Rappler Newscast | February 6, 2014
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Today on Rappler.
- Malacañang defends President Aquino’s comments comparing China to Hitler-led Germany.
- The government will use the Malaya power plant for continuous power supply over the summer.
- Top universities UP and Ateneo move the start of classes from June to August.
Story 1: PALACE ON ‘HITLER’ COMMENT: AQUINO HAS RIGHT TO EXPRESS VIEWS
Malacanang says there’s no need to defend President Benigno Aquino’s comments, where he compared China to Hitler-led Germany.
In an interview with the New York Times, Aquino called for international support in the Philippines’ moves against China’s aggressiveness in disputed waters.
China claims to have “indisputable sovereignty” over the entire South China Sea, which the Philippines calls the West Philippine Sea.
In the interview, Aquino compared the Philippines’ situation to Czechoslovakia in World War 2.
Czechoslovakia lost Sudetenland in 1938 to the demands of a much stronger Germany, because of what Aquino said was the West's failure to support it.
Aquino says the Philippines will not surrender its territory to China.
Responding to the comments, the Chinese press called Aquino “amateurish” and “ignorant.”
On Thursday, Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma says the president has the right to express his views, but he did not mean to offend China.
Story 2: GOVERNMENT WILL USE MALAYA PLANT TO ENSURE SUMMER POWER SUPPLY
As the weather heats up, the government says it will use a state-owned power plant to make sure there’s enough power supply.
This comes after the Manila Electric Company or Meralco warned the power supply may be affected if the temporary restraining order on its controversial price hike isn’t lifted.
On Thursday, Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma says the government will run the Malaya power plant to boost supply during the summer.
Energy officials earlier faced criticism for failing to use the plant.
If the plant had been used, senators said the power shortage in November to December that led to the rate hike could have been prevented.
Story 3: UP, ATENEO SHIFT SCHOOL YEAR OPENING
Two top Philippine universities will move the start of classes from June to August.
All campuses of the University of the Philippines System – except for UP Diliman – are covered by the shift.
This will be implemented in academic year 2014-2015.
The Philippine Collegian reports Diliman is not adopting the shift because various sectors within the campus opposed the move.
A public consultation on the issue will be held on February 10.
Diliman may still adopt the new calendar, pending consultations.
Earlier Thursday, Ateneo de Manila University announced it will start its school year in August starting school year 2015.
The change applies to Ateneo's undergraduate and graduate schools.
In a statement, the university says the shift will align its schedule to its current university partners overseas.
Three other universities -- the De La Salle University, the University of Santo Tomas, and Adamson University -- are considering changing their school calendars to become more globally competitive.
The issue is also tied to the upcoming regional integration of Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2015.
Story 4: NETIZENS REACT TO ACADEMIC CALENDAR SHIFT
For our social media post of the day… the shift in the academic calendar sets netizens abuzz.
There’s a mix of reactions, some for, some against, and some still undecided.
Ofelia is all for it and says, “I have been waiting for this. It is high time that the Philippines should catch up with the rest of the world not only in quality of education but in synchronized opening of classes and vacation..”
But @bluepsyche1721 says: “Not feasible. The only summer/dry months we have are April-May. We can't let students suffer in the relentless heat.”
@darehunter is weighing the pros and cons, says, “Either we suffer from excessive rain or excessive heat. The only question is where do we want to suffer less?”
Story 5: CONGRESS COMMITS TO PASS BANGSAMORO LAW THIS YEAR
Congressional leaders commit to pass by 2014 the Bangsamoro Basic Law which will provide the legal framework for the Bangsamoro political entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Crafting the law is the next step in the peace process between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front or MILF after both sides signed the last annex of the Framework Agreement last month.
MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal says the commission aims to submit the first draft by March 31.
Senate President Franklin Drilon and House Speaker Sonny Belmonte agree to pass the law by the end of 2014.
Drilon says, “We want to see 2015 as the year we can submit this for ratification by the areas covered by the Bangsamoro Basic Law.”
Story 6: 'FARMERS, FISHERMEN LEFT OUT IN YOLANDA RECOVERY EFFORTS'
Three months after Super Typhoon Yolanda or Haiyan ravaged the Visayas, an international development group says coconut farmers and fishermen are left out of recovery efforts.
The typhoon destroyed more than 33 million coconut trees and more than 30,000 boats, leaving farmers and fishermen with no source of income and forcing them to depend on food and cash from the government.
Advocacy group Oxfam says the Philippine government is slow in delivering agricultural and reconstruction support.
Story 7: ERRING HAIYAN CONTRACTORS OFF THE HOOK?
Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson says the contractors of substandard bunkhouses for Yolanda survivors ask the government to pay them even a fraction of the bunkhouses' cost.
The government hasn't paid the contractors for building bunkhouses that fall below international standards.
Singson says the government is studying the appeal and adds some of the contractors are “already correcting the deficiencies.”
But Rehabilitation Secretary Ping Lacson wants to run after the contractors.
He also wants the Senate to amend a law that these contractors supposedly use as an excuse.
Story 8: THE POWER OF CROWDSOURCING
Crowdsourcing Week founder Epi Ludvik Nekaj says there is power in collaboration.
He says crowdsourcing is where social media turns into social productivity.
Founded in Singapore, Crowdsourcing Week is a summit that explores the effects of a collaborative society and how technology can alter the way businesses work.
Nekaj says Asia as a whole is still an untapped market for proper crowdsourcing.
EPIROT LUDVIK NEKAJ, CROWDSOURCING WEEK FOUNDER & CEO: “Asia is very risk-averse, right? They don’t want to take some big risks. They want to see if the concept works, then they try to adopt it… but I think the future is in Asia. I think the future is in Asia because the internet population is growing…”
Nekaj says crowdsourcing is a tool that spurs innovation in established organizations and governments.
