December 19, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. US Marine asks Philippine justice dep’t for review of murder case

    Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton appeared for the first time before a local court in Olongapo City, where he is accused of murdering a transgender Filipina while participating in joint military exercises. He, however, did not enter a plea, but separately filed before the justice department in Manila a petition to review the murder charge against him. Meanwhile, former President Fidel Ramos, who served as defense chief earlier in his career, said the Philippines should not strain its ties with the United States by insisting on getting custody of Pemberton during the trial. He said Manila needs Washington for the country’s “higher interests” now that there’s a bully it cannot fight alone over at the South China Sea, apparently referring to China.

    Read the full story of Pemberton’s court appearance on Rappler.

  2. Filipino among Pope’s choices for adviser on child sex abuse cases

    Pope Francis named Filipino psychotherapist Dr Gabriel Dy-Liacco as one of 7 new members of the 9-person Commission for the Protection of Minors, a body formed in 2013 to advise the pontiff on how to deal with a sex abuse scandal, which rocked the Catholic Church in the 2000s. The Holy See described Dy-Liacco as an “adult and adolescent psychotherapist and pastoral counselor for various mental health concerns, including of individuals, couples, families and groups, including victims and perpetrators of abuse.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Police search homes in Sydney in counter-terrorism investigation

    Australian police searched several properties across Sydney in what it said was a counter-terrorism investigation, but said the raids were not related to deadly café siege earlier in the week. “The (Australian Federal Police) and New South Wales police can confirm that they are conducting search warrants today in Sydney as part of an ongoing operation,” a spokeswoman said. She added that “it is not appropriate to provide further details at this time.” Australia raised its terror threat level in September on growing concern about militants returning from fighting in Iraq and Syria.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Israel rejects unilateral Palestine move to wrap up peace talks

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would “never accept” any “unilateral” move by Palestine to be acknowledged as a state, after it submitted to the United Nations a draft resolution calling for a final peace deal. The Palestinian draft resolution sets a 12-month deadline for wrapping up negotiations on a final settlement. It wants a complete withdrawal of Israelis from Palestinian territories by the end of 2017. A final peace deal would pave the way to the creation of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as a shared capital, according to the text. Netanyahu said Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas “doesn’t understand that his authority in the West Bank will be overturned by Hamas like it was in Gaza.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. UN wants Security Council to consider sanctions against North Korean leaders

    In a landmark resolution adopted by a strong majority, the United Nations General Assembly called for North Korea to be referred to the International Criminal Court over the human rights violations in the reclusive communist country. The resolution asks that the UN Security Council consider targeted sanctions against the Pyongyang leadership. Ten of the 15 council members pushed for a meeting to tackle it next week despite strong objections from Russia and China, which argued that the matter should be taken up by UN Human Rights Council and not by the Security Council.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Suspect Tsarnaev faces court for the first time after marathon bombing

    Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 21-year-old accused Boston Marathon bomber, made his first public appearance in 17 months in a final hearing before his trial begins January 5. He didn’t utter a word before a court room packed with surviving victims and families of those who suffered in the incident. Tsarnaev faces the death penalty for the attacks, which were the most serious in the United States since the 9/11 Al-Qaeda hijackings killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. In July 2013, he pleaded not guilty to 30 charges, which include conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death and bombing a public place resulting in death. Two pressure cooker bombs planted at the marathon’s finish line killed 3 people and wounded 264.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. India launches its biggest rocket to date

    Boosting its attempts to grab a greater slice of the $300-billion global space market, India launched its biggest ever rocket, which is designed to carry heavier communication and other satellites into higher orbit. Also blasting off from Sriharikota in the southeast state of Andhra Pradesh was an unmanned capsule, which could one day send astronauts into space. Indian Space Research Organisation scientists have been riding high since an Indian spacecraft successfully reached Mars in September on a shoe-string budget, winning Asia’s race to the Red Planet and sparking an outpouring of national pride.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Wesley So cuts ties with Webster University coach

    Wesley So cut his ties with Susan Polgar, the Webster University coach who transformed him from an ordinary grandmaster to number 14 in the world, to become a professional. Polgar, a former women’s world chess champion, said it was an “abrupt departure” but did not give specifics, only wishing the Filipino chess whiz “the best.” In November 2013, So wrote the National Chess Federation of the Philippines that he wanted to go to the United States because he saw no future if he stayed with the Philippine chess body. He entered the US Chess Federation rating list but could play in events leading up to the world chess championship only in 2016, according to the regulations of the World Chess Federation.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Social welfare agency warns vs giving alms to street kids this Christmas

    As the holidays started, the Philippine social welfare department discouraged the public from giving money to children on the streets, saying it endangers their lives. “Caroling on the streets is risky, especially to children who squeeze themselves between vehicles and tap on car windows, or those who jump from one public utility vehicle to another,” said Secretary Corazon Soliman said. “They are unmindful of the dangers to their life and limb.” A 35-year-old anti-medicancy law prohibits anyone from begging on the street, and provides a systematic procedure on how to deal with the problem.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Top 15 quotes of PH President Aquino

    It was the year of a historic peace deal and of impressive high-profile arrests in the Philippines, but it was also a year of wrongdoing allies and a nonexistent love life for President Benigno Aquino III. Rappler puts together a list of the 15 casual remarks and hard-hitting statements made by the President during the year.

    Read and see on Rappler which Aquino quotes will make you laugh or cringe or beam with pride.

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