February 18, 2015 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Senate mulls asking DFA to explain US role in clash

    The Senate committee investigating the Mamasapano clash that killed 44 SAF operators is considering a suggestion to invite the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to shed light on any US involvement in the operation. Poe refused to confirm or deny if US involvement was discussed in the senators’ 3 secret meetings with police generals and police survivors of the clash. But some senators hinted that the issue was raised. Poe cautioned that the Senate investigation must be careful with the topic as it involves sensitive diplomatic relations of the Philippines with the United States, a strong ally.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Why the US is involved in PH anti-terror campaigns

    The involvement of the US military in combatting terrorism in the Philippines is once again in the spotlight, after several news reports cited their hand in the Mamasapano operations that killed 44 SAF police officers. That the US is even in the Philippines is nothing new, but to what extent? Maria Ressa takes a look at how involved the US has been overtly and covertly in anti-terror operations, particularly in Mindanao, over the years.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. White House calls judge’s order on immigration ‘wrong’

    The US government will appeal a decision by a Texas judge blocking US President Barack Obama’s executive order providing millions of undocumented foreigners with protection from deportation. The White House quickly called the decision wrong, saying the president had acted within his legal authority. The executive order, once implemented, would offer protection from deportation and work permits to as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants. Some 11 million people live in the United States without residency or work papers. The Obama administration says it wants to fix a ‘broken immigration system’ but it faces stiff opposition from Republicans.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Egypt’s Morsi to face military tribunal

    The ousted former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi and 198 others will stand trial in a military tribunal over deadly protests that followed his overthrow. Morsi, who is already facing 4 other trials, was toppled by the army in July 2013. He is currently in jail, along with fellow members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been since banned in Egypt. The government accused Morsi of ‘inciting murder’ from protests in the city of Suez on August 14, 2013 – a month after he was ousted.

    Read the full story on Rappler.


  5. Climate change threatening world food production

    Scientists warn that climate change acceleration will have a lasting impact on agricultural production and require ‘profound societal changes’ in the coming decades to feed the world’s population. At the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, scientists there argued that food production will have to double over the next 35 years to feed a global population of 9 billion people in 2050, compared with 7 billion today. It is a challenging task for the next generation to feed itself with agricultural production threatened by a warming planet caused by greenhouse gas. Scientists add, we only have 10 or 20 years to solve the problem.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. US embedded spyware overseas, report claims

    The United States has permanently embedded surveillance and sabotage tools in computers and networks in Iran, Russia, Pakistan, China, Afghanistan and other countries closely watched by American intelligence services, says Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab. At a conference in Mexico on Monday, February 16, Kaspersky Lab said the implants had been placed by what it called the “Equation Group” – in possible reference to the US National Security Agency and the US military. The Russian firm adds the techniques to extract information or disable machines are very sophisticated and have been active for almost two decades.

    Read the full story on the New York Times.

  7. Telcos urged: Put kill switches on phones

    The government is asking telecommunications companies to install kill switches in smartphones in order to discourage thefts. A kill switch is an emergency shutdown mechanism that allows a telco operator to disable a phone or device remotely at the prompt of the owner. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is taking the lead in proposing this innovation, already adopted in some US cities. The DOJ adds, no legislation is needed to make this a reality.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Murakami’s advice column turns racy

    Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami thinks having sex with a fish might be a better alternative to a frigid partner in bed. He’s kidding, of course. Murakami’s latest literary experiment is an advice column and he’s dishing out jewels of wisdom that cover a wide range of topics: from unrequited love to the art of seduction. Advice seekers posted questions to the famous author of “Norwegian Wood” and Murakami has promised to read every email and answer them until March. He adds one disclaimer though, “I am just talking to myself.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Double entendres, sexual innuendos rife with #MNL50ShadesOfGrey

    What happens when double entendres meet witty punchlines in today’s Twitter-crazed Internet? Pinoy netizens have taken to Twitter to express their naughtier side with sensual tweets, inspired by 50 Shades of Grey and life in the metropolis. The novel and movie, released in the Philippines over the Valentine’s weekend, depicts an unusual sexual relationship between a young woman and an older rich man. But on Twitter, Filipinos have injected a distinctly Pinoy sense of humor, highlighting how things aren’t really what they seem at first glance.

    Read the full story and see the tweets on Rappler.

  10. UN: North Korea committed crimes against humanity

    The head of a UN inquiry into rights violations in North Korea said Tuesday, February 17, that Pyongyang’s actions, while constituting a crime against humanity, fell short of genocide. Michael Kirby, the Australian former judge who headed the UN Commission of Inquiry into North Korea’s human rights violations that concluded last year, reiterated the panel’s finding that “crimes against humanity have been committed” by the North Korean government in its mistreatment of thousands of prison detainees. The commission called on the international community to make those who are responsible accountable.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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