The wRap


Your World in 10 - February 5, 2013

Naval Exercises

1. South Korea, US drill begins under nuclear test cloud



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South Korea and the United States began a joint naval exercise involving a US nuclear submarine Monday, February 4, as tensions rise on the Korean peninsula ahead of an expected nuclear test by North Korea. While seen as a warmongering exercise by North Korea, South Korean military officials stressed the drill was scheduled before the North threatened to detonate its third nuclear device. The presence of the US nuclear submarine has been seen as a warning to Pyongyang.


Read the full story on Rappler.




Conflict

2. 37 killed in Sulu clashes, says MNLF



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Fierce fighting between members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu has subsided, but the death toll from both sides February 4 reached nearly 40. According to Habib Mujahab Hashim, chief of the MNLF's Islamic Command Council, about 20 of their men, including a field commander, have died in clashes with the Abu Sayyaf in the jungles of Patikul, Sulu. Of the total, 7 of them were beheaded, he said. Hashim said the unarmed men they dispatched to the site of encounter to gather vital information reported to him that 17 Abu Sayyaf were also killed. Hostilities began February 2, following the release of two Filipinos who went to Sulu in June 2012 with Jordanian journalist Baker Atyani. The foreign journalist is still being held captive by the Abu Sayyaf.


Read the full story on Rappler.




Economy

3. PSEi soars to 14th all-time high above 6,400



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Stocks surged to a new all-time high past the 6,400 level on Monday, February 4, following a Wall Street rally, and on expectations of strong local corporate income results. The Philippine Stock Exchange index settled at 6,435.98, up 117.37 points or 1.86% from the previous record close of 6,318.61 on Friday, February 1. It also hit an intraday peak of 6,449.44.


Read the full story on Rappler.




Job Hunt

4. PH needs to create 14-M jobs till 2016



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The Philippines needs to create 14.6 million jobs between now and 2016 to achieve inclusive and sustainable economic growth, the World Bank said Monday, February 4. In a statement at the Philippine Development Forum (PDF) in Davao City, World Bank Philippines Country Director Motoo Konishi explained that "As of now, 10 million Filipinos are either unemployed or underemployed. In addition, 1.1 million new Filipinos enter the labor force every year. That's a total of 14.6 million jobs that need to be created between now and 2016." He added, "The need for good jobs—jobs that raise real wages or bring people out of poverty—is an overwhelming challenge."


Read the full story on Rappler.




Mock Elections

5. PCOS, manual count don't match



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Following the mock polling and testing done by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on February 2, the polls saw a low voter turnout and counts that don't match. A committee found 15 discrepancies between the PCOS count and the manual audit. The Comelec, following a resolution, allows a margin of error of only 10 votes.


Read the full story on Rappler.




Security

6. France bombs Islamist targets in Mali after Hollande visit



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France said it carried out major air strikes Sunday, February 3, near Kidal, the last bastion of armed extremists chased from Mali's desert north in a lightning French-led offensive, after a whirlwind visit by President Francois Hollande. 30 warplanes bombed training and logistics centers run by Islamist extremists overnight in the Tessalit area north of Kidal, which French troops have been working to secure.


Read the full story on Rappler.




Money Matters

7. Filipinos wiser in money decisions - survey



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The latest Citi Fin-Q survey by Citi Philippines saw that Filipinos were getting more accustomed to saving rather than spending, as Filipinos scored a record high of 53 out of 100 points in the survey, which measures consumers’ financial quotient. “We are seeing how Filipinos are taking a more active role in managing their finances and planning their future,” City Country Officer Sanjiv Vohra said in a statement. With 9 out of 10 Filipinos setting a budget and 65% of them sticking to it, there's evidence to show Filipinos are saving their way into a brighter future.


Read the full story on Rappler.




Typhoon Aid

8. Australia to give P126-M in more aid for typhoon Pablo



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The Australian government will provide an additional P126-M (AU$3.0 million) for the relief and rehabilitation of areas devastated by typhoon Pablo (Bopha). The additional relief funding was sent in response to a fresh appeal for aid by the Philippine government and the United Nations. This brings Australia's total funding support to P432-M. The Australian embassy in Manila said the the additional funding will go to emergency shelters in the worst-hit areas and cash-for-work programs for victims of the typhoon.


Read the full story on Rappler.




Politics

9. Fidel Castro makes surprise appearance in Cuba



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Cuba's revolutionary leader Fidel Castro has taken the country by surprise by turning out to vote in legislative elections, after a three-month absence from public view. Despite being stooped and using a cane, Castro both cast his ballot at a school in Havana and engaged reporters and voters with questions and answers at the polling station for over an hour.


Read the full story on Rappler.




Richard III

10. Skeleton under car park is England's Richard III: scientists



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Scientists confirmed on Monday, February 4, that a skeleton found under a car park in the English city of Leicester was confirmed to be that of King Richard III, widely depicted as one of history's most notorious villains. The skeleton, squashed into a grave too small for the body, had 10 wounds, eight on the skull and two on the body, which occurred at or around the time of death, said Jo Appleby, the project's lead osteologist. While a couple of these, blade strikes to the head, likely killed him, the others appeared to be "humiliation injuries" inflicted after his death, including a knife to his buttock.


Read the full story on Rappler.