August 7, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Ebola an international crisis?

    Salvatore di Nolfi/EPA

    The World Health Organization (WHO) began a two-day emergency meeting on west Africa’s Ebola epidemic, to decide whether to declare it an international crisis after the death toll neared 1,000 on August 6. To date, the WHO has not issued global-level recommendations – such as travel and trade restrictions – related to the outbreak which began in Guinea and has spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. The latest official toll across west Africa hit 932 deaths since the start of the year, with 1,711 confirmed cases in the region. In Liberia’s capital Monrovia, where the dead have been left unburied on the streets or abandoned in their homes, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf appealed for divine intervention and ordered three days of fasting and prayer.

    Read the full story on Rappler

    Read about the new Ebola cases on Rappler

  2. 2,000 Pinoys prepare to leave Libya

    Photo by Ritchie Tongo/EPA

    More than 2,000 Filipinos have signed up to flee Libya as the North African country remains on the brink of civil war. This means around 22.86% of the original 13,000 Filipinos in Libya have either arrived in the Philippines or signed up for repatriation. It’s a small number compared to the 13,500 Filipino workers who fled Libya in 2011, during the Libyan unrest that toppled dictator Moammar Gaddafi. The Philippine government expects more Filipinos in Libya to register for repatriation. Others could show up, though unregistered, when the Philippines’ chartered ship is about to leave.

    Read the full story on Rappler

  3. Gov’t employees in tax row with BIR

    Photo by Joel Leporada/Rappler

    Government employees across agencies sought the intervention of the Supreme Court (SC) August 6 to permanently void provisions of a June 2014 revenue order that effectively taxed their “minimal” benefits. Key respondents in the case were Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares, who issued a new order asking government agencies to tax bonuses, allowances and benefits of the estimated 1 million workers in the bureaucracy. By issuing Revenue Memorandum Order 23-2014, Henares usurped Congress’ power to legislate, said the petitioners which include employee union groups in the 3 branches of government. The government has been aggressive in its tax campaign as it strives to meet revenue targets.

    Read the full story on Rappler

  4. Charter change: Up to Aquino’s ‘bosses’

    File photo from Malacañang Photo Bureau

    Look who’s singing a different tune. After years of categorically rejecting any move to amend the 1987 Constitution, the Aquino administration is now saying that an extension of term for the president – which the Constitution bans – would eventually depend on the wishes of his “bosses.” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda made the statement at a news briefing, in response to the pronouncement of Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, the expected standard bearer of the Liberal Party in the 2016 polls, that President Benigno Aquino III should have a second term so he can continue his reforms. Lacierda noted that “many” others share the same sentiment, and that even a Facebook page has been devoted to the issue.  Aquino “will consider the voice of the people, the voice of his bosses…. The President is sensitive to the voice of his bosses. So let’s just wait for that.”

    Read the full story on Rappler

  5. Dead? Top terrorist is alive, admits military

    One of Southeast Asia’s top Islamic militants is alive, recently seen in Cotobato with about a dozen remaining members of the terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah, the Philippine military intelligence chief said. Malaysian bomb maker Zulkifli bin Hir, better known as Marwan, was declared dead by the military two years ago after a US-backed airstrike in Sulu province. “As far as we are concerned, there is a big possibility that Marwan is still alive…. There have been consistent reports of his presence in the Cotabato area. We have sources telling us they met him,” said. Intelligence Service chief Major General Eduardo Año. It was the first time for the military to officially share its information on Marwan surviving the airstrike in February 2012.

    Read the full story on Rappler

  6. Rosetta probe makes rendezvous with comet


    The space probe Rosetta on August 6 made a historic rendezvous with a comet, climaxing a 10-year, six-billion-kilometer (3.7-billion-mile) chase through the Solar System, the European Space Agency (ESA) said. It marks the first time a spacecraft has been sent into orbit around a comet, a wanderer of the Solar System whose primeval dust and ice may hold insights into how the planets formed. Rosetta’s rendezvous with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was confirmed at 0929 GMT at distance of 400 million km from Earth, according to signals received at ground stations.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Train commuters free man stuck in platform gap

    Frame grab from Public Transport Authority of Western Australia

    Dozens of Australians tilted a train August 6 to free a commuter whose leg was trapped between a carriage and a platform, with authorities praising their efforts as an example of “people power”. The man was boarding in the Western Australia city of Perth when he slipped and became jammed in the five-centimeter (two-inch) gap between the carriage and the station, operator Transperth said in a statement. Staff told commuters to get off the train and about 50 of them lined up in a row along the platform to tilt the carriage away from the man so he could be lifted out.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Suspect in theft of Schumacher’s medical files hangs self

    Photo from EPA

    The medical records of ex-Formula One champion Michael Schumacher were stolen and offered for sale to a number of journalists for $68,000. Last month, probers managed to track down the IP address of the computer used in the theft and arrested a suspect: a man who worked for a Swiss helicopter air rescue company which organized the sportsman’s transport from a French hospital to Switzerland in June. A day before his appearance in court, however, he was found hanged in his cell. He had denied any wrongdoing.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Apple prepping September 9 iPhone reveal

    Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP

    According to an August 5 report on online news site Re/code, Apple has scheduled a September 9 event to unveil its long-anticipated large-screen iPhone. While reports have been swirling in recent weeks about the new handsets, this was the first with a precise date. Re/Code said the event would be to announce Apple’s next-generation iPhones, with screen sizes stretched to 4.7 and 5.5 inches and with a faster processor.

    Read the full story on Rappler

  10. Interviews with Rurouni Kenshin’s stars, director

    At the red carpet Asian premiere of the Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno and Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends, the stars of the live-action retelling of the beloved manga and anime series spoke to Rappler about their feelings toward the film and the response from the public.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    View Rappler’s ongoing liveblog for the Rurouni Kenshin premiere.

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