Today on Rappler
- Pope Francis says there were “so many tears this Christmas.”
- The Communist Party of the Philippines resumes talks with the government.
- Jordan vows to save its pilot held captive by ISIS.
POPE FRANCIS: ‘SO MANY TEARS THIS CHRISTMAS’
Pope Francis says there were “so many tears this Christmas.”
This is Francis’ second message “to the city and to the world” which comes at the close of a year plagued by war and violent religious fundamentalism.
Visibly moved, Francis departed from his prepared message calling for justice
for “the children massacred by bombardments, including where the son of God was born… their powerless silence cries under the sword.”
The pope calls for an end to the violence and hostage-takings from the Middle East to Nigeria, the conflicts in Ukraine and Libya, and mourns for the thousands of victims of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
JORDAN VOWS ‘ALL EFFORTS’ TO SAVE PILOT SEIZED BY ISIS
Jordan vows to save a pilot captured by ISIS or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria jihadists. This comes after the US military refuted ISIS’ claims of shooting down the pilot’s warplane. Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh was captured by ISIS Wednesday after his jet crashed on a mission over northern Syria. ISIS posted pictures online showing its fighters with the pilot.
‘THE INTERVIEW’ HITS US THEATERS, TICKETS SOLD OUT
Raunchy comedy film “The Interview” draws crowds in US movie theaters Thursday. Cinema owners say tickets sold out in less than an hour. Before its release, the film about an assassination plot on North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, was riddled with controversy. Sony Pictures cancelled the film’s initial run after a cyberattack on its corporate network and moviegoers were threatened with attacks similar to 9/11. US security insiders blame the cyber attack on North Korea.
SAUDI WON’T RAISE OIL PRICES, ANNOUNCES DEFICIT
Saudi Arabia braces for a budget deficit this 2015, reeling from its decision not to increase oil prices. Saudi officials vowed not to boost production regardless of the impact on the country’s coffers. This caused a drop of nearly 50 percent in global oil prices since June. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries — which Saudi Arabia is part of — maintains a production ceiling of 30 million barrels per day. Analysts say the move aims to stifle competition from new market players like North American shale oil producers.
COMMUNIST PARTY CONFIRMS TALKS WITH PH GOVERNMENT
In the Philippines: government and communist guerrillas are set to return to the negotiating table early 2015 – two years after the last talks collapsed. Philippine chief peace adviser Teresita Deles says the government will not announce anything unless something concrete comes out of the talks. The Communist Party of the Philippines, which turns 46 Friday, leads Asia’s longest-running insurgency. Military estimates say it’s weakened from its 25,000 armed regulars in the ’80s down to 4,000.
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|EXECUTIVE PRODUCER / WRITER||Lilibeth Frondoso|
|ASSOCIATE PRODUCER / PUBLISHER||Rodneil Quiteles|
|HEAD WRITER / PROMPTER||Katerina Francisco|
|MASTER EDITOR / PLAYBACK||Exxon Ruebe|
|TECHNICAL DIRECTOR / CAMERAMAN||Charlie Salazar|
|Raffy de Guzman|
|GRAPHICS DESIGN / ANIMATION||Acid House
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