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Today on Rappler.
- US lawmakers demand the extradition of internet surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden.
- The government reports more Filipinos are jobless despite the Philippines’ stellar first quarter 7.8% economic growth.
- South Korea says high-level talks with North Korea on Wednesday are called off.
It’s still unclear exactly where whistleblower Edward Snowden is as US lawmakers demand his immediate extradition from Hong Kong.
He admits he leaked details of a secret US Internet surveillance program.
Snowden, who worked for a subcontractor of the National Security Agency, checks out of his Hong Kong hotel after revealing his identity to the British-based Guardian newspaper Sunday.
The former CIA technical assistant made headlines after he exposed the NSA’s worldwide monitoring of private users’ web traffic and phone records.
The US government appears to be gearing up to take action against Snowden with senior lawmakers calling his actions “treason” and saying he should be extradited from Hong Kong as quickly as possible.
Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, has an extradition agreement with the United States.
California’s Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein says US authorities are pursuing Snowden.
Feinstein says –quote– “All the departments are proceeding…aggressively.”
Florida’s Democratic Senator Bill Nelson says Snowden should be prosecuted for treason.
He adds, “This is not a whistleblower, I think this is an act of treason.”
“This is deliberately taking highly, highly, super-compartmented classified information, and giving it directly out.”
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper describes Snowden’s leaks as gravely damaging to US security and refers the matter to the Justice Department, which launched an investigation.
The White House declines to comment on the case, citing the ongoing probe.
Story 2: UNEMPLOYMENT UP DESPITE STELLAR Q1 GROWTH
The National Statistics Office reports the number of jobless Filipinos rises in April from a year ago, despite the Philippines’ stellar 7.8% economic growth in the first quarter.
On Tuesday, the NSO says job losses in the agriculture sector push the unemployment rate to 7.5%, equivalent to 3.08 million Filipinos in April from 6.9%, or 2.8 million Filipinos, in the same month of 2012.
NSO says 624,000 workers in agriculture-related services lost their jobs because of extreme weather conditions.
Job losses in the agriculture sector offset employment generated in the industry and services sectors.
Industry generated 224,000 jobs, while services added 380,000.
Story 3: PH TO DESTROY 5 TONS OF IVORY TUSKS
The Philippines says it will destroy five tons of confiscated elephant tusks as part of a global campaign to raise awareness against the illegal trade of so-called “blood ivories.”
Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau head Theresa Lim says the tusks are part of the 13.1 tons seized in 2005 and 2009.
The Philippines is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna, which bans the ivory trade to fight the declining number of elephants in Africa.
It cites the Philippines as a “priority concern” because it is used as a smuggling hub for illegal ivories.
Story 4: FILIPINO IN SANTA MONICA: ‘I AM NOT THE HERO HERE’
A Filipino student and library staff member at Santa Monica College shares how he, together with 8 others, survived the campus shooting.
A gunman armed with high powered rifles killed 4 people at the California college Saturday.
Marcel Kahn says it was his last day of work and was preparing his goodbye card when the gunman went into the school and went on a shooting rampage.
Kahn is being called a hero online by posts circulating on social media about how he led 9 students into safety.
But he downplays his role.
He says –quote– ” I am not the hero here. It was actually the library’s lead assistant Jan Juliani.”
Kahn adds, “If it wasn’t for her steady hands and her instinct to get us into the room, 9 of us would all be dead.”
Kahn says the gunman tried to fool them into coming out of the safe room by claiming to be a police officer.
They kept quiet then the gunman –quote- “sprayed the door with bullets.”
Kahn says –quote– “I don’t know what happened after the shooting, there was just silence.”
Police shot the gunman dead.
He allegedly killed his father and brother before burning down his home.
He then carjacked a vehicle driven by a woman…
whom he forced to drive him to campus at gunpoint.
Story 5: POLICE RETAKE ISTANBUL PROTEST SQUARE IN FRESH CLASHES
Riot police re-enter Istanbul’s protest square Tuesday and sends demonstrators scrambling with tear gas and water cannons in a fresh escalation of unrest.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he will meet with protest leaders Wednesday.
Hundreds of police officers backed by armored cars move in on Taksim Square early morning in their first return to the site after pulling out on June 1.
Police say they want to remove makeshift barricades erected by demonstrators and clear the area of flags and banners.
The police action surprises protesters, hundreds of whom camped out in the nearby Gezi Park.
The nationwide unrest first erupted on May 31 after police cracked down heavily on a campaign to save Istanbul’s Gezi Park from demolition.
The trouble spirals into mass displays of anger against Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party, seen as increasingly authoritarian.
Story 6: WILL THE HACIENDA LUISITA FARMERS FINALLY GET THEIR LAND?
25 years since the agrarian reform law was passed, farmers call the landmark legislation a failure in addressing inequality in land ownership.
Voltaire Tupaz reports.