He cites Philippine senator TG Guingona and his proposed Crowdsourcing Bill as an example.
EPIROT LUDVIK NEKAJ, CROWDSOURCING WEEK FOUNDER & CEO: “They have to understand that big change is coming, that those days of the hierarchy of the triangle, it doesn’t work anymore. It’s about people, the crowd are the companies.”
“What’s more important for the decision makers and businesses in general is that you can do a lot more on the Internet because today, Internet is about participation."
Nekaj also says that the power of media is not curtailed by the government, but by the collective power of the consumers.
EPIROT LUDVIK NEKAJ, CROWDSOURCING WEEK FOUNDER & CEO: “The biggest fail of the media is that they fail to understand… they think they’re being disrupted by you - in fact they’re not. They are disrupted by each one of us. We are a media entity on our own."
For all of crowdsourcing’s potential, Nekaj says it’s not without risks.
EPIROT LUDVIK NEKAJ, CROWDSOURCING WEEK FOUNDER & CEO: “There is a dark internet out too. There’s also the dangers of the cybercrime, the laws some people are not aware of it. I think that’s the biggest danger that we’re going to see, so the next challenge that’s gonna be… crime will no longer involve pistols anymore.”
Story 9: TWITTER TAKES HIT AS USER GROWTH DISAPPOINTS
In its first quarterly earnings report as a public company, Twitter reports a better-than-expected amount of $242.6 million but the number of users signing up for the popular social network disappoints analysts.
The average number of monthly users climbs to 241 million this quarter, an increase of only 9 million from the previous quarter.
Twitter makes money from ads in the form of "promoted tweets" in timelines, but analysts say it must prove it can sustain a profitable business model.
Analyst Nate Elliott adds, “If you don't have an engaged user base, you don't have a business.
They have got to do better on users, that is the entire story."
Story 10: SONY FORECASTS $1.08-B LOSS, CUTS 5,000 JOBS
Sony is selling Vaio.
It drastically slashes its full-year earnings forecast, saying it will lose about $1.08 billion as it exits the personal computer business.
The Japanese company announces it will sell Vaio to a Japanese investment fund.
The announcement reverses Sony's previous outlook which was for a 30 billion yen net profit in the year to March.
The company says the changes in global PC market prompted its decision to concentrate on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
Sony also says it will cut 5,000 jobs from its workforce, saving more than $1 billion annually through restructuring.
The job losses were tied to an overhaul of its television unit and the sale of its personal computer business.
Story 11: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 8, mobile game Flappy Bird takes the gaming world by storm.
It’s the unprecedented number one app in the world at the moment, overtaking other more familiar apps like Snapchat, Skype, and Candy Crush Saga.
For some users, it’s one among thousands of mindless mobile games but for others, it’s a test of patience and willpower as they navigate a flying bird through a path blocked by obstacles.
With over 10 million downloads on the Android platform alone, Flappy Bird has come a long way since its launch in May 2013.
At number 9, Russia parades the Olympic torch through host city Sochi Wednesday, two days before the official opening of the Winter Games.
Seven years after its successful bid to host the games, organizers are now putting the finishing touches for the opening of the 22nd Winter Olympics.
Despite security concerns, Russian President Vladimir Putin says the country is “ready” to host the biggest event in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union.
And at number 10, fans pay their respects to Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, leaving roses, photographs and beer outside the apartment of the actor, who died Sunday.
The New York medical examiner’s office orders more tests Wednesday, after autopsy results on Hoffman’s body turned out inconclusive.
On Tuesday, police investigating Hoffman's death arrest 4 people with more than 350 bags of heroin.
For the full top 10 visit Rappler.com’s ‘the wRap.’
Story 12: RED: RETURN OF THE CURMUDGEON
The play “Red” is about the highs and lows of being an artist.
G Tongi talks to veteran theater actors celebrating the life and times of painter Mark Rothko.
G TONGI, REPORTING: I’m here at Tanghalang Joseng Batute at the CCP to talk to the director and actors for Red, a play written by John Logan.
Red is the story of Mark Rothko, an abstract expressionist painter portrayed by veteran actor, Bart Guingona, who also directs.
The play, which debuted in London and moved to Broadway for a limited run, featured Alfred Molina as Rothko and Eddie Redmayne as Ken.
Guingona received critical acclaim at the Aliw Awards for his performance of Rothko and this marks the show's second staging.
Guingona says this kind of material forces the audience to look beyond the superficial culture we find ourselves in today.
BART GUINGONA, VETERAN THEATER ACTOR: The underlying message is that we need to be able to start looking beyond the surface and to stop being lazy about looking at things. Unfortunately, a lot of what we have now, our culture, television, magazines - they spoonfeed us. They show us- you know, what’s on the surface and we’ve stopped looking beyond the surface. Now this one is a reminder to the audience that your life can be richer if you learn how to look. There’s a line there when he says “Make them look!”
Red is the playwright's attempt to understand the American postwar painter's artistry and legacy.
Joaquin Valdes, filmmaker and writer portrays Mark Rothko’s fictional assistant, whose view represents postmodern pop artists.
Valdes says working with Guingona was intimidating at first, but turned into a collaboration that felt like a perfect fit.
JOAQUIN VALDES, FILMMAKER & ACTOR: When I read for Bart, It was just a nice and a very sensible mixture, when we were exchanging lines and we were bouncing off the words , you know when you feel something, it tastes good.
That’s pretty much how the chemistry went down and it just got better from here on in.
A straight play that delves into the ego and neurosis of an abstract painter.
Red is performance art at its finest.
Visceral, wonderfully acted and an intense foray into what ultimately makes us all human.
G Tongi, Rappler Manila.
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|
|3D GRAPHICS||Sten Bautista