Francis said “he was one with the suffering people.” This will be the first time in 3 decades for a pope to go beyond the Philippines’ capital, Manila. The Pope’s visit comes a year after a magnitude-7.2 earthquake that devastated Central Visayas and Yolanda that killed more than 6,000 people. The last time a pope visited the Philippines was from January 12 to 16, 1995, when the late Pope John Paul II led the World Youth Day events in the Philippines. 

    Read the full story on Rappler.


  9. Muslims mark gloomy Eid al-Fitr

    Muslims in the Philippines and the rest of the world marked a grim Eid al-Fitr early this week, overshadowed by several air tragedies, including the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, and conflicts in Gaza and Pakistan. Afghan President Hamid Karzai in his message for Eid, the most important festival for Muslims marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, said the Islamic world was suffering. Highlighting the plight of those in war-torn Gaza, he said, “Hundreds of people are being killed every day in Islamic countries.” 

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Aquino hits detractors, plays up admin achievements in 5th SONA

    President Benigno Aquino delivered his 5th State of the Nation Address on July 28, amid political controversies and the lowest approval ratings since he took office. As in previous speeches, Aquino enumerated his administration’s success stories. But for the first time, he did not blame his predecessor for the country’s problems. Instead, he lashed out at his critics who oppose his reforms. Critics have been hitting Aquino for his controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). The President did not mention the DAP in his speech, nor his recent quarrel with the Supreme Court over it. He was also silent on two other big issues: the Philippines’ sea dispute with China and the arrest of 3 Philippine senators over the biggest corruption scandal in recent history. 

    Read the full stories here and here.

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