After 2 agrarian reform laws and a quarter of a century, 6,000 Hacienda Luisita farmers will finally own their share of the vast sugar plantation.
The Department of Agrarian Reform says the agency will start distribution well before the State of the Nation Address of President Benigno Aquino.
The 6,000-hectare landholding is owned by the Cojuangco side of the President’s relatives and has been the subject of a bitter legal dispute.
In a historic ruling, the Supreme Court awarded about 4,000 hectares of the hacienda to farmers.
But farmers who waited for 25 years can wait no longer.
LITO BAIS, UNITED LUISITA WORKERS UNION PRESIDENT: Mula noong nagdesisyon ang Supreme Court, mahigit isang taon na ngayon, ay namosisyon na ang mga mamamayan. Kumuha ng mga posisyon sa lupa na kayang-kaya namang bungkalin. (Since the Supreme Court’s decision over a year ago, the farmers started getting portions of the land. They got their own portions to till.)
Hacienda Luisita is the most famous case study for land reform in the country– known as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program or CARP.
About 870,000 hectares of CARP land throughout the country has not yet been distributed.
Even agrarian reform advocate and close Aquino ally, Kaka Bag-ao is disappointed with the pace of land distribution.
KAKA BAG-AO, AKBAYAN REPRESENTATIVE: I still think that this government of PNoy has not been very serious in accomplishing its targets under CARPER…In fact, they should be in stage 3 right now where they should be focusing on lands less than 24 hectares. But they’re till focusing on big landholdings.
According to DAR, 163,000 hectares are problematic.
JOSE GRAGEDA, DAR UNDERSECRETARY: Maraming problema related, halimbawa sa titles, survey plans; and many of the problems can’t be resolved by DAR alone. By the way, a major factor is landowner’s resistance. (Many problems are related to titling, survey plans.)
The government assures the farmers agrarian reform does not end when CARPER expires in 2014.
25 years after it was enacted, farmers’ groups say CARP failed to fulfill its promise to address one of the root causes of poverty and conflict in the Philippines – landlessness.
Voltaire Tupaz, Rappler, Manila.
Story 7: CHINA LAUNCHES SHENZHOU-10 SPACE MISSION
China begins its longest manned space mission with the launch of the Shenzhou-10 rocket Tuesday.
State television shows the rocket rising above the Jiuquan space center in the Gobi Desert.
The 3 astronauts on board will spend 15 days in orbit.
The Shenzhou-10 will dock with the Tiangong-1 space laboratory, where the crew will conduct medical and space technology experiments.
President Xi Jinping tells the three astronauts their mission is –quote– “both glorious and sacred.”
Beijing sees the multi-billion-dollar space program as a marker of its rising global stature and mounting technical expertise.
Story 8: S. KOREA: HIGH-LEVEL TALKS WITH NORTH CALLED OFF
South Korea calls off high-level talks with North Korea scheduled to begin Wednesday in Seoul.
The Wednesday dialogue would have been the two countries’ first ministerial-level meeting since 2007.
On Sunday, delegates from both countries met for working-level discussions in the run-up to the Wednesday meeting.
A spokeswoman for the South’s Unification Ministry says nothing about the reason why.
A South Korean government official tells AFP North Korea –quote– “had an issue with the chief delegate” from South Korea.
It is not immediately clear if the talks are postponed or cancelled indefinitely.
Story 9: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 6, Twitter verifies the @HillaryClinton account within hours of coming online, with the potential future presidential candidate quickly getting more than 100,000 followers.
In her lighthearted Twitter debut on June 10, Hillary Clinton pokes fun at her own image and fuels speculation about what the future holds for the former secretary of state.
Her profile had these: wife of former state governor and president Bill Clinton, a “hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker” and ending with a wink at her presumed presidential ambitions: “TBD” — to be determined.
She posts a single tweet, thanking Adam Smith and Stacy Lambe, the pranksters responsible for popular satirical website “Texts from Hillary.”
And at number 10, Apple unveils its upcoming operating system OS X 10.9 Mavericks at its 2013 Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on June 10.
The new OS will not see the design overhaul in its mobile counterpart iOS, but builds on existing efforts to merge both worlds.
Apple CEO Tim Cook calls the iOS7 update the “biggest change” since the introduction of the iPhone back in 2007.
The new user interface sees a major design overhaul, with a flat design, translucencies, and a thinner font.
Apple says the new design changes should make the phone appear bigger.
Newscast production staff
|EXECUTIVE PRODUCER / WRITER||Lilibeth Frondoso|
|ASSOCIATE PRODUCER / PUBLISHER||Rodneil Quiteles|
|HEAD WRITER / PROMPTER||Katerina Francisco|
|MASTER EDITOR / PLAYBACK||Vicente Roxas|
|TECHNICAL DIRECTOR / CAMERAMAN||Charlie Salazar|