The wRap


Your World in 10 - January 17, 2013 Edition

Tubbataha Reef

1. US ship damages corals



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A US Navy minesweeper runs aground near Tubbataha Reef early Thursday, damaging corals in the marine park. The US Pacific Fleet says the USS Guardian came from a routine port call in Subic on Monday. An error in navigation is seen as the cause of the grounding. A Tubbataha park official says the US Navy can expect to pay P12,000 per sqm of destroyed reefs once the damage is assessed. Tubbataha, a World Heritage Conservation Site and one of the world's best dive sites, is home to a huge variety of marine life species and coral.

Read more on Rappler




Backlash

2. 41 hostages, including Filipinos & Americans, seized in Algeria



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Militants at a gas field in Algeria kidnapped 41 hostages, including Americans and Filipinos (according to a French TV telephone conversation with one of the hostages). The US State Department calls this a terrorist attack. The hostages are being held at a gas operation in In Amenas, a joint-venture operation that includes BP. The kidnappers told two Mauritania-based news agencies they held 41 hostages and that they were retaliating against France for its intervention in Mali. A spokesperson for Britain's Foreign Office says a British national has been killed in the attack.

Read more about the Filipinos in the group, how Algeria is handling it, and the Americans whom the State Dept chooses not to name for security reasons.




Terrorists

3. African troops to march on Mali Islamists



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Over the past year, Islamic militants with links to al-Qaeda made headway carving out a post in Mali while officials in Washington, Paris and African capitals struggled with how to contain them. The predominant idea seemed to be to let African troops deal with them. Last Friday, a surprise French assault after repeated calls for help upended those plans and triggered a Wednesday raid in Algeria, with hostage-takers saying their acts were to retaliate for French actions in Mali. West African army chiefs met Tuesday to plan the deployment of about 3,300 troops as part of a UN-backed intervention.

Read more on Al Jazeera and Rappler




Climate Change

4. Jakarta paralyzed by floods



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There is no typhoon in Indonesia, but people are wading through knee high water in front of high end malls and fancy hotels in capital city Jakarta. That’s due to heavy monsoon rains that triggered widespread flooding across the capital. 20,000 are evacuated as government offices and business closed down for the day. Train and bus services grind to a halt. Weather agencies say rains will continue to pour. 4 people are reported killed.

Read more on Guardian




Safety Issue

5. FAA grounds Boeing's Dreamliners



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Boeing suffers another blow after the US Federal Aviation Administration orders airlines to stop flying 787 Dreamliners until a fire risk linked to the plane's lithium batteries is resolved. This comes after Japan's two biggest airlines grounded their fleets after smoke possibly stemming from a faulty battery forced an emergency landing. A passenger on the Tokyo-bound flight was quoted as saying he "smelled something strange" after take-off. The FAA's announcement means 30 of the world's 50 Dreamliners are now grounded. The series of mishaps dents investor confidence in Boeing, which saw its shares plunge 3.4 %in New York on Wednesday.

Read more on Rappler




Military

6. Architect of PH's Internal Peace & Security Plan new AFP chief



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Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, grew up in the military. The Army camp in Sulu is named after his father, the late Brig. Gen. Teodulfo Bautista, who was killed by members of the Moro National Liberation Front in 1977 after he chose to meet with them - unarmed - to discuss a possible ceasefire. His son, the architect of the IPSP, the Philippines’ wholistic government approach to security issues, is now the new Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Lt. Gen. Bautista’s ideas revolve around a hearts and minds approach to counterterrorism and security, relying heavily on a bayanihan spirit. In his first speech as AFP chief, he called on the people for help and highlighted the military’s role in disasters, saying “the effects of climate change have been more adverse than armed conflict.”

Read more on Rappler.




#PHVote

7. More gov't agencies monitor new campaign rules for 2013 elections



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The Philippine’s election commission deputizes the country’s anti-money laundering body to help monitor candidates’ compliance with finance laws. The Commission on Election’s law department will lead the ad hoc group monitoring expenses of senatorial and party list candidates. It can enlist the help of other agencies like the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Commission on Audit, aside from the Anti-Money Laundering Council. The team will also look out for money laundering under the guise of campaign contributions.

Read more on Rappler




Geopolitics

8. PH company trying to partner with China to skirt territorial dispute



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An energy company is finding a way around the territorial conflict between China and the Philippines to explore Recto Bank. Filipino tycoon Manny Pangilinan confirms, his Forum Energy Plc is talking to China’s government-owned oil company CNOOC. He says business venture in that part of the South China Sea is now “caught up in the geopolitics” of the region. The Recto Bank is covered by an oil and gas exploration contract awarded by the Philippine government. Forum Energy is drilling two exploratory wells from January to August.


Read more on Rappler.




Movie

9. Lea Salonga on 'Les Miserables'



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Her voice landed her on the Les Miserables not once, but twice -- playing two different roles. Tony-winning singer and actress Lea Salonga is the first Asian to have played lovestruck street urchin Eponine and desperate mother Fantine in two different productions of the well-loved musical. With Tom Hooper's cinematic adaptation finally in Philippine theaters, Lea shares her thoughts on the film's pivotal performances and its differences with the theater versions. The scene that moved her to tears? Anne Hathaway's soulful rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream." Lea says, "It was perfect. Its placement in the film was right, her rendition and delivery were spot on. I couldn't stop crying big tears."


Read more on
Rappler.




Aftermath

10. Oprah's network benefits from Armstrong confession



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It was the interview to get: Lance Armstrong, disgraced cyclist, set to talk about doping for the first time. The coup exclusive went to Oprah Winfrey, who taped the two and a half hour interview Monday. It’s set to air in two parts beginning Thursday. 58 year old Winfrey dominated US daytime television from 1986 to 2011. Since the host of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” set up her OWN cable and satellite channel, it’s been an uphill battle. “This is a huge ‘get’ for Oprah” since “OWN is not yet part of the (media) mainstream,” celebrity biographer Kitty Kelley told AFP. Insider reports say Armstrong admitted to taking performance-enhancing drugs in the interview.

Read more on Rappler