The wRap


Your World in 10 - February 7, 2013 Edition

PH Vote

1. Aquino: Don’t believe in 'agimat'



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President Benigno Aquino tells Cavite voters, scrutinize your candidates, “Don’t rely on chance or believe in charm amulets.” The President was taking potshots at rival candidate Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla, a Caviteño being groomed by the Lakas-CMD as its 2016 presidential bet. A partymate of Revilla said last week the movie actor has a good chance in 2016 since he is the only senator with "agimat" (amulet or charm). Revilla and his father, former Senator Ramon Revilla Sr., starred in many films about the heroic adventures of a man with an “agimat”. Revilla's son Jolo is running for vice governor.

Read more on Rappler




Nuclear Nokor

2. What will the North’s atomic test reveal?



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The world is closely watching North Korea’s upcoming atomic test. Scientists say it will give a glimpse of where its nuclear program is headed-- particularly what type of device is detonated and how. Speculations point to the first time test of a uranium device. International Institute for Strategic Studies Mark Fitzpatrick, in-charge of the institute’s non-proliferation program, says this means the North can produce weapons-grade uranium which “doubles its pathways to building more bombs in the future.” Seismic monitors and "sniffer" planes will collect radioactive evidence from the test to determine the nature of the explosion.

Read more on Rappler




Arab Unrest

3. Tunisia to form new gov’t



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Tunisia's prime minister will dissolve the Islamist-led government and form a national unity administration. The move comes in the wake of the killing of opposition leader Shokri Belaid in front of his home. The killing of the left-leaning leader triggered protests in the streets of Tunis. The assassination comes as Tunisia struggles to maintain economic and political stability after its dictator was toppled in an uprising two years ago, believed to be the trigger of the Arab Spring.

Read more on Al Jazeera




Drone Killings

4. US to release legal rationale for assassinations



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The White House bows to Congress’ demands to release its legal basis for the killing of US citizens by armed drones. The move is seen as an attempt to ease pressure on John Brennan, the architect of the drones strategy. Brennan has an upcoming Senate confirmation hearing as CIA director Thursday. The Associated Press reports President Barack Obama ordered the release of the 50-page legal rationale to Senate intelligence committee members. In Septermber 2011, drones killed US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and his son, Said al-Shehri, a senior al-Qaida commander. A US newspaper reports the drones were launched from a secret CIA base in Saudi Arabia. The revelation is an embarrassment to the White House, which pressured the Washington Post and some other news outlets to kill the report for 12 months on grounds of national security.

Read more on The Guardian




Cybercrime Law

5. Deterrent or nuisance?



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Is the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 a deterrent against cyber crimes or simply a nuisance? Data from the National Bureau of Investigation show the law serves as a deterrent. The NBI’s Cybercrime Division says the agency handled a total of 332 cyber-related crime cases in the first half of 2012. The figure dwindled to 145 cases from July to November of 2012, at the height of public debates and discussions on the controversial measure. President Benigno Aquino III signed the measure into law last September, but the Supreme Court has stopped its implementation "until further orders from the court.” NBI Cybercrime Division assistant head Vic Lorenzo told Rappler that based on the figures alone, even just the media spotlight on the law has a "deterrent" effect.

Read more on Rappler




Global Cyberwar

6. Microsoft & Symantec bust cyber ring



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Software makers Microsoft Corp and Symantec Corp disrupt a global cyber crime operation that infected thousands of PCs with malicious software. Technicians raid data centers on Wednesday to shut down servers of the cybercrime operation, known as the Bamital botnet. The servers communicated with an estimated 300,000 to 1 million PCs. The companies say the operation hijacked internet search results, installed computer viruses for identity theft, and fraudulently charge businesses for online ad clicks. Microsoft and Symantec are offering users of infected PCs free tools to restore access to web searches.

Read more on Yahoo!




Internet Alliance

7. Frenemies on the internet team up



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Two internet search giants announce an advertising alliance. Yahoo announces its team up with Google, the company that dethroned the Internet firm in the world of Internet search. Google will use its online ad targeting skills and large stocks of ads to present Yahoo! website users with relevant marketing messages, generating revenue. Yahoo! says, "By adding Google to our list of world-class contextual ads partners, we'll be able to expand our network, which means we can serve users with ads that are even more meaningful." The move also raises the possibility of Yahoo! turning to Google to power Internet searches at its website, once freed from its current deal to use Microsoft's Bing service.

Read more on Rappler




Too Risque?

8. Twitter’s Vine gets 17+ age rating



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Twitter's social video-sharing app Vine comes out with a new version -- this time with an updated age rating. In the iTunes page for Vine, the app now has a 17+ age rating, bumped up from a 12+ rating. It now requires a user to confirm his age before using the service. But clicking an agreement is all that's needed to get past the age gate. The app was delisted from the Apple app store's Apple's 'Editor's Pick' after pornographic content spread on the service. Vine says it is policing its searches to curb pornography.

Read more on Rappler.




Infamous King

9. Scientists recreate Richard III’s face



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Supporters of King Richard III reconstruct the face of the medieval king portrayed in history as a murderous villain who killed his nephews to usurp the throne. The Richard III Society commissions the reconstruction after a skeleton found under a parking lot in Leicester, England is confirmed to belong to the king. The society says the reconstruction shows a human aspect to an unfairly maligned king. Scientists use CT scans of the skull and portraits as reference for the reconstruction. The society's president says, "At last, it seems, we have the true image of Richard III -- is this the face that launched a thousand myths?"

Read more on CNN




Space

10. Closest earth-like planet just 13 light years



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An earth-like Alien planet may just be 13 light-years away. NASA's Kepler space telescope shows 95 exoplanet candidates -- planets outside the solar system -- circling more than 3,000 red dwarf stars. Astronomers say three of these exoplanets are roughly Earth-size and orbit within zones where water, and possibly life, can exist. Since red dwarfs comprise about about 75 percent of the galaxy's 100 billion stars, astronomers say there is an estimated 4.5 billion "alien Earths" throughout the galaxy. Researchers estimate the nearest planet similar to our own would be 13 light-years from Earth.

Read more on Yahoo!