The wRap


Your World in 10 - February 18, 2013 Edition

New Virus

1. WHO urges vigilance against new Sars-like virus



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The World Health Organization urges countries to be vigilant over the spread of a potentially fatal SARS-like virus. This comes after British health authorities confirm a new case of virus transmission, bringing the global number to 12. Five of them are reported fatal -- three in Saudi Arabia and two in Jordan. The WHO says patients with unexplained pneumonia or with severe respiratory illnesses not responding to treatment should be tested for the new coronavirus. Coronaviruses are to blame for most common colds but can also cause SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). A SARS epidemic killed more than 800 people in 2003, sparking a major international health scare.


Read more on
World Health Organization.


Read more on
Rappler.




Manila Wars

2. Isko Moreno arrested & released



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Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno cries political harassment after police arrested him Saturday in Manila over alleged bingo operations in the area.
Moreno believes incumbent Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim is behind the arrest, but Lim denies the accusation. Moreno is the running mate of former president Joseph Estrada who is running against Lim for mayor of Manila. The vice mayor says he was not violating Presidential Decree No. 1602, which prescribes penalties for illegal gambling. He says the bingo activity could not be considered illegal, because no wager was made. In a phone interview, Moreno says, "We will seek justice. We will not allow tyranny to prevail in Manila."


Read more
here and here and here on Rappler.




Territorial Dispute

3. Standoff in Sabah



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A Philippine sultan and his followers who crossed to the Malaysian state of Sabah say they are reclaiming the area as their ancestral territory. Sultan Jamalul Kiram says his followers will not leave despite being cornered by security forces. Kiram says, "Nobody will be sent to the Philippines. Sabah is our home." The Islamic sultanate once controlled parts of Borneo -- including Sabah. Its heirs receive yearly compensation packages from Malaysia under a long-standing agreement for possession of Sabah.


Read more
here and here on Rappler.




Heavy Rain

4. Indonesian floods, landslides kill 13



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Heavy rains trigger floods and landslides in Indonesia, killing at least 13 people and forcing 1,200 to evacuate.
On Sunday, Indonesian officials say floods hit North Sulawesi province's capital city Manado early Sunday. On Saturday, three people including two 14-year-old boys were killed after being swept away by floodwaters in Jambi province on Sumatra island. The boys were taken away by strong currents as they were bathing in a waterway. Environmentalists blame logging and deforestation for the frequent flooding in recent years.


Read more on
Rappler.




Pope Search

5. New Leader, New Church?



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The conclave to elect a new pope may begin earlier than expected.
The Vatican on Saturday says several cardinals raised the possibility of starting the conclave to elect a new pope in early March. Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi earlier said the conclave would probably start on or after March 15 after Pope Benedict XVI resigns on February 28. But he says no decision had been taken on the date. The conclave will bring together the world's 117 cardinal electors in the Sistine Chapel to elect the new leader of the Catholic Church. The New York Times says the process would involve the cardinals measuring each other's "characters, talents and experiences" -- but also "geography, doctrinal approach and style."


Read more on
Rappler.


Read more on
The New York Times.




Tragedy

6. Bloody cricket bat found in Pistorius' home



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Two days after Olympic star and Paralympian athlete Oscar Pistorius was charged with the murder of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, police found a bloody cricket bat in his home that may have been used to assault the victim. They are also looking into the possibility that it was used by Steenkamp for self defense. Polices sources close to the investigation have reportedly told a local newspaper that in addition to the 4 shots that took her life, Steenkamp's skull was also "crushed." Pistorius spent the weekend in jail and is due to apply for bail on Tuesday, February 19. The superstar has disputed the allegation of murder "in the strongest terms."


Read more on
Rappler.




Murder Case

7. Reality TV show featuring Pistorius' dead girlfriend airs



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Reeva Steenkamp's last wish was for her family to watch her in a reality TV show.
Two days after she was shot by her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius, the show aired in South Africa Saturday night. On Thursday, news broke of Steenkamp's death at the house of the Olympic star and double-amputee athlete. Pistorius is arrested and charged with murder. In a statement, he disputes the murder "in the strongest terms." He will appear in court for a bail hearing.


Read more on USA Today.




Virtual Wars

8. Online battle over ancient scrolls becomes criminal act



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The son of a scholar gets six months in prison for waging an Internet war against his father's academic rivals.
Between 2006 and 2009, Raphael Haim Golb created more than 80 online aliases to promote his father's views about the Dead Sea Scrolls. But he crossed over from academic debate to criminal activity when he impersonated other scholars and stole their e-mail identities. His prime target was Lawrence Schiffman, vice provost of Yeshiva University and a widely published authority on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Schiffman says Golb was out to end his career. Discovered in the mid-20th century, the Dead Sea Scrolls are 2,000-year-old texts and fragments discovered in caves near Qumran.


Read more on The New York Times.




Falling Stars

9. Asteroid fly-by Earth, meteor injures 1,200 in Russia



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Just a day after a meteor strikes Russia, an asteroid half the size of a football field flies past the earth. Asteroid 2012 DA14, measuring 45 meters in diameter, goes 27,000 km above the earth -- the first time an asteroid of its size came this close to earth. The event is captured on camera by Mark Vornhusen, who shot about 300 photographs of the asteroid at about 3:30 am Saturday in Makati. Astrobiology professor Dr Custer Deocaris says he hopes the event could push Filipinos to be more aware of celestial objects to avoid unnecessary panic about doomsday scenarios.


Watch the asteroid fly-by here:
http://www.rappler.com/science-nature/21937-video-asteroid-flies-by-earth


Read more on T
he New York Times.


Read more on
Rappler.




Breaking Twitter

10. Grant confirms he’s a daddy again on Twitter



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Hugh Grant, one of the most high-profile victims of phone-hacking by the News of the World, announced on Twitter Saturday that he has a son with Tinglan Hong. “In answer to some journos, am thrilled to announce my daughter now has a brother,” he tweeted. “Adore them both to an uncool degree. They have a fab mum.” His second tweet said, “And to be crystal clear. I am the Daddy.” Since the News of the World scandal, the 52-year-old star of “Notting Hill” has campaigned for a more responsible press.


Read more on
Rappler.