The wRap


Your World in 10 - January 28, 2013 Edition

2013 Elections

1. Grace Poe up; Enrile, Villar down in SWS poll



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A January 17-19 Social Weather Stations poll showed Grace Poe-Llamanzares, former chair of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) jumping from No. 20 in December 2012 to No. 10-11. A common candidate of the ruling Liberal Party and the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), she suddenly “barged into contention,” a BusinessWorld report said on Monday, January 28. At the same time, Cagayan Rep Juan Ponce Enrile, an UNA candidate and son of the Senate President, dropped in ratings from No. 6-7 to No. 8-9. Likewise, former Las Piñas Rep Cynthia Villar who ranked No. 4 in December, dropped to No. 8-9 in January. SWS said their declines were recorded despite the appearance of their political ads on primetime TV. The survey results were released as candidates gear up for the campaign period which officially starts on February 12.

Read the full story on Rappler.




Crime

2. Megamall suspects caught on CCTV



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The faces of at least two of the men who held up a jewelry store inside SM Megamall on Saturday, January 26, were captured by security cameras. Authorities are reviewing CCTV video which showed that 4-5 men, at least one of them armed with a .45 caliber pistol, were involved in the incident. One of the suspects fired two shots in the air, causing panic and confusion among shoppers. Stores quickly pulled down their shutters as shoppers ran out of the shopping mall, one of the largest in the country. Within an hour, authorities said the situation had been put under control, but no arrests had been made. Late Saturday, police authorities said the notorious “Martilyo Gang” may have been behind the heist. They used a pipe wrench to break the glass casing that contained jewelry and ran away with an undetermined amount.

Read the full story on Rappler.

The first story on the Megamall shooting is also on Rappler.




Tubbataha Reef

3. Aquino to US: Follow our laws



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The US is not exempt from having to comply with Philippine laws, President Benigno Aquino III said, referring to a US naval marine sweeper that ran aground in Tubbataha Reef. No amount of apology, he added, will compensate for the damage caused by the USS Guardian. The Philippine government will pursue investigations and push for damage claims once its assessment is completed. “Excuse me, you damaged something. Will we leave it at that?” he told reporters in a mix of English and Filipino on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. The Tubbataha Reef was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993. Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya has been instructed to conduct the investigation, while the Philippine Coast Guard has been asked to prioritize removal of the vessel. The US naval sweeper has been grounded since January 17.

Read the full story on Rappler.




Politics

4. The inside story of Enrile-Cayetano tiff



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Once partners in Pecabar (Ponce Enrile Cayetano Bautista and Reyes law firm), Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile (JPE) and deceased former senator Renato Cayetano parted ways over a string of political incidents. Foremost among them was Cayetano accepting the post of presidential legal counsel under Fidel V Ramos. It marked a change in the trajectory of Cayetano’s political career, “out of the magnetic field of Enrile and into its own path,” wrote lawyer Jose Bayani Baylon, who worked with both men as a young political leader. Baylon, who had been associated with Cayetano, later supported the presidential candidacy of businessman Danding Cojuangco at a time when Enrile was contemplating the presidency too. It ruffled a few feathers in the Enrile circle, but Baylon told Cayetano that in his book, “JPE was only for JPE.” The insider’s view explains in part the animosity that has erupted between Enrile and the Cayetano siblings Pia and Alan Peter. Starting over additional funds distributed by Enrile to select senators, the issue has degenerated into a personal squabble.

Read the full story on Rappler.




US Presidency

5. Hillary for president in 2016?



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In what was seen as a subtle endorsement for Hillary Clinton’s presidential run in 2016, US President Barack Obama sat down with his secretary of state in a rare joint interview with American network CBS. Said to be Obama’s idea, the sit-down interview was filmed at the White House. “I want the country to appreciate just what an extraordinary role she’s played during the course of my administration and a lot of the successes we’ve had internationally because of her hard work,” Obama said on Sunday, January 27. With days left as America’s state secretary, Clinton who was defeated by Obama in the 2008 Democratic party race for presidential nominee, said, “I am still secretary of state. So I’m out of politics.” Yet she stressed she still cared “deeply about what’s going to happen for our country in the future.” Indicating she was open to possibilities despite pronouncements she was stepping out of the limelight, Clinton said neither she nor Obama “can make predictions about what’s going to happen tomorrow or the next year.”

Read the full story on Rappler.




