December 17, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Taliban school attack kills 141 in Pakistan

    At least 141 people have died after 6 Taliban gunmen stormed a public school in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday, December 16. Most of the dead were students of the Army Public School in the city of Peshawar, some of them as young as 12. The gunmen were killed when the military stormed the school following the 8-hour attack. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack in revenge for a major military offensive in the region. The school was part of a system of army-run public schools were most of the students are children of military personnel. Survivors and victims were rushed to the hospital where irate parents waited for news on their loved ones. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif described the attack as a “national tragedy unleashed by savages.” Philippine President Benigno Aquino III condemned the attack and said that Filipinos everywhere send their thoughts to Pakistan.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Philippines to seek custody over US marine

    The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will seek custody over US soldier PFC Joseph Scott Pemberton who has been charged with the murder of transgender woman Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude. On Tuesday, December 16, an Olongapo court issued a warrant of arrest for Pemberton. Prosecutors earlier found probable cause to indict Pemberton, citing “aggravating and qualifying circumstances’ that point to murder. In a statement, the DFA said they will seek the transfer of custody of Pemberton in accordance with the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). Pemberton is currently detained at the Philippine military headquarters but remains in US custody. The family of Laude welcomed the decision and urged authorities to immediately transfer Pemberton to a regular jail.

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  3. PH 15th largest exporter of dirty money

    Over $9.16 billion in dirty money streamed out of the Philippines in 2012, depriving the economy of funds that could have been used to combat poverty and boost growth, says a Global Financial Integrity study. This puts the Philippines in the list of the top 15 largest exporters of illicit money in the developing world, according to the study released Tuesday, December 16. The money reflects a portion of the corruption, money laundering, and false trade documentation in the country, according to government data. The actual amount, however, could be larger than officially reported. Nearly $1 trillion was lost by developing countries, the report said, with the export of dirty money growing at 9.4% a year.

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  4. Palace: Problems at BuCor can’t be solved overnight

    Malacañang came to the defense of Justice secretary Leila de Lima after she uncovered luxury prison cells at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa saying that the problems with the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) could not be solved overnight. On Monday, Dec 15, de Lima together with officers from the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police raided the New Bilibid Prison and found prison cells of VIP drug lords fully furnished with a recording studio, cash vaults and a jacuzzi. Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr admitted that the administration has known about these illegal activities for a long time; but, he said, the ‘deep’ problem cannot be solved in ‘just one moment.’ De Lima has vowed that heads will roll after a full investigation into how these prisoners were able to smuggle in high valued goods and drugs into their cells.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Robin Williams is top Google search trend worldwide

    Robin Williams’s death had people worldwide scouring the Internet for insights into the famed comic’s life, making him the hottest search trend of the year on Google, the web giant said Tuesday, December 16. Williams, who allegedly committed suicide due to depression, was one of Hollywood’s most popular entertainers. His death triggered an outpouring of emotion the world over. Google also said that there was also an uptick in searches related to depression tests and mental health in the days following his death. Coming in second place and third place was World Cup and Ebola. In the Philippines, Vhong Navarro was the Philippines’ most-searched term.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Pope to pray before Yolanda mass grave

    Pope Francis will pay his respects to the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) and pray for survivors when he visits a mass grave in Palo, Leyte, on January 17, 2015. The Catholic Church also revealed more details about the Pope’s visit to Leyte which will begin with a Mass at the airport of Tacloban City with around 160,000 people expected to attend. The Pope will the proceed to the archbishop’s residence in Palo, Leyte to have lunch with 30 survivors of Yolanda and the 2013 Visayas earthquake.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Sweden combats child sex tourism

    Swedish police launched a website on Tuesday, December 16 calling on Swedish citizens to report fellow Swedes who travel abroad for sex with minors. – which mean “travel courage” – encourages Swedes traveling to known child sex tourism destinations such as Thailand and Cambodia, to report suspicious behavior of fellow nationals. Swedes who pay for sex with minors under 18 can face two years in jail when they return to Sweden. The police quote UN estimates that put the number of children involved in sex tourism at about two million. At least 7 Swedes have been convicted for paying for sex with minors since 2005.

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  8. OPEC will not step in to support oil prices

    OPEC has no plans to intervene in the oil market to shore up sagging crude prices, the Kuwaiti oil minister said Tuesday, December 16, as Brent crude breached the $60 mark. Low global crude prices have meant cheaper gas prices for the consumer but also caused oil-exporting countries’ economies to take on huge blows. Oil prices have plummeted by almost 50% since June, with losses picking up after OPEC’s decision to hold its output ceiling in an oversupplied market. The minister hinted that oil prices could slide further.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Thierry Henry retires from football

    French striker Thierry Henry said Tuesday, December 16 he was retiring from professional football after two decades in the game and will become a TV analyst for Sky Sports in England. “After 20 years in the game I have decided to retire from professional football,” Henry said in a statement on his Facebook page. Henry, 37, a world and European champion with France, said he was joining Sky Sports. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said recently that Henry will “certainly” return to the club in some capacity in the future.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Sony vows to survive after hackers promise ‘gift’

    Sony Pictures vowed Monday, December 15 that it will not be destroyed by a massive cyber attack, a day after hackers promised a big “Christmas gift” for the Hollywood studio. Sony Pictures chief Michael Lynton told employees that the recent cyber attack would not “take us down” and added that employees should not be worried about the future of the studio. The staff meeting came after the so-called Guardians of Peace (GOP) hacking group promised a “Christmas gift” of larger quantities of data aimed at embarrassing the company and pressuring it to stop the release of the comedy movie “The Interview,” set to air on Christmas day. The Interview depicts a fictional CIA plot to kill North Korea’s leader. The threat came after a series of damaging leaks about Sony salaries, employee health records, unpublished scripts and email exchanges, which have been published by US media.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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