The wRap


Your World in 10 - August 13, 2012 Edition

Farewell London

1. Musical extravaganza closes London Olympics



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There was no better ending to the XXX Olympiad then the night of music and dancing that was the London 2012 Closing Ceremony. Dubbed as a “Symphony of British Music” the event featured music greats from the last few decades. Names include George Michael, Fatboy Slim, Annie Lennox, Jessi J, Tinie Tempah, Taio Cruz and the Spice Girls. The 80,000-strong crowd partied along with athletes who marched in as one in stark contrast to the parade of nations, where teams marched in as separate entities. International Olympic Committee Chief Jacques Rogge hailed the London Olympics as “a happy and glorious games.” The night ended with the flame being extinguished in the Olympic stadium and the baton being passed on to Brazil who will host the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016.

Read more on Rappler.



Weather

2. More rain expected as Helen moves closer



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Less than a week after the southwest monsoon brought about non-stop rains and massive flooding to Metro Manila and some parts of northern Luzon, PAGASA reports of a tropical depression moving closer to northern Luzon. “Helen” was last seen 630km east northeast of Casiguran, Aurora in the eastern section of the country. Storm signal number 1 has been raised over Batanes, Isabela, Kalinga, Apayao and Cagayan. Metro Manila will have mostly cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and/or thunderstorms.

Read more on Rappler.



Olympic recap

3. London Olympics by the numbers



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After 16 days of competition, the final gold medal was awarded to Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda the winner of the men’s marathon during the closing ceremony held August 12th. The USA is atop the medal leader board with the most gold and silver medals and the most medals overall. Their final haul,104 medals - 46 Gold, 29 Silver, and 29 Bronze. Michael Phelps was the athlete with the most medals at these games, taking home a total of 6 medals in London, 4 Gold and 2 Silver. This brings his total to 22 Olympic medals (18 of which are gold) making him the most successful Olympic athlete of all time. A total of 25 world records were set at these games. 8 in swimming, 6 in weightlifting, 4 in athletics, 4 in cycling, 2 in archery and 1 in shooting.

Read more on Rappler.



Earthquake

4. 2 quakes leave hundreds dead in Iran



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Over 250 people are dead and almost 2,000 others are injured after two massive quakes hit parts of northwestern Iran Saturday, August 11. Deputy Interior Minister Hassan Qaddami says 110 villages were damaged by the two quakes, at least 20 were totally destroyed. Rescue operations ended on Sunday. Around 5,000 tents have been setup to provide temporary shelter to those displaced by the quakes. Officials have declared two days of mourning in the East Azerbaijan province. The Iranian government has promised to allocate funds to rebuild houses destroyed by the quake before the onset of winter.

Read more on Time.com



Monsoon's wrath

5. Last week’s monsoon left 92 dead, hundreds of millions lost



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The death toll from floods, landslides and other incidents resulting from the non-stop rains that hit Metro Manila and nearby provinces last week has climbed to 92. According to a report released by the National Disaster Risk and Management Council (NDRRMC) of those dead, 66 of the victims drowned while 12 were buried by landslides. As of Sunday, a total of 86 roads and 3 bridges in Regions I, III, IV-A, CAR and NCR remain impassable to all types of vehicles due to flooding. The total cost of damage to infrastructure is P597M while damage to agriculture stands at P19.5M.

Read more on Rappler.



Power play

6. Morsi forces high ranking military leaders into retirement



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In a move seen as his way of reasserting power claimed by the military before he took office last June, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi forced two high ranking Egyptian defense officials into retirement Sunday. In a televised announcement, a spokesperson for Morsi announced that Defense Minister Mohammed Hussein and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Sami Anan were “sent to retirement.” Both men were appointed Presidential Advisers and were awarded medals but many believe it was the Morsi’s way of asserting his authority over the government. The Egpytian military was in control of Egypt since the revolution that toppled the government of Hosni Mubarak in 2011, up until Morsi’s election.

Read more on CNN.



US Elections

7. Obama weighs in on Republican VP nominee



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Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced his running mate Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan over the weekend. Some see the timing and the basis for the decision as reactionary to Romney’s falling behind incumbent President Barrack Obama in recent polls. Obama, who is running for reelection called Ryan the “ideological leader of Republicans in Congress,” warning that while Ryan was a “decent man”, he supports a vision that he fundamentally disagrees with. Some say that the announcement has fueled new life into the Republican campaign. The duo was seen campaigning in North Carolina and Wisconsin on Sunday. Romney was quoted saying, “This is Day Two on our comeback tour to get America strong again.” Some however fear that Ryan’s appointment could harm the campaign, as his position on healthcare and government social spending could prove unpopular among some American voters.

Read more on BBC



Asean & China

8. Malaysia: Asean must resolve overlapping South China Sea claims



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Malaysia urged Southeast Asian countries to settle overlapping claims in the South China Sea before bringing them up with Beijing following a meeting by Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi. Speaking to reporters after the meeting Anifah said, “China is earnest in its desire in finding solutions” and proposed that overlapping claims by member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian should be resolved first. He added, then China can appreciate this and realize it is Asean’s wish.” No time frame has been set for such a meeting, leaders failed to come up with a consensus during their last meeting Phnom Penh in July.

Read more on Rappler.



Turno en contra

9. Sotto to deliver anti-RH bill exposé today



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In what is said to be a rare move in the legislative process, Senate Majority floor leader Tito Sotto is expected to deliver a “turno en contra” speech that according to him is an expose against the RH bill. Last week Sotto told reporters of plans to expose the organizations whose interests will be served with the passing of the RH bill and what kind of money they are pouring into it. The “turno en contra” allows lawmakers to present arguments against bills under second reading but are usually only used when discussing the national budget. Sotto will deliver that speech at the Senate today. Sponsors of the RH bill have pegged the passage of the measure by the end of the year at the latest but latest developments suggest a longer road ahead.

Read more on Rappler



Technology

10. New Google search algorithm to demote piracy sites



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In what is most likely another nod to Hollywood lobbyists, Google announced over the weekend that it would be changing its search algorithm (the formula which decides which stories go on the first page of search results) to prioritize content from legal sources. Sources with higher number of removal notices due to copyright complaints will appear lower in search result rankings. The Motion Picture of America expressed its satisfaction on the move saying they were optimistic the change would help steer people away from, "rogue cyberlockers, peer-to-peer sites, and other enterprises that steal the hard work of creators across the globe." The change will be implemented this week.

Read more on Rappler