September 4, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. UN disputes Filipino peacekeepers’ claim

    It’s a matter of judgment. And in the end the UN commander supervising peacekeepers in the Golan Heights did the right thing. This was the assertion made by Hervé Ladsous, UN Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations following allegations by the Philippine military that the commander of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) put the Filipino troops in danger when he ordered them to surrender their weapons to Syrian rebels last week. Ladsous insisted the Filipino peacekeepers were merely ordered to “leave the weapons quiet” and not surrender them. Earlier, the Philippine military said it wanted the incident investigated.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Britain joins US in fight vs ISIS

    Britain joined the United States on the frontline against the Islamic State, after a British hostage’s life was threatened in a gruesome video. “A country like ours will not be cowed,” British Prime Minister David Cameron said, adding: “We will not waver in our aim of defeating terrorism.” In a video showing the severed head of 31-year-old Steven Sotloff, a masked militant warned that a British man, widely identified as David Cawthorne Haines, would be killed in response to US air strikes against militants in northern Iraq. The jihadists earlier beheaded a second American reporter, prompting US President Barack Obama to vow that the US would not be intimidated by the latest incident.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Al-Qaeda announces new branch in Indian subcontinent

    Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri launched a new branch of the global Islamist extremist movement September 3 to expand its struggle in the Indian subcontinent. Al-Qaeda is active in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where its surviving leadership are thought to be hiding out, but Zawahiri said “Qaedat al-Jihad” would take the fight to India, Myanmar and Bangladesh. Since the death of Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda  has been somewhat eclipsed, first by its own offshoots in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and now by the so-called “Islamic State” fighting in Iraq and Syria. But, in launching “Qaedat al-Jihad in the Indian subcontinent,” Zawahiri may be attempting to recapture some of the limelight for his group and to exploit existing unrest in Kashmir and Myanmar.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Garlic cartel behind price spike

    The Department of Justice said a cartel controlled by 4 individuals, in connivance with Department of Agriculture and Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) officials, is behind the “staggering” spike in garlic prices in Metro Manila. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima made the statement September 3 after the DOJ’s Office for Competition (OFC) completed its Report on the Garlic Industry, as earlier directed by President Benigno Aquino III. Garlic prices caught the attention of Malacañang when they reached a high of P287 ($6.58) per kilo in June 2014 – a 74% increase within a one-year period and more than 100% increase from average prices. About 73% of garlic demand is supplied by imports, while the remaining 27% comes from local sources. The DOJ said the importation system has allowed one businesswoman to control the bulk of garlic importation.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Power rates may go up

    Electricity rates may rise by an additional P0.5143 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) if the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) is forced to settle over P60 billion in damages from a suit filed by former employees. The universal change, a separate line in the electricity bill, will go up to P6.80 per kWh from P6.287 per kWh currently if PSALM were to recover the damages. The additional P0.5143 will be recovered every month for 5 years. With a recovery period of 10 years, the amount will be lower at P0.2616 per kWh. Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla also expressed concern over the impact of the recent court decision that favored terminated National Power Corporation employees.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Energy minister linked to extortion

    Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Jero Wacik has been named a graft suspect in connection with alleged extortion activities that generated $840,000 in illicit funds. The country’s powerful Corruption Eradication Commission said Jero had ordered people in the ministry to raise funds for him, such as by carrying out fictitious meetings or soliciting kickbacks from procurement activities and consulting services. The case involving Jero stems from the August 2013 arrest of Rudi Rubiandini, the chief of upstream oil and gas regulator SKKMigas, for taking bribes. Rudi, who was recommended by Jero for his position, was jailed in April for 7 years. Jero was expected to resign immediately.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Manila, Tacloban host Social Good Summit

    On September 16, Rappler, Microsoft and the Global Center for Journalism and Democracy kick off the first of 4 all-day think-sessions about what technology and the future hold for us. The PH+SocialGood: Manila #2030NOW will be held at the Mind Museum from 8 am to 5 pm. This will be followed by a forum with journalists on September 17, also at the Mind Museum, where experts and practitioners take a closer look at how information travels during disasters, starting with journalism and the challenges of corruption, politics, economics and activism. On September 19, in Tacloban, the same lineup of international speakers travels to Tacloban for a journalism forum. It all culminates in PH+SocialGood 2014: Tacloban #2030NOW on September 20.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Samsung launches new Galaxy Note 4

    One of its new features is a smart-scanning system that allows users to take a picture and then it will scan the image. The system determines if it’s a document or an image, and then allows the user to edit the scanned file. Samsung on September 3 announced the latest in the company’s Galaxy Note lineup during the Samsung Unpacked event ahead of the IFA electronics conference in Berlin. The Galaxy Note 4 takes advantage of Android 4.4 KitKat as its operating system, and has a 16 megapixel rear camera and 3.7 megapixel front-facing camera. The S-Note widget also allows a user to take notes and then pin them to the front menu screen for easy reference.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Gilas falls short, ends FIBA hopes

    Photo by Raul Caro/EPA

    It was another close game, something the Philippine national team could have won. But the Filipinos were outplayed by Puerto Rico, 77-73, in a do-or-die game that eliminated Gilas Pilipinas from contention. Sparked by Philippine point guard LA Tenorio in the first quarter, the team gained a 12-point lead, 25-13, at the end of the opening period. But that lead would soon fizzle out and Gilas, once again, found itself in a tight situation in the final moments of the game. Tenorio said it’s their inexperience that made them lose the end game.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read the interview with Tenorio on Rappler.

  10. Hacking of nude photos a sex crime?

    After the massive release of naked photos of stars including Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence, some experts said it should be treated as a sex crime, rather than just an Internet or privacy breach. Already hounded by paparazzi on their doorsteps, celebrities face a new battle to protect their privacy from hackers willing to splash their most intimate behind-closed-doors photos online. Agents and lawyers of celebrities acknowledge data security is a new issue that the industry needs to learn more about. They say public figures needed to understand the risks posed by ever-advancing technology.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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