The wRap


Your World in 10 - December 31, 2012 Edition

Health and politics

1. RH law signed



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Without fanfare, President Benigno Aquino III signed the Reproductive Health bill into law on December 21, ending a long and rough battle to provide the poor access to contraceptives. The birth control act gives couples the tools and information needed to plan the size of their families. Proponents say reducing poverty and high maternal mortality rate are just some of the benefits of the law, which took over 13 years to pass due to bitter opposition from the influential Catholic Church. While Aquino called for reconciliation following the passage of the divisive measure, the fight is not over for church leaders who once threatened to excommunicate the President for pushing for the bill. Groups allied with the church are expected to challenge the law in the Supreme Court.


Read the full story here and here on Rappler.




#PHVote

2. Delayed polls for Pablo victims



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Next year's polls in at least 6 areas that have barely recovered from typhoon Pablo may be delayed. Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes said the disaster risk reduction agency has to submit a formal proposal on the matter before a decision can be made. In deciding however, the poll body must consider factors apart from the devastation wrought by the typhoon. Delaying elections will be costly. This may also tilt results in favor of certain candidates through extended campaigning and even cheating.


Read the full story on Rappler.




New Year

3. PH braces for New Year revelry



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The government will welcome the new year with a resolution: fewer people maimed by firecrackers and hit by stray bullets. President Benigno Aquino III interrupted his Christmas holidays to meet with emergency services officials on preparations for mass casualties, fires and other potential mayhem from the annual New Year's Eve merrymaking. The Health department reported that so far, a total of 164 people have been injured by fireworks since the Christmas weekend.


Read the full story on Rappler.




Christmas storm

4. Death toll rises to 20



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The death toll from a tropical storm that hit the central Philippines on Christmas Day has risen to 20, with more than 20,000 others left homeless, according to the government. More drowning victims as well as the body of an elderly man crushed by a fallen tree had been found on Panay island along with that of an electrocution victim, raising the number of dead by 9. Four other people remain missing.


Read the full story on Rappler.




India

5. Outcry over rape in India



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The victim of a gang-rape and murder that triggered an outpouring of grief and revulsion across India was cremated at a private ceremony on December 30. The unidentified 23-year-old, who was supposed to wed her boyfriend in February, was the focus of nationwide protests since she was attacked on a bus in New Delhi weeks ago. Her remains were cremated at a ceremony kept secret by authorities and attended by traumatized relatives and friends.


Read the full story on Rappler.




US Economy

6. No 'fiscal cliff' deal yet



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Two days of last-gasp talks produced no deal between US political leaders struggling to avert a fiscal crisis that will hit America and the world economy. Party leaders in the US Senate groped for a compromise to head-off a punishing package of spending cuts and tax hikes that is due come into force on January 1 and which could roil global markets and plunge the US into recession. Senate Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell warned that, despite through-the-night talks, negotiators were still a long way from forging a deal.


Read the full story on Rappler.




Cebu Standoff

7. Garcia to be evicted?



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Is the Cebu standoff about to end? Suspended Cebu Governor Gwendolyn "Gwen" Garcia warned of a plan to evict her from the provincial capitol where she has been holed up since being suspended from office on December 19. Garcia claimed Police Regional Office 7 Director Marcelo Garbo Jr threatened to physically remove her from the capitol by December 31. But Palace Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang said he was not aware of any order to evict Garcia, adding that the administration will deal with the issue after the holidays.


Read full story on Rappler.




Sick Hillary

8. Hillary Clinton hospitalized with blood clot



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She fell ill earlier this month with a stomach bug, fainted and suffered a concussion. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hospitalized after her doctors discovered that a blood clot formed in her head following the accident. Her office however insisted that she was recovering and was expected back at her desk on December 31.


Read full story on Rappler.




Social Media

9. Analysis: Impeachment vote in tweets



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It was the first trial of its kind to be concluded in Philippine history. The impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona was closely followed by Filipinos not only on national television and radio, but also the Internet. It sparked intense conversations on social media, now proven to be a significant platform for democracy and institution-building. Rappler collected and analyzed about 143,000 tweets during the last day of the Corona trial and discovered how strongly connected online communities were to one another.


Read the full analysis on Rappler.




Technology

10. New Apple product in 2013



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iPhone, iPod, iPad. What's next? If rumors are true, Apple will raise the curtains on the latest addition to the i-family next year -- the iWatch. The tech giant and Intel are said to be secretly developing a smart watch with a 1.5-inch touch screen that can connect to any iOS device. Apple fans are watching out for further details.


Read full story on Rappler.