Today on Rappler:
COURT SUSPENDS US MARINE'S MURDER TRIAL
An Olongapo court grants the motion of US Marine Joseph Pemberton to suspend his murder trial pending a plea for the dismissal of the case. Pemberton is accused of murdering transgender Filipina Jennifer Laude in October. The suspension will last 60 days.
Pemberton's lawyers say evidence linking him to the killing are "based on nothing but conjectures and speculations." The high-profile case sparked anti-US sentiment in the Philippines. The US government refuses to hand over custody to Philippine authorities invoking the terms of the Visiting Forces Agreement between the two countries. Pemberton is currently under US military guard at a Philippine military base in Manila.
AQUINO, LACSON AGREE ON FEBRUARY RESIGNATION DATE
After a one-on-one discussion, President Benigno Aquino and rehabilitation secretary Ping Lacson agree to wrap up the activities of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery by February 2015. Lacson earlier announced his resignation as rehabilitation secretary, saying his agency already served its purpose. After Lacson’s resignation, the agency’s mandate will be transferred to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
RAINY CHRISTMAS EVE FROM COLD FRONT, AMIHAN
State weather bureau PAGASA says Christmas Eve will be rainy in many parts of the Philippines. In its 5PM bulletin PAGASA says Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces in central and south Luzon will experience light to moderate rain. PAGASA says the cold front affects southern Luzon, while the northeast monsoon or amihan continues to affect northern and central Luzon.
PROTESTERS DEFY NEW YORK CALL FOR MORATORIUM
In the US, a coalition of activists reject calls to suspend anti-police protests in New York. The murder of two police officers Saturday left New York in shock and sparked protests around the city. On Tuesday dozens of protesters defied a call from New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, urging New Yorkers to suspend demonstrations until both policemen are buried. Protesters are calling for a mass demonstration on New Year's Eve.
SONY TO RELEASE 'INTERVIEW' AFTER HACK ATTACK
In a reversal, Sony Pictures will release controversial film "The Interview" in selected US theaters on Christmas Day. It’s a dramatic turnaround after Sony cancelled the film’s release when hackers warned of a “bitter fate” similar to 9/11 for moviegoers. Sony was the victim of a crippling cyber attack that US government security experts blamed on North Korea. The New York Times reports only between 200 to 300 cinemas are expected to show the film, a parody about the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
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