Rappler Newscast | January 10, 2014
Today on Rappler.
- The foreign affairs department hits China’s new fishing law in the disputed South China Sea.
- Senators Marcos and Santiago want an investigation into the allegedly overpriced bunkhouses for typhoon victims.
- Filipinos in Thailand are told - avoid red and yellow.
Story 1: PH SLAMS CHINA LAW ON FISHING BOATS
The Philippines on Friday slams a new Chinese law that requires foreigners to seek China's permission to fish in the disputed South China Sea.
In a statement, the Philippines' Department of Foreign Affairs or DFA asks China to clarify the new fisheries law issued by the Hainan Provincial People's Congress.
The DFA says it is --quote-- “gravely concerned” by the new regulation.
It adds, “This development escalates tensions, unnecessarily complicates the situation in the South China Sea and threatens the peace and stability of the region.”
The DFA says the new regulation is a “gross violation” of international laws protecting the freedom of navigation and the right to fish in the high seas.
The Philippines earlier filed a historic case against China over disputed portions of the sea.
China’s 9-dash line, which it uses to claim the entire South China Sea, overlaps with the Philippines' 200-mile exclusive economic zone or EEZ.
The Philippines' defense department says it is ready to protect the country’s EEZ.
Story 2: PH SEEKS DUTY-FREE ACCESS AFTER HAIYAN
Two months after Super Typhoon Yolanda -- international name Haiyan -- wreaked havoc across Central Philippines, the Philippines says it wants the United States to grant duty-free access to certain products from typhoon-hit areas.
The typhoon damaged billions in crops and paralyzed sources of livelihood.
Damage to agriculture is pegged at P18.35 billion, while infrastructure damage is at P18.34 billion.
In a conference, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia Jr says the Philippines is looking at --quote-- “arrangements that will allow duty-free access” for a limited time for selected products coming from affected areas.
Cuisia also refers to the United States’ agreement with Haiti following the earthquake, which allowed for duty-free access to the US market for certain Haiti-made products to help boost economic development.
To rebuild typhoon-hit areas, the Philippine government says it needs P360.9 billion in a span of 4 years.
The US is one of the Philippines' largest donors in rehabilitation efforts, pledging P2.727 billion in donations for Yolanda survivors.
Story 3: PROBE CULPRITS OF 'OVERPRICED SHELTERS'
Senators not satisfied with Malacanang’s explanations want to conduct their own investigation into the allegedly overpriced and substandard bunkhouses for typhoon victims.
Senators Miriam Defensor Santiago and Bongbong Marcos file separate resolutions Thursday calling for a Senate investigation.
Marcos says the investigation is crucial to --quote-- “make sure that the victims of Yolanda will no longer be victimized further by corruption and abuses perpetrated by the callous culprits.”
Santiago, Marcos and Senator JV Ejercito want the chamber to look into the report of the Camp Coordination and Camp Management or CCCM group.
CCCM says the temporary shelters don’t comply with international standards.
Rehabilitation secretary Ping Lacson is also looking into reports that at least one politician in the typhoon-hit area is colluding with contractors and discussing commissions of 30% to 35% of the bunkhouses.
In a resolution, Santiago says, “The national government owes local and international typhoon relief donors transparency and accountability and therefore must ensure that the typhoon victims should receive relief by observing internationally recognized standards and best practices.”
Santiago also suggests amending laws like the Government Procurement Reform Act.
Haiyan killed more than 6,000 people when it devastated the Visayas on November 8.
It flattened entire towns and cities and left millions homeless.
Story 4: AQUINO TO DIPLOMATS: THE PH REMEMBERS WHO OUR FRIENDS ARE
President Benigno Aquino thanks ambassadors for aid from their countries to the Philippines after Haiyan.
During the 27th Vin d'Honneur – an annual tradition to mark the New Year – Aquino says the act of kindness shown to the Philippines won’t be forgotten.
BENIGNO AQUINO III, PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT: Many of the nations you represent have been our partners not just in overcoming one calamity, but in addressing the challenges that arose in the wake of many others. For some other nations represented here today, you came to our assistance after Yolanda. By doing so, you opened a new chapter in our relations...To everyone gathered here, it is with a sincere sense of gratitude that I tell you: the Filipino people remember who their friends are. Filipinos never forget an instance of kindness, and will constantly look for ways to repay those who stood by them in the most difficult times.
