August 24, 2014 Edition

Michelle Fernandez

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

  1. PH pulls out peacekeepers in Liberia, Golan Heights

    The Philippines is pulling out hundreds of soldiers supporting United Nations peacekeeping missions in Liberia and Syria following a series of discussions on health and security threats. The decision involves a total of 446 troops consisting of 115 Philippine Air Force personnel deployed to Liberia in July 2012, and 331 troops deployed to Golan Heights in November 2012. The withdrawal of Philippines troops in Liberia has become a priority as the death toll due to Ebola has risen to 1,350 in the region. Liberia is one of 3 countries suffering from an Ebola outbreak.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. DFA: Pinoy seafarer has no Ebola

    A Filipino seafarer feared to have contacted Ebola in Togo, West Africa tested negative for the deadly virus. The Department of Foreign Affairs said the Philippine embassy in Nigeria reported that the Filipino was diagnosed with the flu. Philippine embassy officials in Nigeria were coordinating closely with Togo officials on the status of the Filipino seafarer who, at first, “exhibited Ebola-like symptoms.” Health authorities are on the lookout for people with Ebola-like symptoms and those who came from countries with Ebola cases. The United Nations has taken a central role in the fight against the deadly outbreak, which has killed 1,427 people as of August 22.

    Read here and here on Rappler.

  3. US: Foley beheading ‘terrorist attack’

    Washington branded the beheading of a US journalist a “terrorist attack,” upping the stakes in its confrontation with Islamic State of Iraq and Syria jihadists. The US ramped up its rhetoric over the grisly killing of journalist James Foley, carried out by the group and shown in a video posted online. US Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said the beheading of Foley “represents a terrorist attack against our country.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Robin Williams suicide casts shadow over Emmys

    The Emmy Awards will take center stage on August 25 in a ceremony overshadowed by the apparent August 11 suicide of Hollywood great Robin Williams. With emotions still raw, his friend and fellow actor-comedian Billy Crystal will pay tribute to the Oscar winner during the “in memoriam” part of the primetime program. Last year, Williams – who himself received two Emmys in the 1980s – honored the memory of comedian and former “Mork and Mindy” sitcom colleague Jonathan Winters during the same segment. But despite the underlying sadness, the Emmys – to be hosted by comedian Seth Meyers – still promise to serve up a fair amount of laughs and suspense.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Chief justice faces challenges

    The Supreme Court may have a new member but his appointment also unmasks the problems at the Tribunal. Already at odds with President Benigno Aquino III over the high court’s decision to declare unconstitutional specific acts under a special government spending program, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno suffered a double setback in a span of less than 24 hours. Her own colleagues in the tribunal rebuffed her when they decided to include Solicitor-General Francis Jardeleza, whose nomination she had opposed, in the short list submitted by the Judicial and Bar Council to the President. The President delivered the second blow when he appointed Jardeleza the following day. Sereno was appointed Chief Justice by Aquino in 2012 – the first female and the youngest justice to be named to the position. 

    Read here and here on Rappler.

  6. Communications breakdown stops MRT operations

    The government apologized to commuters anew on August 23 after the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT 3) suspended operations due to a breakdown of its radio communications system. Hernando Cabrera, spokesperson of the Light Rail Transit Authority and MRT 3, said management was compelled to suspend operations after the train line’s radio communications system encountered a problem. He said, “this is a safety issue so we have no choice.” This follows the derailing accident that injured nearly 40 passengers over a week ago. Despite the MRT woes, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya insists the train line is safe.

    Read here and here on Rappler.

  7. No more hurdles: Jokowi preparing to take over

    With a legal challenge by his rival defeated, Indonesia’s Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has swept away the last barrier to the presidency and an ambitious reform agenda after an unlikely rise from his upbringing in a riverside slum. The governor of Jakarta outlined goals including attracting more foreign investment to Southeast Asia’s top economy, and “reviving faith” in corruption-riddled politics. Official results showed Jokowi with a decisive victory over Prabowo Subianto, who mounted a legal challenge. The Constitutional Court decided in favor of Jokowi this week. Now, Jokowi is preparing to take over from outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Israel strikes continue as Egypt readies talks

    Israel pounded Gaza with 60 air strikes on August 24, killing 10 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and bringing down a 12-storey apartment block as Egypt called for new truce talks. Israel sent text messages, voice mails and leaflets warning Palestinians that “every house from which militant activity is carried out, will be targeted” and to stay away from “terrorists.” It insists on full safety for millions of citizens who live in daily fear of rocket fire, while Hamas insists that Israel must end its 8-year blockade of the territory as part of any truce. At least 2,103 Palestinians and 68 people on the Israeli side, all but 4 of them soldiers, have been killed since July 8.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Not just buildings, Binays ‘overprice’ cakes

    The Senate hearing on the controversial Makati City Hall building took a different twist on August 21 when lawyer Renato Bondal accused Vice President Jejomar Binay and his son, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay, of giving away overpriced birthday cakes to senior citizens. The Senate blue ribbon committee is investigating Building 2 of the city hall that was allegedly overpriced by at least $43 million. Two senators grilled Mayor Binay about it during the hearing. The Binays claimed the probe was meant to target the patriarch, who is the current frontrunner in the 2016 presidential race. 

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Rightwing version? How communists see Jovito Palparan

    Why do the communists hate the detained general that much? Patricio Abinales thinks it’s because they see in Jovito Palparan Jr an enemy committed to waging a “thousand-year war” against them. Palparan was the true blue soldier who stayed most of the time in the field and did not rest in his campaign against communist rebels. Writes Abinales: “In Palparan they see a rightwing version of their own ideological fanaticism and passion for the gun. He is, in a certain way, their mirror image.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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