The wRap


Your World in 10 - January 3, 2013 Edition

Heroes

1. Coming back to New Bataan



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A month ago, 1st Lt. Alex Marvin Deazeta and the men of Charlie Company tried to help residents of Compostela Valley flee from the wrath of Typhoon Pablo, the worst to hit Mindanao in 2012. They boarded two army trucks, and when the flashfloods ripped through the area and engulfed them, the soldiers surged into water to try to protect the people. It's a heartwrenching tale of heroism and loss, but despite the deaths, Lt. Deazata says he will return to help New Bataan again. More than 6.2 million Filipinos were affected by Typhoon Pablo, and most are still struggling to cope with its effects. With social media and mobile phones, help is just a text away.

Read and watch more on Rappler



Relief

2. Global stocks rally after fiscal cliff deal



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Relief turns into vibrant optimism after a deal is struck to avert the US fiscal cliff. On Wednesday, US stock markets rallied: the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 308.41 points to 13412.55, its best-ever start to a year. Its 2.35% gain in percentage terms was the best opening since 2009. S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite Index also gained. Global markets rose sharply after the US House of Representatives voted 257-167 to approve the Senate bill that pulled the US back from the fiscal cliff.

Read more on the Wall Street Journal



Record-Breaking

3. PSEi hits 2nd all-time high for 2013



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There seems to be no way to go but up for the Philippine Stock Exchange Index, which opened 2013 with a bang. The index hit new record highs on the first two trading days of the new year. On Thursday, the market rose 73.06 points to 5,934.05 points, the first time in the history of the local bourse. This was higher than Wednesday's close of 5,850.99 points. In 2012, the key index hit 38 new records.

Read more on Rappler.




Outlook

4. A great 2012, an even better 2013 for PH



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The Philippines is now one of the world's best-performing economies: in the third quarter, it was the fastest growing economy in ASEAN and third in Asia after China and Mongolia. The Philippines' top economic managers say this is the best year for the Philippine economy. They say this growth is sustainable, and analysts agree - bringing great optimism for 2013.

Read more about the views of Filipino economic managers . Watch the view of CSIS' Ernest Bower and his outlook for 2013. In November, Gallup Poll said the Filipinos are the world's most emotional people. Take a look back at 2012 through Rappler's crowdsourced moods in "2012 in Moods."



Breakthrough

5. 2012 banner year for PH Congress



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Congress made history several times in 2012. It removed a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, successfully carrying out a landmark impeachment trial to its lawful close. It pushed through a Reproductive Health law that languished in Congress for 14 years. The sin tax law was stuck in the halls for longer - 15 years, and the Desaparecidos law is the first of its kind in Asia. This may well be one of the most accomplished legislature in recent memory. Take a look back and see the driving force behind these historic firsts.

Read more on Rappler.



Challenge

6. SC petition to strike down RH Law



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After the Reproductive Health bill was ushered into law in December, a family questions its validity and asks the Supreme Court to strike it down on the first business day of 2013. Jo Imbong is a volunteer legal counsel for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines and is a staunch anti-RH advocate. She says her son and daughter-in-law filed the petition at the Supreme Court based on two pillars: morality and family. Jo Imbong joins Maria Ressa on Talk Thursday and explains the reasons why.

Read more on Rappler and watch Talk Thursday here.



Death Toll

7. UN: More than 60,000 killed in Syrian violence



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More violence Wednesday at a gas station outside Damascus, Syria's capital. Witnesses say a government airstrike on a gas station turned a long line of cars into an inferno that killed at least 30 people waiting for rarely available gas. This happens as a top UN official announces that more than 60,000 people have been killed in Syria since rebels began fighting against President Bashar al-Assad's regime 22 months ago.

Read more on the New York Times and on Rappler



Outrage

8. India gang-rape suspects in court



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It was a crime that galvanized India, sparking outrage and shutting down holiday celebrations. Shortly before Christmas, a 23 year old medical student and her boyfriend came out of a movie and boarded a bus with tinted windows. Inside were 6 men who brutalized the two and repeatedly raped the girl - violence and sexual depravity which evoked comparisons with Anthony Burgess's novel "A Clockwork Orange." She was flown out of India and to Singapore for medical treatment. Her death provoked soul-searching among citizens and lawmakers regarding the treatment of women. Official figures show that 228,650 of the total 256,329 violent crimes recorded in 2011 were against women. Delhi is dubbed the rape capital of India with the number of rapes rising 17% to 661 in 2012. Now 5 men accused of the crime appear in court Thursday.



Social Media

9. No avoiding Google+



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Social media wars heat up. The Wall Street Journal says Google is challenging Facebook by requiring users of its services to use the Google + social network. Which means if you use Gmail, YouTube and other Google services, you'll be set up with public Google+ pages that can be seen by anyone online. Expect more of this kind of integration, says a Google executive. Facebook did not comment.

Read more on the Wall Street Journal.



Brangelina

10. Did Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie get married?



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The Telegraph reports that Brangelina - Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie - may have secretly married on Christmas Day in the Caribbean's Turks and Caicos Islands. Pitt and Jolie announced their engagement in April 2012 after seven years together. Hollywood's hottest couple, along with their six children, Pitt's parents, brother and sister, allegedly spent the holiday at the Parrot Cay estate of American fashion designer, Donna Karan.

Read more on the Telegraph