The wRap


Your World in 10 - February 28, 2013 Edition

Catholic Church

1. Pope bids farewell in historic exit



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Pope Benedict XVI spent his last night in his Vatican apartments after bidding an emotional farewell on February 27 to some 150,000 pilgrims in St Peter's Square. In his final speech before his February 28 resignation, the 85-year-old spoke of "stormy waters" in an apparent reference to the multiple scandals that have plagued his reign, and said he had decided to resign for the good of the Catholic Church. The former Joseph Ratzinger stunned the world with his abrupt decision to end an eight-year reign dogged by scandal and Vatican infighting. What observers said may have been the last straw was the scandal that came to be known as "Vatileaks," in which his trusted butler leaked secret papal memos revealing intrigues between rival groups of cardinals.


Read the full story on Rappler

Read more about Benedict here





Peace Process

2. PH, MILF talks move forward



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The government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front signed the Annex on Transitional Arrangements and Modalities February 27 in a session that ended at 9:49 pm -- the longest since the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro in October 2012. The annex outlines the transition process and defines the various mechanisms to be employed towards the creation of the Bangsamoro political identity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The talks were held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia amid an ongoing standoff by the followers of the Sultan of Sulu in Sabah in a bid to reignite the Philippines' claim to the area.


Read the full story on Rappler





Public Pulse

3. Filipinos trust Church more than gov't



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A 2012 survey shows that Filipinos trust the Church more than they trust government. More Filipinos also trust the academe (45.1%) and the media (32.2%). But the government's latest trust ratings is already a huge improvement from the 2011 survey, when only 7% of Filipinos said they trusted the government. Trust in government departments also increased across the board, according to the survey. The Philippine Trust Index is a study on trust among the different stakeholders in the Philippines -- government, church, NGOs, business, and media. The survey was conducted by EON Stakeholder Relations in partnership with the Ateneo Graduate School of Business.


Read the full story on Rappler




Economy

4. Ramos revives Charter Change call



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Former President Fidel Ramos called for changes in the Philippine Constitution to allow more foreign investments to flow in. The Philippines limits foreign ownership of land and public utilities, among others, to 40%, while Filipino investors take in the remaining 60%. “Historically, Filipinos have opposed constitutional change. But my dear friends, we have to amend the 1987 Philippine Constitution to be more in sync with the development we’re trying to achieve,” Ramos told a business forum February 26. Charter change, however, is not the priority of the Aquino administration. Ramos pushed for Charter change when he was president.


Read the full story on Rappler




Online Rage

5. 'No Philippines or dog'



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A sign at a Beijing restaurant barring citizens of nations involved in maritime disputes with China -- along with dogs -- has triggered a wave of online outrage among Vietnamese and Filipinos. The Beijing Snacks restaurant near the Forbidden City, a popular tourist spot, has posted a sign on its door reading "This shop does not receive the Japanese, the Philippines, the Vietnamese and dog(s)." Vietnam's state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper ran a story saying the sign had "ignited online fury". It claimed many Vietnamese feel this is another example of Chinese "extreme nationalism that deserves to be condemned".


Read the full story on Rappler




Post-Typhoon Pablo

6. 'Happy ending' at DSWD



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Representatives of a typhoon survivors movement and the Department of Social Welfare and Development met behind closed doors to find a solution to relief distribution in Mindanao on February 27. Following two tense days and more than 3 hours of discussions, DSWD Assistant Secretary Camilo Gudmalin said the government and Barug Katawhan agreed on 7 points of implementation, including the continuation of relief operations till June 2013, hastened validation of relief supplies needed for areas that have not received or have received inadequate aid, and no reprisals for the tensions between Barug Katawhan, the local police and DSWD. Thousands of protesters earlier ransacked the local DSWD office to get relief goods stored there.


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Mindanao

7. Longer brownouts this summer



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Residents and businessmen in Mindanao should brace for longer brownouts in summer with no new capacity to support power demand in the region, according to state-owned think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS). A PIDS study written by Senior Research Fellow Adoracion Navarro warned that brownouts in Mindanao might mirror the 10-hour long outages seen in 2010. “There had been no additions to the baseload capacity in the region,” the study said.


Read the full story on Rappler




Technology

8. Samsung Galaxy Note 8 hands-on



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Rappler's Michael Josh Villanueva was at the 2013 Samsung Forum in Jakarta, Indonesia, to learn more about the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. In his impressions post, Villanueva discusses the Galaxy Note 8's product specifications, the differences between the Galaxy Note 8 and its brethren, and what might set it apart from competition.


Read the full story on Rappler




Science and Nature

9. Is PH ready for liftoff?



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Decades since the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union began, humans have come a long way in exploring and harnessing space. Countries around the world are joining the race to tap space science and technology, and many consider it as a top priority in their research and development. Filipinos, however, feel that the country is left on the sidelines as our neighbors launch satellites and engage in various space-related projects. This begs the question: does the Philippines need its own space program? Rappler has a special report on this.

Read the full story on Rappler




Entertainment

10. Fil-Am out of American Idol



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Filipino-American Bridget “Jett” Hermano is out of American Idol’s Top 20. Jett, one of 3 Fil-Ams to earn a place among the show’s Top 40, was eliminated on February 28 during the 3rd sudden death round. During the round, she was among 10 girls to compete for 5 coveted places in the Top 20. Sadly, she did not make the cut.

Read the full story on Rappler