December 26, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Pope slams ‘brutal persecution’ in Iraq, Syria

    “I ask him, the savior of the world, to look upon our brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria, who for too long now have suffered the effects of ongoing conflict, and who, together with those belonging to other ethnic and religious groups, are suffering a brutal persecution,” Pope Francis said in his annual Christmas urbi et orbi (to the city and the world) message on December 25. Killings and hostage-takings from the Middle East to Nigeria and elsewhere must stop, he said, noting that, “Truly there are so many tears this Christmas.” He also denounced conflicts in Ukraine and Libya, and lamented the thousands of victims of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read NBC’s story on Pope’s Christmas message here.

  2. Chinese city bans Christmas in schools

    China’s Christian population, currently estimated at around 60 million, is rapidly growing and Christmas is increasingly marked in the country ruled by the officially atheist Communist Party. But the government education bureau in Wenzhou, an eastern Chinese coastal city sometimes called “China’s Jerusalem” because of its large Christian population, banned schools from holding “Christmas-related” events, the Global Times reported. Local officials “hope schools can pay more attention to Chinese traditional festivals instead of Western traditions”, said the tabloid, which has close ties to the Communist Party. The ban came as a university in central China required students to watch a documentary about Chinese sage Confucius instead of celebrating Christmas.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Aceh, 10 years after the tsunami

    Thousands of people were at a memorial in Indonesia’s Aceh province, the epicenter of the Indian Ocean tsunami, as the world prepared to mark a decade since a disaster that took 220,00 lives and laid waste to coastal areas in 14 countries. On December 26, 2004, a 9.3-magnitude earthquake off Indonesia’s western coast sparked a series of towering waves that wrought destruction across countries as far apart as Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Somalia. It was a disaster beyond comprehension, and in its immediate aftermath, the task of rebuilding seemed an impossible feat. What has changed since then?

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read the full story on commemoration plans on Rappler.

  4. MRT, LRT rate hike: Group mulls court petition

    Leftist group Bayan Muna said it will go to the Supreme Court to stop the fare hikes of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) due to take effect on January 4. The group said the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) did not follow due process, and no public hearing was held before the decision was made. A ride on the MRT currently ranges from P10 to P15, while a ride on LRT-1 and LRT-2 costs from P12 to P15 and P20, respectively. In DOTC’s order, the uniform distance-based fare scheme for all 3 train lines – or an P11 ($0.25*) base fare plus P1 ($0.0223) per kilometer – was adopted.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Government, communists eye new peace talks

    The Philippine government and communist guerrillas are set to return to the negotiating table in early 2015, two years after talks collapsed in February 2013. Philippine chief peace adviser Teresita “Ging” Deles also hinted as much during her 2014 year-end briefing for the media before the holiday break. “We will not make any announcement until something is, you know, [concrete]. In that sense, it will be a surprise,” Deles told Rappler after the briefing. The CPP, which turned 46 on December 26, is behind Asia’s longest-running insurgency. It has weakened from its 25,000 armed regulars in the ’80s to its current 4,000 – based on military estimates – but occasional violence in the countryside has kept investors away from poor communities.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. PH nurses told: Try other countries, not just US

    A Cebu lawmaker urged Filipino nurses to look for job opportunities in the United Kingdom and the Middle East as demand for nurses continues to slow down in the US. “There is an oversupply of nurses in the US now. In fact, some 43% of fresh nursing graduates in America have not landed a job upon 18 months of receiving their license,” said Cebu Representative Gerald Anthonay Gullas Jr. Gullas noted the increase in licensure applications to the US but stressed most US hospitals and nursing homes are not hiring new staff.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Saudi won’t raise oil prices, announces deficit

    Saudi Arabia announced a 2015 budget with a huge deficit as the world’s largest crude exporter begins to feel the impact of its own decision not to shore up oil prices. The lead producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Saudi Arabia has insisted the cartel will not move to strengthen global oil prices despite a drop of nearly 50 percent since June. OPEC has maintained a production ceiling of 30 million barrels per day, in a move analysts say is aimed at stifling competition from new market players with higher costs, in particular North American shale oil producers. Saudi officials have vowed not to boost production no matter how low prices go, regardless of the impact on the country’s coffers.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Protests over teen shooting lead to arrests

    Between 6 and 8 protesters were arrested in Berkeley, Missouri, on December 24 following the fatal shooting of a black teenager by a white officer. KMOV television in St. Louis said the demonstrators were taken into custody after they blocked part of a busy roadway in a “die-in” protest against a string of shootings of black people in the United States by white police officers. The protest occurred nearly 24 hours after teenager Antonio Martin was killed by a police officer at a Berkeley gas station. In the immediate aftermath, a 300-strong crowd lobbed bricks and fireworks in violent clashes with police.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Yes, PH had Christmas storms

    Filipinos who were looking forward to Christmas festivities may have found the rain that poured a party pooper. But rainy Christmases are not unusual in the Philippines. And there have been times when the weather was much worse. In 1947, Typhoon Jean ruined the holidays. Typhoon Jean was not even the most noteworthy of storms that hit the country on Christmas day. That record belongs to a storm called Quantico, which made landfall in Sorsogon just as people were waking up early morning of December 25, 1918. Typhoon Quantico was considered so unusual at the time that a meteorologist even wrote a book about it.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. List of where to stay during Francis’ visit

    It’s less than a month before the much-awaited visit of Pope Francis in the Philippines, and preparations are in full swing both in Metro Manila and Leyte. The Pope’s visit is expected to attract millions of Catholic faithful from different parts of the country, especially since it has been two decades since a pope last visited the Philippines. Are you headed to Manila to see Pope Francis? In a list compiled by Rappler, you can click on each hotel located near a venue to see if the place is already fully booked, or if you can still make reservations for January. Information is as of December 23.

    Check the full list on Rappler.

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!