After Haiyan, the international community rushed in to help, with total foreign aid both in cash and non-cash now at P23.8 billion.
Story 5: PHILIPPINES BANS LEAD AFTER YEARS-LONG CAMPAIGN
The Philippines bans the use of lead in a wide range of consumer products after years of campaigning by environmentalists.
Environment Secretary Ramon Paje announces the chemical control order banning the use of lead in toys, cosmetics, school supplies, water pipes and packaging for food and drinks, among others.
Violators face up to six months in prison.
Environmental groups welcome the move, and urge the government to strictly enforce the ban.
The World Health Organization says the widespread use of lead caused environmental contamination and health problems.
Story 6: PH TELLS NATIONALS TO SHUN RED, YELLOW IN THAILAND
The Philippine embassy in Bangkok tells Filipinos traveling to Thailand to steer clear of red or yellow items to avoid getting caught in the political unrest there.
The red and yellow colors are closely identified with the parties involved in the political conflict.
In a travel advisory, the embassy says, “Participating or showing support in any form to any of the parties is strongly discouraged.”
The protests aim to overthrow the government of Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of ousted former leader Thaksin Shinawatra.
Thaksin's overthrow in 2006 was followed by years of street protests by the royalist "Yellow Shirts" and Thaksin's supporters, known as the "Red Shirts".
The embassy also repeats an earlier warning for Filipinos to avoid non-essential travel to Bangkok.
Anti-government protesters announce plans to stage rallies in Bangkok to block February elections called by the government.
Story 7: HOLLANDE SAYS HE MAY SUE MAGAZINE OVER AFFAIR CLAIM
French President Francois Hollande says he’s considering legal action against a magazine after it said he was having an affair with an actress.
In a post on its website, the weekly magazine Closer says the 59-year-old president routinely drives through Paris on his scooter to spend the night with 41-year-old actress Julie Gayet.
The website says its print edition will feature photos of the alleged relationship.
Hollande criticizes the report as a --quote-- “an attack on the right to privacy.”
Story 8: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 6, The father of a Pakistani teenager killed after tackling a suicide bomber praises his son for saving his fellow students through his bravery.
15-year-old Aitzaz Hassan died in a hospital after stopping the attack at the gates of his school in the northwestern district of Hangu on Monday.
His father, Mujahid Ali Bangash says, “Many people are coming to see me but if they try to express sympathy, I tell them to congratulate me instead on becoming the father of a martyr.”
The school has around 1,000 students, most of them Shiite in a district with a history of sectarian violence.
At number 7, Afghanistan on Thursday says it will release alleged Taliban fighters tagged by the United States for the death of over a hundred people, including at least 60 from NATO or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
A statement says Afghan President Hamid Karzai orders the Bagram prison review board to free the prisoners, saying there is no evidence against them.
US General Joseph Dunford, commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, earlier objected officially to the release.
This will further strain US-Afghan relations as pressure mounts for the two countries to sign the long-delayed Bilateral Security Agreement, allowing some American soldiers to stay in the country after 2014.
And at number 8, The killing of beauty queen and soap opera star Monica Spear sparks anger among Venezuelans, as pressure mounts for the government to end violence on the country's roads and highways.
Spear and her ex-husband were gunned down by armed robbers in the Carabobo state Monday night.
On Thursday, Venezuelan authorities says seven suspects were arrested.
Monica's aunt, Mary Spear, urges the government to act on the country's high crime rates.
CNN reports a nonprofit group that tracks killings in the South American country says there were almost 25,000 violent deaths in 2013.
Story 9: SCIENTISTS SORRY THEY CAN'T MAKE A DRAGON FOR LITTLE GIRL
Australia's national science agency issues a rare apology to a 7-year-old girl.
The reason? For being unable to make her a fire-breathing dragon.
Sophie wrote to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation or CSIRO, politely asking whether they could make her a pet dragon.
In her letter, Sophie promised to feed her pet raw fish and play with it when she wasn't at school.
Her request gets an unusual apology from the 87-year-old institution.
In its blog post last week, the group says, “Our work has never ventured into dragons of the mythical, fire breathing variety. And for this, Australia, we are sorry.”
But on Friday, scientists say Sophie is in for a surprise.
In a new post, the organization says an electric blue and grey dragon named Toothless was 3D printed out of titanium and is now on its way to Sophie.
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|