The wRap


Your World in 10 - December 19, 2012 Edition

#RHBill

1. RH Bill approved by Bicam



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The bicameral conference committee signed the final version of the RH bill on the last day of session, Wednesday, December 19, before Congress pauses for the Christmas break. The Senate and House of Representatives are set to ratify the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 on Wednesday evening. After the ratification, all it needs is the signature of the President to become law.


Read more on Rappler.




Suspended

2. Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia suspended



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Cebu governor Gwendolyn Garcia was suspended today, December 19, for grave abuse of authority in connection with her alleged involvement in the anomalous purchase of land by the Cebu Government. The suspension order was signed by President Benigno Aquino III on December 17, Monday, and was served the following day. Replacing her is Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale of the Liberal Party. Garcia said the charges against her are politically motivated, and she accused Malacañang of playing "dirty tactics" on her.


Read more on Rappler.




Remembrance

3. Funerals for Newtown victims held



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Two victims from last Friday's gruesome shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut were laid to rest Tuesday, December 18, while families of 3 others held visitations for their lost love ones. School resumed in the town for the first time since the shootings took place, except at Sandy Hook wherein classes will not resume until January. 27 people, mostly 6 and 7 year olds, were killed when gunman Adam Lanza shot indiscriminately at students and school staff. Before arriving at Sandy Hook, Lanza also killed his mother while she was in bed sleeping. Lanza also shot himself in the head.


Read more on CNN.




Gun Control

4. Obama behind weapons bill



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Following criticism that he was vague about which gun controls he was in support of, US President Barack Obama a White House spokesperson said the President had pledged to support a bill banning ownership of assault weapons like that used at Newtown school. The specific bill will be introduced by Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein in January 2013. Feinstein was also responsible for a similar bill introduced in 1994 but was allowed to lapse in 2004 during the administration of then President George W. Bush.


Read more on The Guardian.






Korea Votes

5. South Korea Elections today



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South Koreans head to the polls today to elect a new president. In a tightly fought race, Park Geun-hye of the governing Saenuri party looks to become the country's first woman president. But putting up a good challenge is the Democratic United Party's Moon Jae-in who in the weeks leading up to the elections has been slowly eating away at her lead. The winner will replace President Lee Myung-bak who's at the end of his five year term. Three hours into polls and an 11.6% turnout was repaired. A winner should be clear by the end of the polling day with formal results to be announced by Thursday, December 20th.


Read more on BBC News.




Instagram Responds

6. Systrom: Instagram won't sell user photos



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Following the backlash that came as a result of Instagram's new terms of service, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom clarified that Instagram has no intention of selling user photos. Systrom blamed the misintepretion on less than stellar wording of the legal texts and added that they are "going to remove the language that raise the question".


Read more on Rappler.




World Leader

7. Samsung overtakes Nokia, is world's leading cellphone manufacturer



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Samsung has overtaken Nokia as the leading cellphone manufacturer, the first time in 14 years that the Finnish company did not end up on top, according to a report by Market Research firm iSuppli. Samsung is expected to account for 29% of worldwide cellphone shipments in 2012 up from 24% last year. Nokia on the hand drops from 30% in 2011 to 24% in 2012. According to iSippli Senior Analyst Wayne Lam, Smartphones represent the fasted-growing segment of the cellphone market - and account for nearly half of all the wireless handset shipment of the year. In 2012 Samsung surged ahead of Apple with 28% marketshare vs Apple's 20%.


Read more on IHS.




Budget Approved

8. PNoy signs P2T 2013 national budget



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President Benigno Aquino III signed into law the 2013 national budget Wednesday December 19. The P2.006 trillion national budget is 10.5% higher than the P1.816 trillion earmarked for 2012. Social services, which provide benefits such as education, health are and food subsidies to the poor will get the biggest share, 34.8% of the budget. Education services will get 25.5% while 16.6% will be spend on debt servicing. The Department of Education receives the largest allocation among government agencies, amounting to P293.332 billion up 22.8% from last year.


Read more on Rappler.




Doomsday

9. China arrests Doomsday believers



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Authorities in China seeing doomsday believers as a threat to social stability have detained at least 93 members of the Church of the Almighty God. According to a report by the state-owned paper The Global Times, the group "brainwashed others into believing the end of the world is near" through texts and flyers. The banned Christian cult is has adapted the Mayan prophecy of the world ending on the December 21st but have related it to the second coming of a "female Jesus". Followers believe that the sun will disappear for 3 days from Saturday through Monday followed by other natural calamities.


Read more on the Daily Beast.




Astronomy

10. Astronomers discover livable planet in nearby sun



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Astronomers have discovered that the nearest sun-like star to the earth "Tau Centi" hosts 5 planets, one of which in what they call a "habitable zone" one with the right conditions or liquid water to exist. The study that will be published in Astronomy and Astrophysics says the planets were found not through via telescope but by measuring the effect these planet have on their sun's light. Planets on another nearby star Alpha Centauri, were also found via this method.


Read more on Rappler.