Rappler Newscast | April 19, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- A manhunt for suspect no. 2 in the Boston bombings continues after one suspect is killed in a shootout with police.
- Terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna says the Boston bombings is an intelligence failure.
- President Aquino supports Commission on Elections chair Sixto Brillantes on airtime limits for political ads.
Story 1: BOMBING SUSPECT DEAD; POLICE HUNT FOR SUSPECT NO. 2
Police search for the second suspect of the Boston Marathon bombings after one suspect is killed after a gunfight with police.
Early Friday, the Boston Police Department says in a tweet, "One suspect deceased, 2nd suspect (white hat) at large & considered armed & dangerous."
Public transport is suspended and police seal off portions of the Boston metro area as they track down suspect no. 2.
The Associated Press identifies him as 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who had been living in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
CNN reports the two suspects are brothers.
Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis says one police officer was killed and another wounded in the operation.
Davis says the two suspects first tried to rob a convenience store in Cambridge, across the river from Boston.
They then went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where one campus police officer was shot several times and died in the hospital.
MIT’s student newspaper earlier reported gunshots were fired near Building 32.
Hours before the manhunt, the FBI released photos and video of the two suspects of the Boston bombing that killed 3 people and injured more than 170 people on April 15.
The FBI gives no details of their identities, dubbing the suspects “Suspect One” and “Suspect Two.”
Story 2: TERRORISM EXPERT: BOSTON ATTACK AN INTEL FAILURE
An international terrorism expert calls the Boston bombings a “very significant terrorist attack” after the September 2011 World Trade attacks.
Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, says the Boston attack is an intelligence failure.
ROHAN GUNARATNA, HEAD, INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR POLITICAL VIOLENCE & TERRORISM RESEARCH: The United States did not have intelligence before the attack, so it was a total surprise. And I can share too that any successful terrorist attack is an intelligence failure.
MARIA RESSA: Why did it fail?
GUNARATNA: It is because the United States has been largely oriented towards detecting the threat to the US from overseas, not the threat to the United States from within.
Soon after the Boston bombings, letters addressed to a US senator and President Barack Obama are intercepted.
The letters contained ricin -- a lethal toxin.
On April 17, a fertilizer plant explodes in a massive fireball in West, Texas.
Gunaratna says at least two incidents might be related.
This is followed by the shooting at MIT.
ROHAN GUNARATNA, HEAD, INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR POLITICAL VIOLENCE & TERRORISM RESEARCH: It is possible that at least two of these incidents are related. It is also very likely that the ricin attack is by a terrorist group because terrorist groups have used ricin before, very successfully...I believe that this is the single biggest crisis faced for the United States after 9/11 in terms of detecting, disrupting, containing threats.
Gunaratna says the recent incidents in America could pose terrorism threats to other countries.
But he says the Philippines is “very secure” because the government’s peace efforts can help deter foreign terrorists from coming into the region.
ROHAN GUNARATNA, HEAD, INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR POLITICAL VIOLENCE & TERRORISM RESEARCH: But I believe that the government's ability to enter into peace negotiations with Hadji Murad is the single biggest breakthrough...So the peace talks, structured peace negotiations with the MILF has yielded tremendous success and this needs to be sustained so that south of the Philippines will be hostile area for these foreign elements.
Gunaratna says criminals and terrorists now operate largely in cyberspace, making it important to police the Internet.
ROHAN GUNARATNA, HEAD, INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR POLITICAL VIOLENCE & TERRORISM RESEARCH: It's also a very important medium for recruitment, for radicalizing, politicizing, mobilizing their supporters. Internet needs to be policed...More than 10,000 terrorist and extremist websites are hosted in the US. It's because of the laws, laws are very weak. I believe there must be a greater discussion, there must be a global cyber regime. We do not allow criminals or terrorists to misuse the internet.
Gunaratna says it is important for governments to work together.
ROHAN GUNARATNA, HEAD, INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR POLITICAL VIOLENCE & TERRORISM RESEARCH: Governments need to look at the geopolitical and geostrategic interests, but also they need to work together with other countries, even if they may be competitors to reduce a common threat. Terrorism is a common threat.
Story 3: REPORT: 35 PEOPLE KILLED IN TEXAS PLANT EXPLOSION
An estimated 35 people are killed in the explosion of a fertilizer plant in Texas Wednesday night -- Thursday in Manila.
According to USA Today, West Mayor Tommy Muska says the figure includes volunteer firefighters and first responders.
Earlier, Waco Police estimated five to 15 people were killed.
Local emergency services director George Smith earlier said the death toll could reach 60 to 70.
Muska tells CNN emergency officials are still looking for survivors.
Story 4: AQUINO BACKS BRILLANTES: 'DON'T GO'
President Benigno Aquino asks Commission on Elections chair Sixto Brillantes to reconsider his statement that he may resign over several Supreme Court decisions against the poll body.
