#ThewRap: Things you need to know, June 15, 2017

Hello! Here are the stories you shouldn't miss this Thursday.










Hello Rappler readers,

We're entering the 4th week of the Marawi crisis which erupted on May 23 and the military has confirmed the arrest on June 14 of another Maute Group member who's on its wanted list. Mohammad Maute, an Arabic teacher who's also a suspected bomber was nabbed in Cagayan de Oro.

The United States meanwhile continues to reel with a steady stream of revelations pertaining to President Donald Trump. The Washington Post reports he is now the subject of a probe on Russia's alleged interference in the election that saw a Trump victory.

In this whirlpool of events, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has remained uncharacteristically out of sight for several days now, prompting speculations about his health. His spokesman insists he is in excellent health.

Be up to speed with the news. Here's what you shouldn't miss.

Trump investigated for obstruction of justice – Post

The Washington Post, citing unnamed officials, reported that the special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the US election is trying to determine whether President Donald Trump tried to obstruct justice. Senior officials who included the director of national intelligence have agreed to be interviewed by probers working for the special counsel. The Post said the interviews could come as early as this week.

Maute member arrested in Cagayan de Oro

Mohammad Naoim Maute (alias Abu Jadid) – among those listed in Arrest Order No. 1 issued by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana – was arrested in Cagayan de Oro City on Thursday, June 15, according to the military. He was arrested at 6:30 am in Sta Cruz, Macasandig, Cagayan de Oro City. Said to be an Arabic teacher by profession, the member of the terrorist Maute Group was found with a fake Mindanao State University ID with the name, Alfaiz P. Mamintal.

At least 12 perish in London tower fire, say police

The police have confirmed there are at least 12 who have died in a huge fire that practically swallowed the Grenfell Tower in London on June 14. The building’s management, according to the former head of the residents’ association, had failed to listen to their calls for fire safety improvements. Local residents had warned a year ago about a potential fire risk caused by rubbish being allowed to accumulate during the refurbishment of the tower.

Calida to SC: No need to worry, Duterte’s no Marcos

Solicitor General Jose Calida told Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Day 2 of oral arguments on martial law in Mindanao that "President [Rodrigo] Duterte is not President [Ferdinand] Marcos." Calida also said that trying to determine if Duterte’s declaration of martial law is "factual and necessary" is a “political question” – prompting Sereno to ask the Solicitor General to show the Supreme Court legal standards for examining the validity of Duterte’s declaration.

Trump calls for unity after shooting of Republican lawmaker

US President Donald Trump made a call for unity after gunman opened fire on Republican lawmakers at a baseball practice on June 14. The gunman died from injuries sustained during a shootout with police. Congressman Steve Scalise, current US House majority whip, and 3 others were wounded in the attack. Trump said, "We may have our differences, but we do well, in times like these, to remember that everyone who serves in our nation's capital is here because, above all, they love our country."

For 3rd straight day, Duterte not seen in public

Where is President Rodrigo Duterte? He’s been out of the public eye for at least 3 days after skipping Independence Day rites due to fatigue. He flew back to Davao City on June 14, canceling his speaking engagement at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency’s anniversary. The day before was also a “rest day”. Duterte also skipped his first Independence Day ceremony as president on June 12. Yet Spokesman Ernesto Abella said Duterte is in “excellent health”.

Maute Group training child soldiers

The terrorist Maute Group is recruiting young boys from poor families, making their families offers to let them study the Koran but instead teaching the boys how to kill Christians. Brainwashed into believing that dying in battle for the Maute cause is a way to go to heaven, the boys are brought to camps where other Maute terrorists train. In an exclusive report, Rappler’s Carmela Fonbuena spoke with one child soldier who said he has realized that what they were taught was wrong.

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