Public Safety

6. Over 200 killed in Brazil night club fire



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A fire that razed a nightclub packed with university students in southern Brazil left over 200 people dead, police said on Sunday, January 27. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff cut short her visit to Chile, where a European and Latin American summit was being held, to supervise government response to the tragedy. Reports said fire broke out when the “Kiss” nightclub was hosting a university party that featured a rock band using pyrotechnics. The fire was the deadliest of its kind in over a decade. Guido de Melo, fire chief of Santa Maria where “Kiss” is located, said the main cause of death was asphyxiation or smoke inhalation. Panic spread as people tried to get out of an exit that was a “small door for lots of people to come out by,” the BBC quoted an eyewitness as saying. Bodies were being removed and taken to a sports stadium as the city’s main morgue is unable to cope. It was reminiscent of the Ozone disco fire that killed 160 in 1996 in Quezon City.

Read the full story on Rappler.

More details are on the BBC.




Middle East Unrest

7. Egypt’s Morsi declares state of emergency



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After days of unrest, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi declared a state of emergency in the cities of Port Said, Suez, and Ismalia. At least 33 people died over the weekend in Port Said where protests erupted over a court decision that sentenced 21 people over football violence last February. Fans of Port Said’s football club al-Masry attacked visiting supporters of Cairo’s al-Ahly club after the game, leaving at least 70 dead. It was the largest death toll in Egypt’s football history, according to the BBC. “I have said I am against any emergency measures but I have said that if I must stop bloodshed and protect the people then I will act,” Morsi said. In Cairo, protesters clashed with government forces for a fourth consecutive day near Tahrir Square. The opposition has accused Morsi of being autocratic.

Read the full story on the BBC.




Technology

8. ‘Anonymous’ threatens US justice dept over Swartz death



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Hackers claiming to be from the group Anonymous threatened to release sensitive information about the US justice department after they hijacked the website of a US government agency responsible for federal sentencing guidelines on Saturday, January 26. The hackers posted a message on the US Sentencing Commission’s website, demanding that the US reform its justice system or face incriminating leaks to select news outlets, CNN reported. The Commission is an independent agency of the US justice department. The hackers said they were carrying out the threat to revenge the death of Internet freedom advocate Aaron Swartz who committed suicide. Swartz faced 35 years in prison and a $1-million fine over allegations he stole online academic journal articles from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Anonymous said the secret data they had copied could embarrass judges and other federal employees.

Read the full story on CNN.

A related story is on Rappler.




Sports

9. Djokovic wins over Murray in Australian Open



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Novak Djokovic won over Andy Murray 6-7 (2/7), 7-6 (7/3), 6-3, 6-2 in a gruelling 3-hour-40-minute match in the Australian Open on Sunday, January 27. It was the Serbian’s fourth Australian crown and his sixth Grand Slam title overall. The 25-year-old became the first man in the Open Era and only the third ever to win 3 consecutive Australian Open titles. Djokovic reaffirmed his standing as the No. 1 ranked player, as Andy Murray remained No. 3, after Roger Federer. Murray won a tight opening set with a tiebreaker, but lost the second set at the 2hr 13min mark. Hamstring problems plagued Murray as Djokovic eventually gained control of the match. Meanwhile, Belarus top-seed Victoria Azarenka successfully defended her Australian Open title against injury-hit Li Na of China 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 on Saturday, January 26. Li twisted her left ankle and banged her head on the court.

Read the full story on Rappler.

A related story on the victory of Azarenka over Li is also on Rappler.




Obituary

10. Veteran journalist Stanley Karnow dies



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Stanley Karnow, whose book, “In Our Image: America’s Empire in the Philippines,” won the 1990 Pulitzer Prize in history, is dead. He was 87. “In Our Image” was acknowledged as the best popular history of American involvement in the Philippines, summarizing 3 centuries of the two countries’ relations. Karnow had vivid portraits of Spanish, American and Filipino leaders who shaped the only colony of the US. Born in New York, he headed for Europe a week after graduating from Harvard to become a foreign correspondent. He also covered the Vietnam War for Time Magazine and later for the Saturday Evening Post, The Washington Post, and NBC News. His other book, “Vietnam: A History” was praised for its insight and comprehensiveness. Karnow died of congestive heart failure in his Potomac home.

Read the full story in The Washington Post.

Additional details are on Rappler.