In an interview in Cebu, Aquino says it will be difficult to appoint a new Comelec chief with less than a month before the May 13 polls.
He says, "I think he will see that the country needs him to chair the Comelec at this crucial period.”
He adds, “When he feels that he’s ready to meet with me, I’m always ready to meet with him.”
On Tuesday, Brillantes says he was disappointed with the temporary restraining order stopping Comelec from implementing its rules on political ads, limiting national candidates to only 120 minutes for all TV stations and 180 minutes for all radio stations.
Aquino says he backs Brillantes' stand on the issue, saying spending for many ads tempts politicians to tap questionable sources of funds.
On Thursday, Brillantes warns senatorial candidates to advertise at their own risk with the Supreme Court yet to issue a final decision on airtime limits.
Story 5: HUMAN RIGHTS 'SUPERBODY' TO PRIORITIZE BURGOS CASE
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima says a human rights superbody will prioritize the abduction case of activist Jonas Burgos.
On April 26, 2007, unidentified men picked up Burgos at a restaurant inside a Quezon City mall.
The inter-agency committee was created to address cases of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings.
This comes after Malacañang ordered a quote-- "more focused" probe on Burgos’ disappearance.
The Court of Appeals holds Lt Harry Baliaga responsible for Burgos's disappearance.
Baliaga belonged to the Army's 56th infantry battalion based in Bulacan when Burgos was seized.
The Supreme Court also orders the AFP to produce reports related to the Burgos case, following new evidence that could allegedly link the military to his abduction.
Story 6: CHINESE SHIP HAULED OFF TUBBATAHA
The Philippine Coast Guard says the Chinese fishing vessel that ran aground on Tubbataha reef over a week ago has been removed.
The coast guard says the 48-meter ship was hauled by a tugboat from Tubbataha.
It will be taken to Puerto Princesa in Palawan.
The ship's 12 Chinese crewmen are arrested and charged for poaching in the marine reserve.
Anger mounted after hundreds of dead pangolins or scaly anteaters -- a protected species -- were later discovered in their ship.
Authorities also filed corruption charges against the Chinese men for allegedly trying to bribe park rangers.
Story 7: AMPUTEE SWIMMER AIMS BEYOND #PALARO2013
Excitement builds up as Palarong Pambansa 2013 is set to kick-off in 2 days.
The games are filled with many inspiring stories like this one from a young swimmer in Zamboanga del Sur.
Natashya Gutierrez reports.
Jomar Maalam is a 16-year-old swimmer from Zamboanga del Sur.
He learned to swim living by sea all his life surrounded by fishermen.
Like his teammates he is excited, but nervous for Palarong Pambansa, the country's largest sporting event.
But Jomar is also different from the rest of the swimmers of Region 9.
He has no legs.
DENNIS BUCO, COACH OF AMPUTEE SWIMMER: Kahit ano, kahit pagod na siya, kinakayanan niya kasi gusto niya talaga manalo. interesado talaga siya. (Even if he’s tired, he still goes on because he really wants to win. He’s invested.)
It is the first time in history Region 9 is sending an amputee swimmer to Palaro.
Jomar has been training for a year, and competes with other regular swimmers in his home region.
This is the first time he will swim against other disabled athletes.
Jomar is unfazed by people who make fun of his disability.
JOMAR MAALAM, AMPUTEE SWIMMER: It's okay with me when they make fun of me. I don't care about other people because this is what God gave me.
Two days before the games begin, Jomar is one of thousands of athletes preparing for Palaro.
Organizers put together last minute preparations.
The event gathers the country's best student athletes.
Jomar says training is hard.
But he is determined to win a gold and make his parents and 9 siblings proud.
He and his coach Dennis dream of bigger things, like competing in the Asian Games.
Palaro is just the first step.
NATASHYA GUTIERREZ, REPORTING: Stories like Jomar's make Palarong Pambansa the inspirational event it is. Tales of struggle and determination take center stage this coming week, highlighting the resilience of the Filipino athlete.
Natashya Gutierrez, Rappler, Dumaguete
Story 8: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 6, Ban Ki-moon becomes the first UN secretary general to visit the Pentagon on April 18.
His talks with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey focus on the crisis over North Korea, with the regime making threats against its enemies.
He also spoke with US military leaders about planned peacekeeping missions in Mali, Somalia and Syria.
At number 8, Twitter launches a music service that suggests tunes based on users’ tweets and lets people sample songs they might like.
The company says the new service uses Twitter activity to “detect and surface the most popular tracks and emerging artists.”
Twitter users can get 30-second samples of songs from iTunes, Spotify or Rdio music services.
And at number 9, With the backing of more than 1,300 people on crowdfunding website IndieGoGo, hacktivist group Anonymous gets funds to build its own news website, surpassing its modest goal of $2,000 -- about P80,000 -- and acquiring more than $54,000 -- about P2.25M -- in funding.
The group says its YAN website aims to provide livestreamers and independent journalists support and a platform to report the news.
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|