August 20, 2014 Edition

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  1. SolGen Jardeleza appointed to the Supreme Court

    President Benigno Aquino II has appointed Solicitor General Francis H. Jardeleza as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday morning, August 20, 2014 a day after the Supreme Court voted to include him in a list of nominees. Voting 7-4, the SC en banc on Tuesday, August 19 declared that Jardeleza is deemed included in the candidates for the vacated post of retired Justice Roberto Abad. Jardleza had previously asked the SC to overrule the Judicial and Bar Council’s decision to exclude him due to integrity issues raised by high court Chief Justice Maria Loures Sereno. The Chief Justice and Justice Antonio Carpio inhibited from the voting, while another unnamed justice was on leave. Sources in the JBC told Rappler that during deliberations, questions were raised on why Jardeleza reportedly deleted a portion of a memorandum submitted by the Philippines to challenge China’s claims in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). The deleted portion, which was later reinstated, would have undermined the Philippines’ claim over disputed territory.

    Read the full story on Rappler here, here and here.

  2. 5 hurt in Cotabato bomb blast

    An improvised explosive device (IED) exploded near the Cotabato City plaza at around 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, August 19, wounding at least 5 people including a soldier, authorities said. The bomb exploded as members of the 5th Army Special Forces Battalion were conducting a security patrol. At least one soldier and 4 other civilians were injured in the blast. They were brought to the Cotabato City Regional and Medical Center Hospital. Police authorities received information last week regarding security threats. The police has not identified any suspects but investigations are ongoing.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. New fatal police shooting near US protest town

    Police shot dead a knife-wielding man Tuesday, August 19, near the US town roiled by 10 days of protests over the police killing of an unarmed black teenager, threatening to further ratchet up tensions. In St. Louis, police shot dead an apparently agitated man armed with a knife who yelled “kill me now” and approached a patrol. The incident comes as President Barack Obama has called for understanding and ordered an investigation into the shooting that killed 18-year-old Michael Brown on August 9. Protests over the shooting continued on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri on Tuesday, with the US National Guard called in to help maintain peace and order.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Fiscal incentives law could add P30B in annual revenue

    If passed, the Fiscal Incentives Rationalization Bill, could generate an additional revenue of about P30 billion ($686.68 million) annually, according to the Department of Finance (DOF). Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said that the executive branch would soon submit to Congress a revised version of the proposal which has long stalled due to disagreements between the DOF and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). “We’ve finally reached an agreement with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). We are submitting this week the revised version of the bill,” Purisima said. Under existing laws, the government can grant fiscal incentives such as tax breaks to government-approved investors. The DOF wants to discontinue these incentives for sectors like shipbuilding, iron and steel and focus support on the export industries and micro, small and medium enterprises. The debate between DOF and DTI over fiscal incentives rationalization has been going on for 16 years. The DOF is looking into revenue, while DTI is focusing on jobs and investments.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. E-shuttles soon to ply Metro Manila roads

    Commuters of Metro Manila’s busy streets may soon be able to breathe easier with the first COMET electric shuttles or e-shuttles soon to roll out. The e-shuttles are bigger and more spacious than the traditional jeepneys and run completely on electricity. The e-shuttle also has loading doors on the side, like a regular bus, instead of at the back providing a safer entry and exit point for passengers. The COMET shuttles are in various stages of production but will be seen on the roads in the next few months.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Australia, Indonesia agree to bury spy row

    Australia and Indonesia have agreed a pact to put a damaging spy row behind them, paving the way for the resumption of full defense cooperation, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Tuesday, August 19. Bilateral ties between the two neighbors sank to their lowest point in years in November after reports Australian spies tried to tap the phones of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his inner circle. Jakarta recalled its ambassador from Canberra and suspended cooperation in several areas over the incident, including efforts to stop people-smuggling boats reaching Australia. Yudhoyono called for Australia to never use its intelligence agencies to harm its neighbor. “We have reached agreement on the joint understanding and we are currently arranging a time to sign it,” Bishop said Tuesday, August 19.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Teenager becomes world’s youngest F1 driver

    Sixteen-year-old Max Verstappen will become the youngest driver in Formula One history next season after being unveiled as Toro Rosso’s new signing. The Dutch teenager, son of ex-F1 driver Jos Verstappen, will partner Daniil Kvyat in the Red Bull feeder team with Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne surplus to requirements. Verstappen, who turns 17 next month, will beat the age record currently held by Spain’s Jaime Alguersuari, who was 19 years and 125 days when he made his debut. He won the world go-karting championship last year and has topped the podium in eight out of 27 races since graduating to Formula Three. Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost said that despite his youth, Verstappen’s skill-levels and maturity indicated he could cut it in Formula One.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Luis Suarez admits to getting help after third biting incident

    Barcelona striker Luis Suarez said he has received professional help after receiving a four-month ban for biting an opponent for the third time in his career when he clashed with Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup. Suarez made his first post-World Cup debut for the Catalans in a 6-0 friendly win over Mexican side Club Leon on August 18. But he will not be able to play a competitive game for Barca until late October. “The suspension is what it is and I have to accept it, it is a personal matter but I have worked with the adequate professionals,” the Uruguayan said at his first press conference as a Barca player on Tuesday. He will join other football greats Lionel Messi and Neymar in the Spanish club.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Jackie Chan’s son arrested on drug-related charges

    The son of Hong Kong film star Jackie Chan, who has been detained on drug-related charges, was shown on Chinese television with boxes of cannabis as state-run media revealed details of the case Tuesday, August 19. Beijing police last week detained Jaycee Chan, who like his father works as an actor, “on suspicion of accommodating suspected drug users”, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported. Police seized more than 100 grams of cannabis from Chan’s house, in a swoop which also saw a Taiwanese actor known as Kai Ko detained on drug charges. Jackie Chan has a high profile in China, where he has been a delegate to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a discussion body that is part of the Communist-controlled machinery of state. He has also been a government “anti-drug ambassador” since 2009.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Sleeping China air traffic controllers force jet delay landing

    A Chinese aircraft was forced to delay its landing after two air traffic controllers nodded off, reports said Tuesday, August 19, sparking a wave of online anger about airline safety. The Boeing 737 was preparing to land at Wuhan airport in central China but had no response from the air traffic control tower for 12 minutes, reports said. “Because air traffic control was asleep on duty, (the plane) called many times,” civil aviation authorities said in a statement quoted by Chinese business magazine Caijing. Contact was eventually made and China Eastern Airlines flight MU2528 from Sanya landed safely, the news portal said. The incident happened on July 8 and the statement was dated July 29. There was no explanation for the delay in making it public.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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