August 11, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. WHO: Ebola vaccine ‘realistic’ by 2015

    The World Health Organization (WHO) said clinical trials of vaccines for the deadly Ebola virus will start and will likely be ready for widespread use by early next year. There is currently no available cure or vaccine for Ebola, one of the deadliest viruses known to man. British pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline is set to start clinical trials of a vaccine next month. The epidemic claimed nearly 1,000 lives in west Africa. UN assistant director-general Marie-Paule Kieny acknowledged that any vaccine rushed to market would not be tested as rigorously. Kieny, who headed WHO’s vaccine division during the H1N1 swine flu pandemic in 2009, is acutely aware that helping rush a vaccine to market can cause controversy. In 2009, WHO was accused of helping line the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read more on the quarantines causing food shortages in West Africa.

  2. 65 victims of MH17 identified

    Dutch forensic experts have identified a total of 65 victims of downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 as the last of the team investigating the crash returned from eastern Ukraine. An operation to recover victims’ belongings has been halted because of intensifying clashes between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists. Forensics investigators said around 176 “more or less” complete bodies have arrived in the Netherlands as well as 527 body parts. The Dutch government said “A team of specialists are working around the clock, but again, it could still take months before each victim can be identified.” MH17 exploded over insurgent-held east Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 on board. The West is accusing Russia-backed separatists of shooting it down.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Mar Roxas: I’ll support Aquino’s choice

    The ruling Liberal Party’s presumptive presidential bet for 2016, Mar Roxas, said he would support whomever President Benigno Aquino endorses, whether it’s him or somebody else. But he was quick to indicate that it can’t possibly be Vice President Jejomar Binay, who heads the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). Binay, a good friend of the Aquino family, earlier claimed that the LP was considering adopting him as presidential bet. LP vice chairman Franklin Drilon flatly denied this, but the President’s sister Kris Aquino spoke on national TV that the sisters were open to endorsing Binay. In a statement Sunday, Roxas dismissed any chance of an alliance between LP and UNA, saying UNA is directly opposed to LP’s agenda.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Final draft of Bangsamoro law by Aug 18 – Peace panels

    Photo by Karlos Manlupig/Rappler

    Peace panels of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) ended a 10-day workshop in Davao without the final draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, but agreed to submit it to President Benigno Aquino by August 18. The crafting of the law, which would create a new autonomous government in Mindanao, is the next phase of the historic peace agreement signed between the government and the MILF in March. Discussions during the Davao workshop focused on issues involving fiscal autonomy and administration of justice in the proposed Bangsamoro political entity. Earlier, the MILF accused Malacañang of watering down the draft law submitted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) for review before its submission to Congress. A series of discussions have been held in an attempt to bridge the gap between the BTC and Malacañang versions of the draft law.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Israel, Hamas accept Egyptian ceasefire proposal as 72-hour truce starts

    A fresh 72-hour ceasefire between Israel and Hamas came into effect in Gaza on Monday, August 11, paving the way for talks in Egypt aimed at a durable end to a month-long conflict. The agreement clinched days of frantic mediation to stem the violence that has killed 1,939 Palestinians and 67 on the Israeli side since July 8. Egypt urged Israel and the Palestinians to use the new truce to “reach a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire.” An Israeli official told Agence France-Presse “Israel has accepted the Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire.” Hamas is seeking an end to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade against Gaza, while Israel wants Hamas to dismantle its formidable arsenal of rockets and other weapons.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Experts warn of blowback to US

    Kamal Akrayi/EPA

    US President Barack Obama authorized air strikes and aid drops to fight ISIS terrorists and prevent ‘genocide.’  Over the weekend, tens of thousands of Iraqis have safely escaped Mt. Sinjar and been escorted by Khurdish forces back to Iraq. Still, some analysts said the price for US involvement may mean an attack on US soil.  In July, Brett McGurk, the top State Department official for Iraq said that 30 to 50 suicide bombers per month deployed in Syria and Iraq by ISIS “are increasingly western passport holders,” and that “it is a matter of time before these suicide bombers are directed elsewhere.”  About 12,000 foreign fighters are estimated to have fought in Syria, according to the Soufan group – more than the 10,000 who fought in Afghanistan.

    Read the full story on Time.

    Read more on Rappler.

  7. Tony Stewart pulls out of NASCAR after hitting, killing driver

    Former NASCAR champion Tony Stewart withdrew from Sunday’s race at Watkins Glen a day after his car hit and killed another driver. During a race in New York on Saturday, Stewart bumped 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr’s car and knocked it out of the race. On his next time around, the motorsport veteran collided with Ward, who had gotten out of his car and was walking down the track pointing his finger in the direction of Stewart. The car hit Ward and dragged him along the track for several meters. Stewart, one of the most popular drivers in American stock car racing, was questioned by police and released. No charges have been laid but the investigation continues.

    Read more on Rappler.

  8. US action hero Steven Seagal supports Ukraine annexation

    If Kim Jong Un has Dennis Rodman, Vladimir Putin has Steven Seagal. The hollywood tough guy and musician played a weekend concert in Crimea, appearing on a stage adorned with the flag of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine. The martial artist has come under fire for supporting Russia’s March annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine. Seagal was quoted in March saying that President Vladimir Putin’s desire to protect Russians in Crimea was completely reasonable. Seagal said he considers Putin “a friend and I’d like to consider him a brother.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Condom law dampens Los Angeles porn industry

    A regulation meant to encourage condom use in the fight against AIDS has seen the number of Los Angeles pornography productions in free fall. Nonprofit FilmL.A., which issues the permits, said that 480 permits to film porn in the region were granted in 2012, only to plummet to 40 in 2013 and 20 in 2014. Porn production executive Steven Hirsch said the county “is the only place where people are required to wear a condom” on a pornography set. Hirsch believed that a system in place for years – which requires actors to take an HIV test before taking on a porn role – “worked extremely well.” Hirsch said not one person became infected from porn work in 10 years. Known as Measure B, the law is driving porn productions to nearby counties and other states like Nevada or even abroad.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Anonymous app police fights bullies and porn

    Anonymous social network apps like Whisper, Yik Yak, and Secret are relying on a ‘police force’ team based in the Philippines to moderate their content and keep users safe from cyberbullying and porn. Teams from outsourcing firm TaskUs are in charge of deleting inappropriate or demeaning posts that come through the anonymous apps. In a report, Gigaom says a combination of computer algorithms and moderators work together to flag posts on cyberbullying, sex, and suicide messages. Moderators stamp suicide posts for referral to the suicide hotline, while posts on physical threats are escalated to authorities. The massive and expensive content moderation initiative comes as anonymous apps face criticism for failing to stem the tide of demeaning posts on their networks.

    Read the full story on Gigaom and on Rappler.

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