August 17, 2014 Edition

Michelle Fernandez

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

  1. President Aquino says he’s ‘open’ to second term

    Malacanang Photo Bureau

    President Benigno Aquino III says he had a change of heart and is open to sentiments for him to run for a second term, if the law allows. In an exclusive interview with News5 set to air Sunday, August 17, the President said he is now open to constitutional amendments that would lift term limits for elected officials and decrease the power of the Supreme Court to make it a more co-equal third branch of government. “Ngayon, napapaisip ako talaga, ‘yung tinatawag na judicial reach.Yung Kongreso, yung executive, kumilos kayo. Pero at anytime, pwede namin kayong kastiguhin,” he said in excerpts from the interview released by News5. Malacañang Palace was quick to explain that the remarks of the President should be understood within the context that the President is “listening to his bosses” and that he will only seek a second term if it is the will of the people. Both members of the Liberal Party and the opposition were quick to downplay the President’s remarks. DILG secretary Mar Roxas however said that there is widespread support for a second term. 

    Read the latest news on Rappler


  2. ‘Don’t forget real enemies’ – Ex-generals say of Palparan’s arrest

    The country’s most wanted man, retired general Jovito Palparan, was arrested on August 12, Tuesdayafter spending almost 3 years in hiding. Palparan was arrested by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation and the Naval Intelligence Group in Sta. Mesa, Manila. The fugitive general has been charged in court in connection with the disappearance of two University of the Philippines students and for alleged human rights abuses committed under his leadership. Palparan, who is currently in the custody of the NBI says he fears for his life. Retired generals issued a statement denouncing the “butcher” moniker that activists have given the former general. “We sympathize with the families of the victims of this long running insurgency, whether they are civilians or soldiers. But branding Major General Palparan as a ‘berdugo’ and playing it up in the media does not help the quest for justice,” read the statement from the Association of General and Flag Officers (AGFO). “We should not forget that the real enemies,” the statement added. 

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. First group of Filipinos leave turmoil in Libya

    File photo by Jedwin Llobrera/Rappler

    More than 400 Filipino workers who fled conflict in Libya arrived in the Philippines late Saturday, August 16, following a 3-day mass evacuation by air and sea. The group represents just some of the thousands of Filipino workers in the strife-torn middle eastern country. Over the week, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has repeatedly advised Filipinos to leave Libya due to the deteriorating security situation there. “Our mission is to ensure the safety of Filipinos who are caught in dangerous situations abroad,” Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said in a statement following the largest single evacuation of Filipinos in Libya’s latest bout of conflict. The foreign office said a second chartered flight with 347 workers who had boarded the chartered ship at the port of Misrata was to arrive early Sunday. The danger, the secretary says, is real. A Filipino construction worker was abducted and then beheaded by unknown suspects in Benghazi. A Filipina nurse was also gang-raped in Tripoli. There are over 13,000 Filipinos in Libya.

    Read the latest news on the issue on Rappler.

  4. Kenya bans west Africa travelers over Ebola outbreak

    Kenya on Sunday, August 17 became the latest country to ban travelers from parts of Ebola-hit west Africa as Nigeria scrambled to stop the deadly disease spreading through the continent’s most populous nation. Kenya has closed its borders to travelers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – the nations most affected by the worst-ever Ebola outbreak. The move comes amid an international appeal to help contain the deadly virus, which has already killed 1,145 people across west Africa this year. Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Ebola outbreak an international medical emergency and approved the administration of an experimental drug to treat the virus. At least three aid workers who tested positive for Ebola were given the drug. Two of them are recovering but one elderly priest died. Medical charity Doctors Without Borders, known by its French acronym MSF, on Friday warned Ebola is spreading faster than authorities can handle and could take 6 months to bring under control.

    Read the latest story about the Ebola outbreak on Rappler.

