The wRap


Your World in 10 - August 1, 2013 Edition

FORBES' RICHEST

1. Henry Sy richest Filipino 6 yrs in row — Forbes



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The collective wealth of the 50 richest people in the Philippines reached US$ 65.8 billion in 2013, more than a quarter of the country's total gross domestic product, according to Forbes magazine's latest rich list. Mall magnate Henry Sy Sr held the top spot in for the 6th straight year. Forbes estimated Sy's wealth at $12 billion. The country's stellar economic performance — highlighted by a 7.8% growth in first quarter — helped Sy grow his wealth by $2.9 billion. The business group that the 88-year-old Sy heads operates the country's biggest shopping mall network, the most valuable real estate firm (SM Prime), and the biggest bank by assets (BDO Unibank).

Read the full story on Rappler.




NAPOLES PROPERTY

2. Napoles daughter owns P80M LA property



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According to online records of the Office of the Assessor of Los Angeles County and official records of the Recorder's Office, Jeane Napoles is the registered owner of Unit 37I (an earlier report listed 37J) at the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Los Angeles. The Assessor's office evaluates real property taxes, while the Recorder's Office assesses "special taxes." The document does not mention the price of the unit or when exactly it was sold, but the unit itself was built only in 2010. The estimated selling price of the apartment today is pegged at P80-M or almost US $2-M.

Read the full story on Rappler.




ZIMBABWE ELECTION

3. Counting underway in knife-edge Zimbabwe election



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Counting was underway in Zimbabwe's tightly fought election Wednesday, July 31, amid high turnout and accusations of rigging by President Robert Mugabe's allies who wish to extend his 33-year rule. The 89-year-old Mugabe is Africa's oldest leader and is running for office for the seventh and perhaps final time. His rival Morgan Tsvangirai hopes the election will usher in a new era for the troubled southern African nation. Organizers reported high turnout across the country for the first election since the violent polls of 2008, that led to an uneasy power-sharing government between the two men. There were no reports of widespread violence this time round, despite the fierce rhetoric of the campaign.

Read the full story on Rappler.




SECURITY

4. US spy planes to assist PH vs China



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Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said US spy planes are providing crucial intelligence on Chinese military activities in disputed parts of the West Philippine Sea. This could help the Philippines in its arbitration case against China. In a press briefing, del Rosario said the information gathered by the spy planes is of “significant importance” to the Philippines. “We do have an interest in terms of what is going on in our exclusive economic zone, within our continental shelf, and we want to know if there are any intrusions,” del Rosario said. US Navy P-3 Orion surveillance aircraft fly over areas that the Philippines claims to be within its legal territory but where China has deployed military vessels.

Read the full story on Rappler.




RABIES JUMPS SPECIES

5. Rabies outbreak jumps species in Taiwan



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Pet owners in Taiwan were rushing to inoculate their animals on Wednesday, July 31, after the first case of rabies in a shrew was confirmed, fueling fears that an outbreak of the disease is spreading between species. Health authorities on the island have been battling to contain a rabies outbreak among so-called ferret-badgers, with at least 18 cases among the weasel-like animals confirmed so far. On Wednesday officials confirmed the disease had spread to a shrew, fueling fears that it could mutate further to affect domestic pets - greatly increasing the risk to humans. Taiwan is now listed as a rabies-affected area by the Paris-headquartered World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) after the island confirmed its first outbreak since 1959 on July 17. The Taipei city government has set up a contingent unit tasked with monitoring rabies outbreaks, with plans to purchase more than 50,000 doses of vaccines before the end of August.

Read the full story on Rappler.




SHANGHAI HEATWAVE

6. At least 10 dead as record heatwave hits Shanghai



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More than 10 people have died in China's commercial hub Shanghai, a local health official said Wednesday, July 31, as the city grapples with its highest temperatures in at least 140 years. Much of China is in the grip of a summer heatwave, and the China Meteorological Administration issued a high temperature warning for several eastern and central provinces, saying temperatures could reach 41 degrees Celsius (106 Fahrenheit) on Wednesday. Experts blame a subtropical high pressure system and a lack of rain for the record-breaking heatwave, according to state media.

Read the full story on Rappler.




SCIENCE

7. Human-like ear grown from animal tissue



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People with deformed ears or who have lost them in accidents have something to hope for. American scientists from the Massachusetts General Hospital have moved closer to being able to grow a complete human ear from animal tissue. The researchers said they took living tissues from cows and sheep and “grew them on a flexible wire frame that has the 3D shape of a real human ear,” the BBC reported. Findings indicate that in theory it is possible to grow enough cells in animals to make a full-size, flexible human ear. Dr Thomas Cervantes, leader of the research team, said the process could move into human clinical trials in about 5 years.

Read the full story on the BBC.

More details are available in the Journal of the Royal Society.




SOCIAL MEDIA

8. Facebook shares rise above IPO price



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For the first time since Facebook Inc began trading in May 2012, shares have risen above its US$38 initial public offering price. Values rose to as high as $38.31 on Wednesday, the last day of July. On an upward trend since releasing earnings a week ago that showed a jump in mobile advertising revenue, Facebook shares have rallied more than 40% since then. Most of the recent earnings report showed 41% of its ad revenues coming from mobile, up from 30% in the previous quarter, and almost nothing from 2012. Just 3 months after flotation, share prices collapsed to $18 over fears of a lack of mobile strategy and slowing revenue growth.

Read the full story on Rappler.

Additional details are on the BBC.




ENTERTAINMENT

9. Filipino wins in ‘Apprentice Asia’



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Jonathan Allen Yabut, one of two Filipino contestants in “The Apprentice Asia” won in the show’s debut season. A former Globe Telecom management trainee and most recently a senior product manager at GlaxoSmithKline Philippines, Yabut won over 11 other contenders coming from 7 countries. He becomes a top-salaried apprentice of the show’s host, Malaysian businessman and AirAsia group chief executive officer Tony Fernandes. Yabut’s victory came 11 weeks since the May 22 debut of “Apprentice Asia” and after a gruelling succession of group tasks that required sharp busines instincts, as well as passion and persistence. The show’s final task required organizing a charity black-tie fundraiser for AirAsia Foundation in Kuala Lumpur. “This is not about me. This is about my country, about proving to the world that a Filipino can make it internationally,” Yabut said of his win.

Read the full story on Rappler.




FILIPINO MUSIC

10. Music video launched vs Chinese ‘aggression’



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More than 30 Filipino artists based here and in the US, have taken a stand against what they termed as Chinese aggression in the West Philippine Sea. Calling themselves “Filipinos Unite” or the FU Movement, they released a video of their song, “Change the World.” The video fuses modern pop genres like hip-hop and R&B. Despite the activist tone, Vonz Santos, chairman of FU and one of the leaders of US Pinoys for Good Governance, said the song is intended to help “resolve the conflict through peaceful methods.” More songs and videos are being planned, even as FU urged Filipinos here and abroad to support, and add their voice to, their cause.

Read the full story on Rappler.