The wRap


Your World in 10 - February 13, 2013 Edition

PHVote 2013

1. UNA goes on attack mode



Happy


Sad


Angry


Don't Care


Inspired


Afraid


Amused


Annoyed


Drawing the lines more clearly, senatorial bets of the United Nationalist Alliance led by Vice President Jejomar Binay hit the Aquino administration’s economic growth, attacked controversial measures it passed, and criticized its dole-out program. During UNA’s proclamation rally in Cebu on Tuesday, February 12, Binay said, “The times call for what we call a new opposition, a constructive opposition. This means no longer criticizing anything and everything that the administration says or does.” He added, “It is all about saying the truth, no matter how it hurts.” The messages of the candidates mirrored UNA’s populist stance even as they asked voters to choose them to make sure there are checks and balances in the Senate after the May elections.


Read the full story on Rappler.




Campaign Trail

2. Team PNoy gears for Batangas



Happy


Sad


Angry


Don't Care


Inspired


Afraid


Amused


Annoyed


After launching its campaign, Team PNoy is headed for vote-rich Batangas, while opposition United Nationalist Alliance is stopping at Bohol on Wednesday, February 13. Batangas is part of the Calabarzon region which groups Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon, and which has delivered votes in the past elections. Batangas will be a challenge for the administration party, considering that it has been supportive of Vice President Jejomar Binay. His father hails from Batangas. Another tough issue Team PNoy will have to grapple with is the Reproductive Health Law, which Batangas Archbishop Ramon Arguelles campaigned against. Likewise, Batangas may be less hospitable to Team PNoy because it is the home province of Sen Ralph Recto whose wife Vilma Santos is governor. Recto opposed the sin tax law which the administration pushed.


Read the full story on Rappler.




Political Parties

3. Nacionalistas won’t wear PNoy yellow



Happy


Sad


Angry


Don't Care


Inspired


Afraid


Amused


Annoyed


The 3 senatorial candidates of the Nacionalista Party (NP), while supporting President Benigno Aquino III, will not be wearing yellow. The 3 – Alan Peter Cayetano, Antonio Trillanes, and Cynthia Villar – have decided to stick to white to keep their identity in the Team PNoy coalition. “Out of respect, instead of wearing our own color, we’ll wear our neutral color,” Cayetano said. The NP’s color is red, according to Cayetano. Team PNoy is a coalition of senatorial candidates who are helping the President push his priortiy measures in the last 3 years of his term. Political observers have pointed out it is a coalition of strange bedfellows because Aquino and Sen Manuel Villar Jr, husband of the senatorial candidate Cynthia, were opponents in the 2010 presidential elections. The former senator was present during the Team PNoy proclamation rally to support the candidacy of his wife, indicating how temporary both friendships and enmity in politics can be.


Read the full story on Rappler.




US State of the Union

4. 34,000 US troops to leave Afghanistan within a year



Happy


Sad


Angry


Don't Care


Inspired


Afraid


Amused


Annoyed


The decision by President Barack Obama to move out of Afghanistan half of 66,000 American troops by the end of February 2014 is a “careful balancing of political interests and military requirements,” the New York Times said. The decision, which Obama highlights in his State of the Union address, will give military commanders in Afghanistan some flexibility in setting the pace of troop reductions, and will allow them to keep a substantial force until after the next fighting season, which ends in October. While it satisfies the top commander in Afghanistan who had just left his post, it also rebuffs Vice President Joseph Biden who wants a faster pullout. By 2014, the security mission is supposed to shift entirely to the Afghans. Even then, the US is still in the early stage of negotiating a security agreement over retaining a post-2014 presence, which is expected to get progressively smaller.

Read the full story on the New York Times.

The full speech of US President Obama is on Rappler.




Extraordinary Americans

5. Filipina nurse joins list of ‘extraordinary Americans’



Happy


Sad


Angry


Don't Care


Inspired


Afraid


Amused


Annoyed


Menchu de Luna Sanchez, a Filipina nurse working at the NYU Langone Medical Center, is part of a select group of 23 “extraordinary Americans who exemplify the themes and ideals laid out in the State of the Union Address,” the White House said in an update of its official blog. She was among those who sat beside US First Lady Michelle Obama during the State of the Union Address on February 13, Wednesday (Philippine time). A registered nurse, Sanchez devised a plan to transport 20 at-risk infants to intensive care units around the city when Hurricane Sandy cut power at the hospital, the White House said. She directed the staff to carry the infants 8 flights of stairs with cell phones lighting the way. Migrating to the US in the 1980s, she has been working as a nurse in New York for over 25 years.


Read the full story on Rappler.




