The wRap


Your World in 10 - January 23, 2012 Edition

Global Arbitration

1. Settle sea dispute amicably, says UN chief



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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who is following the South China Sea (also West Philippine Sea) dispute "carefully," said it is important to resolve the territorial dispute between China and other Asian nations, including the Philippines, "in a peaceful and amicable way." This statement comes after the Philippines announced it would ask an arbitration panel under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea -- a 1982 treaty signed by both countries -- to rule on China's claims. Over the past two years, the Philippines has exhausted almost all political and diplomatic avenues for a peaceful negotiated settlement of its maritime dispute with China, stressed Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario.

Read more on Ban Ki-moon's statements on Rappler.

Read the Philippines's statement on the international arbitration case on Rappler.




Election Violence

2. Despite election gun ban, re-electionist mayor killed



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Erlinda Domingo, mayor of Maconacon, a coastal town of Isabela province, was shot and killed late Tuesday, January 22, as she was about to return to her hometown from Quezon City. Her death shows the ongoing election gun ban is ignored, and that the killing of politicians before the May elections persist. These are especially the case in Isabela province, where the former running mate of Domingo, an illegal logging and fishing crusader, Mayor Francisco Talosig, was also ambushed in 2009.

Read more on Rappler.



Leadership

3. Abe's strategies for Japan inspire confidence



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Newly installed Japanese Prime Minister Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's efforts to boost exports by weakening the yen and end two decades of deflation are resulting in record investor confidence and bullishness. Bloomberg's global poll of investors, analysts and traders showed 54% said they’re more optimistic than pessimistic on how Abe’s policies affect Japan’s investment climate, up from the 21% asked two months ago about predecessor Yoshihiko Noda. Abe is Japan’s 7th prime minister since 2007 and has called for unlimited monetary easing and a doubled central bank inflation target to help revive the world’s 3rd biggest economy.

Read more on Bloomberg.



Davos Meet

4. CEOs less gloomy about 2013 prospects



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Top business leaders are less gloomy about the prospects for the global economy this 2013 than in 2012, but hardly brimming with confidence for 2013. A PricewaterhouseCoopers survey of 1,330 CEOs released on the eve of the Davos forum in Switzerland also showed that only 28% of CEOs said they expected the global economy to decline further in 2013, against 48% last year, while 52% expected it to remain stable. While the study shows the predictions are more positive this 2013, only 36% said they were "very confident" in their company's growth prospects in the next 12 months, down from 40% last year and 48% in 2011. Western European business leaders were the most pessimistic among the surveyed CEOs, with just 22% saying they were very confident of growth. Latin American executives bucked the trend, with 53% expressing confidence in the short-term. Russian executives were the most confident, with 66% saying they had high expectations of revenue growth.

Read more on Rappler.




Risk and Rewards

5. Algeria attack just another 'risk' for energy workers



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For oil and gas workers in Algeria, the job is all about trade-offs. The money is good, the hours are long, the locations remote and the risks, as shown by the hostage crisis in Algeria, are often high. But expatriates who have spent time at sites such as the In Amenas gas complex, the scene of the deadly 4-day assault by Islamist gunmen, say the job is inherently dangerous and terrorism was rarely their main concern. One engineer there noted, "These people are not oil industry mercenaries who sacrifice everything. These guys often have a taste for adventure. It's normally fine."


Read more on Rappler.




Online and Off

6. Tweet 'library' coming soon



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The Library of Congress wants not just to house millions of hard copy books and historic documents, but also the 170 billion social media posts on Twitter since 2006. Collecting the 140-character micro-missives is in keeping with the library's main goal "to collect the story of America and to acquire collections that will have research value," says the library communications director. The venerable US institution is assembling the tweets sent by Americans each day, in the belief that each of the mini-messages reflect a small but important part of the national narrative. There are about half a billion tweets sent each day in October 2012.

Read more on Rappler.



Caught!

7. Pyramid scam boss falls



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Malaysian intelligence agents arrested Emmanuel Amalilio – the man behind Aman Futures Group, a securities firm that duped 10,000 Filipinos - in Kota Kinabalu, ending a 3-month manhunt. Aman Futures offered double-your-money scheme in wet markets mostly in Visayas and Mindanao, and with vendors and tricycle drivers as initial investors. The newest financial scam caused outrage and doubt in financial products.

Read more on Rappler.




Finances

8. Fiscal cliff deal gives Wall Street $11-B tax windfall



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The fiscal cliff deal gave Wall Street a US$11 billion tax windfall, CNN said. The law that President Obama signed into law in early January included a sweetener that gave a tax break that helps Wall Street banks and giant companies such as General Electric lower their tax bills, which included a total of $11 billion in 2012 and 2013. Typically, corporations face a 35% federal income tax which is behind companies' workaround strategy to sell things overseas, in effect deferring taxes on profits from those items. Since financial services companies can't do, the fiscal deal allows them to defer U.S. taxes on overseas profits on financial transactions.


Read more on CNN.





War Games

9. Prince Harry has mental problem, says Taliban



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For comparing shooting insurgents in Afghanistan to playing video games on PlayStation, Britain's Prince Harry is described by the Taliban as someone who has developed a mental problem. Sounding peeved, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid stressed that there are 49 countries with their powerful military failing in the fight against the mujahideen. Harry, third in line to the throne, said he had killed Taliban insurgents during a 20-week posting flying scores of missions over the restive southern province of Helmand in an Apache attack helicopter. As co-pilot, Harry was in charge of the weapons systems in a two-man cockpit, firing Hellfire air-to-surface missiles, rockets and a 30-millimetre gun. He described the weapons systems as a joy.

Read more on Rappler




Top App

10. Temple Run 2 a big hit



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Only 4 days after the January 17 launch of Temple Run 2, an action video game, the app on iOS has been over downloaded 20 million times and became the 3rd highest grossing application in the iTunes App store. While the Imangi Studios-developed game is free, Temple Run 2 players can purchase coins to buy upgrades and gems which can be used to keep on playing if your player dies. This system replaces resurrection angel wings power ups available in the original Temple Run, which makes the player takes on the role of an explorer attempting to steal an idol from a temple and being chased by "demonic monkeys".

Read more on Rappler