October 8, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Senate to wrap up probe on Makati City Hall

    Rappler file photo

    The Senate blue ribbon subcommittee will wrap up on Wednesday, October 8, its inquiry on the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall building, despite the absence of key parties involved in the bidding and construction of the said building. Subcommittee head Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said on Tuesday, October 7 that the panel will hold its last hearing on the matter on Wednesday and issue a decision before it continues with other corruption-related issues involving Makati’s local government. The Senate panel has repeatedly called on Vice President and former Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay to testify at the Senate. Only his son, incumbent Makati Mayor Junjun Binay attended one hearing. The Binay family has questioned the jurisdiction of the Senate panel to investigate the corruption claims.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Japanese trio awarded 2014 physics Nobel for LED

    Kay Nietfeld/EPA

    A trio of Japan-born scientists were honored with this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics for their invention of blue light-emitting diode technology, which has paved the way for more energy-efficient lighting. The names of scientists Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura were announced by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Tuesday, October 7, in a live ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden. “When Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura produced bright blue light beams from their semi-conductors in the early 1990s, they triggered a fundamental transformation of lighting technology,” the Academy said in its announcement. Red and green diodes had been around for a long time but without blue light, energy-saving white lamps could not be created. The winners will share the prize sum of 8 million Swedish kronor ($1.1 million, 883,000 euros).

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  3. Lack of water and toilets plague Mayon evacuation centers

    All photos by Naoki Mengua/Rappler

    With thousands already in evacuation centers ahead of a pending eruption from Mayon volcano, providing clean water and sanitation has become increasingly difficult. In the San Andres Elementary school in Santo Domingo, Albay, around 1,200 evacuees share only two water sources. Many line up before the crack of dawn in order to fill up their jerry cans. In addition, the water is not safe for drinking. An additional problem is the lack of toilets. Albay Governor Joey Salceda admitted sanitation and clean water were a major challenge for the provincial government. Salceda said, however, that the solution lies in improving the delivery and distribution of trucked-in water. The provincial government is also aiming to build 327 public toilets at different evacuation centers.

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  4. UN urges action to protect Syria border town against ISIS

    Photo by Aris Messinis/AFP

    The United Nations issued on Tuesday, October 7 an urgent call to action for the international community to defend the key Syrian border town of Kobane from terrorist group ISIS. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura urged the world to help the Kurdish group fighting the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which is about to seize Kobane after a 3-week battle for the town near the border with Turkey. The envoy added that the Kurds are only fighting with normal weapons while ISIS fighters have mortars and tanks. Turkey has also expressed concern at the possible fall of Kobane but has so far kept its troops within its borders. The country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said US-led airstrikes against ISIS are not enough to weaken the group. Turkey believes the international campaign in Syria should include ousting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The US-led strategy does not include Assad’s removal.

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  5. Demonstrators dwindle as dialogue makes slow progress

    Mast Irham/EPA

    Small groups of pro-democracy demonstrators remained on Hong Kong’s streets Tuesday, October 7, after protest leaders agreed to talks with the government and some students returned to school for exams. But the talks have progressed slowly, causing concern for the protest leaders that further disruption could alienate supporters. Those that have remained on the streets of Hong Kong say they are determined to make their point. “To be honest, I don’t have confidence that we can succeed. But whether we succeed or not, I am giving my best. I also learned that we can speak out when it is needed,” said Dickson Yeung, 20, who works as a customer relations officer. Political observers both inside and outside Hong Kong say both sides will find it hard to compromise given the political reality, with Beijing worried about possible copycats elsewhere in the country if it gives more democratic freedom to Hong Kong.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. S. Korea ferry captain admits he failed to save passengers

    Photo by Kim Hee-Chil / EPA

    The captain of the ill-fated South Korean ferry admitted on Tuesday, October 7 that he could have done more to get passengers to safety as the boat started sinking. Testifying for the first time in court, Lee Joon-Seok said he was paralyzed by the shock of the sinking boat but insisted he had never intended to sacrifice the lives of the passengers to save himself. The captain did not issue an abandon ship order, which investigators say kept many of the passengers inside the boat as it listed and capsized. Cargo overloading also caused the boat to tilt to one side when the hull filled with water. Lee insisted that the ferry owners were also to blame for habitually overloading the vessel.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Twitter sues US government for right to be more transparent

    Image from Shutterstock

    Twitter is suing the US government for violating its right to free speech in a landmark case that could enliven the debate on government surveillance and freedom of speech over the internet. The popular micro-blogging company filed a lawsuit on Tuesday, October 8 alleging that restrictions imposed by the US government violate its First Amendment Rights. Mashable reports that in February, Twitter hinted that it could file a lawsuit over the issue. Tech companies such as Google and Facebook struck a deal with the US Department of Justice to allow them to disclose data requests related to national security. But Twitter says this is not enough.

    Read the full story on Mashable.

    Image from Shutterstock

  8. North Korea rejects ‘prison camp’ term

    File photo by Jung Yeon-Je/AFP

    North Korea said it has no prison camps but admitted having what it calls “reform through labor detention centers.” The country’s diplomats responded to criticism from a hard-hitting United Nations report and US Secretary of State John Kerry on what America’s top diplomat termed an “evil system” of prison camps. “There is no prison camps in our country. Even in practice, there’s no things (sic) like that,” said North Korean official Choe Myong Nam at a briefing at the UN Headquarters in New York on Tuesday, September 7. The 109-page report released in September was in stark contrast to what international human rights groups called a watershed report of the UN Commission of Inquiry for North Korea concluded last February.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Jennifer Lawrence speaks up on nude photo leak

    File photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images/AFP

    For the first time, popular Hollywood actress Jennifer Lawrence has spoken up about the mass leaking of several Hollywood actresses’ nude photos, including her own. In Vanity Fair magazine, where she appears on the November cover, Lawrence appealed for people to respect her right to privacy despite being a public figure. She also called the mass photo leak a “sex crime.” The actress added that she considered writing a public apology but realized she had nothing to apologize for. “I started to write an apology, but I don’t have anything to say I’m sorry for. I was in a loving, healthy, great relationship for four years. It was long distance, and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he’s going to look at you,” she said.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Morrisey fans shocked over cancer report

    Music legend Morrissey in a 2012 concert

    Morrissey fans in Britain expressed shock on Tuesday, October 7, following an email interview in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo in which the singer said he had been treated for cancer. “My world has just collapsed,” said one of hundreds of messages posted to the singer’s official Facebook page. Morrissey, who is currently on a European tour, in the interview said he had “cancerous tissue” removed four times. “If I die then I die,” he was quoted as saying.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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