Business

6. Lucio Tan group consolidates PNB stake



Happy


Sad


Angry


Don't Care


Inspired


Afraid


Amused


Annoyed


The Lucio Tan group (LT Group Inc) has begun to consolidate its stake in Philippine National Bank (PNB), after the recent merger between PNB and Allied Bank. Both banks were controlled by Tan, and were officially merged on Monday, February 11, via a share swap deal. Seven firms were acquired by the LT Group to own 22.72% of PNB. These include: Donfar Management Ltd, Fast Return Enterprises Ltd, Fragile Touch Investments Ltd, Mavelstone International Ltd, Uttermost Success Ltd, True Success Profits Ltd, and Key Landmark Investments Ltd. Indirect stakes in PNB will also be acquired via investments in 4 more companies that already own 7.77% of the bank. The 4 include Merit Holdings & Equities Corp, Ivory Holdings Corp, Leadway Holdings Inc, and Dunmore Development Corp. The LT Group is in the process if acquiring additional stakes in various Tan-owned companies that include Asia Brewery and Fortune Tobacco, among others.


Read the full story on Rappler.




Nuclear Threat

7. North Korea nuke test a “serious threat’ to US



Happy


Sad


Angry


Don't Care


Inspired


Afraid


Amused


Annoyed


Outgoing Pentagon chief Leon Panetta said North Korea’s third nuclear test is a “serious threat” to the US, even as he described it, along with Iran, as “rogue states.” North Korea gave advance warning of its intended test but did not say when exactly it would happen. It also said “even stronger” action might follow, as it was a response to what it branded as “reckless hostility of the United States.” According to the Vienna-based Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, the nuclear test was twice as big as the 2009 test, which was in turn, bigger than the one in 2006. The UN Security Council strongly condemned the test and said it would begin work on measures against North Korea after it violated international law.

Read the full story on BBC.

A related story on the UN condemnation of the nuclear test is on BBC.




Health

8. Excessive Coke linked to woman’s death



Happy


Sad


Angry


Don't Care


Inspired


Afraid


Amused


Annoyed


30-year-old Natashya Harris of New Zealand died 3 years ago because she was drinking huge amounts of Coca-Cola, a coroner said. The verdict came on the same day Coca-Cola reported that sales in Europe and China dipped in the last quarter of 2012. The company warned of a “volatile” year this 2013. A heavy drinker of Coke, Harris died after cardiac arrest. She drank up to 10 liters of the soda each day, which, according to the BBC, is twice the recommended safe limit of caffeine and more than 11 times the prescribed sugar intake. Coca-Cola had argued it could not be proven its product was the cause of Harris’ death, contrary to the coroner’s ruling that drinking large quantities of the fizzy drink was a “substantial factor” in her demise. Harris’ family said she developed an addiction to the drink and would get withdrawal symptoms if she went without Coke. Her consumption gave rise to cardiac arrhythmia, a condition when the heart either beats too fast or too slow.


Read the full story on the BBC.




Social Media

9. Pope Benedict’s 5 most famous tweets



Happy


Sad


Angry


Don't Care


Inspired


Afraid


Amused


Annoyed


Active on social media for only two months, Pope Benedict XVI has sent out only 34 tweets, excluding the one that corrected a typo in a previous message. Announcing his resignation due to “advanced age,” the 85-year-old prelate who uses the Twitter handle @Pontifex or “bridge builder” in Latin, started tweeting only on December 12. His messages to his estimated 1.5 million Twitter followers promoted Catholic doctrine and teachings, and encouraged reflection. In one tweet, he asked for suggestions on how to be more prayerful when “we are so busy with the demands of work, families and the world.” CNN compiled his 5 most popular Twitter messages, starting with his first one which got over 64,000 retweets and over 24,000 favorites. He said: “Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.”


Read the full story on CNN.




Love and Stress

10. Being in love good for the health



Happy


Sad


Angry


Don't Care


Inspired


Afraid


Amused


Annoyed


The act of being in love may actually have a protective effect on your health even as the moments of first love involve some stress. A study of those newly in love discovered that the stress hormone cortisol was higher in recent lovebirds than in those who were single or in long-term relationships. This shows that the stress of falling in love is momentary but the benefits of being in love remain. Dr Helen Fisher, a research professor at Rutgers University who studies the neurohormonal phenomena of love said that romantic love causes a surge in dopamine levels, which in turn increases testosterone production. More testosterone is linked to increased sex drive. Fisher said sex with the right person has a lot of healthy benefits – “It lowers blood pressure, enhances mood by releasing endorphins. It’s a sedative, helps you sleep, soothes aches and pains. It even gives you healthy skin and even emotional confidence.”


Read the full story on the Huffington Post.