February 11, 2015 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Purisima: Roxas, Espina not informed for ‘operational security’

    The former head of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Alan Purisima, said on Tuesday, February 10, he “advised” a police general to keep the PNP Officer-in-Charge and the Interior Secretary out of the loop in an operation to arrest bomb maker Marwan to maintain “operational security.” Purisima, who admitted to being an observer in plans leading up to the January 25 operation, said he was merely following the principle of “time on target” or the idea that other officials would only be informed of the operation when it is underway. At the Senate probe on the Mamasapano incident, senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr and Franklin Drilon questioned Purisima’s involvement in the plans for the attack. Purisima said he was merely giving “advice” to the SAF commander on the attack plans. 

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Police, military chiefs differ on MILF ties to Marwan

    Did the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) coddle bomb maker Zulkifli bin Hir, known as Marwan? The heads of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) seem to disagree. At the Senate probe of the Mamasapano incident that killed 44 SAF troopers on Tuesday, February 10, PNP Officer in Charge Leonardo Espina said the MILF provided safe haven for Marwan, who has evaded arrest in the Philippines since 2003. AFP Chief of Staff Gregorio Catapang Jr however said it was only the breakaway group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) that protected Marwan. A representative from the MILF denied it protected Marwan and another known terrorist, Basit Usman. An ongoing Senate investigation is looking into what caused the massive loss of life in the attempt to arrest Marwan in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. HSBC Switzerland in hot water over tax avoidance scheme

    The private banking arm of global bank HSBC is under intense media and regulatory scrutiny for aiding wealthy clients avoid having to pay taxes in Europe and other parts of the western world. The so called “SwissLeaks” case, named after a former HSBC employee exposed the company’s practices, has revealed illegal meetings and practices designed to hide clients’ wealth from European and US tax agencies. The cache of files made public includes names of celebrities, alleged arms dealers and politicians. Herve Falciani, the whistleblower and former HSBC employee, stole the files in 2007 and passed them to French authorities. “This is only the tip of the iceberg,” said Falciani.

    Read the full story on Rappler here and here.

  4. Court upholds sodomy rap for Malaysian opposition leader Anwar

    Malaysia’s high court upheld the sodomy conviction against Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on Tuesday, February 10, sentencing him to at least 5 years in jail. Even before the conviction, Ibrahim and supporters called the trial a “political conspiracy” to silence the opposition. Speaking to the judges at the court, Ibrahim said they have bowed “to the dictates of your political masters” and have become “partners to the crime.” Ibrahim has maintained his innocence. The political alliance, glued together by Ibrahim, is now at risk of unraveling against the powerful ruling party, UMNO.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Court convicts Hong Kong woman of beating maid

    A Hong Kong woman was convicted Tuesday, February 10, of beating and starving her Indonesian maid in a “torture” case that sparked international outrage and spotlighted the plight of migrant domestic workers in the Middle East and Asia. A Hong Kong court convicted 44-year-old Law Wan-tung for beating and detaining her 23-year-old Indonesian maid, Erwiana Sulistyaningsih. Law has denied all charges against her. Hong Kong is home to nearly 300,000 maids from mainly Southeast Asian countries.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Pregnant Filipino women under 18 a growing concern

    Around one in every 10 Filipino women aged 15 to 19 is already a mother or pregnant with her first child, according to a 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey. While, this may seem like a conservative statistic at face value, the number belies the harsh reality for many young mothers who are often poor and who lack a strong support system to raise their children. The lack of proper sex education at an early age and reproductive health support for young women are partly to blame for the numbers, say women’s advocates. MovePH takes a look at the realities facing women under 18 when it comes to sex and survival.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Confusion in Alabama over gay marriage ruling

    Gay couples scratched their heads in Alabama in the United States on Tuesday, February 10 after a number of judges refused to follow a US Supreme Court order to lift a ban on gay marriage. On Monday, February 9, the southern state became the 37th US state where same-sex marriages are legal. But most probate judges are refusing to comply with the law, siding instead with the Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore not to issue marriage licenses and officiate weddings. A nationwide ruling is expected in late June.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. US confirms death of American ISIS hostage

    US President Barack Obama on Tuesday, February 10, confirmed the death of Kayla Jean Mueller, who was taken hostage in Syria by the Islamic State (ISIS) group in August 2013. Obama vowed to track down her captors “no matter how long it takes.” The ISIS group claimed last week she had been killed in an air strike by a Jordanian warplane in the Syrian city of Raqa. Her parents, Carl and Marsha Mueller, on Tuesday voiced their heartbreak at the death of their daughter, but said they were proud of her and the humanitarian work she did.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. NBC News suspends anchor Brian Williams for 6 months

    NBC News has suspended its main anchor Brian Williams for 6 months after the controversy surrounding his embellished Iraq war story. NBC said his suspension will be without pay, the network said on Tuesday, February 10. Williams previously said a helicopter he was riding while gathering news in Iraq was hit by a rocket, a claim questioned by some people who knew of the incident. Williams later apologized for embellishing the story.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Daily Show’s Jon Stewart to step down this year

    Comedian and political satirist Jon Stewart said on Tuesday, February 10 he would step down from anchoring “The Daily Show” after more than 15 years. Stewart, widely credited for propelling the satirical and news commentary show to its success, will still anchor until late this year, according to Comedy Central. The New York Times reports that Stewart started out in 1999 with “the identity of a hard-working standup” but will leave “The Daily Show” as an influential, if humorous, voice of reason in the United States and around the world. The show is also known for successfully launching the careers of other comedians like Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert.

    Read the full story in The New York Times and Rappler.

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