The wRap


Your World in 10 - August 30, 2012 Edition

#NotoPlagiarism

1. Sotto strikes out plagiarism from record, aims to curb bloggers



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Instead of apologizing for statements plagiarized from an American blogger, Senator Tito Sotto lashes back at critics, claiming to be the only senator to become a victim of cyber-bullying. He calls for legislation to define and regulate blogging. Sotto moves to strike the plagiarized statements from the Senate record and points out that plagiarism is not a crime in the Philippines.

Read Sotto's speech in full here and see video and read key points here - all on Rappler.



Corona Saga

2. BIR files tax charges against Coronas



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The Bureau of Internal Revenue filed tax evasion charges on Thursday worth P150.68 million against former Chief Justice Renato Corona, his daughter Maria Carla Beatrice Castillo and son in law Constantino Castillo III. The BIR filed criminal charges against the three for violating Sec. 254 for attempting to evade taxes and 255 for failing to file tax returns.

Read more on Rappler.



Transparency

3. Supreme Court justices release SALNs



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All 14 justices of the Supreme Court, including newly-appointed Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno, gave copies of their 2011 SALN, the Statement of Asset, Liabilities and Net Worth, to SolarNews on Thursday, three months after former Chief Justice Renato Corona was impeached and convicted for failure to disclose P183 million in peso and dollar bank deposits.

For a full listing of each justice's declared net worth, read more on Rappler.



Bright Spot

4. US managers asking to move to Manila more than doubles in 2 yrs as 5.9% Q2 GDP announced



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The Philippines became Asia's new bright spot this year as it posted a 6.3% growth rate in the first quarter, the fastest in Southeast Asia and second only to powerhouse China in Asia. On Thursday, the Philippines announces better than expected second quarter growth rate of 5.9%, although it drops to second place to Indonesia. Also on Thursday, the 2012/2013 ASEAN Business Outlook is scheduled to be released at the sidelines of an ASEAN meeting in Cambodia. It shows growth in Southeast Asia is translating into "more profit, more investment and more expansion by US companies." Two years ago, less than 30% of the executives surveyed said they had requests from employees who wanted to transfer to the region. This year, that number grew to more than 50%. The numbers are higher in the Philippines, where two years ago only 15% said they were getting transfer requests. This year, that number grew to 40%.

Read more about Thursday's announcement of Q2 growth rate on Rappler and about the survey for Southeast Asia postings on the Wall Street Journal.



Tuberculosis

5. Drug-resistant TB in the Philippines & 7 other countries



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Researchers sounded the alarm about drug-resistant tuberculosis in the Lancet medical journal. They studied 8 countries and found 43.7% of TB patients did not respond to at least one second-line TB drug, used when the most powerful first-line drugs fail. The study covered Estonia, Latvia, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and Thailand. In the Philippines, part of what causes the problem is the over-prescription of antibiotics or the failure to take the full prescribed course, which can allow the bacteria which causes TB to develop resistance to the drug.

Read more on Rappler



#RHBill

6. Why Catholic teachers can support the RH bill



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192 professors from Catholic university Ateneo de Manila say they support the RH bill, triggering questions inside the CBCP and the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) regarding their own policies. CEAP says it supports the Catholic bishops stance against the RH bill but respects the professors who support it. It urges respect for Catholic doctrine but upholds academic freedom. The next two weeks are crucial for the RH bill. It's the first time in 14 years that it's reached the level of amendments in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. If it does not come to a vote in the next two weeks, chances of it becoming law dim.

Read more on Rappler



Social Media

7. Obama on Reddit crashes servers



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While the Republicans were at their national convention, Barack Obama went on the Internet, specifically the popular social site Reddit, under its "AMA" - Ask Me Anything - section. His chat was announced about half an hour before with an original message: "Hi, I'm Barack Obama, President of the Untied States. Ask me anything. I'll be taking your questions for half an hour starting at about 4:30 ET." More than 200,000 visitors engaged with Obama, many of them getting error messages as servers struggled and some crashed. Obama tries to win viral votes by answering questions on internet freedom ("fight hard to make sure the internet remains the open forum for everybody"), his most difficult decision in office ("surge our forces in Afghanistan"), to the best NBA player ever ("Jordan").

Read more on Wired.



RNC Woes

8. Romney's federal bailout & $4m consultancy fee



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Rolling Stone, based on government documents it obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, says Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney engineered a federal bailout for Bain & Company that "screwed the FDIC - the bank insurance system backed by taxpayers - out of at least $10 million" at a time when his company had "no value as a going concern." At the time he was negotiating the handout, Romney gave hefty bonuses to top executives and then had the company pay Bain Capital a $4 million consulting fee for his services.

Read more on Rolling Stone.



Appointment

9. New DILG chief next week



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President Aquino is expected to name the replacement of the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo next week, before he leaves for the APEC summit in Vladivostok, Russia. LP President Mar Roxas said earlier he would give the post to Cavite representative Jun Abaya, the secretary-general of the LP. House majority leader Neptali Gonzales backs Roxas. Others reportedly being considered are former Isabela governor Grace Padaca, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and Davao City Vice Mayor Rodigo Duterte.

Read more on Rappler



Doubts

10. SEAL book on Bin Laden killing contradicts US account



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A new book by a former Navy SEAL contradicts official US accounts of how bin Laden was killed during the covert operations. Author Mark Bissonnette, writing under the pseudonym Mar Owen, says bin Laden was hit in the head when he looked out his bedroom doorway. If true, it contradicts what US officials said that the SEALs climbed the stairs of the compound and bin Laden went back into the bedroom. It raises questions about whether the al-Qaeda leader posed a clear threat to the US commandos who killed him. Bissonnette says he was a "point man" going up the stairs.

Read more on the New York Times.