The wRap


Your World in 10 - April 18, 2012 Edition

NoKor rocket

1. North Korea warns of possible retaliation over rocket



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After North Korea’s failed attempt to launch an observation satellite into space last Friday, April 13, the United Nations condemned the launch, calling it a violation of prior agreements against any ballistic missile and nuclear activity by the Communist state. The UN also directed its sanctions committee to strengthen penalties against the county. The US called the failed attempt a covert test of rocket technology. North Korea is accusing the US of hostility after the US suspended its agreement to provide food aid. The agreement forged last February was in exchange for a suspension of North Korea’s nuclear and missiles program. With this development, a Korean official was quoted as saying, “We have thus become able to take necessary retaliatory measures, free from the agreement.”

Read full story on USA Today




Territorial dispute

2. Philippines vs China in Scarborough Shoal dispute



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Tensions rose between China and the Philippines on Tuesday, April 17, when the Philippines refused to pull out a Philippine-registered ship near the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. Embassy officials blamed the Philippines for “aggravating the situation”. The MS Saranggani carries French archeologists working on trying to salvage a shipwreck in the area. China insists the salvaging operation is in violation of international conventions. Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Roasario says the stand-off needs to be resolved in the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea.

Read more on GulfNews.com

Read also on Rappler




Palace

3. PNoy vs Catholic Church again?



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Is the President at odds with Catholic Church leaders again? Saying it was his Christian duty to do so, President Benigno Aquino III said on Tuesday, April 17, that he would like to send out copies of the Lord's Prayer to "certain members of the religious", saying they seem to have forgotten what the prayer stands for. The President’s remarks come amidst criticism from two Mindanao bishops on the President’s proposed solution to the Mindanao power crisis.

Full story on Rappler




Festival gone wrong

4. Songkran death toll soars to 282



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An estimated 282 people were killed and 3,059 others were injured due to road accidents that happened during the first six days of the annual Songkran festival in Thailand. Songkran, which means water, is celebrated as the traditional Thai New Year’s Day, with people across the country involved in playful water fights using water guns, pails, and hoses. Bangkok's The Nation website reports that this year's number of casualties is higher compared to last year’s death toll. Songkran is also a major tourist draw, with many Filipinos also flying in to Bangkok from April 13-15 to join the festivities.

Read more on The Nation




Telecom

5. Globe looking to stop dropped calls and delayed texts



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Dropped calls and delayed texts are common occurrences to mobile phone subscribers. But Globe telecoms is hoping for find a solution to these problems. Globe CEO Ernest Cu says his company is investing in a series of network upgrades and is looking into acquiring additional frequencies to decongest voice and data traffic. The company hopes to take over the bandwidth spectrum of a company called Cure, owned by Globe rival PLDT. PLDT is required to sell Cure as part of its agreement with the NTC when it purchased Digital in October 2009.

Full story on Rappler




Nation

6. Prosecution wants Arroyo suspended



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Government prosecutors have asked the Sandiganbayan to suspend former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from her Congress duties in light of the two pending graft charges filed against her. Preventive suspension is part of the procedures mandated under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Graft investigators insist Arroyo used her influence as president to push for the approval of the NBN-ZTE deal despite reports of massive bribery and cost padding. Arroyo is currently detained at the Veteran’s Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.

Full story on Rappler




Technology

7. What happens when Gmail goes down?



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Imagine a world without Gmail. That happened early Wednesday, April 18 when some users around the world could not log into to their Gmail accounts. Users who tried logging in during this time got an error message that said, “We’re sorry, but your Gmail account is unavailable.” Twitter erupted with users complaining about the inability to access their accounts. Hours later, the service was restored, with Google confirming that they have implemented a fix and are making continuous improvements to make their systems better.

Read more on the Verge




Discoveries

8. New frog species discovered in Southern Leyte



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In an area of critical biodiversity, experts have unveiled two new species of forest frogs. The discovery is surprising, given the fact that the area where the new species were discovered is one with degraded rain forests. The species, a brown frog and a yellow-green frog, were unveiled Tuesday, April 17, at the Museum of the Filipino in Manila. During the event, the country director of Fauna and Flora International, Neil Mallari, called the discovery a reason to have hope in the Philippines’ biodiversity, and called it an urgent call to the government to rebuild our forests. Mallari’s call comes amid protests in Baguio over the earth-balling of pine trees as part of SM Baguio’s expansion project.

Details on Rappler




Exploration

9. Retired space shuttle Discovery makes last flight



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After its last spaceflight in March 2011, the space shuttle Discovery made its last journey Tuesday, April 17, taking off for the last time from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to its final resting place in Virginia. The shuttle, strapped to the back of a Boeing 747, flew by several US national landmarks, including the Washington Monument and the US Capitol building both in Washington DC, before landing at the Washington Dulles International Airport. The Discovery will not become part of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum. In its 27-year history, Discovery flew 39 successful missions, logging nearly 143 million miles. Its retirement marks the end of the space shuttle era. NASA is said to be focusing on the development of a next generation space shuttle that can carry astronauts farther into outer space.

Read more on The Guardian

Photos on BBC




Entertainment

10. Get to know the Pinoy producer of Americas’ Next Top Model



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Emmy-award-winning producer Michael Carandang was born in Batangas before moving to the United States as a kid. There he found a career in television and worked for the Jerry Springer Show, the Tyra Banks Show, and the worldwide hit America's Next Top Model. Carandang, who was instrumental in getting Filipino talents like Michael Cinco and Bench model Georgina Wilson on the show, spoke to Rappler about ANTM, American Idol, and why he’s spending 8 months back in the Philippines.

Watch it on Rappler