The wRap


Your World in 10 - February 11, 2013 Edition

Peace Process

1. PNoy makes historic trip to MILF country



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President Benigno Aquino III set foot on the stronghold of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for the first time on Monday morning, February 11 for the launch of "Sajahatra Bangsamoro," the government's social welfare services program for MILF communities. Aquino is not the first president to set foot in an MILF camp but he is the first one to do so in peacetime. Monday's visit comes at a time when both the government and the MILF look forward to the completion of the comprehensive peace agreement on the new Bangsamoro political entity by March 2013. Aquino shared the stage with MILF chief Al Haj Murad Ebrahim whose first visit to Malacañang happened at the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) signing back in October 2012.

Read more on Rappler




Extreme Weather

2. US Northeast digs out from deadly blizzard



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The northeast United States crawled out this weekend from under a monster blizzard that caused at least nine deaths and paralyzed the region with high winds and vast drifts of snow. Nearly 300,000 customers were still without power in the wake of the storm that struck a slew of states and dumped as much as three feet of snow across New England before battering three Canadian provinces. The majority of the service disruptions were in hard-hit Massachusetts, where utility companies said outages were at around 230,000, down from 400,000 Saturday. As crews worked to clear roads and sidewalks, travel conditions in the area began to pick up and return to normal. New York area airports LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy and Newark, which halted all flights at the height of the storm, resumed service Saturday with some delays.

Read more on CNN




Stampede

3. 36 dead in India Kumbh Mela stampede



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At least 36 people have died in a deadly stampede at a railway station near India's giant Kumbh Mela festival, reports said on Monday. Dozens more were injured in the crush, which marked a tragic end to the most auspicious day of the 55-day festival in northern India. The festival drew a record 30 million people to the banks of the river Ganges. Local officials said that the railings on a bridge at the station had given way under the pressure of the mass of people, while eyewitnesses told local media that the police had baton-charged the crowd.

Read more on Rappler




Prison Torture

4. Kabul inquiry finds evidence of prison torture



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An official investigation into torture in Afghan prisons has found widespread abuse, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Sunday, following a UN report into the problem. "According to the report of the commission of inquiry, half of the prisoners interviewed complained of mistreatment, harassment and even torture during their detention," the president's office said in a statement. Karzai ordered the probe after the United Nations issued a damning report in January citing evidence of frequent abuse in the country's prison system. The report revealed that 326 of 635 prisoners interviewed across the country said they had been abused, including 80 minors. Fourteen types of torture were described in the UN report, including beatings with cables and pipes, attacks on the genitals, threats of execution or rape, electric shocks and forced stress positions.

Read more on Telegraph




Cyber Espionage

5. US is target of massive cyber-espionage: report



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The US intelligence community has concluded that America is the target of a massive cyber-espionage campaign that is threatening its competitiveness, The Washington Post reported late Sunday. Citing unnamed officials, the newspaper said the conclusion is contained in the National Intelligence Estimate, a classified report that represents the consensus view of the US intelligence community. The report identifies China as the country most aggressively seeking to penetrate the computer systems of US businesses and institutions to gain access to data that could be used for economic gain, the paper said. The administration of President Barack Obama is trying to counter the electronic theft of trade secrets by lodging formal protests, expelling diplomatic personnel, imposing travel and visa restrictions, and complaining to the World Trade Organization, the Post said.

Read more on Washington Post




Power Crisis

6. NEDA: Economic growth could lead to power crisis



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The 6.6% phenomenal growth rate of the Philippines 2012 has given birth to a new concern: possible blackouts. According to National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) if the economy continues to grow at the pace it has been growing, the country could face a power crisis in two to 3 years. He said that in order to prevent this, the government must heavily invest in power in the last few years of the Aquino administration. Balisacan said while there was an oversupply in power in the Visayas that Mindanao could tap into, it will take a few more years before the region can tap into this and a lot of investment.

Read more on Rappler




Sports

7. Real Madrid, Manchester United renew Champions League rivalry



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Manchester United will resume their historic rivalry with Real Madrid on Wednesday, February 13, with Head Coach Jose Mourinho talking up the eagerly-awaited Champions League clash as the game "the whole world is waiting for". United, the three-time champions, go to Madrid, the record nine-time winners, in the latest installment of a European rivalry which dates back to 1957. Their last meeting, in the 2003 quarter-finals, was a goal-laden classic with Real squeezing through 6-5 on aggregate after two breathless encounters. Mourinho calls it "the match the world is waiting for."

Read more on Rappler




Technology

8. Is Apple working on an iWatch?



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Apple is currently working on prototypes for a new smart watch? According to reports by both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal sources familiar with the matter are confirm this. The Times says the device will be made of curved glass and will run a version of its mobile operating system iOS while the WSJ says Apple has already discussed plans these plans with manufacturing partners. This is not the first time rumors of an iWatch have surfaced - back in 2011 it was rumored that Apple was looking into wearable technology - following the success of its iPod nano that could be worn as a watch. Google is also working on a wearable tech particularly augmented reality head mounted displays called Google Glasses.

Read more on New York Times and Wall Street Journal










Science

9. RESEARCH: Asteroid led to dinosaurs’ extinction



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Scientists from America and Europe have found new evidence to support the theory that an asteroid colliding with the earth led to the extinction of dinosaurs. According to a study published this week - the extinction of dinosaurs happened 30,000 years after an asteroid hit the earth - leaving a 110 mile wide crater in Chicxulub, Mexico. Previous estimates placed both events at300,000 years apart - leaving most scientists to abandon the theory. The asteroid collision is believed to have wiped out 75 percent of the life on Earth. According to Paul Renne, a geochronologist at the Berkeley Geochronology Center in California while the impact was not the only cause of the extinction, “the impact was clearly the final straw that pushed Earth past the tipping point.”

Read more on Discovery




Entertainment

10. GRAMMYS: Veteran, new stars in music’s biggest night



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Stars both young and veteran graced the 55th Grammy Awards, with Gotye, The Black Keys, and indie band fun. getting the top awards. Viewers were treated to performances by Elton John and Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, Sting, Bruno Mars, and Mumford and Sons, among many others. Other major awardees were Frank Ocean, Beyonce, and Adele.

Read more on Rappler