December 25, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Pope Francis’ holiday call: Goodness, meekness

    The Pope led Christmas Eve mass in the Vatican on December 24, calling for “tenderness” and “warmth” after a violence-plagued year as millions of Christians began marking the holiday. The leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics also called on “the arrogant, the proud… (and) those closed off to others” to meet life “with goodness, with meekness.” The Argentine pontiff’s brief homily was replete with Gospel references in his Christmas Eve mass, broadcast live in 3D for the first time. Francis is visiting the Philippines on January 15.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read all stories related to the Pope’s Philippine visit on Rappler.

  2. A cloudy, rainy Christmas

    The state weather bureau forecast a cloudy and rainy Christmas Day, especially in Bicol, Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Caraga, Davao and Northern Mindanao. Severals parts of the Philippines already experienced thunderstorms on Christmas eve, causing flashfloods and traffic. Areas in Laguna province in southern Luzon were submerged in floodwater December 24, according to reports on social media.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read the full story on December 24 flashfloods on Rappler.

  3. CDC monitoring lab worker for Ebola

    A lab worker may have been exposed to a live sample of the deadly Ebola virus, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said. The technician is not currently showing any symptoms of the hemorrhagic fever, which has killed more than 7,500 people in an outbreak in West Africa. However, he will be monitored for 21 days. In July, the CDC acknowledged a pattern of safety errors, including two incidents earlier this year, in which workers shipped anthrax, flu, botulism and a bacteria known as brucella to other labs without proper precautions.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Sony shows ‘The Interview’ online

    Entertainment giant Sony released online “The Interview,” the movie that has outraged North Korea for lampooning dictator Kim Jong-Un, giving an early Christmas present to US viewers. The madcap, irreverent R-rated comedy was available for rent in the United States on several platforms, a day before a limited release in about 200 cinemas on Christmas Day. It was being distributed on Google’s YouTube for a $5.99 rental fee, on the Google Play app for Android devices and on a dedicated website, Sony earlier said it was canceling the release after an embarrassing cyber-attack on its corporate network and threats against moviegoers.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. PH military on a shopping spree

    The Philippine defense department has been on a shopping spree in the past few years with its P90-billion (US$2 billion) budget for military modernization in the wake of China’s aggressiveness in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). In 2015, the shopping bags are arriving. The Philippine Air Force will see delivery of two of the much awaited FA-50 fighter jets that will bring the ill-equipped air force back to the supersonic age a decade since it retired the last of its US-designed F-5 fighters in 2005.  It’s also waiting for the delivery of 3 medium-lift and two light-lift aircraft. China’s threat means it’s time for the Air Force and the Navy to get the long delayed attention, while the Army is pressured to finally make domestic threats irrelevant.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Uber CEO charged in South Korea

    South Korean prosecutors brought charges on December 24 against the founder and CEO of controversial smartphone taxi app Uber for operating an illegal cab service. It’s the latest roadblock for the California-based firm, which said it would fully cooperate with the investigation and is “confident” the court would make a fair and sensible judgment. The charges, which carry a maximum penalty of two years in jail or a $18,150 fine, came with the company facing criticism and bad publicity around the world despite its high levels of popularity. Travis Kalanick and Uber’s Korean partner MK Korea, a local rental car service operator, were indicted for violating a law on passenger transport services.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Court told: Renewable energy fee unconstitutional

    A lawyer asked the Supreme Court to stop the “unreasonable” P0.040/kilowatt-hour billing for renewable energy that will be charged to consumers by January 2015. The additional line item in consumers’ electric bills violates the Constitution and must be nullified, the petition filed by lawyer Remigio Michael “Mike” Ancheta said. The fee, imposed in an October 28 order by the Energy Regulatory Commission, is meant to fund renewable energy producers as part of government efforts to lessen dependence on fossil fuels.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Japan indicts vagina artist

    Japanese prosecutors on December 24 charged a feminist artist who makes objects shaped like her own vagina with distributing “obscene” data, according to her lawyer, in a case that has sparked accusations that authorities are out of touch. The charges follow Megumi Igarashi’s arrest this month after she raised funds online to pay for a genital-shaped kayak which she made on a 3D printer. Igarashi was first arrested in July, but was freed after several days following a legal appeal and after thousands of people signed a petition demanding her release. But Tokyo police arrested her again this month.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. $2M dollars flood Hong Kong highway

    Traffic ground to a halt on Gloucester Road in central Hong Kong on December 24 as boxes filled with more than US$2 million in cash spilled out of an armored van onto a major Hong Kong highway. Taxi drivers rushed out of their cars to make a grab for the hundreds of banknotes scattered over the busy multi-lane highway. TV footage showed pedestrians dashing in from the sidewalk to join in the Christmas Eve melee. Police rushed to the scene to secure the area. It was not clear how much officers managed to retrieve.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. A year of weddings and engagements

    Echo and Kim. Heart and Chiz. Aiza Seguerra and Liza Diño. Bianca Gonzalez and JC Intal. 2014 was the year of love for many of your favorite celebrity couples. Let’s take a look back on this eventful year filled with happy news for the sweet pairs.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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