The wRap


Your World in 10 - January 25, 2013 Edition

Security

1. UN launches probe on drone attacks



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A United Nations investigation into the impact of drone strikes and targeted killings on civilians was launched in London on January 24. Ben Emmerson, the UN special rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights, said there was a need "for accountability" when strikes went wrong. Emmerson, a British lawyer who is heading up the inquiry, said the huge expansion in the technology used in drones required a new legal framework to be put in place. The probe will focus on 25 case studies of attacks in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and the Palestinian Territories and will report to the UN General Assembly before the end of the year.


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Senate Drama

2. Enrile supposed to 'irrevocably resign'



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And the Senate saga continues. The resigned chief of staff of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile apologized to Enrile critic Sen Alan Peter Cayetano on January 25, but not before dropping a bombshell: that Enrile was supposed to offer his irrevocable resignation as Senate President last January 23. Jessica "Gigi" Gonzales-Reyes, who was described by Cayetano as a powerful aide, said she had in fact drafted a speech for Enrile about his irrevocable resignation which he had been "contemplating" for some time now. But Enrile decided against it and instead engaged in a verbal tussle with Cayetano. Enrile critics have been plotting to oust him, but with barely 5 sessions to go before they go on a break, his ouster appears remote at this time.


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#PHVote

3. Test case to disqualify 3 political dynasties



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Four months before the May local and senatorial elections, a lawyer is preparing a petition to disqualify candidates belonging to 3 political families. Alex Lacson said he will lead a "test case" before the Supreme Court that will seek the disqualification of the Pinedas of Pampanga, the Dutertes of Davao, and the Villafuertes of Camarines Sur from the polls. Lacson said they will take the case straight to the High Court so that the Commission on Elections can be compelled to implement immediately the disqualification of these families. He said he chose the 3 families as test cases because they were "clear and obvious cases" of political dynasties. The 1987 Constitution expressly prohibits "political dynasties as may be defined by law."


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Terrorism

4. American in Mumbai attack jailed



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An American who admitted to scouting targets ahead of the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks and then cooperated with US authorities to avoid execution was sentenced on January 24 to 35 years in prison. David Coleman Headley, 52, pleaded guilty in 2010 to 12 charges related to the carnage in Mumbai and a second plot to attack a Danish newspaper that sparked outrage over its publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. He convinced US federal prosecutors to let him live after he was caught on tape plotting the attack on the Danish newspaper by telling them all he had learned in 7 years of working with Pakistani militants. Heavily-armed militants rampaged through Mumbai in November 2008, killing 166 people and wounding hundreds more over nearly three days of carnage in a prolonged assault on the Indian financial capital.


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World Economic Forum

5. European leaders to Britain: Stay in EU



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Several European leaders have urged Britain to stay in the European Union following Prime Minister David Cameron's pledge to hold a referendum on EU membership. Speaking on a top-level panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte warned that outside the 27-member bloc Britain would be "an island somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, somewhere between the United States and Europe." Cameron's promise to hold a public vote on whether Britain should remain part of the European Union has somewhat hijacked the agenda in Davos, previously expected to consider ways out of the three-year economic crisis. Cameron denied Britain planned to "turn our backs" on Europe and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said the EU as a union would be more powerful with London still involved.


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Political Ads

6. Broadcasters want more airtime



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Traditionally among the biggest gainers in campaigns, broadcasters are protesting a Commission on Elections ruling that sets new airtime limits for candidates. The Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas has formally requested the Comelec to reconsider its Resolution No. 9615, which imposes huge cuts on candidates' propaganda airtime. The KBP said the new rules will prevent bets from reaching a wider audience, and deprive the public of their right to know their candidates. It's not all about money, said KBP president Herman Basbaño. The new rules prohibit national candidates from exceeding 120 minutes of ads on TV and 180 on radio, across all stations. For local bets, the resolution sets a 60-minute TV limit and 90-minute radio limit.


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India

7. Party distributes knives to women



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A regional party in India's Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena, has given away knives to women supporters to help protect themselves from rapists. The move comes after protests over the brutal gang rape of a student in New Delhi in December. This has led to demands for more security for women. Party officials said the government had failed in this aspect. The knives were given away at a birthday party of a party official, but thousands of small knives would be given more in the coming days. "The way you cut vegetables, cut the hand of the person who touches you the same way," news agency AFP quoted a Shiv Sena party official Ajay Chaudhury as saying.


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BBC




Business

8. Apple takes a beating



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Apple took a fresh bruising on January 24 after a gloomy forecast accompanying its record quarterly profits prompted pessimism over the tech giant's slowing growth trajectory. Apple shares slid 9.9% to $462.96 in early trade, extending the decline from record highs above $700 last year. Apple has said it made a profit of $13.l billion on revenue of $54.5 billion in the fiscal quarter that ended on December 29 as sales of iPhones and iPads set quarterly highs. Despite this, investors soured on Apple after it forecast that its revenue for the current quarter would range from $41 to $43 billion and it would have a gross margin of 37.5 to 39.5%.


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Social Media

9. Tips for spotting spoof Twitter accounts



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With word of spoof Twitter accounts of companies now in the public eye, it seemed fitting to discuss how to spot and avoid fake Twitter accounts in the future. The first thing anyone should think of when it comes to getting good customer service is that social media should be the last resort for important issues. Using Twitter to solve an account dispute can potentially be frustrating due to Twitter's character limitations. If you need help from any company, get service by checking the company's official website and looking for their support or contact information, then send an email or a phone call first.


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Entertainment

10. eBay bans 'Django Unchained' dolls



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Online auction giant eBay has banned the sale of dolls linked to Quentin Tarantino's blood-soaked western about a freed slave "Django Unchained," describing them as "offensive." The toymaker who manufactured the dolls had already discontinued them, after protests from black advocacy groups, according to the celebrity news website TMZ. An eBay spokeswoman, Kari Ramirez, confirmed the auction website had banned them. "These were removed as they were in violation of our Offensive Materials policy," she said. The eBay policy includes a section listing "racially or ethnically offensive language, historical items, reproductions and works of art and media" which are subject to restricted use or banning from the site.


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