In day one of the deliberations on the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 justices of the Supreme Court played devils advocate asking whether or not it was the obligation of the state to protect private citizens. The theme of discussions revolved around the recourse of a citizen abused online? Several Justices stressed the ease of posting defamatory messages in the age of social media. Justice Marvic Leonen posed this question, "is there not a state interest in coming in to remove the megaphones from individuals who are careless?" Leonen used as an example the case of Chris Lao, a UP student mocked in 2011 after footage of him driving through flood waters went viral. Oral arguments will continue on January 22. Petitioners are asking the High Court to extend the temporary restraining order that will lapse in February. Chief Justice Ma Lourdes Sereno says the court will take note of this.
Facebook announced a new service called “Graph Search” - a search engine for that can be used to search through friend connections to find data like locations, likes, comments, photos, places and interests. CEO Mark Zuckerberg calls this the 3rd pillar of the Facebook ecosystem alongside the News Feed and Timeline. Facebook updates the blue top bar that users can type in search phrases like “people who live in Quezon City that like Rappler”. The service is privacy aware meaning you only get results based on what you have access too. Graph Search is still in beta and will roll out to users over the course of the “next few weeks and month.”
Read more on Rappler.
82 people we killed and over 150 others wounded after twin blasts ripped through a university in Syria's second largest city Aleppo on Tuesday, January 15. Conflicting reports about the cause of the explosion underscore the tension in this battleground city. Opposition activists say government jets carried out an air strike while a military official says the blast was caused by rebels fired ground-to-air missiles. According to the state news agency SANA the blast occurred on the first day of exams, most of those affected were students. The education minister called for a nationwide "day of mourning" on Wednesday and with President Bashar al-Assad ordering the "immediate rebuilding of damaged parts of the university."
Read more on the BBC.
US President Barack Obama is scheduled to announce a “concrete proposal" to reduce gun violence and to prevent future tragedies like that which happened in Newtown Connecticut right before Christmas last year. According to White House Spokesman Jay Carney, Obama, "intends to make a comprehensive approach". Obama will continue to push for legislative actions including the Assault Weapons Ban, a measure to ban high capacity magazine clips, and an effort to close the very big loop holes in background check system." Carney stressed the important role of US Congress is the success of the proposal, "certainly a significant part of what he hopes we together can achieve will have to be done working with Congress." He added, "Congress has to act on measures that we mentioned." Obama and Vice President Joe Biden present the proposal at an event in the White House at 11:45am, Wednesday in the Washington DC, they will be joined by children and parents who wrote the President letters over their concerns about gun violence.
Read more on Chicago Tribune.
New York on Tuesday passed what supporters called the toughest gun ownership law in the country, becoming the first US state to impose new restrictions in the wake of last month's elementary school massacre in Connecticut. Lawmakers in the lower house of the State Assembly voted 104-43 in favor of the measures, which were approved by the upper house in a 43-18 vote late Monday. Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, who rushed through the legislation, welcomed the assembly's "bold statement, coming together in a bipartisan, collaborative manner to meet the challenges that face our state and our nation, as we have seen far too many senseless acts of gun violence."
Read more on NBC News.
Two government officials are among the first 14 violators of the election gun ban, which the Commission on Elections began implementing last Sunday, January 13. The National Operations Center (NOC) based in Camp Crame, however, did not name the two officials involved. Police have confiscated 16 firearms, including 5 high-powered ones. Police have made 4 arrests in Metro Manila with others in the Ilocos region, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Western Visayas, Zamboanga, and Davao.
Read more on Rappler.
France plans to gradually increase troop numbers deployed to the African nation of Mali from 800 to 2500. France is currently in the middle of a 5-day airstrike aimed at Islamist insurgents attempting to take control over the capital city of Bamako. The United States has expressed support for the French operation in the country. According to State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, "It's absolutely critical to stop the offensive of terrorist groups towards southern Mali, to prevent the collapse of the government, and to accelerate the implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions.”
Read more on The Guardian.
The Queen of Talk Oprah revealed details out about her much anticipated interview with disgraced cycling star Lance Armstrong in an Interview with CBS on Tuesday. Oprah said Armstrong admitted to doping but “did not come clean in the way I expected”. She adds that she was able to ask most of the 112 questions she had prepared, and that at the end of it, she was “satisfied by the answers.” The full interview will air in two parts on January 17 and 8 (9-10:30pm ET/PT) on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) and streamed live worldwide on Oprah.com.
Read more on BBC.
After private tests in July last year the new MySpace quietly opened to the public this week. Front and center of the new site is one of the company’s new investors, pop star Justin Timberlake. The site’s new focus is music and music discovery. Users can sign up, use their old login credentials or sign in via Twitter or Facebook. Once logged users can connect with new artists and discover new music and mixes.
Read more on The Verge.
A 35-year old elephant is at the center of fierce tug-of-war between activists and her handlers at the Manila Zoo. On Tuesday, Jan 15 a petition signed by over 60,000 respondents was delivered by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to the Department of Agriculture requesting for her transfer to a sanctuary in Thailand. The petition states that keeping a female elephant, that by its nature lives in a heard is, “the most cruel thing to do.” Her handlers at the Manila Zoo argue that Mali was ostracized by the last two elephants she socialized with and that at her age might not survive the trip to Thailand.
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