  5. Israelis, Palestine may resume talks amid fragile ceasefire

    Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are poised to resume indirect talks with Egyptian mediators on reaching a more permanent ceasefire before a current truce expires at midnight on Monday, August 18. The Egyptian government persuaded both sides late Wednesday to adhere to a new 5-day ceasefire, extending an earlier 3-day agreement in order to allow more time to thrash out a longer-term truce. Saturday, August 16, marked a sixth day of quiet after more than a month of fighting that has killed some 2,000 Palestinians and some 70 on the Israeli side. The European Union has volunteered to police the border crossing between Gaza and Cairo to ensure that only humanitarian supplies needed for Gaza reconstruction would enter the besieged territory. The negotiations, albeit unofficial, have stalled several times in the past week. But officials of the Palestinian side said they are “quietly optimistic” that a longer-term truce could be reached.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Malacañang orders speedy release of food cargo at Manila port

    A Cabinet cluster has ordered Manila port operators to prioritize the release of food shipment to ease the backlog of unreleased imports that has jacked up food prices. The Cabinet Cluster on Port Congestion (CCPC) instructed the International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI) and Asian Terminals Inc (ATI) on August 16, Saturday, to treat as urgent food items and shipment to “address the looming food shortage in the metro.” Food products account for 20% of cargo piled up at the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) and the Manila South Harbor (MSH). In February, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada signed an ordinance banning heavy trucks from passing through the city from 5 am to 9 pm, with a 10 am to 3 pm window. This has led to a backlog in the movement of container vans from the ports. This in turn has accelerated consumer prices, according to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, with inflation climbing to 4.9% in July

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Europe ramps up sanctions vs Russia

    Photo by Yuri Kochetkov/EPA

    Norway became the latest country to join the European Union in imposing sanctions against Russia for its support of separatist groups in Ukraine, a former Soviet Russian colony. “The situation in eastern Ukraine is getting worse every day. It is vital that the international community stands united in its response to Russia’s actions,” Foreign Minister Boerge Brende said in a statement. That came a day after the EU decided on a new range of sanctions against Moscow, restricting Russia’s access to EU financial markets and to sales of arms and technology destined for the energy sector. Meanwhile, a controversial Russian convoy of humanitarian aid has made its way to the border between Russia and Ukraine. Russia Today reports that Ukraine has allowed the passage of the convoy into Ukraine but critics say the convoy could be a ‘trojan horse’ to facilitate Russia’s incursion into disputed territory in eastern Ukraine. 

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Filipino athletes in high spirits as Nanjing Youth olympics open

    The opening ceremony of the 2014 Nanjing Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG) was held Saturday, August 16, kickstarting the multi-sport event that will run until August 27. Some 62,000 athletes, international delegates and locals attended the ceremonies in the Nanjing Olympic Arena. The Philippine delegation, composed of 7 young athletes are all set for the multi-sport festival. According to Jonne Go, Chef De Mission of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), the country should be proud of this YOG’s delegation since all the athletes worked hard to qualify in their respective sports events. They have their eyes set for the gold. The young Filipinos will compete in 6 sports events – triathlon, swimming, archery, track and field, artistic gymnastics, and air rifle. 

    Catch Rappler’s coverage of the Nanjing Summer Youth Olympics and view the photos of the opening ceremony here and here.

  9. Sweden turns to its citizens to manage Twitter account

    Sweden is looking for a manager for its official @Sweden Twitter account and it’s not interested in hiring a professional. The scandinavian country is going to ask one citizen every week to use the social media account to Tweet what it truly means to be a Swede. “In an age of mass communication and increasing globalization, a country depends largely on how it is perceived abroad,” says the Curators of Sweden website. The program was started in December 2011. The account has 70.8k followers.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Car with elderly driver crashes from 3 story car park

    A 74-year-old man driving a sedan nosedived 3 storeys from a Greenhills mall carpark in San Juan, on Friday, August 15, crashing into two cars, but sustained only minor injuries. Fortunately, the man suffered very minor injuries, but doctors said he was clearly in shock when they attended to him. Security officials said the man was trying to back out of his slot on the third floor of the carpark when he hit a car. He reversed and damaged another car. Observers say the man panicked and might have accidentally stepped on the gas, causing him to breach the carpark wall. No one else was injured in the freak accident.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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