February 5, 2015 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. DNA tests confirm Marwan killed

    The hunt that cost the lives of 44 elite Filipino policemen indeed killed top terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, better known as Marwan, based on DNA tests conducted on his brother who is detained in the United States. Their DNA matched, according to a police report quoting the US Federal Bureau of Investigation which conducted the tests. Marwan’s death ends the years-long hunt for the member of the JI central command, the group that is responsible for the 2002 Bali bombing that killed more than 200 people. But it also came at a high price: a demoralized police force in the wake of the killing of the 44, a derailed peace process, and an angry public demanding accountability.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read a 2-part series on Marwan on Rappler.

  2. War of the generals over Mamasapano

    When you go to war, it takes weeks to prepare. It’s not some party where you could easily ask a friend to bring a bottle of red. This was how Armed Forces chief of staff General Gregorio Catapang Jr explained the military’s difficulty in immediately responding to the policemen who were trapped in a firefight with Moro rebels on January 25, citing the lack of “tactical coordination” with the Army troops on the ground. The sacked police commander in charge of the operation shot back and insisted they gave all the grid coordinates to the military. The investigation will bear him out, said police general Getulio Napeñas Jr. The battle of press conferences all happened in one day, February 4.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read the full story on the SAF’s claim

  3. PH slams China over vessels and clams

    The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) filed two protest notes against China for ramming 3 Filipino vessels and collecting giant clams in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). The DFA protested these incidents at the contested Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, also known in the Philippines as Bajo de Masinloc, through notes that it handed to Chinese Embassy representatives on February 4. The incident damaged the vessels and endangered the lives of Filipino fishermen, the DFA said. The protests notes came after the Philippines urged foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to express concern over China’s land reclamation in the disputed territory.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. 3 Filipinos kidnapped in Libya

    Gunmen attacked a Libyan oil field partially owned by France’s Total during Wednesday night, February 4, but staff were successfully evacuated. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that 3 Filipinos were among the 7 individuals kidnapped. French government spokesman Stephane Le Foll said Paris were seeking to confirm whether there were any casualties in the attack but that “no Westerners” had been killed. The city on Libya’s central coast was the hometown of slain dictator Muammar Kadhafi.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Furious Jordan vows ‘severe response’ to ISIS

    Jordan’s King Abdullah II vowed a “severe” response to the Islamic State group after it burned alive a Jordanian fighter pilot captured in Syria. “The blood of martyr Maaz al-Kassasbeh will not be in vain and the response of Jordan and its army after what happened to our dear son will be severe,” the king said in a statement released by the royal court. Abdullah held talks with senior military and security officials on February 4 after cutting short a trip to Washington following news of Kassasbeh’s killing. The gruesome murder triggered international condemnation and prompted Jordan to execute two Iraqis on death row. A harrowing video emerged online purporting to show the caged Kassasbeh engulfed in flames.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Freed Al-Jazeera journalist arrives in Australia

    Al-Jazeera journalist Peter Greste arrived home in Australia on February 5 saying he had dreamt of returning to his family on each of the 400 days of his detention in Egypt. The 49-year-old Greste also urged Egyptian authorities to free fellow Al-Jazeera television colleagues Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed of Egypt. They were arrested at the height of a diplomatic row between Egypt and Qatar, which owns Al-Jazeera. The broadcaster had criticized the deadly crackdown on Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement following the Islamist leader’s overthrow. Qatar has since moved to repair ties with Egypt, and Al-Jazeera has closed its Arabic-language Egyptian affiliate which backed the Brotherhood.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Rise in number of new Ebola cases

    The weekly number of new Ebola cases registered across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone rose in the last week of January, marking the first hike in 2015. The World Health Organization said 39 of the new cases were in Guinea, where the outbreak began in December 2013, with at least 11 new cases attributed to a single unsafe burial. A week earlier, the country had confirmed just 30 new cases. Liberia  recorded 5 new cases last week, up from four the week before, and Sierra Leone confirmed 80 new cases, up from 65, according to the latest statistics. Massive efforts and funds have been poured into trying to rid the three west African countries of the Ebola scourge, and in recent weeks a sharp drop in new cases gave rise to optimism that the worst was over.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Carmen’s Best to conquer Southeast Asia

    Carmen’s Best, a Philippine premium ice cream brand, is fast gaining a reputation as the best ice cream in town. Sales continue to grow every quarter. Carmen’s Best is stocked by several restaurants and grocery stores including select branches of Rustan’s and Pure Gold. It was in the spotlight for supplying the ice cream given to Pope Francis during his Manila-Rome flight on Philippine Airlines. For these reasons, Paco Magsaysay is confident Carmen’s Best will do well as an ASEAN export, especially as the ASEAN economic community is set to begin in December. The plan is to introduce Carmen’s Best to ASEAN countries where there is a good population of Filipinos.

    Read the full story on Rappler

  9. Anderson Silva positive for steroid

    Former Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight titleholder Anderson Silva failed an out-of-competition drug test ahead of his bout with Nick Diaz at UFC 183 last weekend. UFC officials said on February 4 that drostanolone metabolites were found in the system of the 39-year-old Silva. Drostanolone is labeled as an anabolic steroid that has been mainly used for bodybuilding. No sanctions have been handed down, but it is expected that Nevada State Athletic Commission will conduct further testing to confirm Silva’s preliminary results.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. List: 10 most popular YouTube ads

    Which Philippine advertisements caught the attention and interest of netizens last year? Google Philippines released the list of the 10 most popular Youtube ads in the country for 2014, which was determined by combining organic and paid views for the past 12 months, merging both popularity and promotional performance of the brands. The list shows how local advertising industry learned the value of made-for-web contents for the campaigns, and how Filipinos respond well to culturally-relevant advertisements.

    Check the complete list on Rappler.

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